There was a dire need to build what was ruined and Europe has the choice whether to pursue this as an integrated region or as individual countries. As to the integration, there were two political and economic models invented at that time - the long history of nation building wherein economic integration follows political unification and the model of Zolverrein where political unification follows economic integration (Lecture, Topic 2: From Post War Reconstruction to the European Coal and Steel Community)
One of the aftermath of World War II is the European Coal and Steel Community, a moved that strengthened both the economic and political ties of the surviving European countries. "The European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) Treaty was signed in Paris in 1951" (Europa.eu). It involved the Benelux countries of Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands together with West Germany, France and Italy. Its goal was to "organize a free movement of coal and free access to sources of production" (Europa.eu). One of the unique aspect of the integration was the establishment of a common High Authority which supervised the market including the competition rules and price transparency. The ECSC Treaty became the "origin of the institutions as we know them today" (Europa.eu).
The ECSC was the first community organization that was created as an aftermath of the 2nd World War. The devastation brought by the war needed economic reconstruction of the European continent and attaint lasting peace. Since coal and steel were the basic industry of the two countries France and Germany, "the idea of pooling Franco-German coal and steel production came about" (Europa.eu). Thus the the European Coal and Steel Community was formed. Obviously, the war has made both countries realized that a truce between them would help establish both their political and economic health. Thus the strong necessity for a truce led to the acceptance of a the necessity to submit some elements of their sovereignty to a Higher Authority. "The underlying political objective was to strengthen Franco-German solidarity, banish the spectre of war and open the way to European integration" (Europa.eu).
The Creation of the European Coal and Steel Community
The idea of an integrated coal and steel industry was first toyed by Jean Monnet, the head of the French Commissariat du Plan for the reconstruction of the French economy, and the French foreign minister, Robert Schuman. On May 1950, Monnet and Schuman "published a declaration calling for a new structure to control the resurgent heavy industries in France and Germany" (Renner).
The idea that Monnet and Schuman conveyed in the declaration necessitated a new institution that "have a political life independent of the existing governments - at least for the range of powers which a capitalist state at that time exercised over its coal and steel industry" (Renner). The idea developed by Monnet and Schuman envisioned new institutions that should The Schuman Plan was not aloof of power politics, as observers at the time noted (Parker 1952). Their proposal was not a conventional international organization which are usually led by committees of ministers. According to Jean Monnet in his Mmoirs, it was the second-best indirect solution after the attempt to promote direct routes aimed to eliminate risk of