From the ECSC to the RFCS
In the early 1990s, a debate including all interested parties was launched on the future of the European Coal and Steel Community Treaty (ECSC) signed in 1951 and due to expired in 2002. It was concluded that the coal and steel sector no longer played the strategic peace-keeping and economic role it once had, and should consequently not be renewed. These sectors should therefore be better placed under the ordinary regime set up by the EC Treaty.
However, the achievements of the ECSC steel research were acknowledged. The Amsterdam European Council in 1997 therefore invited the Commission to put forward proposals to ensure that revenues from ECSC reserves should be used for research within the sectors related to the coal and steel upon the expiry of the ECSC Treaty.
After having received guidance as to the structure of the proposal in two council resolutions in 1998 and 1999, the Commission in 2000 tabled three draft decisions regarding future financial and research activities. These proposals aimed at establishing financial guidelines for managing the assets from the ECSC (€1.6 billion) and technical guidelines for a new research programme.
As a result of intensive work, in particular during the Swedish presidency in spring 2001, the Council of Ministers reached an understanding on all issues regarding the activities to be carried out after the expiry of the ECSC Treaty. The legal basis of the Research Programme of the Research Fund for Coal and Steel is currently outlined in the Council Decision 2008/376/EC of 29 April 2008, published in the Official Journal of 20 May 2008 ref. OJ L 130/7.
- Management of the Research Fund for Coal and Steel
- Synopsis of coal and steel projects and final reports
- ECSC archives on Europa
Last updated on: 2008-09-15