By Nayra Bajo de Vera
We all know what the European Union is, but do we really know about its origin?
When The Second World War finished, Europe was completely devastated, not only on account of human losses but also material damages. The political and economical power of these countries collapsed, especially in Germany. Resentment and mistrust between the states did not leave place for reconciliation.
Robert Schuman, Finance, Foreign affairs and later Prime minister in France, defended the creation of Occidental Germany. He was German, French and Luxembourger, fact that utterly helped him so as to understand the complexity of the European conflicts and to quickly develop interest for achieving its unification. He managed to convince other European leaders. Their objective was to create a unique authority and in that way to control their productions of steel and coal. Hopefully, another war would not be possible. This is considered the beginning of the European construction as it was the first official proposal of integration in Europe. Speaking in Strasbourg, 16 May 1949 he claimed,
“We are carrying out a great experiment, the fulfillment of the same recurrent dream that for ten centuries has revisited the peoples of Europe: creating between them an organization putting an end to war and guaranteeing an eternal peace.”
This declaration created a new movement against the nationalist tendencies during this period. In addition, they developed the will of building a continent based on freedom and justice which would make the European international relations more peaceful. At the same time, the inhabitants of these nations were aware of their own weakness after the rise of the two new superpowers: USA and The Soviet Union.
In 1951, the Treaty that institutionalizes the European Community of Steel and Coal is signed by Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg and they started exchanging raw materials, which is the first union that has ever existed between European countries.
After this event, some more treaties concerning European countries’ economy and relations were signed (The European Community of Defense, during the Cold War). Then, the EU was created in 1993 with The Union of the Three Props, including only 3 of the 28 states nowadays comprise the EU, with the aim of getting a more powerful coin than the American dollar, to facilitate trade, traveling, alliances, education projects and to get a united army.
Treaty of Paris, Steel and Coal Union.