The Full Wiki

Schuman Declaration: Wikis

Advertisements
  
  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Schuman Declaration.ogg
Short video clip of the speech

The Schuman Declaration is a governmental proposal by then-French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman to create a new form of organization of States in Europe called a supranational Community. Following the experiences of two world wars, France recognized that certain values such as justice could not be defined by the State apparatus alone. It involved far more than a technical Community to place the coal and steel industries of France, West Germany and other countries under a common High Authority. It led to the peaceful re-organization of post- World War Europe. The proposal led first to the creation of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC). It was also the forerunner of several other European Communities and also what is now the European Union (EU). The event is celebrated annually as Europe Day and Schuman himself is considered one of the Founding fathers of the European Union.

Schuman left no doubt in his first words that this was the birth of a New Europe, based on innovatory democratic principles.

' It is no longer a question of vain words but of a bold act, a constructive act. France has acted and the consequences of its action can be immense. We hope they will be. France has acted primarily for peace and to give peace a real chance.

' For this it is necessary that Europe should exist. Five years, almost to the day, after the unconditional surrender of Germany, France is accomplishing the first decisive act for European construction and is associating Germany with this. Conditions in Europe are going to be entirely changed because of it. This transformation will facilitate other action which has been impossible until this day.

' Europe will be born from this, a Europe which is solidly united and constructed around a strong framework. It will be a Europe where the standard of living will rise by grouping together production and expanding markets, thus encouraging the lowering of prices.

' In this Europe, the Ruhr, the Saar and the French industrial basins will work together for common goals and their progress will be followed by observers from the United Nations. All Europeans without distinction, whether from east or west, and all the overseas territories, especially Africa, which awaits development and prosperity from this old continent, will gain benefits from their labour of peace. '

Robert Schuman delivering his speech in 1950
European Union
Enlargement of the European Union 77.gif

This article is part of the series:
History of the
European Union

Pre-1945
See also
History of Europe
Enlargement - Treaties
Timeline - Presidents
  

Europe will not be made all at once, or according to a single plan. It will be built through concrete achievements which first create a de facto solidarity. The coming together of the nations of Europe requires the elimination of the age-old opposition of France and Germany. Any action taken must in the first place concern these two countries. With this aim in view, the French Government proposes that action be taken immediately on one limited but decisive point.

It proposes that Franco-German production of coal and steel as a whole be placed under a common High Authority, within the framework of an organization open to the participation of the other countries of Europe. The pooling of coal and steel production should immediately provide for the setting up of common foundations for economic development as a first step in the federation of Europe, and will change the destinies of those regions which have long been devoted to the manufacture of munitions of war, of which they have been the most constant victims.

Robert Schuman, extract from 9 May declaration.

Contents

Background

Europe had just come out of the Second World War, a conflict that had nearly destroyed the continent and split it between two spheres of influence. In a desire not to repeat such destruction, there was a great deal of momentum towards European co-operation. Winston Churchill, standing next to Robert Schuman had called for Franco-German reconciliation in a united Europe in a speech in Metz on 14 July 1946. In Zurich Churchill later called for a United States of Europe, and to begin with, a Council of Europe.[1] In speeches before the United Nations, Schuman announced that a revitalized Germany must be placed inside a European democracy.[2] The Council of Europe was duly created to provide the great framework of a European union (as it was originally called) in which the European Communities could be inserted. The Council was a herald of these supranational communities to come on the path to a fully democratic European integration.

Schuman had stated that the idea of a European Coal and Steel Community dated from before he attended university. Schuman initiated policies in preparation for this major change of European politics while Prime Minister of France (1947-8) and Foreign Minister from 1948 onwards. He spoke about the principles of sharing European resources in a supranational union at the signing of the Statute of the Council of Europe in London, 5 May 1949.

The Declaration had several distinct aims, which it tackled together.

