Schuman, Robert (rōbĕrˈ shōmäNˈ) [key], 1886–1963, French statesman and lawyer, b. grand duchy of Luxembourg. A member of the Catholic Mouvement Républicain Populaire (MRP), he was finance minister (1946, 1947) and premier (1947–48). He continued as foreign minister (1948–53), and as such, did much to promote European unity. In 1950 he proposed the creation of a West European coal and steel pool. This so-called Schuman Plan, which had been drafted by Jean Monnet, became effective in 1952 with the formation of the European Coal and Steel Community, the first step toward the creation of the European Union. Schuman was president (1958–60) of the European Parliamentary Assembly.
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