Convinced that Monnet’s project was the right way ahead, Schuman decided to give it his political backing. The preparations were made as discreetly as possible, in an effort to ensure that the project was not thwarted by opposition from business circles, divisions between political parties and administrative foot-dragging.

Schuman kept the French Parliament at arm’s length from the diplomatic preparations, because he feared the effect of a premature public debate. Once assured of the support of the German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, Schuman could finally inform the French Government. Everything was ready for the public announcement of his plan.