Inner Six

Inner Six

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The Inner Six, or simply The Six, are the six founding member states
Member State of the European Union
A member state of the European Union is a state that is party to treaties of the European Union and has thereby undertaken the privileges and obligations that EU membership entails. Unlike membership of an international organisation, being an EU member state places a country under binding laws in...

 of the European Communities
European Communities
The European Communities were three international organisations that were governed by the same set of institutions...

. This was in contrast to the outer seven who formed the European Free Trade Association
European Free Trade Association
The European Free Trade Association or EFTA is a free trade organisation between four European countries that operates parallel to, and is linked to, the European Union . EFTA was established on 3 May 1960 as a trade bloc-alternative for European states who were either unable to, or chose not to,...

 rather than be involved in supranational European integration
European integration
European integration is the process of industrial, political, legal, economic integration of states wholly or partially in Europe...

 (though most later joined the European Communities).

The Inner Six;
 Belgium

 Early Modern France

 West Germany

 Italy

 Luxembourg

 Netherlands

The Outer Seven;
 Austria

 Denmark

 Norway

 Portugal

 Sweden

 Switzerland

 United Kingdom

History


The inner six are those who responded to the Schuman Declaration
Schuman Declaration
The Schuman Declaration of 9 May 1950 was a governmental proposal by then-French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman to create a new form of organization of States in Europe called a supranational Community. Following the experiences of two world wars, France recognized that certain values such as...

's call for the pooling of coal
Coal
Coal is a combustible black or brownish-black sedimentary rock usually occurring in rock strata in layers or veins called coal beds or coal seams. The harder forms, such as anthracite coal, can be regarded as metamorphic rock because of later exposure to elevated temperature and pressure...

 and steel
Steel
Steel is an alloy that consists mostly of iron and has a carbon content between 0.2% and 2.1% by weight, depending on the grade. Carbon is the most common alloying material for iron, but various other alloying elements are used, such as manganese, chromium, vanadium, and tungsten...

 resources under a common High Authority
High Authority of the European Coal and Steel Community
The High Authority was the executive branch of the former European Coal and Steel Community . It was created in 1951 and disbanded in 1967 when it was merged into the European Commission.-History:...

. The six signed the Treaty of Paris
Treaty of Paris (1951)
The Treaty of Paris was signed on 18 April 1951 between France, West Germany, Italy and the three Benelux countries , establishing the European Coal and Steel Community , which subsequently became part of the European Union...

 creating the European Coal and Steel Community
European Coal and Steel Community
The European Coal and Steel Community was a six-nation international organisation serving to unify Western Europe during the Cold War and create the foundation for the modern-day developments of the European Union...

 on 18 April 1951 (which came into force on 23 July 1952). Following on from this, they attempted to create a European Defence Community
European Defence Community
The European Defense Community was a plan proposed in 1950 by René Pleven, the French President of the Council , in response to the American call for the rearmament of West Germany...

: with the idea of allowing West Germany
West Germany
West Germany is the common English, but not official, name for the Federal Republic of Germany or FRG in the period between its creation in May 1949 to German reunification on 3 October 1990....

 to rearm under the authority of a common European military command
Military of the European Union
The military of the European Union today comprises the several national armed forces of the Union's 27 member states, as the policy area of defence has remained primarily the domain of nation states...

, a treaty was signed in 1952. However the plan was rejected by the Senate of France, which also scuppered the draft treaty for a European Political Community
European Political Community
The European Political Community was proposed in 1952 as a combination of the existing European Coal and Steel Community and the proposed European Defence Community...

 (which would have created a political federation to ensure democratic control over the new European army). President of the ECSC High Authority, and architect of the ECSC, Jean Monnet
Jean Monnet
Jean Omer Marie Gabriel Monnet was a French political economist and diplomat. He is regarded by many as a chief architect of European Unity and is regarded as one of its founding fathers...

 resigned in protest and began work on a new plan concentrating on economic fields.

