Here at Quai d'Orsay, home of the French Foreign Ministry, the Schuman Declaration was presented. The Schuman Declaration is the statement made by the French foreign minister Robert Schuman on 9 May 1950. It proposed to place French and German production of coal and steel under one common High Authority. This organization would be open to participation of Western European countries. This cooperation was to be designed in such a way as to create common interests between European countries which would lead to gradual political integration, a condition for the pacification of relations between them: "Europe will not be made all at once, or according to a single plan. It will be built through concrete achievements which first create a de facto solidarity. The coming together of the nations of Europe requires the elimination of the age-old opposition of France and Germany". Schuman's speech did not fall on deaf ears, as West German Chancellor Adenauer responded swiftly with a positive reply as did the governments of the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy and Luxembourg. Within one year, on 18 April 1951, the six founding members signed the Treaty of Paris. It created the European Coal and Steel Community - Europe's first supranational Community. This organization paved the way for the European Economic Community and subsequently the European Union, which is still run by the innovative type of European institutions conceived in 1950. However, Schuman's efforts did not stop there. He became a great proponent of further integration through a European Defence Community and in 1958 he became the first President of the predecessor to the current European Parliament. When he left office the Parliament bestowed on him the title of 'Father of Europe'. Because of the significance of his 'Schuman Declaration' on 9 May 1950, this day has been designated as 'Europe Day'. And, in honour of his pioneering work towards a united Europe, the district housing the headquarters of several European Union institutions in Brussels is named after him.
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