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The Challenge of a Single Currency for Europe

The ECSC was proposed by Robert Schuman, the French Foreign Minister, on May 9, 1950. Schuman (2003, p. 1) summarized his proposal as follows:

The pooling of coal and steel production should immediately provide for the setting up of common foundations for economic development as a first step in the federation of Europe, and will change the destinies of those regions which have long been devoted to the manufacture of munitions of war, of which they have been the most constant victims.

Schuman (2003, p. 2), went on the offer more details as to how the new ECSC would operate, to wit:

In contrast to international cartels, which tend to impose restrictive practices on distribution and the exploitation of national markets, and to maintain high profits, the organization will ensure the fusion of markets and the expansion of production.

The ECSC has been identified as an immediate success. Van Oudenaren (1999) as well as Anthony Sampson (1968) take the position that the elimination of barriers to trade in the coal and steel sectors not only contributed to the European economic resurgence of the early 1950s. Perhaps more significantly, this mechan


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