Dependency on overseas oil
Oil
An oil is any substance that is liquid at ambient temperatures and does not mix with water but may mix with other oils and organic solvents. This general definition includes vegetable oils, volatile essential oils, petrochemical oils, and synthetic oils....

 and the steady exhaustion of coal deposits led to the idea of an atomic energy community (a separate Community was favoured by Monnet, rather than simply extending the powers of the ECSC as suggested by the Common Assembly
European Parliament
The European Parliament is the directly elected parliamentary institution of the European Union . Together with the Council of the European Union and the Commission, it exercises the legislative function of the EU and it has been described as one of the most powerful legislatures in the world...

). However the Benelux countries and Germany desired a common market
Single market
A single market is a type of trade bloc which is composed of a free trade area with common policies on product regulation, and freedom of movement of the factors of production and of enterprise and services. The goal is that the movement of capital, labour, goods, and services between the members...

 (though opposed by France and Monnet). In order to reconcile the two ideas, both communities would be created. Thus, the six went on to sign the Treaties of Rome in 1957, establishing the European Economic Community
European Economic Community
The European Economic Community The European Economic Community (EEC) The European Economic Community (EEC) (also known as the Common Market in the English-speaking world, renamed the European Community (EC) in 1993The information in this article primarily covers the EEC's time as an independent...

 and the European Atomic Energy Community
European Atomic Energy Community
The European Atomic Energy Community is an international organisation which is legally distinct from the European Union , but has the same membership, and is governed by the EU's institutions....

. The institutions of these communities would later be merged in 1967, leading to them collectively being known as the "European Communities
European Communities
The European Communities were three international organisations that were governed by the same set of institutions...

". The six would continue in their co-operation until 1973 when they were joined by two of the outer seven (UK and Denmark) and Ireland.

Enlargement to the seven


The events of the Suez Crisis
Suez Crisis
The Suez Crisis, also referred to as the Tripartite Aggression, Suez War was an offensive war fought by France, the United Kingdom, and Israel against Egypt beginning on 29 October 1956. Less than a day after Israel invaded Egypt, Britain and France issued a joint ultimatum to Egypt and Israel,...

 showed the United Kingdom that it could no longer operate alone, instead turning to the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 and the European Community. Britain, along with Denmark, Ireland and Norway, applied for membership in 1960. However, then–French President Charles de Gaulle
Charles de Gaulle
Charles André Joseph Marie de Gaulle was a French general and statesman who led the Free French Forces during World War II. He later founded the French Fifth Republic in 1958 and served as its first President from 1959 to 1969....

 saw British membership of the Community as a Trojan horse
Trojan Horse
The Trojan Horse is a tale from the Trojan War about the stratagem that allowed the Greeks finally to enter the city of Troy and end the conflict. In the canonical version, after a fruitless 10-year siege, the Greeks constructed a huge wooden horse, and hid a select force of men inside...

 for US interests, and hence stated he would veto British membership. The four countries resubmitted their applications on 11 May 1967 and with Georges Pompidou
Georges Pompidou
Georges Jean Raymond Pompidou was a French politician. He was Prime Minister of France from 1962 to 1968, holding the longest tenure in this position, and later President of the French Republic from 1969 until his death in 1974.-Biography:...

 succeeding Charles de Gaulle as French President, the veto was lifted. Negotiations began in 1970 and two years later the accession treaties were signed with all but Norway acceding to the Community (Norway rejected membership in a referendum).

