The post-war European integration began right after the end of the war. Small unions in size, as Benelux, emerged. But the idea of economic integration, making countries interdependent in key industries: coal and steel, became a mainstream plan. The logic behind this idea was that if European states, mainly France and Germany, had joint management in coal and steel industries, they could be unable to build a massive defense complex to attack the other one. While preparing the declaration, Robert Schuman said in May 1950: “Europe will not be made all at once, or according to a single plan. It will be built through concrete achievements which first create a de facto solidarity.” Furthermore, these industries were in a small region stretching from the Saar region to the Ruhr and Franco-Belgium border (Willett (1928), Lister (1960)), involving Germany, France, and the Benelux countries, and they needed coal and steel industries to reconstruct the destructed post-war Europe.
Robert Schuman, French foreign minister, proposed a plan in May 1950 that would bring economic integration to Europe. The plan, which was later called the “Schuman Plan”, named after him, is simply proposing a common market controlling coal and steel industries in Western Europe. The plan was authored by Jean Monnet and it argued that coal and steel production should be placed under supranational High Authority. Monnet’s European idea was broad and very close to Churchill’s plan. Nevertheless, two broad approaches were apparent in this process: intergovernmental and integrationist. Monnet himself was keen on step-by-step integration towards greater union, but on the other side of the political debate, there were many politicians, mainly in the UK, thinking of European close integration without binding commitments that Monnet was in favour of .
Following the presentation of Schuman Declaration, the negotiations between six countries, France, Italy, the Federal Republic of Germany, and the Benelux countries began. The whole process ended up with drafting the treaty establishing the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) (informally the Treaty of Paris) on 18 April 1952 and was ratified on 23 July 1952 for fifty years which laid down in its Article 97. According to Schuman and Monnet, the ECSC was the beginning of the European Union. Monnet said while addressing the Common Assembly for the first time:
“We can never sufficiently emphasise that the six Community countries are the forerunners of a broader united Europe, whose bounds are set only by those who have not yet joined. Our community is not a coal and steel producers’ association; it is the beginning of Europe.”
Treaty’s preamble clearly demonstrates the explicit commitment for further integration. The treaty concentrates on ensuring:
- Free movement of goods and free access to sources of production;
- Permanent monitoring of the market to avoid distortions which could lead to the introduction of production quotas;
- Compliance with the rules of competition and the principle of price transparency;
- Support for modernisation and conversion of the coal and steel sectors.
Structurally the treaty has four divisions: the European Coal and Steel Community, the institutions of the Community, the economic and social rules, and lastly, the general rules. In addition, two protocols and a convention on the transitional rules have been included. Protocols are on the Court of Justice and the relationship with the Council of Europe; meanwhile, the convention on the transitional rules deals with the implementation of the treaty, relations with non-ECSC countries, and general safeguards. Four main institutions were established by the treaty: High Authority, Assembly, Council of Ministers, and Court of Justice.
While discussing the progress of the ECSC at the Messina Conference, the ECSC leaders concluded with the proposal on a customs union and atomic energy, the creation of a preparatory committee for the construction. The words of joint resolutions convinced the participants. The statement said:
“It is necessary to work for the establishment of a United Europe by the development of common institutions, the progressive fusion of national economies, the creation of a common market and the progressive harmonisation of social policies.”
Taking the ECSC as an example, following the failure of the European Defence Community (EDC), and discussing the decision taken at the Messina Conference, two treaties were signed in Rome in March 1957 to establish two separate organizations: the European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM) and the European Economic Community (EEC). EURATOM was created for the peaceful use of nuclear energy and creating a common market for the research of nuclear fuels as well as supervising the nuclear industry. The phrase “peaceful use” concerns issues of health and safety, supplies, security, and trade substantially. The Treaty of Rome or Euratom is not as ambitious as other Treaty of Paris, “but in one respect”, Watts Duncan argues, “it did continue a theme consistently expressed in the evolution of the European Community”. The main purpose of EURATOM is found in its preamble by emphasizing the importance of nuclear energy: “nuclear energy represents an essential resource for the development and invigoration of industry and will permit the advancement of the cause of peace.”
The treaty establishing the European Economic Community (EEC) is mostly referred to one when speaking of Treaty of Rome signed on 25 March 1957 with two aims: transform the conditions of trade and production on the territory of its six members and serve as a step towards the closer political unification of Europe. The objective “ever closer union” between European peoples emerged for the first time and was mentioned in the Treaty of Rome’s preamble: “Déterminés à établir les fondements d’une union sans cesse plus étroite entre les peuples européens”. It was the long-term purpose of the Union. More tangible objectives were stated in Article 2:
“The Community shall have as its task . . . to promote . . . a harmonious development of economic activities, a continuous and balanced expansion, an increase in stability, an accelerated raising of the standard of living and closer relations between the states belonging to it.”
Although the term “ever closer union” was meant to be between European peoples in the preamble, Article 2 clearly states that it is also meant to be between European states. Article 3 sets out the main guidelines for six states, including:
- Establishing a customs union in which all internal barriers to trade would be removed, and a common external tariff applied to the outside world;
- Developing a common agricultural policy;
- Harmonising social security arrangements;
- Providing for the free movement of labour and capital;
- Developing regional and social funds to assist poorer areas of their territory;
- To produce new products and retrain workers whose skills become obsolete.
Having fulfilled these objectives of Article 3, there would be a “Common Market”, comprising the three elements of the ECSC, the EEC, and Euratom. The next article, Article 4, contains information about institutions: An Assembly, a Council, a Commission, and a Court of Justice. Along with changes and further steps towards integration via supranational activities, there was a substantial continuity of the ECSC.
