1950-2020: The History of the EU

The history of the European Union begins five years after the end of the Second World War. On the 9th of May, 1950, French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman held a speech known as the Schuman declaration. In this speech, Schuman proposed Franco-German reconciliation by placing coal and steel production under a common authority. As these materials are needed to build things such as tanks, ships and guns, the communalizing of their production would make war between France and Germany “not merely unthinkable, but materially impossible”.