The creation of the ECSC
France, Germany, Italy and the three Benelux countries reacted positively to Robert Schuman’s statement. The Foreign Ministers of those six countries entered into negotiations based on the principles set out therein. Institutional issues were the first to be addressed. The Benelux countries did not want to be dominated by the Franco-German axis and therefore demanded a truly independent High Authority. The delegates then went on to tackle economic issues – often highly technical in nature – particularly the dismantling of the heavy industry cartels in the Ruhr. The Ministers ultimately resolved the last remaining political questions such as the seat of the High Authority and its composition.