Europe Declaration

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The Europe Declaration also known as the Charter of the Community was a joint statement issued by the Foreign Ministers of Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg at the signing of the Treaty of Paris on 18 April 1951, which created the European Coal and Steel Community based on the Schuman Plan.

The declaration said that the Community marked the birth of the Europe as a political, economic and social entity, reflecting the principles that Robert Schuman had announced in the Schuman Declaration. It included the statement:

By the signature of this Treaty, the participating Parties give proof of their determination to create the first supranational institution and that thus they are laying the true foundation of an organised Europe. This Europe remains open to all European countries that have freedom of choice. We profoundly hope that other countries will join us in our common endeavour.[1]

The declaration was signed by Konrad Adenauer (West Germany), Paul van Zeeland, Joseph Meurice (Belgium), Robert Schuman (France), Count Sforza (Italy), Joseph Bech (Luxembourg), Dirk Stikker and J. R. M. van den Brink (Netherlands). It was made to recall future generations to their historic duty of uniting Europe based on liberty and democracy under the rule of law. Thus they viewed the creation of a wider and deeper Europe as intimately bound to the healthy development of the supranational or Community system.

Robert Schuman wrote in 1963 that

The population needs to be able by means of specially elected representatives to follow and facilitate the development of the institutions. It will be necessary, therefore, in the near future to foresee the election by direct, universal suffrage of members of the Assembly which exercises powers of deliberation and control, in conformity to the Charter of the Community. Moreover, Article 138 {of the European Economic Community Treaty} has given a mandate to that Assembly to elaborate such a draft. This election statute must be uniform for all Member States. It is certain that the conscience of a united Europe will become more marked and will take a stronger form if it is able to be confirmed by voting on a European scale. The voter would be integrated into a single electoral body and would give his or her voice on objectives that interest the entirety of all the territories associated in the Community.[2]

For Schuman Democracy is characterized by the objectives which it proposes for itself and the means by which it seeks to attain them. It is at the service of the people and acts in agreement with the people. I can find no definition simpler or more scientific than this. It connects with that of President Abraham Lincoln: 'government of the people, by the people and for the people.' [3][original research?]


  1. ^ Der Schuman Plan. Vertrag ueber die Gruendung der europaeischen Gemeinschaft fuer Kohl und Stahl, p21 Ulrich Sahm mit einem Vorwort von Walter Hallstein. Frankfurt 1951.
  2. ^ Pour l'Europe pp146-7. Robert Schuman. Paris 1964.
  3. ^ Pour l'Europe p55. Robert Schuman. Paris 1964.

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