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Milestones of the EU
Treaty of Paris
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1951: The first step: Schuman's vision
Robert Schuman
Schuman: Europe's founding father
The "Six" - France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands - sign the Treaty of Paris establishing the European Coal and Steel Community which comes into force in 1954.

The treaty is based on French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman's 1950 declaration that coal and steel resources should be pooled to avoid European countries waging war on one another.

The key European institutions also emerge at this time. The High Authority - which will later become the European Commission - is set up with Jean Monnet, the inspiration for the Schuman declaration, as its president. The treaty also establishes the Common Assembly - later the European Parliament - as well as the Council of Ministers and the Court of Justice.

A year later the Six also sign the European Defence Community (EDC) treaty in Paris. But after only two years the EDC collapses causing Jean Monnet to resign from the High Authority.

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