After its democratic revolution, Portugal would also leave EFTA
European Free Trade Association
The European Free Trade Association or EFTA is a free trade organisation between four European countries that operates parallel to, and is linked to, the European Union . EFTA was established on 3 May 1960 as a trade bloc-alternative for European states who were either unable to, or chose not to,...

 to join the Communities in 1986, joined by Sweden and Austria in 1995, leaving only Norway and Switzerland as the remaining members of the original outer seven, although EFTA has gained two new members (Iceland
Iceland
Iceland , described as the Republic of Iceland, is a Nordic and European island country in the North Atlantic Ocean, on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Iceland also refers to the main island of the country, which contains almost all the population and almost all the land area. The country has a population...

 and Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
The Principality of Liechtenstein is a doubly landlocked alpine country in Central Europe, bordered by Switzerland to the west and south and by Austria to the east. Its area is just over , and it has an estimated population of 35,000. Its capital is Vaduz. The biggest town is Schaan...

) in the intervening time. On the other hand, membership of the Communities, now the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 (EU), has reached 27.

Modern "inner" groups


Today, there are still some groups within the European Union integrating faster than others, for example; the eurozone
Eurozone
The eurozone , officially called the euro area, is an economic and monetary union of seventeen European Union member states that have adopted the euro as their common currency and sole legal tender...

 and Schengen Area
Schengen Area
The Schengen Area comprises the territories of twenty-five European countries that have implemented the Schengen Agreement signed in the town of Schengen, Luxembourg, in 1985...

 (see: Opt-outs in the European Union
Opt-outs in the European Union
In general, the law of the European Union is valid in all of the twenty-seven European Union member states. However, occasionally member states negotiate certain opt-outs from legislation or treaties of the European Union, meaning they do not have to participate in certain policy areas...

). The Treaty of Lisbon
Treaty of Lisbon
The Treaty of Lisbon of 1668 was a peace treaty between Portugal and Spain, concluded at Lisbon on 13 February 1668, through the mediation of England, in which Spain recognized the sovereignty of Portugal's new ruling dynasty, the House of Braganza....

 includes provisions for a group of countries to integrate without the inclusions of others if they do not wish to join in and, following the rejection of the European Constitution, some leaders wished to create an inner, more highly integrated Federal Europe within a slower-moving EU.

See also

  • European Free Trade Association
    European Free Trade Association
    The European Free Trade Association or EFTA is a free trade organisation between four European countries that operates parallel to, and is linked to, the European Union . EFTA was established on 3 May 1960 as a trade bloc-alternative for European states who were either unable to, or chose not to,...

  • European Economic Area
    European Economic Area
    The European Economic Area was established on 1 January 1994 following an agreement between the member states of the European Free Trade Association and the European Community, later the European Union . Specifically, it allows Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway to participate in the EU's Internal...

  • Visegrád Group
    Visegrád Group
    The Visegrád Group, also called the Visegrád Four or V4, is an alliance of four Central European states – Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia – for the purposes of cooperation and furthering their European integration...

  • G-3 (Europe)
  • G6 (EU)
    G6 (EU)
    The G6 in the European Union is an unofficial group of the interior ministers of the six European Union member states – Germany, France, United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, and Poland – with the largest populations and so with the majority of votes in the Council of the European Union. The G6 was...

  • Schengen Agreement
    Schengen Agreement
    The Schengen Agreement is a treaty signed on 14 June 1985 near the town of Schengen in Luxembourg, between five of the ten member states of the European Economic Community. It was supplemented by the Convention implementing the Schengen Agreement 5 years later...

  • Enlargement of the European Union
    Enlargement of the European Union
    The Enlargement of the European Union is the process of expanding the European Union through the accession of new member states. This process began with the Inner Six, who founded the European Coal and Steel Community in 1952...

  • Opt-outs in the European Union
    Opt-outs in the European Union
    In general, the law of the European Union is valid in all of the twenty-seven European Union member states. However, occasionally member states negotiate certain opt-outs from legislation or treaties of the European Union, meaning they do not have to participate in certain policy areas...

  • Multi-speed Europe
    Multi-speed Europe
    Multi-speed Europe or two-speed Europe is the idea that different parts of the European Union should integrate at different levels and pace depending on the political situation in each individual country...