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The significance of the European Coal and Steel Community Following the Second World War many European countries if not almost all were literally wiped out The result of the activities of the Third Reich had left Europes political system of nation states dismantled and devastated and most importantly the European economy lay disrupted in ruins In result to this there was a wave of new ideas in Europe namely to start over and to avoid going through such an experience Prominent to this vague striving for a new Europe was the concept of federalism of some kind of political union Many were the efforts of integrating Europe but one of the most important ones was The Shuman Plan proposing the European Coal and Steel Community In the paragraphs that follow I will explain The Shuman Plan as well as the European Coal and steel Community and its importance in European integration The Shuman Plan takes its name from Frances foreign minister Robert Shuman In his May 9th 1950 Declaration we find the following The French government proposes to take action immediately on one limited but decisive point to place Franco-German production of coal and steel under a High Authority within the framework of an organization open to the participation of other countries of Europe The solidarity in production thus established will make it plain that any war between France and Germany becomes not merely unthinkable but materially impossible This proposal will build the first concrete foundation of a European federation which is indispensable to the preservation of peace Monnet saw the coal and steel plan as did Shuman as a positive track towards European integration and cooperation Six governments agreed to meet and discuss the plan France England the three Benelux countries and Italy National ratification followed quickly with the Treaty of Paris on April 18th 1951 The European Coal And Steel Community was now born under the consent of all
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