On 5 May 2021, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier and the French Minister of the Economy and Finance, Bruno Le Maire, celebrated the anniversary of European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), which was established on 18 April 1951, by discussing the role of the economy and of business for Europe’s future. The debate was held on the invitation by the Federal Chancellor Adenauer House Foundation and the Institut Français in Bonn.
Said Federal Minister Peter Altmaier: “Only a few years after the war, on 18 April 1951, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands made history by setting up the European Coal and Steel Community. In doing so, they laid the foundations for the unique success story of European unification. I am delighted that the French Minister of the Economy and Finance Bruno le Maire and myself have been given an opportunity to celebrate the historic contribution the ECSC made to the process of bringing Europe together. Without Franco-German cooperation in the coal and steel industry, the EU with its single market and the economic benefits we have got so accustomed to would have been unthinkable. Even today, the ECSC is a blueprint for as as we approach the current tasks and transformation processes. Today, too, we need close European cooperation on forward-looking technologies such as battery-cell production, microelectronics, hydrogen and the GAIA-X project for greater digital sovereignty. Looking back to history teaches us that if we work together, we can move Europe ahead in a big way – just like we did back then.”
On 18 April 1951, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands signed the Treaty establishing the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), thus creating a single market in coal and steel. After 50 years, the Treaty expired in 2002. From then on, the coal and steel industries have been part of the scope of the EC Treaty/the EU Treaties.