Posted on 06 September 2017
The Treaty of Paris, signed on 18 April 1951 by the six founding members of the European Communities, entered into force 65 years ago on 23 July 1952 and led to the establishment of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC). The underlying concept of the ECSC, expressed on 9 May 1950 by the French foreign minister Robert Schuman in his famous declaration, was to pool European countries' coal and steel in a common market, thereby neutralising competition over the key resources of heavy industry. As declared by Schuman, the aim of such enterprise, which came to be known as the Schuman Plan, was to "make war not only unthinkable but materially impossible".
The ECSC was structured around four institutions: a High Authority composed of independent appointees; a Common Assembly constituted by national parliamentarians; a special Council bringing together national ministers; as well as a Court of Justice. These institutional organs were later to become the European Commission, the Council of the European Union, the European Parliament and the European Court of Justice.
The entry into force of the Treaty of Paris and the establishment of the ECSC is seen as a turning point in the European integration process. To mark the 65th anniversary of this early and important step in the European integration process, the Archives of the Council of the EU prepared an online presentation, which traces the origins and creation of the ECSC. The presentation comprises audio-visual material and documents held by the Archives of the Council of the European Union.
Access to the online presentation