  • It marked the birth of Europe
  • It made war between Member States impossible
  • It encouraged world peace
  • It would transform Europe by a 'step by step' process (building through sectoral supranational communities) leading to the unification of Europe democratically, including both East and West Europe separated by the Iron Curtain
  • It created the world's first supranational institution and
  • the world's first international anti-cartel agency
  • It created a single market across the Community
  • This, starting with the coal and steel sector, would revitalise the whole European economy by similar community processes
  • It would improve the world economy and the developing countries, such as Africa. [3]

Aim and drafting

The Quai d'Orsay, home of the French Foreign Office where the speech was made

The Declaration itself was first drafted by Paul Reuter, Schuman's colleague and the lawyer at the Foreign ministry. It was edited by Jean Monnet and others including Schuman's Directeur de Cabinet, Bernard Clappier. The draft documents of the Declaration have been published by the Jean Monnet Foundation[4]. They show that Reuter pencilled the first draft and Monnet made only minor corrections. Monnet crossed out the word supranational -- the key concept used by Schuman to describe the new form of European democracy—and replaced it with the ambiguous word federation. All the key elements—a new democratic organisation of Europe, the supranational innovations, the European Community, the High Authority, fusion of vital interests such as coal and steel, and a single European market and economy—were floated in a series of major speeches given by Schuman in the previous, preparatory years. They include his speeches at the United Nations, at St James's Palace, London at the signing of the Statutes of the Council of Europe and in Brussels, Strasbourg and in North America. The Proposal for a supranational Community came as a positive and welcome shock to the European peoples in the dismal, fearful years of the Cold War as it ruled out another war with Germany. The proposals became a Declaration of French government policy when after two Cabinet discussions it was agreed on 9 May 1950 that France would abide democratically by such a Community establishing European rule of law.

In his introductory remarks, Schuman revealed that this seemingly technical, social and industrial innovation would have huge political repercussions, not only for European democracy but for bringing democratic liberty to other areas such as Soviet-controlled eastern Europe, to aid the developing countries and for establishing world peace. 'Europe will be born of this, a Europe which is solidly united and constructed around a strong framework,' he said. The declaration's immediate goal was for France, Italy, West Germany, and the Benelux countries to share strategic resources in order to 'make war not only unthinkable but materially impossible' and to build a lasting peace in Europe. The immediate outcome of this initiative was the 18 April 1951 creation of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), first of the three European Communities and predecessor of the European Union. At the signing of the Treaty of Paris on 18 April 1951, the six signatories States affirmed in a separate document that this date representated the Europe's birth: 'By the signature of this Treaty, the participating Parties give proof of their determination to create the first supranational institution and that thus they are laying the true foundation of an organised Europe. This Europe remains open to all nations. We profoundly hope that other nations will join us in our common endeavour.'

Legacy

The Schuman Declaration marked the true beginning of post-World War II Franco-German cooperation and the re-integration of West Germany into Western Europe. Konrad Adenauer, Chancellor of West Germany, said of the declaration, "That's our breakthrough."[5] The ECSC was created by the Treaty of Paris (1951) and on 18 April 1951, the leaders of the six member countries (including Schuman) signed the above-mentioned European Declaration stating that 'marked the true foundation of Europe.' The supranational Community as the fruit of the Declaration provided five still-developing European democratic[6]institutions: the European Commission, the European Parliament, the Consultative Committees (representing organised civil society), the Council of Ministers and the European Court of Justice.

The resulting ECSC introduced a common, single steel and coal market, with freely set market prices, and without internal import/export duties or subsidies. The success of ECSC led to further steps, foreseen by Schuman, being taken with the creation of the European Economic Community and the European Atomic Energy Community. The two European Commissions of the latter Rome Treaties and the High Authority merged into a single European Commission in the 1960s. Further intergovernmental, (non-supranational), bodies and areas of activities were created leading to the creation of the European Union in 1993.

The Declaration is viewed as one of the main founding events of the EU. In 1985, during Jacques Delors tenure as President of the European Commission, the leaders of the European Council met in Milan to decide upon 'national' symbols for the Community. They adopted those chosen by the Council of Europe previously but they changed the date of Europe Day from 5 May to 9 May, in commemoration of the Schuman Declaration (the day is now also known as Schuman Day).

Notes

References

  • Schuman, Robert. Pour l'Europe. Paris 1963
  • Rieben, Henri. Un changement d'Esperance, la declaration du 9 mai 1950. Lausanne 2000.
  • Judt, Tony. Große Illusion Europa. München: Hanser, 1994.
  • McDougall, Walter. "Political Economy versus National Sovereignty: French Structures for German Economic Integration after Versailles." The Journal of Modern History 51, no. 1. (Mar., 1979): 4-23.
  • Shore, Cris. "Inventing the 'People's Europe': Critical Approaches to European Community 'Cultural Policy.'" Man 28, no. 4. (Dec., 1993): 779-800.
  • Shore, Cris and Annabel Black. "The European Communities and the Construction of Europe." Anthropology Today 8, no. 3. (Jun., 1992): 10-11.

