From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The European Coal and Steel Community
) was a six-nation international organisation
serving to unify Western Europe during the Cold War
and creating the foundation for European democracy and the modern-day developments of the European Union
. The ECSC was the first organisation to be based on the principles of supranationalism
The ECSC was first proposed by French foreign minister Robert Schuman on 9 May 1950 as a way to prevent further war between France and Germany. He declared his aim was to 'make war not only unthinkable but materially impossible.' The means to do so, Europe's first supranational Community, was formally established in 1951 by the Treaty of Paris, signed not only by France and West Germany, but also by Italy and the three Benelux states: Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. Between these states the ECSC would create a common market for coal and steel. The ECSC was governed by a 'High Authority', checked by bodies representing governments, MPs and an independent judiciary.
The ECSC was joined by two other similar communities in 1957, with whom it shared its membership and some institutions. In 1969 all its institutions were merged with that of the European Economic Community (EEC, which later became part of the European Union), but it retained its own independent identity. However in 2002 the Treaty of Paris expired, and with no desire to renew the treaty, all the ECSC activities and resources were absorbed by the European Community. During its existence, the ECSC had succeeded in creating a common market but could not prevent the decline of the coal and steel industries. It did however set the ground for the future European Union.
is the capital
city of France
. Situated on the banks of the river Seine
in north-central France, it is also the capital of the Île-de-France région
, which encompasses Paris and its suburbs
. The City of Paris had an estimated mid-2004 population of 2,144,700. The Paris urban area
, extending well beyond the city boundaries, has today an estimated population of 9.9 million. The Paris metropolitan area
(including satellite towns) stood at 11.5 million in 1999.
It produces more than a quarter of France's wealth, with a GDP of €478.7 billion in 2005. With La Défense, one of the largest business districts in Europe, Paris also hosts the head offices of almost half of the major French companies. Paris is a leading global cultural, business and political centre and has a major international influence in fashion, gastronomy and the arts. It is widely regarded as one of the world's major global cities, with notably the headquarters of many international organisations such as UNESCO, the OECD, the ICC.
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