The birth of Europe – The Treaty establishing the European Coal and Steel Community was signed in Paris on 18 April 1951
- To celebrate the 70th anniversary of the signature of the Treaty establishing the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), visit our exhibition dedicated to this foundational text of European integration, the original of which is held in the French Diplomatic Archives. From your living room, discover a selection of archives, many unpublished, held at our centre in La Courneuve!
- View the video presentation:
70 years ago, Robert Schuman and his 🇧🇪 🇳🇱 🇩🇪 🇮🇹 🇱🇺 counterparts signed the treaty establishing the European Coal and Steel Community #ECSC #CECA
It represented the opening act of the European construction through tangible action. pic.twitter.com/633DT5BwHI
— France Diplomacy🇫🇷 (@francediplo_EN) April 18, 2021
On 9 May 1950, French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman laid the first stone of European integration, essential to maintaining peace, by proposing the creation of an institution to jointly manage coal and steel resources..
His Declaration in the Clock Room at the Quai d’Orsay was important for several reasons:
- It meant uniting countries that had been enemies during the two world wars of the 20th century and overcoming long-standing grievances;
- It meant creating an organization open to other willing European countries, as the starting point for European integration.
Less than a year later, on 18 April 1951, Robert Schuman, the French Foreign Minister, alongside his Belgian, Netherlands, German, Italian and Luxembourgish colleagues signed the Treaty establishing the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), the first supranational European organization with its own institutions. Other European “communities” were to follow along the same lines, such as the European Economic Community (EEC) in 1957, creating pan-European solidarities that formed the basis for today’s European Union.
This online exhibition, published for the 70th anniversary of the ECSC Treaty, is based on the book L’héritage européen de Robert Schuman : du fédéralisme à la souveraineté (The European Legacy of Robert Schuman: From Federalism to Sovereignty – Georges-Henri Soutou (ed.), Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs/Committee for Historical and Scientific Works – CTHS, 2020), which is the source for many text excerpts and the selection of Diplomatic Archives documents with accompanying notices.
Open the online exhibition by clicking on the photos below. Enjoy your visit!