The European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) was founded in 1951 (Treaty of Paris), by France, West Germany, Italy, Belgium, Luxemburg and the Netherlands to pool the steel and coal resources of its member-states, thus preventing another European war. It was in fulfillment of a plan developed by a French economist Jean Monnet, publicized by the French foreign minister Robert Schumann.
The ECSC ceased to exist in 2002, since its founding treaty, unlike that for the European Community, provided for a limited duration of only 50 years. Its responsibilities and assets were assumed by the EC. (This assumption was provided for by a protocol to the Treaty of Nice. That the ECSC had ceased to exist before the provisions in the Nice treaty enter into force would have seemed to cause legal problems, but in practice no one seemed concerned.)