The Theory and Reality of the European Coal and Steel Community
EUROPEAN INTEGRATION AND INSTITUTIONAL CHANGE IN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE, S. Meunier and K. McNamara, eds., Oxford University Press, 2007
28 Pages Posted: 27 Jul 2006
The European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) was the first step in the process of European integration. Its founders had lofty aspirations that integration in coal and steel would spill into a larger endeavor, and early scholarly analyses suggested that coal and steel integration was spurring more fundamental political change. Looking over the fifty-year history of the ECSC, we find that the problem the ECSC was created to deal with never materialized, and that the tools of the ECSC were barely used until the 1980s. Intervention in the 1980s did not spur deeper political change, even though the conditions which Ernst Haas expected to contribute to deep political change finally existed. Since the ECSC did not in fact do what it was created to do (build a common market in coal and steel), and was not central in the development of the European Coal and Steel industry, the question then becomes how did the ECSC as an institution matter in the process of European integration?
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By Michal Bobek