Supranationalism and intergovernmentalism were found in both treaties. The most important supranational institution was the Commission. It was to deal with the functioning of the EEC, was responsible for treaty provision implementations, and giving recommendations. The Commission was an executive body, the only one with the right to initiate new legislation and independent from the member states, acting only for common interest, leaving national interest behind with its own staff.
The most powerful institution was the Council representing the national interests of member states. The Council was to decide most of the matters related to new legislation, approving, rejecting, or reforming it. The decision-making process was based on unanimity, meaning the approval of every single member. It was a way to break down the resistance of those who thought the new community would be a threat to national sovereignty. There was no change in the Assembly. It was almost the exact copy of the ECSC. Time by time it gained more and more power. Finally, in 1979 it was elected democratically by Europeans and currently being in the same level, in terms of power, with the Council.
As a means of economic integration, the treaty established a Common Market among six member states where the trade barriers between them were gradually eliminated, and common policies with regard to transportation, agriculture, and economic relations with non-member countries were implemented. The free movement of goods, people, services, and capital is part of the treaty as well, being mentioned in Article 2. The UK and other European states initially declined to join the Common Market and created European Free Trade Area (EFTA) in 1960 as an alternative. However, having seen the substantial progress of the Common Market, Britain changed her mind.
The treaty also abolished quotas and customs duties between the six by establishing a common external tariff on imports from non-EEC members. Thus, previous tariffs of member states have been replaced to common tariffs and controlled at the EEC level, not at the national level anymore.
 A. AUGUSTYN, Benelux: Economic Union, the economic union of Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg, with the objective of bringing about total economic integration, was created in 1948. The Benelux was the example for the ECSC. The Britannica, available at: https://www.britannica.com/topic/Benelux
 Mainly, because the coal and steel industries are central to the war effort.
 J. DEBARDELEBEN, A. HURRELMANN, C. VIJU, S. SCHOTT, P. LEBLOND and INGER WEIBUST: EU learning: The ECSC, Carleton University, available at: https://carleton.ca/ces/eulearning/history/moving-to-integration/the-european-coal-and-steel-community/
 Website of European Parliament, available at: https://www.europarl.europa.eu/factsheets/en/sheet/1/the-first-treaties
 GROENENDIJK and N. HOSPERS, Notes and Communications, A Requiem for the European Coal and Steel Community (1952-2002), 2002, De Economist 150, p. 602.
 European Organization: The ECSC, available at: https://www.britannica.com/topic/European-Coal-and-Steel-Community
 Jean Monnet: The French political and economic adviser. He worked in the League of Nations and was committed to the Churchill’s United States of Europe. He is known as “the unifying force behind the birth of the European Union.” He was also the first president of the ECSC. Available at: https://europa.eu/european-union/sites/europaeu/files/docs/body/jean_monnet_en.pdf
 D. WATTS, The European Union, Edinburg University Press, 2008, p. 11.
 Ibid. p. 12.
 The treaty was dissolved when it expired in 2002. Website of European Parliament: https://europarl.europa.eu/about-parliament/en/in-the-past/the-parliament-and-the-treaties/treaty-of-paris
 D. WATTS, The European Union, Edinburg University Press, 2008, p. 15.
 Website of the European Union: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=LEGISSUM:xy0022
 The institutions are forerunners of today’s: European Commission (High Authority), European Parliament (Assembly), Council of the European Union (Council of Ministers), and Court of Justice of the European Union (Court of Justice). Ibid.
 The Messina Conference took place on 1 to 3 June 1955 among six leaders on discussing the current situation as well as future integration plans for Europe. Available at: https://www.cvce.eu/en/education/unit-content/-/unit/1c8aa583-8ec5-41c4-9ad8-73674ea7f4a7/41ec71a6-2eb5-43c7-97e2-75ca5547217e
 D. WATTS, The European Union, p. 17.
 European Defence Community was created with one of the two Paris treaties, signing 13 days after the creation of ECSC. EDC involved “the creation, for a common defence of a European Army under the authority of the political institutions of Europe”. Despite huge and explicit support from Churchill and many other European leaders, the EDC failed to be ratified by the French Assembly in 1954. Available at: https://www.cvce.eu/en/education/unit-content/-/unit/1c8aa583-8ec5-41c4-9ad8-73674ea7f4a7/bd191c42-0f53-4ec0-a60a-c53c72c747c2
 D. WATTS, The European Union, p. 18.
 Treaty Establishing The European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM), available at: http://aei.pitt.edu/37146/1/Euratom_Treaty_1957.pdf
 Website of European Parliament:
 In English: “Determined to lay the foundations of an ever-closer union among the peoples of Europe…”. The Treaty establishing the European Economic Community. Available at: https://www.ab.gov.tr/files/ardb/evt/1_avrupa_birligi/1_3_antlasmalar/1_3_1_kurucu_antlasmalar/1957_treaty_establishing_eec.pdf
 D. WATTS, The European Union, p. 19.
 The Commission is the equivalent of the High Authority of the ECSC.
 L. V. GRAZIATTI, The Treaty of Rome EEC and EURATOM 1957, ABC Research Alert Vol 5, Number 3, 2017, p. 22.
 Ibid. p. 23.
 Available at: https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/common-market-founded#:~:text=Common%20Market%20founded.%20On%20March%2025%2C%201957%2C%20France%2C,in%20Europe%E2%80%99s%20movement%20toward%20economic%20and%20political%20union