The HISTORY, PURPOSE and FUTURE of Europe
The most powerful non-proliferation agreement ever conceived
by David H Price.
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News and Research on Europe highlighting Robert Schuman's political, economic, philosophical contribution from the independent SCHUMAN PROJECT
There were two treaties signed at Rome on 25 March 1957. The Euratom Treaty was considered by many to be the most important of the the two because in dealt with the security of all European citizens. .
the Soviet Union exploded its first atomic bomb, much to the surprise of
western politicians who did not suspect that its research was so far
advanced. America had thus lost its monopoly of atomic weapons. The
chief of the Manhattan Project, General Groves, had thought in 1945 that
it would take USSR 20 years to develop an A-bomb. However a number of
spies were at work in passing on atomic secrets to the Communists. By
1949, the CIA anticipated that it would take another three years.
Britain became the third nuclear bomb power in 1952.
30 September 1949, just a month after the Soviet explosion, Robert
Schuman, Foreign Minister of France, gave a major speech in Canada. He
spoke of the atomic bomb and of the Communist war in China as raising
questions about the forces of nature and of the ‘genius’ of
politicians to deal not only with coarse diplomacy but the brutal
will have to master nature and dam up the unchained energies. Moreover
we have the means to do it. We need to regulate and control the new
inventions as we did fifty years ago in the era of dynamite[D
few months later Schuman showed the way. On 9 May 1950 he announced the
creation of the European Community and the first phase to place coal and
steel under common supranational democratic control. Up to the First
World War, much of the explosives used in war were derived gunpowder
mixtures of saltpetre. During WWI, that changed dramatically. Most of
the new explosives were derived from coal tar products or from synthetic
chemical products. They included picric acid and various phenol based
chemicals. By the Second World War the range of new chemical explosives
and the range of new products from coal and coal tars was enormous and
included plastics, artificial rubbers, synthetic petrol, and oils vital
for the pursuit of war. TNT, trinitrotoluene, for example, is created
from products of coal tar or petroleum.
supranational High Authority of the first European Community opened a
new political pathway with a new European structure. The five
democratic institutions assured that war would become ‘not
only unthinkable but materially impossible.’ The institutional
goal for this was completed in 1953 and Europe has enjoyed the longest
period of peace in more than two thousand years. This has also enabled
its peoples to live in unprecedented prosperity.
European Community for atomic energy was a high priority for next phase
of European unification. However, the Korean War intervened in late
1950. It diverted preoccupations into a European Defence Community,
which Schuman considered should fall rather towards the end of the
process. When the French National Assembly voted not to debate the
ratification of the EDC (which had already been ratified by the
parliaments of the other five States} the move for unification that
would deal with non proliferation lost momentum until 1955.
that year Schuman again entered the French government of Edgar Faure as
Minister of Justice. On 13 April 1955 the French Government renounced
the construction of French atomic armaments. A few weeks later,
ministers of the six founder countries of the European Community met at
the Italian town of Messina to discuss further development of the
democratic organisation of Europe. The Messina conference in June
decided to study the launching of four Communities with priority given
to Euratom. This European Community for Atomic Energy provided the means
for the most complete non-proliferation of armaments ever conceived,
while guarding atomic secrets from misappropriation and assuring the
peaceful development of new energy systems.
It was the means, as Schuman had said in his 1949 speech, ‘to
create a climate so that when sections of humanity are provoked into
action by passions or poverty, they can calm themselves and accept to
live in concord within a system of governance adapted to their own
Euratom Treaty was signed in Rome on 25 March 1957, together with that
of the third Community, the Economic Community, that the Germans
insisted on. The purpose of the Euratom Treaty is clearly set out in its
Preamble, first article: the peaceful development of atomic energy and
‘works of peace’. The Euratom treaty also provided for a
of the clauses of the International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, which
was being negotiated at the same time, are identical in their
definitions. This is to facilitate the proper control of nuclear fuel,
the Euratom Treaty differs radically from the IAEA is in its system of
control. It declares in Article 86 ‘special fissile material is the
property of the Community.’ Thus all nuclear material can be
submitted to full democratic control, according to the joint wish of
democratic governments. This is something that no other treaty in the
world has the power to do!
legal measures, directives, have to be founded on consultation with the
European Parliament. Furthermore a legal opinion and assent is required
from European NGOs in the industrial, labour and consumer sectors on all
use of the fissile material in the Community. On the basis of this legal
assent, the Commission can make its proposals for European legislation.
when Charles de Gaulle took power in 1958, his personalized policy of
‘gloire et grandeur’ opposed all collaboration. He refused to attend
disarmament conferences, withdrew French forces from NATO and prepared
the explosion of its own atomic bomb. De Gaulle said that his atomic
bombs would be sufficient to kill 20 million people within two hours of
a declaration of war.
intentions on taking power were published later by his spokesman, Alain
Peyrefitte. His aim was ‘to suffocate supranationality.’
