70th anniversary of the Schuman Declaration, 9 May 1950

Pooling coal and steel resources

Very much aware that European states remained attached to their sovereignty, Monnet and Schuman took a step-by-step approach. They hoped that economic integration would lead to political integration. At the time, coal accounted for almost 70% of energy consumption in the countries of western Europe, while steel was the primary raw material for industry and armaments. The coal and steel community brought together 155 million consumers. Pooling these resources made a new Franco-German war unthinkable and materially impossible.