70th anniversary of the Schuman Declaration, 9 May 1950

On 9 May 1950, against the backdrop of the Cold War, Robert Schuman issued a declaration which marked the beginning of the process of building the European Community. The aim the French Foreign Minister had set himself was to establish a new supranational organisation with a view to creating a common coal and steel market between France and Germany which was also open to other European countries. It would become the European Coal and Steel Community, or ECSC, and since 1985, Europe Day has been celebrated on 9 May every year.