European Strong Solidarity Started from Coal and Steel

Photo by Isabel ( –Makassar-  “Europe will not be made all at one, or according to a single plan.  It will be built through concrete achievements which first create a de facto solidarity” (Robert Schuman). 
The nowadays very influential organization in this world, European Union, originated from vision, desire, strong commitment that are rooted in the basic rights of human being; to live in peace.  The imagination of Victor Hugo for a peaceful ‘United States of Europe’ shows these values.  However, this dream later shattered by wars and turns the region into ruins. 
Some handful of courageous statesmen including Robert Schuman, Konrad Adenauer, Alcide de Gasperi and Winston Churchill, around 1945 to 1950 desired, shared their visions, and set up their commitments to bring the ruined region into new era.  Robert Schuman then proposed an idea that was originally conceived by Jean Monnet, of establishing a European Coal and Steel Community.  Coal and steel are one of the raw materials of war.  Pooling their productions under a common High Authority is a way to bring Europe into new era.  It is a very fundamental and richly way with deep values and meanings to pool these materials.  It changed the function of materials, from wars into consolidation and peace function.  
Six founding countries of Belgium, the Federal Republic of Germany, France, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands established that common market in coal and steel under the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) with Treaty of Paris in 1951.  The ‘six’ then decided to set up a European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) and later a European Economic Community under Treaties of Rome on 25 March 1957.  The European Economic Community is an extended economic partnership, as a further and more integrated steps, to cover the whole range of goods and services and made possibility of abolishing customs barriers between the member countries and to apply a common tariffs to goods from non-EEC countries. It is a seed of future Europe single market.
The membership of EEC then was extended several times in the following years.  In 1973, Denmark, Ireland and the United Kingdom became member and following by Greece in 1981, Spain and Portugal in 1986.  In 1995, Austria, Finland and Sweden joined the European Union.  Later, The Czech Republic, Estonia, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Malta, Poland, Slovenia and Slovakia join the European Union in 2004, continued by Bulgaria and Romania in 2007, and Croatia in 2013 to complete the 28 members of the Union.
One decisive step forward comes the Single European Act, signed in February 1986.  The Act covers the extension powers of EEC in some policy areas, establishment of single market by the end of 1992, and the voting mechanism in the Council of Ministers for easier decision-makings about the single market issue.
The history of European Union is step-by-step progresses starting from aims at achieving the political goals through economic cooperation or partnership.  The developments they achieve were the bedrocks for further extension to cover barriers they face and later for enlargement to other sectors such as social, security, environment, and related ones. 
To bring the very diverse Europe into one single Union is about time- or history-dependent in-depth and comprehensive developments and achievements.  Every step is a milestone.  And these steps, the milestones, are put into far-sighted orientations.  However, to every development that create each of its milestone, always it contains the original value that successfully set up their first community, the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC).  Solidarity is always the main color of the Community and later the Union.  It is true what Robert Schumann said, “Europe will not be made all at one, or according to a single plan.  It will be built through concrete achievements which first create a de facto solidarity”.* (Riad Mustafa)