International Encyclopedia of Public Policy and Administration - Vol. 2

By Jay M. Shafritz | Go to book overview

of the smaller Benelux states were allowed to appointed one.

Article 9 provided that the members of the High Authority were to be "completely independent in the performance of their functions, in the general interest of the Community." In order to preserve the supranational character of their functions, the nine members were to neither seek nor take instructions from any government or other body, nor would member states seek to influence them in the performance of their duties. The powers of the High Authority were considerable: it could control prices and production levels; it could direct investment; it could also bring to task any national authority that failed to comply with its decisions. Jean Monnet was appointed the first president of the High Authority in 1952.

The Dutch and Belgians insisted on the creation of the Special Council of Ministers in order to safeguard the interests of the smaller member states vis-à-vis their larger partners. Articles 26 to 30 set out the powers and composition of the council. It was composed of representatives of member states' national governments and could make decisions by simple majority, qualified majority, or unanimity, as stipulated by the treaty.

The Common Assembly was the representative body of the European Coal and Steel Community, originally comprising 78 delegates appointed by national parliaments.

The Parliamentary Assembly was envisaged primarily as a supervisory body: It was empowered to debate the annual report of the High Authority and could dismiss the latter en bloc if it voted by two-thirds majority to do so. The formal powers of the assembly were therefore very limited: it possessed no budgetary powers, no legislative functions, and no power of appointment over the High Authority. Thus the assembly's power of dismissal was more apparent than real because the national governments could reappoint the members of the High Authority that the assembly had dismissed.

Article 31 of the Paris Treaty provided that the function of the Court of Justice was "to ensure that the law is observed in the interpretation and implementation of the Treaty and of the regulations made thereunder." The court was originally composed of seven judges and two advocates-general, who were appointed on the basis of their legal expertise and were expected to be independent in the performance of their duties.

The last body created by the Paris Treaty was the Consultative Committee, which was envisaged to be a purely advisory body to the High Authority. Article 18 of the Paris Treaty provided that the Consultative Committee be composed of an equal number of producers, workers, consumers, and dealers in the coal and steel industries, who would be appointed by the Council of Ministers for a two year term.

The limitations to which the supranational High Authority and, by extension, the European Coal and Steel Community itself was subject was thrown into sharp relief in 1959. In that year, as a result of two mild winters and the increased use of oil as an energy source among European consumers, there was a surplus of coal in the European Coal and Steel Community. Given the substantial increase in coal stocks, the High Authority attempted to declare a "manifest crisis, " provided for by the Paris Treaty. This would have granted the High Authority emergency powers to, for example, impose import controls and production quotas. Such a declaration required a qualified majority vote in favor by the Special Council of Ministers, however. This vote was not forthcoming because the individual states chose to adopt unilateral policies instead. The incident revealed the limits of the supranational authority when it was attempting to impose a general policy that the member states were resolved to resist.

The European Coal and Steel Community was hailed by Jean Monnet as the "first expression of the Europe that is being born." It differed from all other international organizations established in the post-World War II period in Europe in that its institutions were conferred with supranational authority; the decisions of the High Authority, now known as the commission, were legally binding on the participating states. The European Coal and Steel Community was envisaged as the "first concrete foundation of a European federation indispensable to the preservation of peace." It was followed in 1958 by the European Economic Community and the European Atomic Energy Community, or Euratom. Together the three became known collectively as the European Community.

MARGARET MARY MALONE


BIBLIOGRAPHY

Archer, Clive, 1990. Organizing Western Europe. London: Edward Arnold.

Diebold, W., 1959. The Schuman Plan. New York: Council on Foreign Relations.

Laqueur, Walter, 1992. Europe in Our Time: A Histoiy, 1945- 1992. London: Penguin.

Lister, L., 1960. Europe's Coal and Steel Community: An Experiment in Economic Union. New York: Twentieth Century Fund.

Milward, A. S., 1984. The Reconstruction of Western Europe, 1945- 1951. London: Methuen.

Pryce, Roy, 1987. The Dynamics of European Union. London: Croom Helm.

Urwin, Derek W., 1989. Western Europe Since 1945: A Political History. 4th ed. London: Longman.

-----, 1991. The Community of Europe: A History of European Integration Since 1945. London: Longman.

Willis, E. R., 1968. France, Germany, and the New Europe 1945- 1967. Rev. and expanded. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

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International Encyclopedia of Public Policy and Administration - Vol. 2
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