Talk:European Coal and Steel Community

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Good article European Coal and Steel Community has been listed as one of the Social sciences and society good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
March 24, 2008 Good article nominee Listed

Wikisource Treaty[edit]

Why don't we link to the Wikisource version of the treaty? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:28, 21 June 2009 (UTC)

Expansion of article[edit]

"pool coal and steel resources" - what does this vague and ambiguous phrase translate to in practice. Surely what the practical effect of the treaty was is the most important part of a treaty - but this is entirely missing from this article ! Ensuring that there was not another war by signing a treaty would surely have had no effect whatsoever unless the treaty actually had practical results - so what were those results. Point made, I think. --jrleighton 05:42, 28 February 2006 (UTC)

Making Coal and Steel production very transparent to the other member states would reveal a build up in case of war immediately. Besides this, pooling the efforts were meant to avoid spending resources on competition, the rebuilding after the war was hard enough without that.

This partially links to the desire of the Benelux to allow Germany to be built up again (for their own economic purposes). France decided that if Germany was to be built up again, it wanted to be on top of it, and review German rebuilding closely. France, as an Allied occupational force had a bigger say in the matter. (talk) 19:44, 3 February 2015 (UTC)


I'm doing my dissertation on the ECSC at the moment, and have noticed that a few academics (Including Alan Milward) refer to the European Coal, Iron and Steel community. Anyone else ever noticed this? Vanky 13:40, 11 May 2006 (UTC)


Steel had played an important part in arms production in World War Two and was a fundamental resource of the western European states. The aim was therfore a common program of post-war production and consumption of steel and coal. The project was also intended to show some cooperation and reconciliation between France and Germany in the aftermath of the war. There was a desire to unite the countries by controlling steel and coal which were fundamental to war industries.

This is too bland. As I understand it, from what I've read, the main reason for the community was French fears of German rearmament. The French would have prefered to stick with their first choise, to take full control over the Saar and Ruhr coal-mines, and use this coal to fuel the French industry, leaving nothing for Germany. Se:

In 1947 France removed the Saar from Germany and turned it into a protectorate under French economic control. The area returned to German administration in 1957, but France retained the right to mine from it's coal mines until 1981.

In the early occupation the U.S. supported these policies, as it was "innoficially" implementing the basic economic policy behind the Morgenthau Plan.

By taking control of the German economy away from the German authorities, and then applying a "hands off" policy, it was hoped that the German economy would sink, as it infact did. Meanwhile at the Potsdam agreement the U.S. had set common policies for all the occupation zones. Large parts of German industry to be dismantled, and a lid put on how much the remaining industry was allowed to produce. Se this discussion at the U.K War cabinet:

C.M. 89(46). 21st October, 1946.

1. India.

P.M. Read terms of proposed message to Viceroy – congratulations. on formation of interim Government. Agreed.

2. Parliament.

H.M. Business for the week. [Exit W.W. Enter G.T. & F.W.B. & O.S.

3. Germany.

E.B. H.M.’s memo. covered in principle: & H.D.’s met: by my memo. Haven’t considered J.S.’s. Hampered in B. Zone –

a) by Russian refusal to treat G. as economic whole. They have taken heavily from current production & will continue up to $10 billions
b) U.S. policy was pastoralising (Morgenthan) until Stuttgart speech. They supported Russian & French case – to point of reducing steel production to 5.8 m. tons. And during Loan talks, couldn’t oppose them too strongly.
c) French. policy – detach Ruhr: & decline any agreement without prior consent to that. Now generally realised our policy on that was correct.
d) At outset, I took the line – let’s get in & put the Zone on self-supporting. basis. Was told this would Spell disaster for Western Europe.

