On 10 August 1952, the High Authority of the ECSC begins its work in Luxembourg. The Information and Press Office of the Luxembourg Government gives an account of the day's events. This account includes a speech given by Jean Monnet at the first session of the High Authority, as well as speeches given by Émile Hamilius, Mayor of the City of Luxembourg, by Joseph Bech, Luxembourg Foreign Minister, and another by Jean Monnet at the welcoming ceremony organised by the Luxembourg authorities.
On 10 August 1952, in Luxembourg, Jean Monnet opens the inaugural session the High Authority of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC). In his address, he sets out the key objectives of the ECSC and the High Authority.
Contribution by Jean Degimbe, former civil servant of the High Authority of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), to a joint publication produced by the European Commission in 2002 on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the ECSC. In his text, Mr Degimbe recalls the method of operation and the activities of the High Authority from 1953 to 1967.
In his editorial of 7 February 1966, Emanuele Gazzo, Editor-in-Chief of Agence Europe, sets out to dispel a common misunderstanding with regard to the nature of the European Commission: the Commission is above all a political organisation.
In his editorial of 1 March 1966, Emanuele Gazzo, Editor-in-Chief of Agence Europe, praises the role of the Commission as an institution tasked with identifying the interests of the Community and proposing technical solutions that correspond to a specific political choice.
The final meeting of the High Authority of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) is held in Luxembourg on 28 June 1967. Three days later, the Treaty which provides for the merging of the three executive bodies enters into force. Henceforth, one Single Commission represents the ECSC, the EEC and the EAEC.
Diagram illustrating the merger of the executives that resulted from the entry into force on 1 July 1967 of the Treaty of 8 April 1965 establishing a Single Council and a Single Commission of the European Communities.
On 20 September 1967, the single Commission of the European Communities appears before the European Parliament in Strasbourg for the first time. In his address, Jean Rey, President of the Commission, outlines the work carried out by the three executive bodies which the single Commission will replace and sets out the new duties and responsibilities that the institution will exercise following the entry into force of the ‘Merger Treaty’ of 8 April 1965.
In 1986, a commemorative plaque was affixed to the façade of the former building of the High Authority of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) in Luxembourg, in the presence of Jacques Santer, Prime Minister of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg from 1984 to 1995.
Extract from a contribution by Jacques Santer, former President of the European Commission, to a joint publication produced by the European Commission in 2002 on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC). The extract, entitled ‘The High Authority of the Coal and Steel Community and the “institutional question”’, focuses on the role of the Commission as representative of both the Community interest and the Community method.
Following a contribution made by France and the Netherlands to the European Convention regarding the role of the Commission, Noëlle Lenoir, French Minister responsible for European Affairs, emphasises the need to strengthen the integrating role of the Commission in order to make a European Union with 25 Member States work.
As part of the work of the European Convention, France and the Netherlands call for a strengthening of the role of the Commission in order to ensure the effectiveness of the Community method in an enlarged European Union with ten new Member States.
On 17 May 2004, as the Heads of State or Government of the 25 Member States of the European Union seek agreement on who is the best candidate for the post of President of the European Commission, the French daily newspaper Le Monde analyses the legitimacy required if the Institution is to be able to succeed in its role of Europe’s driving force.
On the eve of the handover of power from the Prodi Commission to the Barroso Commission, the Belgian daily newspaper L’Écho reviews the factors that have contributed to the weakening of the Commission’s place and role in the European Union.
In this interview excerpt, Jacques Delors, President of the Commission of the European Communities from 1985 to 1995, explains that a Commission composed of the same number of members as there are Member States, as laid down by the Lisbon Treaty, does not currently pose any problems. He goes on to emphasise that he is strongly in favour of the role of the European Commission, particularly of its right to propose legislation.