The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary






European Coal and Steel Community

The European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) was founded in 1951 (Treaty of Paris), by France, West Germany, Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands to pool the steel and coal resources of its member-states, thus preventing another European war. The headquarters of the ECSC was, beginning in 1952, in the capital city of Luxembourg. It was the fulfillment of a plan developed by a French economist Jean Monnet, publicized by the French foreign minister Robert Schuman. It was also heavily promoted, almost enforced, by the United States.

The ECSC served as the foundation for the later development of the European Economic Community (later renamed the European Community by the Maastricht Treaty), and then the European Union.

The Treaty of Paris entered into force on 23 July 1952, and unlike the Treaty establishing the European Community, provided for a limited duration of only 50 years. Therefore the ECSC ceased to exist in 23 July 2002, and its responsibilities and assets were then assumed by the EC. (This assumption was provided for by a protocol to the Treaty of Nice. That the ECSC had ceased to exist before the provisions in the Nice treaty enter into force would have seemed to cause legal problems, but in practice no one seemed concerned.)

Presidents of the High Authority of the European Coal and Steel Community, 1952-1967


Evolution of the Structures of European Union

See also

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