9 of May "Day of Europe" (09/05/2011)
On May 9, 1950, Robert Schuman, French Minister of Foreign Affairs, delivered the well-known Schuman Declaration, a declaration based on principles and values establishing the foundations of the European Union today.
Robert Schuman and Jean Monnet, considered as the founding fathers of the European integration project, performed an historical act by proposing the creation of a European community of pacifist interests to Federal Republic of Germany and to all other European countries wishing to join the project. This offered an invitation to forget all grudges resulting from the war and to get rid of the burdens of the past, while implementing an innovative process in international relations.
The proposal was truly revolutionary. Its fundamental principle was the delegation of sovereignty in a limited, yet decisive area, coal and steel production. A crisis in this industry seemed imminent due to the iron and steel potential of different European countries. The key was to seek a fusion of the interests pertaining to European peoples and not simply to maintain the balance among them.
Monnet firmly believed that the process should be carried out in stages; to think that a complete institutional building could be created on one single act without raising reluctances from Member States was already illusory. Through this method, the different nations would commonly administrate their respective sovereignties to recover together the influence that individually they would be incapable of exerting.
France called for an intergovernmental conference, which Jean Monnet presided. The Benelux countries, Germany and Italy responded to the call and were present at the negotiation table. Negotiators did not lose sight of the mandate of building a totally new organization in terms of objectives and methodology.
In this sense, on April 18, 1951, the Treaty establishing the European Coal and Steel Community was signed, fulfilling one of the most successful projects of regional integration that we know today.
Currently Europe continues its construction process. The idea of Robert Schuman and Jean Monnet, has lead Europe to live the longest period of peace throughout its history.
Twenty-seven Member States, their diversity, their history, their culture, is what enriches the Union. Generations that have known only peace and; thus, the welfare state, need to continuously remember why promoters of the Europeists idea conciliated their differences in order to give birth to a project of coexistence among European States and their citizens; a project of peace and reconciliation among the States of the two Europes, which, for many years were separated by an iron curtain.