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Historical Atlas
European Integration
EEC, EC, EU since 1969
COMECON EFTA






The European Commission for Steel and Coal (ECSC, 1951-1957)



BENELUX, established in 1947, and the MARSHALL PLAN, according to which zero interest credits were given since 1948, showed that there was ample opportunity for enterprises attempting to serve a seemingly insatiable market.
After two World Wars which had arisen from antagonistic nationalistic policies, the conviction that European cooperation was a necessity, which Austrian Europe activist RICHARD NIKOLAUS COUNT COUDENHOVE-KALERGI had advocated since the early 1920es, was widespread. In addition it was regarded desiarable to place Europe's, especially Germany's coal mines and steel industry under supervision of an international body.
In 1951 the EUROPEAN COMMISSION FOR STEEL AND COAL (ECSC) was founded, France, the Benelux countries, Italy and the Federal Republic of Germany being the founding members. In such a spirit of cooperation, the SAARLAND, a territory separated from Germany and joined in customs union with France until 1959, did not become a bone of contention. In 1957 a plebiscite was held, which turned out overwhelmingly in favour of integration into the FRG (1959).


The European Economic Community (EEC, since 1957)



European cooperation went on well, and in 1957 the ECSC member states signed the TREATY OF ROME, founding the EUROPEAN ECONOMIC COMMUNITY, the responsibilities of which went far beyond common management of coal mines and steel industry. Headquarters was BRUSSELS.
The six member states established a COMMON MARKET, encouraging inner-EEC trade by abolishing import tariffs. Another major area of activity was European agriculture. As Europe twice - in/after World War I and in/after World War II, had experienced severe food shortages, and dependence on food imports was regarded risky due to the possibility of another war, EEC policy was to encourage an increase in agricultural production, with the aim to reach self-sufficiency in food production. Subventions were paid in order to help farmers increase their livestock, acquire modern equipment etc. The program was so successful, that the EEC, by the end of the 1960es, had an oversupply of many agricultural products and began to hoard milk, butter etc.
To deal with considerable differences in economic development within the EEC, a fund was established into which the wealthier members paid, and from which payments were made with the object of developing underdeveloped regions, such as, for example, southern Italy.
The EEC was seen as very successful, and other nations applied for membership; an application by the Republic of Ireland was rejected in 1965.


EXTERNAL
FILES
European Integration History Index, from WWW Virtual Library
History of the European Union : a Chronology from 1946 to 2001, from The European Union On-Line
EU History, from History of European Integration Site at Leiden University
DOCUMENTS Historical Documents 1930- , from the History of European Integration Site at Leiden University
Treaty of Rome (Treaty establishing the European Community, 1957), from Tufts Univ.
President Charles de Gaulle : Le Grand "Non" : Britain's Proposed Entry Into The Common Market, May 16, 1967, from Modern History Sourcebook
United States Department of State Press Statement : On the European Common Market And The Free Trade Area, January 15, 1957, from Modern History Sourcebook
REFERENCE Article European Unity, in : Britannica Book of the Year 1957, pp. 306-307 (on events in 1956) [G]
Article European Unity, in : Britannica Book of the Year 1963, pp. 353-354 (on events in 1962) [G]
Article European Unity, in : Britannica Book of the Year 1964, pp. 350-352 (on events in 1963) [G]
Article European Unity, in : Britannica Book of the Year 1965, pp. 343-344 (on events in 1964) [G]
Article European Unity, in : Britannica Book of the Year 1966, pp. 289-291 (on events in 1965) [G]
Article European Unity, in : Britannica Book of the Year 1967, pp. 332-334 (on events in 1966) [G]
Article European Unity, in : Britannica Book of the Year 1968, pp. 334-338 (on events in 1967) [G]
Article European Unity, in : Britannica Book of the Year 1969, pp. 333-335 (on events in 1968) [G]



This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on August 13th 2001, last revised on June 18th 2006

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