Looking back, not sure it was right to let this political consideration outweigh the economic arguments. I refer to coal exports from Ruhr. Looking back it’s obvious this policy would rundown economy of B. Zone. In Paris, at CFM time, tried to get B. Zone on self-supporting basis. France then wouldn’t play because of c) above. Then announced that., failing agreement to treat Germany as a whole, we should be forced to make our Zone self-supporting. Next Day, U.S. agreed we couldn’t be expected to go on making contn at £80-100 m. p.a. They forced us to 5.8 m. – but all experience has shown we were right on APW Cttee in our figure of 11 m. Molotov then said they would. accept increase of level of industry – but subject to unacceptable conditions. U.S. proposal to merge Zones. We knew it would. cost us more for a time. When estimates worked out, figure was larger than assumed. Conference held in Paris – after long discussions have now submitted memo. Before this was completed I had seen Byrnes (before Stuttgart speech) & asked whether this meant he would overthrow Morgenthau policy. He said yes – with Truman’s authority.

Byrnes made his speech in September 1946, after 1.5 years of occupation. The speech was the turning point. U.S policy was no longer to be influenced by the Morgenthau filosofy.

But the directive JCS 1067 still remained in effect until July 1947, although gradualy softened by reinterpretation. Eventually they even got around to do the currency reform, something which was expresedly forbidden by the directive. The reform took place in 1948, and marked the turningpoint for the german economy. At least 2, possibly 3 years had been lost though, with much missery and according to some historians many deaths as result.

For more info on the switch from Morgenthau policy to Marshall policy, se Talk:Marshall_Plan#Motivation and effectiveness and following headings. Basically it was caused by the sudden realisation that without Germany and it's heavy industry, with Germany turned into a pastoral and light industry nation, the economy of the rest of europe would crash and burn, making it easy pickings for the communists. This article made for intresting reading: * Pas de Pagaille! Time Magazine article from Jul. 28, 1947. ""France wants more coal and is entitled to it, but will not permit the necessary industrial production to feed and supply the German miners to produce more coal. Britain, which wants both greater coal and industrial production, wants both under her control and socialization program."

But whatever the official switch, due to the agreements signed by the U.S. with the other victorious Allied occupation nations in Germany, and the harm already done, things were prety bad in germany for a long time-period. The French and the Russians, and to some degree the Brittish, were not intrested in a switch of policy. Neither were some of Morgenthaus boys in the administration. Former U.S. president Herbert Hoover actually felt it necessary to make this outright warning in one of the situation reports he wrote in his oficial factfinding mission to Germany (the mission was comissioned by President Harry Truman).

'There are several illusions in all this "war potential" attitude.

a. There is the illusion that the New Germany left after the annexations can be reduced to a "pastoral state". It cannot be done unless we exterminate or move 25,000,000 people out of it. This would approximately reduce Germany to the density of the population of France.
...' [1]

The report was writen as late as 1947.

Meanwhile, the industrial dismantlement went on well into 1950, albeit at an increasingly slower rate.

  • Letter from Ernest Bevin to Robert Schuman (30 October 1949) Brittish and French foreign ministers. Bevin argues that they need to reconsider the Allies' dismantling policy in the occupied zones

In the end, the coal and steel union was a compromise between Germany and France, The French allowed the Germans to get the Ruhr back into operation, and mainly under their control, and the Germans paid for this by allowing themselves to be submerged in the union, thus giving France some level of control over German heavy industry.

I've simplified in my description, and cut some corners, and skipped some parts, but basically I believe I've shown that the background to the community was a lot more intresting than what this article makes it out to be.

Stor stark7 18:00, 11 May 2006 (UTC)


this articel is a farce. the real, even obvious reasons for that "community" was France's (&friends) urge to control the massive coal+steel industrie of the german Ruhrgebiet. it was the motor of germany economy and they wanted control over it, thats it. it really makes me SICK to read about all nonsense but not even the slightest mentioning of this motivation in the article. wikipedia will never ever be able to compete with normal lexica, the wiki users are just little trolls who write their own fantasy history that favors their POV, ugh, makes me SICK!!


If someone who didn't know much about the EU was reading this article, at first glance the timeline would appear to suggest that a European Constitution had been adopted. As this is not currently the case (and even with the question mark, the timeline appears to be overly-speculative) the illustration is slightly misleading.

