On 24 October 1950, René Pleven, President of the French Council of Ministers and former National Defence Minister, proposes to the French National Assembly the establishment of a European army in order to avoid German rearmament as sought by the United States.
‘The Atlantic army — the best horse in the stable.’ On 28 October 1950, the Dutch cartoonist, Opland, takes an ironic look at the plan proposed by René Pleven, French Prime Minister and former Minister for National Defence, concerning the establishment of a European army.
Le 30 octobre 1950, Albert Wehrer, ministre du Luxembourg à Bonn adresse un rapport à Joseph Bech, ministre luxembourgeois des Affaires étrangères, dans lequel il rend compte d'une discussion qu'il a eue avec Jean Monnet sur la question du réarmement allemand et du Plan Pleven.
On 2 November 1950, the German weekly newspaper Die Zeit makes plain its scepticism regarding the main provisions of the plan devised by René Pleven, President of the French Council of Ministers and former Minister for Defence, which sets out the terms for German military rearmament within a European framework.
Le 8 novembre 1950, à l'occasion d'une déclaration gouvernementale sur le Plan Pleven, Heinrich von Brentano, président du groupe parlementaire du Parti chrétien-démocrate (CDU), prononce un discours sur la contribution allemande à la défense de l'Europe.
On 15 February 1951, at the opening session of the negotiations on the organisation of the European army in Paris, Robert Schuman, the French Minister for Foreign Affairs, gives a speech on the challenges of a common European defence.
On 15 February 1951, on the occasion of the opening of the conference for the organisation of a European army in Paris, Joseph Bech, Luxembourg's Minister of Foreign Affairs, pays tribute to the new French initiative for the establishment of a common European defence.
On 15 February 1951, the representatives of the Six meet in Paris for the opening of the conference on a European army. The photo shows Joseph Bech, Luxembourg Foreign Minister, Paul Van Zeeland, Belgian Foreign Minister, German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, Walter Hallstein, German State Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Alcide De Gasperi, Italian Foreign Minister, Robert Schuman, French Foreign Minister, Dirk Stikker, Netherlands Foreign Minister, and Randolfo Pacciardi, Italian Defence Minister.
‘1 000 words ... Drill exercises for the European army.’ As the Paris Conference on the European army begins, the German cartoonist Köhler portrays the difficulties that surround the creation of a truly integrated European army.
On 11 August 1950, the Consultative Assembly of the Council of Europe adopts a motion tabled by Winston Churchill which calls for the immediate establishment of a European army so as to form a bulwark against Communism.
On 2 September 1950, commenting on the efforts made by the Western powers towards rearmament, La Gazette de Lausanne speculates on the reality of the Soviet threat and describes the state of mind of the European people regarding the risk of a new conflict.
On 24 August 1951, the French daily newspaper Le Figaro publishes an address given by General Marie-Émile Béthouart in which he argues in favour of the integration of French forces into a European army.
In this confidential note addressed to Paul van Zeeland, Belgian Foreign Minister, Robert Silvercruys, Belgian Ambassador in Washington, describes the impatience of US senior officials at the delay in implementing the French plan for a European army.
On 10 December 1951, Alcide De Gasperi, President of the Italian Council of Ministers, gives an address to the Assembly of the Council of Europe and underlines the importance of plans for a European Defence Community (EDC).
On 10 December 1951, Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, Foreign Minister of the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG), outlines to the Consultative Assembly of the Council of Europe the main guidelines of Germany's European policy.
‘The repairs aren’t as easy as all that.’ On 12 December 1951, the German cartoonist, Beuth, illustrates the difficulties which the Six, under the watchful eye of Winston Churchill, former British Prime Minister, will have to overcome if they are to establish a European army. The German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer Konrad (on the left) and the French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman (on the right) try with little hope to start the vehicle.
On 17 December 1951, following the Strasbourg Conference attended by the Foreign Ministers of Belgium, the Federal Republic of Germany, France, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, Walter Hallstein, German State Secretary, outlines the various points for negotiation with regard to the establishment of a European Defence Community (EDC).
On 3 January 1952, David Bruce, US Ambassador to Paris, sends a telegram to the US Department of State in Washington outlining the progress of European negotiations on the establishment of a common army.
‘Inside the united Europe boarding school.’ On 30 November 1953, the Soviet satirical magazine Krokodil expresses its concern over the arrival of a Germany rearmed and allied to the United States within the future European army.
On 25 August 1951, the German Federal Government drafts a memorandum emphasising the urgent need to make progress on the fundamental issues associated with the establishment of the European Defence Community (EDC) and setting out the points on which an agreement in principle has been secured.
In the early 1950s, as debates are held on the creation of a European army, the French anti-communist movement ‘Peace and Liberty’ deplores the scale of military expenditure by the communist regimes in the Eastern bloc and speculates on the threat represented for Western Europe by the military apparatus of the Soviet bloc.
In this interview, Egon Bahr, former journalist and editor-in-chief of Radio in the American Sector (RIAS), refers to the motives underlying the Soviet initiative of 10 March 1952. In an attempt to block the signing of the Treaty instituting European Defence Community (EDC), the Soviet Union proposed making Germany a reunified State, but one that was neutral and demilitarised.
