European Coal and Steel Community

European Coal and Steel Community
See also

European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), an international economic organization operating in the years 1951-2002. It was created on the basis of the Treaty of Paris, signed on April 18, 1951. six countries: Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Germany and Italy. The draft treaty was presented on 9 May 1950 by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of France - Robert Schumann. It was based on transnational economic and political integration of Western European countries, with particular emphasis on joint coordination of coal and steel production.


Membership in the ECSC was integral to membership in the European Community (until 1992 in the European Economic Community) and membership in Euratom. The founding members were Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Germany and Italy. In subsequent years, the following countries joined the ECSC: Denmark, Ireland and the United Kingdom (from 1973), Greece (from 1981), Spain and Portugal (from 1986) and Austria, Finland and Sweden (since 1995).


Despite two lost wars, Germany was the economic power of the Old Continent. For fear of security, their economic recovery was the main goal of the post-war countries in post-war Europe. France was looking for a chance to revive the industry, but was afraid of the return of aggression from the German state. The idea of transnational cooperation emerged. The ECSC was created as a result of the speech of the French Foreign Minister, Robert Schuman, with a declaration in which integration into joint coordination of coal and steel in the form of an international organization was proposed. It took place on 9 May 1950 and was directed to the governments of Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Germany and Italy. The co-creator of the integration was Jean Monnet, who proposed a sectoral method aiming at the unification of Europe in the economic and political aspect. The Treaty establishing the European Coal and Steel Community was signed on 18 April 1951 in Paris for 50 years. Ratification by the parliaments of the founding countries was necessary. The binding force of the treaty took place on July 25, 1952. The seat of the ECSC was Luxembourg. The beginning of 1953 created a common market for coal, iron and steel. The treaty expired in 2002. The competencies of the dismantled institution were taken over by the European Community.



  • ensuring constant supplies of coal and steel in the common market, complying with the needs of other countries
  • care for uniform access to production sources for each user of the common market
  • ensuring the lowest possible price for coal and steel, maintaining the rules of competition and normal conditions for interest on the capital invested
  • creating conditions encouraging entrepreneurs to increase production capacity, while maintaining rational use of raw materials
  • striving for the development of international exchange as well as modernization of production
  • striving to increase the level of living and working conditions of employees in every branch of production dependent on the Community.


The main ECSC bodies were set up under the 7th article of the treaty establishing the organization.

  • High Authority - ECSC's main executive and executive body. The members were 9 people elected for 6 years who became international officers. Their duty was not to take actions that were contrary to the supranational nature of their position. The treaty made it impossible for members of the High Authority to conduct professional activities, both paid and free. This body implemented the treaty assumptions. In 1967, the governing bodies of the three European Communities were transformed into a Commission of the European Communities.
  • General Assembly - a parliamentary body composed of 78 delegates elected by the parliaments of member countries for a year. The allocation of seats on the basis of the 21st article was as follows: France, Germany, Italy for 18 members, Belgium and the Netherlands for 10 members, Luxembourg - 4 members. This body performed advisory functions. After 1958, the Roman treaties transformed this institution into a European Parliamentary Assembly.
  • Council of Ministers - a decision-making body. It was created at the request of the Benelux states, which aimed at weakening the powers of the management body, as well as harmonizing the activities undertaken by it. In the most important matters, the High Authority could make decisions only with the consent of the Council of Ministers. After 1957, this body was replaced by the Council of the European Communities.
  • Court of Justice - a judicial body with competence of a constitutional tribunal. In 1957, this institution took over the jurisdiction of three Communities.