Drakopoulos, Pan: The Way to Unity

1950, October 12: The Centre for European Culture

Inauguration of the ‘Centre europeen de la culture’ in Geneva (Swiss). President is the Spaniard writer and diplomat Salvador de Matariaga; Director is Denis de Rougemont, a personalist teacher of the European idea.

1951, April 18: The European Coal and Steel Community

Representatives of France, W. Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, and Luxembourg sign the Treaty for the establishment of the ECSC in Paris. Jean Monnet, the first President of the High Authority explains the meaning of the new organization: “According to the methods of the past, even when the European states have been convinced of the necessity of a common action, even when they have set up an international organization, they have kept their full sovereignty. Thus the international organization can neither decide, nor execute, but only address recommendations to the States … Today, on the contrary, six Parliaments have decided after mature deliberation and by massive majorities, to create the First European Community which merges a part of the national sovereignties and submits them to the common interest. Within the limits of competence confirmed by the treaty, the High Authority has received from the six states the mandate to take, in complete independence, decisions which are immediately in force on the whole of their territory. It is in a direct relationship with all firms. It obtains financial resources, not by contributions from states, but from levies imposed directly or indirectly on production … It is responsible, not to the states, but to a European Assembly … The members of the Assembly are not bound by any national mandate … The Assembly controls our action. It has the power to withdraw its confidence from us. It is the first European Assembly endowed with sovereign powers. The acts of the High Authority are changeable in the courts … not before national tribunals, but before a European tribunal, the Court of Justice”.

1952-54: The Failure of the European Defence Community

The war in Korea led the USA to propose West German rearmament within NATO. But the wounds from the war in Europe were not healed yet, and the European response was in the negative. Monnet discussed the idea of a European army with the French Premier Rene Pleven. After two years of talks among the European states, the plan for the European Defence Community was buried; and the damage done to the cause of integration was severe.

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