-- 15:57, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

Scouts of the European Coal and Steel Community[edit]

Can anyone provide information on this organization? Chris (クリス • フィッチ) (talk) 05:13, 17 February 2008 (UTC)

Never heard of it, where did you hear it?- J Logan t: 11:05, 17 February 2008 (UTC)

Good article nomination on hold[edit]

This article's Good Article promotion has been put on hold. During review, some issues were discovered that can be resolved without a major re-write. This is how the article, as of March 18, 2008, compares against the six good article criteria:

1. Well written?: Needs work. There are some issues of awkward styling, and some copy-editing is required. See, for example "However to emphasises that the chamber was..." and "Coal and steel were particular symbolic as they were the resources necessary to wage war." While I suppose this is a natural consequence of the primary authors using English as a second language, unless fixed it will stop this article's promotion.
2. Factually accurate?: Sourced mainly to articles at and Le Monde, so perfectly acceptable. Most major claims are directly referenced, and I don't see any major problems with misrepresentation.
3. Broad in coverage?: Covers history, expiry of treaties, institutions and legacy. Acceptable length. Some aspect of political reactions to the ESCS could be included.
4. Neutral point of view?: No major problems here, except the "Achievements" section could be renamed. As and when a political reaction section is included, then I presume de Gaulle's robust criticism of the ECSC will be in there; also the "disappointment" felt by some federalists that the Assembly was not elected, and only consultative.
5. Article stability? No problems.
6. Images?: OK, though the deleted image of Spaak should be replaced if possible.

Copy-editing and slight expansion required. Otherwise OK.

Please address these matters soon and then leave a note here showing how they have been resolved. After 48 hours the article should be reviewed again. If these issues are not addressed within 7 days, the article may be failed without further notice. Thank you for your work so far. Relata refero (talk) 20:13, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

Got rid of the image. Renamed achievements with "and failures" if that is okay? Ran through a copy edit to sort out the bad stuff, I can't see anything else which is a real problem. Lack of sources for political reactions right now, I've been trying to get hold of some more detailed books but they are taking ages to come through. I'd expand on that when I find something useful as I seam to have run out of things I can get hold on on the net (anyone else know some good places?). If I don't respond to any future comments, try my talk page as I am a bit busy now and sometimes can't check all the talk pages.- J Logan t: 21:38, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
I can't address the requests for expansion, but I have given the article a copyedit and hopefully addressed the style issues. The only (presumably) mildly controversial change I've made is to move one thumbnail from right to left: I am aware there is a MOS injunction against doing this for images immediately underneath headers, but the infobox above was jamming the para half-way down the page, so hopefully there's a WP:IAR exception here. Please feel free to revert any changes you wish appropriate. Regards, Anameofmyveryown (talk) 01:14, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
Looks much better, thanks. I'll do some of the expansion myself. Relata refero (talk) 11:27, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
One further change I have made (apart from some copyediting) is to swap two paras around into what I think is the correct chronological order: if I got it wrong, please feel free to swap them back. As stability is a precondition for GA, I won't make any more changes hereafter except for correcting grammatical errors. Good luck with the GA nom. Regards, Anameofmyveryown (talk) 02:48, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
  • My small niggles have been addressed. Passing the article. Relata refero (talk) 12:38, 24 March 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, and thanks to Anameofmyveryown for the copyedit.- J Logan t: 12:40, 24 March 2008 (UTC)


I first heard of this organization as the European Coal and Steel Consortium, proper terminology for a mere trade organization (at a time that English-speaking countries were not part of the E. U.). This word appears nowhere in this article. Apparently the E. U. has since decided to harmonize the name (or its official English translation) to make it seem merely neighborly for the purpose of making the European project seem ever more inevitable, incontrovertible, and irreversible. That may be so, but may I remind you that the E. U. is not a perfect organization - why, the so-called European Parliament does not, and would still not under the failed European Constitution, initiate legislation as does a real parliament - and that its politically motivated terminological mandates are indeed significant. (talk) 12:27, 7 April 2009 (UTC)