News and Research on Europe highlighting Robert Schuman's political, economic, philosophical contribution from the independent Schuman Project Directed by David H Price.
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Robert Schuman

                   And the Hague Conferences


1940. At the beginning of World War 2, before he entered Paul Reynaud’s government in 1940, Schuman spoke to friends about Franco-German reconciliation after the war was over.

April 1942, while a prisoner of a Nazi Gauleiter, he secretly spoke to Georges Ditsch about the coming Allied victory. He said that the solution for the world lay in a unified Europe. ‘Once peace has come, we need, with our allies, to investigate the cause of wars and design the structures to make impossible the return of such cataclysms. The solution can only be found in a unified Europe. Such a thing was already attempted in the past but by brute force. Only a democratic enterprise will be susceptible to acquire the consent of nations. This time, we must … search out the unity of all by means of cooperation.

1944. Having escaped in August 1942, Schuman made constitutional drafts.

1945 Schuman returned as deputy, worked on Constitutional Committee.

1946. 14 July, WS Churchill in Metz where, standing next to Schuman, then Finance Minister, Churchill gave his first European speech about Franco-German reconciliation.

1947-8 Schuman became Prime Minister in France’s worst period of political and revolutionary conflict.

1948 30 Jan -2 Feb second meeting of Nouvelles Équipes Internationales (one of the organisers of The Hague European Congress in May). Participants included: Don Sturzo, Marc Sangnier, plus Prime Ministers Robert Schuman (F), Pierre Dupong (Lux) LJM Beel (NL) minister P-H Teitgen (F) (later rapporteur for the Convention of Human Rights, the foundational document of the Council of Europe) plus Germans including Konrad Adenauer. Resolution of European unity, reaffirming the Lucerne Declaration of March 1944 (federal European order and guarantees for human rights). A January 1949 publication announced its aim, a European Union: Create Europe or we will die! "Faire l'Europe ou mourir".

7-11 May 1948 Hague Congress. Political reformer, Louis Beel, was no longer Dutch PM and was High Commissioner in the Dutch East Indies. Prime Minister Schuman sent two ministers, P-H Teitgen (Defence) F Mitterrand (Veterans) to what was a non-governmental conference.  R Bichet, president of NEI, three former French prime ministers, including Paul Reynaud, attended. France and Belgium (Heyman) were the only countries sending minister-level participants.  Britain sent a large delegation but no ministers (Schuman’s presence would have been an embarrassment to Foreign Minister Bevin, who discouraged Labour party participation). German Delegation (including Hallstein, Adenauer, Heinemann, Amelunxen, Brentano) was led by Karl Arnold, Ministerpresident, NRW, British zone. A great European leader of reconciliation, Arnold had, in April 1948 and several times later, called for a supranational Community solution to the coal and steel problem. Schuman's former chef-de-Cabinet, Alain Poher, was made French General Commissioner for Germany in 1948.

  20 July 1948, Hague meeting of ministers, Western European Union, Schuman’s Foreign Minister G Bidault proposed the creation of a European Assembly (realized in the later Council of Europe) and a customs and economic union (the later Coal and Steel Community and the two Rome Treaty communities).

9 May 1950  Schuman Declaration of the French Government

March 1958 Schuman acclaimed Father of Europe by European Parliament.

1955-61, President of the European Movement



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