A survey of the drive for European union, 1947 to 1959

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute

The Organization tor European Economic Co-operation(O.E.E.C.) was a result of Marshall Plan pressure for co-operation among the states receiving American aid.

The cooperative spirit engendered by O.E.E.C. prompted the formation of the Council of Europe, where the international problems of the members were debated. Conclusions of the Council were addressed to the states, but were not binding. A. closer association was sought by men such as Paul-Henri Spaak, Robert Schuman, and Jean Monnet.

The Schuman Plan launched the European Coal and Steel Community, whereby six states - France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands - pooled their coal and steel industries, and relinquished national control over them.

This was followed by an abortive attempt to form a common European army and a common political community. The effort failed in the French National Assembly in 1954.

The following year brought the “new drive for European union” led by MM. Schuman and Monnet. The result was the establishment of the European Economic Community (Common Market) and the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) in January of 1958. Complications in the relations between the Community and the other western European states - particularly the United Kingdom - have yet to be resolved, but negotiations are currently being conducted. The effectiveness, even the very existence, of the Common Market and the unity movement may well depend on the result of these negotiations.