The demands of the European Movement
Robert Schuman’s declaration in favour of the establishment of a coal and steel pool caught members of the European Movement slightly off guard, since the call had not come directly from their ranks. For some time now, the various groups represented in the European Movement — unionists, federalists, confederalists and institutionalists — had been debating the validity of the sectoral approach. Even amongst supporters of sectoral integration, the debate as to how much sovereignty should be surrendered remained intense. In spite of this, petitions were launched in favour of a federal treaty that would pool all areas of political life, including defence.
At its second Congress in The Hague in 1953, the European Movement celebrated the progress that had been made towards European integration since 1948 and declared itself in favour of a European Political Community, thus supporting the proposals put forward by the Ad Hoc Assembly, which was derived from the Parliamentary Assembly of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC).