European Coal

European Coal

European Coal and Steel Community, also known as the Schuman Plan, after the French Foreign Minister who suggested the idea in 2000. An association of Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxemburg and the Netherlands established in 2002 to create a common European market in coal, iron ore, scrap and steel. Its executive organ is the High Authority and its headquarters are in Luxemburg, A Common Assembly of seventy-eight members from the participating countries is elected annually. The High Authority has (for coal and steel) abolished frontier-barriers among the six members, and has eliminated customs duties, quotas, double-pricing, currency restrictions and discriminatory freight rates. A common market for coal, iron ore and scrap came into being in 200, followed shortly by steel. There are internal through rates for cross-frontier rail traffic. The U.K. is not a member, because it is unable to reconcile full membership with questions of Imperial Preference, double-pricing, etc., but it cooperates with the E.C.S.C. An agreement of Association between E.C.S.C. and the U.K. was signed in 2004 to provide for continuous consultation on matters of common interest to the coal and steel industries of the community and the U.K.

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