He wanted to boycott all Community collaboration as far as possible and
to ‘deactivate the treaties of Rome’ and specifically to ‘chloroform
de Gaulle, pp66ff). For
his nationalistic plans in the form of an A-bomb, de Gaulle said the
Euratom treaty was ‘more
than ineffective, it was harmful[D
and ‘dangerous’. He was right. De Gaulle therefore refused to
permit direct elections to the European Parliament and the other
democratic institutions. He preferred to send his nominees to the
European institutions to echo his own opinions and block debate. His
nationalistic policy led to the mass resignation of ministers in 1962
and the empty chair boycott of European institutions in 1965.
the treaty is still chloroformed. It would have allowed other scientists
and technicians to exercise the possibility to work on French nuclear
projects thus ensuring that all the research was both safe for the
European public and subjecting to European democratic control the export
of fissile material to dubious customers abroad. For example the export
of French high technology nuclear plant to Saddam Hussein’s Iraq was
later the target of an Israeli air attack as it menaced peace in the
Middle East. The clauses of the treaty would, if applied, have
encouraged safe exports to such countries only with an extension of an
effective and proven European safeguards inspectorate. The external
nuclear relations in the Euratom treaty are extremely adaptable to
ensure the best democratic and pacific control.
Euratom Treaty has now been signed and passed by 27 Member States and
their parliaments. As ever, it is ready for business. All that remains
is for those democratic States to begin to apply it democratically.
There are fewer problems inside the EU but great threats to world peace.
France has long declared that it will no longer test its atomic bombs.
But Iran, where ideological hardliners foment revolution worldwide and
aspire to have nuclear bombs, receives 40 per cent of its imports from
the EU. Two thirds of Iranian industry relies on German engineering,
including technology transfer for nuclear plants. Such EU exports are
guaranteed by national credit guarantee systems. They lack the
democratic supervision of the NGOs (European non-governmental
organisations) in Euratom’s Economic and Social Committee or a
democratic Scientific and Technical Committee. No adequate analysis is
made in the European Parliament. Elsewhere the European Investment Bank
decided to put a billion euros into the Iranian gas pipeline project,
all with little or no democratic debate or control.
way is clear to apply the most powerful non-proliferation treaty in the
world. All it needs is the political will to do it.
David Price is author of a number of books on Robert Schuman, including ‘Schuman or Monnet? The real architect of Europe’, ‘The Democratic Vision for Europe’,’ New Cold War or Common European Home?’ He was formerly information officer at Euratom. He has published material on Robert Schuman and the EU on the www.schuman.info website since 1999.
[D H1]Peter Gosse in Gentleman Spy on Dulles p391 says 29 Aug 1949. Chronologies by Marc Belloc et al p33 gives 20 Aug 1949. History of the IAEA gives September 1949 quoting J L Nogee of Notre Dame University: Soviet Policy towards the international control of atomic energy, p150. 1961
[D H2]Nous avons les moyens d’ailleurs; il faudra réglementer et contrôler efficacement les inventions nouvelles comme on l’a fait, il y a cinquante ans, à l’époque de la dynamite. Il faudra créer un climat tel que les masses humaines mises en mouvement par la misère ou par la passion, retournent au calme et acceptent de vivre dans la concorde sous un régime adapté à leurs aspirations particulières.
inutile, il est nuisible
Schuman designed European Democracy to work
The world's most serious problem was and is not how to create a general common market but how to stop a world war. Europeans also need to stop an arms race in Europe.
One aim of Euratom was to avoid France and Germany going head to head to develop their own A-bombs.
EURATOM was designed to encourage non-proliferation worldwide by placing atomic fuel and explosive materials under real democratic control.
Charles de Gaulle's plan 'chloroformed' European democracy for decades and encouraged governments to place Yesmen in the democratic institutions instead of having elections -- as the treaties required.
Europe can have a major influence in cooling the fever for atomic weapons around the world.
© Bron, 20.6.07
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