European Union

The idea of a single united Europe might never have risen if it had not been for the devastation left by World War II. After the war, economic unity became a very appealing concept. The Western European countries were no longer a great power; France and England lost most of their African and Asian Colonies and Germany was divided in two. As this was all taking place, the United States and Soviet Union quickly emerged as the world’s leading powers causing the European countries to be economically dependent on them. In order to promote economic stability after World War II, ten European countries set up the Council of Europe in 1949. This council did not focus on national defense or military activities but instead attempted to unify the members in order to improve their economic well being. As time passed, more countries joined bringing the number up to twenty-three. In 1950, a French statesman named Jean Monnet, promoted the idea of unification based on economic needs of European countries. Monnet approached France’s foreign minister, Robert Schuman, with an idea of uniting France and Germany’s coal and steel resources. Schuman liked the idea and had him draft a document known as the schuman Declaration. This declaration put France and Germany’s coal and steel productivity under the same authority. By 1951, Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Holland and West Germany had all signed the Treaty of Paris which established the European Coal and Steel Community. The ECSC allowed workers from any member country to work in any other member country. By 1957, after the huge success of the ECSC, the six member countries decided to expand their cooperation by signing the two Treaties of Rome. Thefirst treaty established the European Economic Community which removed barriers between the member countries that consumed money and time. The second treaty established the European Atomic Energy which allowed the member countries to work together to dev…


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