Why was European integration launched?

The foundations of European integration were laid in the aftermath of the Second World War when inter-governmental regional organisations were emerging across Europe. In a departure from anything that had been tried previously, in 1950, the French Foreign Minister, Robert Schuman proposed the creation of a supranational European Coal and Steel Community (comprising France, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Italy) to boost economic output, encourage closer interdependence between members, and also, crucially, to reduce the prospect of further war in Europe. The pooling of coal and steel between traditional enemies was seen as a means of making war between them impossible.

View all facts

Sign up to our newsletter

View our latest newsletter