During the 1950s, the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG), at the instigation of its Chancellor, Konrad Adenauer, refuses the Soviet offer to make Germany a reunified but neutral State. Wilhelm Grewe, then Director of the Policy Division of the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Erich Mende, former President of the Parliamentary Group of the Free Democratic Party (FDP) in the Bundestag, and Franz-Josef Strauss, Prime Minister of Bavaria and former Defence Minister, comment in retrospect on Adenauer’s position.
On 4 February 1952, a report of the Paris Conference on the European Defence Community (EDC) project details the general objectives and principles of the future EDC and reviews the proposed solutions in the military, institutional and financial fields.
In February 1952, German cartoonist Beuth takes an ironic look at the efforts made by German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer for the potential future integration of West German troops into a European army while he is already facing difficulties over the settlement of the Saar question.
On 30 April 1952, the Luxembourg legation to the Conference on the Organisation of a European Defence Community drafts a note on the particular situation of Luxembourg with regard to the provision of its military forces within the EDC.
Diagram showing the functioning of the institutions provided for by the Treaty establishing the European Defence Community (EDC), the placing of Member States’ armed forces (European Defence Forces) at the disposal of the Community, and the link between the EDC and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO).
On 24 and 25 February 1953, the Foreign Ministers of the Six (from left to right: Alcide De Gasperi, Paul Van Zeeland, Jan Willem Beyen, Georges Bidault, Konrad Adenauer and Joseph Bech) meet at the Aldobrandini Palace in Rome to discuss the European Defence Community (EDC) and a proposal to include a general common market in the plans for a European Political Community (EPC).
‘I don't know what effect he'll have on the enemy, but by heaven! - he frightens me' On 26 May 1952, the day before the signing of the Treaty instituting the European Defence Community (EDC), the British cartoonist Cummings portrays French fears about the risk of German rearmament.
On 27 May 1952, in Paris, Konrad Adenauer, Paul Van Zeeland, Robert Schuman, Alcide De Gasperi, Joseph Bech and Dirk Stikker (from left to right) sign the Treaty establishing the European Defence Community (EDC).
On 28 May 1952, on the occasion of the signing of the Treaty establishing the European Defence Committee (EDC) in Paris, the French daily newspaper Le Monde considers the participation of German forces in the European Army.
On 29 May 1952, the French daily newspaper Le Monde describes the ceremony held to mark the signing of the Treaty establishing the European Defence Community (EDC), which took place two days earlier in the Clock Room at the Quai d’Orsay in Paris.
On 30 May 1952, commenting on the signing, on 27 May 1952 in Paris, of the Treaty establishing the European Defence Community (EDC), the Bavarian daily newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung attacks the contradictions and weaknesses of the plan for a European army.
On 23 June 1952, Dirk Stikker, Netherlands Foreign Minister, sends a note to the President of the Second Chamber in which he explains the issues surrounding the Treaty establishing a European Defence Community.
Le 18 août 1952, à l'occasion des débats sur la Communauté européenne de défense (CED), Paul Struye, sénateur catholique belge, s'interroge dans le quotidien La Libre Belgique sur le réarmement de l'Europe occidentale.
On 20 August 1952, Theodor Blank, a Christian Democrat member of the German Bundestag and creator of the Dienststelle Blank, the section of the Chancellery responsible for matters relating to the strengthening of Allied forces in the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG), welcomes the treaty establishing the European Defence Community (EDC).
On 5 August 1953, the German weekly magazine Der Spiegel considers the interconnection between the debates on the reunification of Germany, the rearmament of the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) and the establishment of a European Defence Community (EDC).
In the run-up to the German federal elections in September 1953, the Communist Party of Germany (Kommunistische Partei Deutschlands) criticises the policy pursued by the government of Chancellor Konrad Adenauer and condemns the plan for a European Defence Community (EDC).
On 6 November 1953, the French daily newspaper Le Figaro prints side by side the arguments of the opponents and the replies from the supporters of the Treaty establishing a future European Defence Community (EDC).
On 11 November 1953, on the occasion of the commemoration of the 35th anniversary of the Armistice of the First World War (11 November 1918), the French television and cinema production company, Pathé, organises a debate with a group of journalists on the implications of German rearmament and on plans for a European army.
On 15 December 1953, in connection with the debates on the European Defence Community (EDC), François Mauriac, a member of the French Academy, writes an article for the French daily newspaper Le Figaro in which he emphasises the importance of France’s role on the international stage.
In his memoirs, Dirk Stikker, Netherlands Foreign Minister from 1948 to 1952, describes how, despite the signing of the Treaty establishing the European Defence Community, there was no real will to create a supranational structure for defence policy.
At the conference held from 25 to 28 March 1987 in Rome to mark the 30th anniversary of the signing of the Treaties establishing the European Economic Community (EEC) and the European Atomic Energy Community (EAEC or Euratom), Paolo Emilio Taviani, former Italian Defence Minister, outlines the attitude of the United States towards the proposed European Defence Community (EDC) and the nature of the solutions considered after its failure.
In this interview, Charles Rutten, former Member of the Netherlands Delegation to the Interim Committee of the Paris Conference, outlines the difficulties involved in the implementation of the Treaty establishing a European Defence Community (EDC).