On May 9, 1950, 70 years ago, a brave man, the French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman proposed a radically new solution to an old problem.
Schuman had the courage to think outside the box and above all to listen to a man with a good idea, Jean Monnet, who – without no institutional or political role – reached out to present his solution.
The problem was the control over disputed territories on the border between France and Germany, rich in mineral resources, coal and iron, strategic for the economy in times of peace and even more in times of war
The idea was to “de-nationalize” them: entrusting them to an independent authority under political shared control (ministerial and parliamentary) and under Judicial control. Ownership and national territories would have remained just the same, yet regulation and access would have been uniform and non-discriminatory. A simple, but a disruptive idea in comparison with the logic of borders and alliances than dominating international relations.
Schuman’s speech on 9 May was intended as addressed first of all to Germany, but it was open to other interested governments.
Schuman’s speech was about concrete achievements, step by step, intended to rise solidarity among the people, but it of done, but it drew, as well, a long-term vision of a united continent after centuries of war.
Pragmatism and idealism, hand in hand.
On Europe’s day, we discuss a short and long term vision for it
The full recording of the webinar is online on the YouTube Channel of Università del Salento at this address: https://youtu.be/x8KmXlAxy1g