On 4 April 1955, following the failure of the European Defence Community (EDC), the Netherlands Government forwards to Paul-Henri Spaak, Belgian Foreign Minister, a memorandum proposing the revival of European integration through general, rather than sectoral, economic integration as part of a common market.
On 4 April 1955, Paul-Henri Spaak, Belgian Foreign Minister, sends a letter to the German Chancellor, Konrad Adenauer, in which he proposes a revival of the European idea by extending the responsibilities of the High Authority of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) to other sources of energy and to transport.
On 19 April 1955, Johan Willem Beyen, Netherlands Foreign Minister, outlines to the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands Second Chamber the nature of his proposal for the revival of European integration which is supported by Paul-Henri Spaak, Belgian Foreign Minister.
On 23 April 1955, Johan Willem Beyen and Joseph Luns, who share responsibility for the Dutch Foreign Ministry, send the Dutch diplomatic representatives abroad a telegram in which they review the consultations between Beyen and Belgian Foreign Minister Paul-Henri Spaak concerning European revival.
On 6 May 1955, the Netherlands Council of Ministers makes an initial assessment of the instructions to be given to Foreign Minister Johan Willem Beyen with a view to his forthcoming meetings with his Belgian and Luxembourg counterparts, Paul-Henri Spaak and Joseph Bech, on the revival of the European integration process.
On 9 May 1955, the Netherlands Council of Ministers outlines the instructions to be given to Foreign Minister Johan Willem Beyen with a view to his forthcoming meetings with his Belgian and Luxembourg counterparts, Paul-Henri Spaak and Joseph Bech, on the revival of the European integration process.
On 14 May 1955, the Belgian economist, Louis Ameye, analyses the advantages and disadvantages of the proposals for the revival of European integration based on the experience of the Benelux Economic Union and calls for the establishment of a customs union or a general common market in Europe.
On 18 May 1955, the three Benelux countries (Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands) adopt a joint memorandum which they forward to the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG), France and Italy two days later. This memorandum, in which the Benelux countries propose ways of reviving economic integration in Europe by extending the powers of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) in the areas of transport, energy and nuclear power, as well as with regard to economic, social and financial issues, is to be studied and discussed on 1, 2 and 3 June 1955 at the Messina Conference to be attended by the Foreign Ministers of the six ECSC Member States.
This note from the French Foreign Affairs, dated 18 May 1955, compares the possible approaches to European integration — either total or sectoral — to determine which option would be the most appropriate in the view of the French Government. After concluding in favour of integration in specific sectors such as the transport and nuclear industries, the note analyses the ways in which this integration might be organised.
On 20 May 1955, the Belgian daily newspaper Le Soir outlines the main proposals for a revival of European integration set out in the joint memorandum from the three Benelux countries to the six Member States of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC).
On 24 May 1955, Jean-Paul Garnier, the French Ambassador to the Netherlands informs the French Foreign Minister, Antoine Pinay, of the information he has gathered on the context in which the Benelux memorandum was written and the intentions of its authors. The note details the support that minister Beyen has secured of the other members of the ECSC.
On 25 May 1955, André François-Poncet, French Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG), sends a letter to French Foreign Minister Antoine Pinay in which he reports on the hostility in German industrial circles and the German press to any proposals to extend the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) to include other industrial sectors.
On 26 May 1955, the French Foreign Ministry responds to the Benelux Memorandum on the revival of European integration, setting out the reasons which prevent it from rejecting outright the proposal that it received, despite French opposition to some of its proposals.
On 28 May 1955, Jacques Fouques-Duparc, the French Ambassador to Italy informs the French Foreign Minister of the Italian position on European economic integration, in the run-up to the Messina Conference, based on a press conference held by the Director-General for Economic Affairs in the Italian Foreign Ministry, Attilio Cattani. Italy seems to be generally in favour of broad economic integration but is also interested in sectoral cooperation in the nuclear industry.
In May 1955, the French Foreign Ministry responds to the memorandum submitted on 20 May 1955 by the three Benelux countries to the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG), Italy and France with a view to reviving European integration, particularly in the areas of transport, energy and nuclear power, and to its being used as a basis for the Messina Conference, to be held from 1 to 3 June.
On 28 May 1955, a summary note analyses the memorandum sent by the German Government to the representatives of the partner countries in the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) recommending an extension of the ECSC’s scope of activity using methods similar to intergovernmental cooperation.
In April 1955, Paul-Henri Spaak, Belgian Foreign Minister, publishes an article in the magazine Écrits de Paris in which he shows that the revival of European cooperation is necessary for peace and prosperity in Western Europe.
Ludwig Erhard (centre), Federal Minister for Economics from 1949 to 1963 and Vice-Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) from 1957 to 1963, is one of the keenest supporters of the establishment of a free trade area as debates are held in the Organisation for European Economic Cooperation (OEEC) in 1957–1958.