On 9 May 1950, almost five years to the day after the end of the Second World War, Robert Schuman, French Foreign Minister, made an official declaration in the Salon de l’Horloge at the French Foreign Ministry in Paris.

He proposed that the production and market of coal and steel in France and the Federal Republic of Germany be pooled under a joint High Authority within an organisation open to the other countries of Europe.

The community-based management of heavy industry, at that time a key sector of the economy and the basis of the arms industry, would render further conflict between the countries of Western Europe impossible.

This bold initiative was to have a significant historical impact: it is today considered as the event which launched the European integration process.

This subject file focuses on the ‘revolutionary’ proposal made on 9 May 1950 and on its consequences.

On this subject, you can also consult the research corpus entitled ‘From the Schuman Plan to the Paris Treaty (1950–1952)’.

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