Brussels, 18 April 2021
Let us restart from the essence of its message to build our Europe of tomorrow
The Treaty of Paris was signed seventy years ago, on 18 April 1951. This epoch-making document, by establishing the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), laid down the key foundations for the greatest project of integration of peoples and nations in European history, making Europe one of the most peaceful, prosperous and stable regions of the world.
The 70th Anniversary of the Treaty of Paris reminds us of the original goals of European integration and the achievements the idea of a united Europe has brought to our continent over the past seven decades. “The Paris Treaty is both legacy and mandate, and as a consequence obliges us to develop further the European integration process. Therefore, we have to ask ourselves what the “coal and steel” of our time are”, says Sandro GOZI, President of UEF and MEP. “What are the problems that we have to face today united as Europeans? This should be the first question discussed with citizens at the Conference on the Future of Europe”, underlines the UEF-President, Sandro GOZI.
Today, Europeans enjoy the highest standard of living ever. However, despite all the achievements and benefits since 1951, the survival of the European project is at stake nowadays. A number of severe problems such as the current public health crisis due to the Covid-19 global pandemic as well as the subsequent difficulties that European national economies are facing, the rise of populism, Brexit, and uncontrolled migration flows have led the EU to experience the most serious crisis of legitimacy in its existence.
As the decision taken in July on the Next Generation EU showed, the EU will only be truly capable of overcoming current and future crises if it is united in solidarity and in sharing the democratic values and the rule of law on which its project is based. In the Conference on the Future of Europe, the UEF strongly calls on the EU's political representatives to find the courage that the Founding Mothers and Fathers had in 1951 and lead the EU to become more united: federal, sovereign and democratic
"The COVID pandemic has offered us an opportunity to respond to the demands of EU citizens for more solidarity, decisive action towards a Health Union, an ambitious climate policy, and a fair digital transition. The legacy of the Treaty of Paris for the present and the future of our continent is to turn this opportunity into a reality by implementing the goal set by the ECSC: a federal Europe. Let us discuss this at the Conference on the Future of Europe!" Sandro GOZI concludes.
The Treaty of Paris of 1951 founded the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), through which six states (France, Italy, West Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands) pooled the production of coal and steel, which were essential for industrial recovery and a prerequisite for possible rearmament. In this way, war between them became not only morally unthinkable, but first and foremost materially impossible. The treaty created a 'High Authority' with the power to make autonomous decisions on the steel sector. The Treaty also provided for a Parliamentary Assembly, a Council of Ministers, a Court of Justice and a Consultative Committee.