See also

External links

Advertisements

Source material

Up to date as of January 22, 2010

From Wikisource

Schuman Declaration
by Robert Schuman
Information about this edition
Speech by Robert Schuman, Foreign Minister of the French Republic, to the French National Assembly on 9 May 1950
Wikipedia logo Wikipedia has more on:
Schuman Declaration.
Source
Video

World peace cannot be safeguarded without the making of creative efforts proportionate to the dangers which threaten it. The contribution which an organized and living Europe can bring to civilization is indispensable to the maintenance of peaceful relations. In taking upon herself for more than 20 years the role of champion of a united Europe, France has always had as her essential aim the service of peace. A united Europe was not achieved and we had war.

Europe will not be made all at once, or according to a single plan. It will be built through concrete achievements which first create a de facto solidarity. The coming together of the nations of Europe requires the elimination of the age-old opposition of France and Germany. Any action taken must in the first place concern these two countries. With this aim in view, the French Government proposes that action be taken immediately on one limited but decisive point.

It proposes that Franco-German production of coal and steel as a whole be placed under a common High Authority, within the framework of an organization open to the participation of the other countries of Europe. The pooling of coal and steel production should immediately provide for the setting up of common foundations for economic development as a first step in the federation of Europe, and will change the destinies of those regions which have long been devoted to the manufacture of munitions of war, of which they have been the most constant victims.

The solidarity in production thus established will make it plain that any war between France and Germany becomes not merely unthinkable, but materially impossible. The setting up of this powerful productive unit, open to all countries willing to take part and bound ultimately to provide all the member countries with the basic elements of industrial production on the same terms, will lay a true foundation for their economic unification.

This production will be offered to the world as a whole without distinction or exception, with the aim of contributing to raising living standards and to promoting peaceful achievements. [...]

In this way, there will be realized simply and speedily that fusion of interest which is indispensable to the establishment of a common economic system; it may be the leaven from which may grow a wider and deeper community between countries long opposed to one another by sanguinary divisions.

By pooling basic production and by instituting a new High Authority, whose decisions will bind France, Germany and other member countries, this proposal will lead to the realization of the first concrete foundation of a European federation indispensable to the preservation of peace. To promote the realization of the objectives defined, the French Government is ready to open negotiations on the following bases.

The task with which this common High Authority will be charged will be that of securing in the shortest possible time the modernization of production and the improvement of its quality; the supply of coal and steel on identical terms to the French and German markets, as well as to the markets of other member countries; the development in common of exports to other countries; the equalization and improvement of the living conditions of workers in these industries.

To achieve these objectives, starting from the very different conditions in which the production of member countries is at present situated, it is proposed that certain transitional measures should be instituted, such as the application of a production and investment plan, the establishment of compensating machinery for equating prices, and the creation of a restructuring fund to facilitate the rationalization of production. The movement of coal and steel between member countries will immediately be freed from all customs duty, and will not be affected by differential transport rates. Conditions will gradually be created which will spontaneously provide for the more rational distribution of production at the highest level of productivity.

In contrast to international cartels, which tend to impose restrictive practices on distribution and the exploitation of national markets, and to maintain high profits, the organization will ensure the fusion of markets and the expansion of production.

The essential principles and undertakings defined above will be the subject of a treaty signed between the States and submitted for the ratification of their parliaments. The negotiations required to settle details of applications will be undertaken with the help of an arbitrator appointed by common agreement. He will be entrusted with the task of seeing that the agreements reached conform with the principles laid down, and, in the event of a deadlock, he will decide what solution is to be adopted.

The common High Authority entrusted with the management of the scheme will be composed of independent persons appointed by the governments, giving equal representation. A chairman will be chosen by common agreement between the governments. The Authority's decisions will be enforceable in France, Germany and other member countries. Appropriate measures will be provided for means of appeal against the decisions of the Authority. A representative of the United Nations will be accredited to the Authority, and will be instructed to make a public report to the United Nations twice yearly, giving an account of the working of the new organization, particularly as concerns the safeguarding of its objectives.

The institution of the High Authority will in no way prejudge the methods of ownership of enterprises. In the exercise of its functions, the common High Authority will take into account the powers conferred upon the International Ruhr Authority and the obligations of all kinds imposed upon Germany, so long as these remain in force.


Advertisements






Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message