Jean Monnet pp 129-162 | Cite as

Jean Monnet and the European Coal and Steel Community: A Preliminary Appraisal

  • John Gillingham


On 9 May 1950 French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman — reading formally from a text inspired and drafted by Jean Monnet — proposed to pool the heavy industries of his nation with those of her neighbors in order to form what would later be called the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC).1 In April 1951 negotiations for the proposed organization concluded. Its executive organ, the High Authority (HA), began operations in August of the following year. Monnet served as President of the HA until June 1955 when his resignation, initially submitted in November 1954, officially took effect. The ECSC was Monnet’s greatest accomplishment: it set in motion the process that transformed Europe from a continent historically divided by nationalism into an emergent civilization formed by common economic institutions and animated by a common political spirit.2


High Authority Heavy Industry Common Market Consultative Committee North Atlantic Treaty Organization 
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  1. 3.
    See Jean Monnet, Memoirs, trans. Richard Mayne (New York, 1978), Chapter Three, ‘1919–1918: Working Together’, 23f.Google Scholar
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© Douglas Brinkley and Clifford Hackett 1991

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  • John Gillingham

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