Reactions to the declaration of 9 May 1950

Reactions to the declaration

The Schuman Plan was approved by the French Government late in the morning of 9 May 1950. On the same day, it was officially submitted to the governments of Belgium, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States, as well as to the German Chancellor who had not been consulted previously. There were mixed reactions to the French proposals. Some sceptics saw in them a new cartel between steel-mill owners, while others believed that they represented American control over Europe, particularly given the open support for the Plan expressed by the US High Commissioner for Germany, John McCloy. The Communists even saw it as the first step towards a new declaration of war against the Soviet bloc.

In general, however, the public was favourable towards Robert Schuman’s declaration, even if the full significance of the Plan was difficult to grasp. At diplomatic level, despite some technical problems, the European countries that had been approached had no wish to be left on the sidelines of the European integration process.

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