African-European Energy-Intensive Industry Community

9 May 1950: Robert Schuman

"European Coal and Steel Community"


Schuman declaration May 1950 | European Union (

74 years ago, but very topical

On May 9 1950, Robert Schuman, the French Minister for Foreign Affairs, made a statement proposing the creation of a “European Coal and Steel Community”. Its members would pool their coal and steel production. Founded by France, West Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg, this ECSC was the first in a series of supranational European institutions that would eventually lead to today's “European Union”. Today, the ever-increasing asymmetry of prosperity between Europe and Africa threatens the security of both continents. The energy-intensive industry is facing a huge push towards sustainability, it needs to become CO2 neutral. Africa is blessed with sixty percent of the world's solar energy production capacity and thirty-five percent of the global green hydrogen production capacity at €2/kg.

‘'We didn't have the same past, you Europe and we Africa, but we will have the same future'

Macky Sall, African Union Chair, EU-AU summit, 17/2/2022

'If you produce aluminium in Europe at a much higher electricity cost than in other parts of the world, what is the point of supporting these companies when you can produce cheaper elsewhere in the world'

Thomas Leysen, UMICORE, 17/9/2022, De Tijd

Failure to meet climate targets threatens the planet and endangers world peace. It can only be ensured by the efforts of all positive forces that protect against threats. The fossil-fuelled energy-intensive production of iron, steel, cement, chemicals, petrochemicals, non-ferrous metals, glass, ceramics and fertilisers and their transport – until now almost exclusively in industrialised countries – is responsible for a third of all CO2-emissions in the world.

Africa, endowed with abundant green energy and climate-strategic natural resources 





Prosperity, peace and comfort also in Africa

 Africa is blessed with sixty percent of the world's solar energy production capacity and thirty-five percent of the global green hydrogen production capacity at €2/kg.  2050 one quarter of the world's total population will live in Africa, only seven percent in Europe. The "developed" world cannot deny the African citizen the right to strive for a similar comfort to that of his Western and Chinese counterparts (with "steel, cement, aluminium, glass, fertiliser, ethylene,, etc.). 

Hence the importance for the entire planet to realise the energy-consuming production of basic materials, to which 25% of the world's population in Africa is also entitled, locally and emission-free. 

May 9 2024: African-European Energy-Intensive Industry Community

Inspired by the creation of the European Coal and Steel Community, the African Union and the European Union propose, 74 years after the founding of the ECSC, that the entire European and African energy-intensive production of key basic materials should be brought under one common "African-European Energy-Intensive Industry Community". For the energy-intensive production of basic materials, Africa and Europe are jointly laying the foundations for a climate-friendly economic development of both continents. A community that is open to the participation of all countries of Africa and of Europe.

This is the first stage in a robust, positive turn for the future of both young African citizens and their ageing European counterparts. Over the course of decades of intensive use of fossil fuels and massive CO2 emissions, Europe transformed African natural resources into basic materials that mainly benefited Europe. Activities that affected the entire planet, including Africa. Africa limited itself to the extraction and sale of raw materials, with limited CO2 emissions, but above all without adding value and millions of jobs to its own mineral resources.

An industrial community for mutual benefit

Africa is blessed with abundant mineral resources and renewable energy that the world needs. Europe has a head start in the energy-intensive processing of African raw materials into basic products, which in the long term will be much more needed by Africa, which will account for 25 percent of the world's population by 2050. Europe is transferring experience in the advanced energy-intensive production of basic materials to Africa. Europe will have access to nitrogen-free produced basic materials without having to rely on expensive imported green hydrogen. Own European solar and wind energy, sporadically increased with green hydrogen from a friendly continent, is sufficient for its own residential and light industrial use. In this AU-EU industrial community, both continents win.

In Africa, in a second phase, the production of basic materials stimulates the general manufacturing industrialisation and the consequent creation of ten million decent jobs per year. In this way, a new, enormous growth market is being created in Africa. Historical-cultural links and the industrial partnership between the neighbours Europe and Africa facilitates and reinforces African interest in European products; especially in innovative, more climate-friendly and more recyclable high-tech products and services with high added value. Particularly important for Europe is that a production solidarity with Africa – with one quarter of the total world population by 2050 - will prevent anti-Western resentments, conflicts, mass asylum applications and illegal economic migration.


The “African-European Energy-Intensive Industry Community” will be responsible for carrying out the following tasks as soon as possible:

  • encourage the EU to give the highest priority and urgency to raising mass awareness of the opportunities offered by industrial partnerships with industry peers in Africa; Africa, a continent down to the smallest villages blessed with renewable energy;
  • encourage the AU to select regions in Africa with abundant renewable energy where Public-Private Partnerships of industrial investors and financiers from both Europe and Africa have a chance to produce green electricity and green hydrogen under competitive conditions, without endangering Africa's biodiversity;
  • the modernisation of energy-intensive production of basic materials to minimise CO2-emissions along the entire value chain from raw material to use at the final destination;
  • ensure that, unlike in earlier colonial and post-colonial times, Europe does not force Africa to negotiate trade agreements with Leonine clauses in favour of Europe;
  • greening the transport sector;
  • the local processing, in the short value chain, of African natural resources into competitive products and services; the only way (1) to create more decent jobs in Africa every year than demographic growth and to curb forced migration, (2) to create a new growth market, including for European products and services;
  • accelerate the increase of GDP/capita in countries with extremely low GNP/capita to a level that prevents large numbers of citizens from seeking a decent future in countries with significantly higher GDP/capita with - as in Western Europe - education, health, social services, social advancement, peace, security and decent comfort for the masses;
  • supply of energy-intensive basic materials on equal terms on the African and European markets as well as on those of the other acceded countries.


’Hey Vladimir, I’ll be with you in a minute once I’ve finished with whoever this fellow is.’

The creation of a powerful AU-EU industrial community will be open to all countries from all over the world and ensure a level playing field for their energy-intensive industrialisation. Its shining example, copied by other continents, will lay the foundation for true free trade, an economic unification of a wider and deeper community.

Unlike an international cartel, which seeks to divide and exploit domestic markets through restrictive practices and the maintenance of high profits, the industrial community proposed by the AU and the EU will promote living standards, peace and security between countries long divided by bloody divisions, including in the world's least developed regions. All this while meeting the Paris deadline and limiting global warming to 1.5°C.

Note. This blog, based on the May 9 1950 statement of Robert Schuman for the creation of a “European Coal and Steel Community”, is the result of discussions between individual members of actual and former members of think tanks of EU-employers organisations. The blog does not represent the opinion of the EU-employers organisations.

01/02/2024  karel.uyttendaele{@}