The declaration of 9 May 1950
On 9 May 1950 — in a speech inspired by Jean Monnet — the French Foreign Minister, Robert Schuman, proposed the pooling of the coal and steel resources of France and the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) within an organisation that would be open for membership to other European countries.
Robert Schuman and Jean Monnet sought to use this almost revolutionary declaration to generate a shock wave that would launch the process of European unification. Drafted in conditions of utmost secrecy, the Schuman Declaration aimed to bring about a profound change in mentalities that would help win over the people of Europe. But Schuman needed first of all to secure the agreement of his own Government, whilst ensuring that he also had the support of Konrad Adenauer and the United States.