70th anniversary of the Schuman Declaration, 9 May 1950

The Schuman plan - what was at stake?

Very quickly, France, Germany, Italy and the Benelux countries opened negotiations to prepare a treaty. In institutional terms, the Benelux countries feared Franco-German domination. They called, therefore, for a genuinely independent High Authority. Business circles feared policies which would amount to dirigisme by another name.

The economic and technical difficulties involved concerned the breaking up of the cartels which controlled German heavy industry in the Ruhr. Political matters, such as the composition of the High Authority of the ECSC, were also addressed.