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The Pleven Plan was a 1950 for an army for Western Europe. It never went into effect. The plan was proposed in October 1950 by the French premier René Pleven, drafted mainly by Jean Monnet to create a supranational European Army as part of a European Defence Community (EDC).[1] The EDC was to include West Germany, France, Italy, and the Benelux countries. The United States would be excluded. It was a competitor to NATO (in which the U.S. played the dominant role), with France playing the dominant role. Just as the Schuman Plan was designed to end the risk of Germany having the economic power to make war again, the Pleven Plan and EDC were meant to prevent the same possibility. The United Kingdom refused to join.[2]

According to the Pleven Plan, the European Army was supposed to be composed of military units from the member states, and directed by a council of the member states’ ministers. Despite the central role for France, the French Assembly refused to ratify the EDC Treaty. It feared the loss of national sovereignty in security and defense, and thus a truly supranational European Army could not be tolerated by Paris.[3] However, because of the strong American interest in a West German army, a draft agreement for a modified Pleven Plan, renamed the European Defense Community (EDC), was ready in May 1952, with French support. The new EDC treaty was signed on 27 May 1952, but the plan never went into effect. Instead Germany was admitted into NATO.[4]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Pierre Guillen, "France and the Defence of Western Europe: From the Brussels Pact (March 1948) to the Pleven Plan (October 1950)." in The Western Security Community: Common Problems and Conflicting Interests during the Foundation Phase of the North Atlantic Alliance, ed. Norbert Wigershaus and Roland G. Foerster (1993), pp 125-48.
  2. Alex May, Britain and Europe since 1945 (1999) pp 18-34.
  3. Keukeleire, Stephan (2009). European Security and Defense Policy: From Taboo to a Spearhead of EU Foreign Policy. pp. 52–53. 
  4. Josef Joffe, "Europe's American Pacifier," Foreign Policy (1984) 54#1 pp. 64-82 in JSTOR

Further reading[edit | edit source]

  • Guillen, Pierre. "France and the Defence of Western Europe: From the Brussels Pact (March 1948) to the Pleven Plan (October 1950)." in The Western Security Community: Common Problems and Conflicting Interests during the Foundation Phase of the North Atlantic Alliance, ed. Norbert Wigershaus and Roland G. Foerster (Oxford UP, 1993), pp 125–48.

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