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The Maastricht Diplomat

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[Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung] A Miner's Fate lies with the ECSC

Second Session of the ECSC discussing the economic expansion, 1955.

Today, the delegates of the five European countries present put on the table discussion for advancements on technological modernisation. Most of the delegations, such as Luxembourg, Germany and France, proposed an increase in investments to improve technological advancements. This modernisation has been considered an essential step to increase the protection of workers as well as to ensure better working conditions. The delegates were mostly of the opinion that these actions would also yield economic benefits to the Community. Some proposals have been made, such as a common investment bank by the Luxembourg delegation as well as Germany and France suggesting a joint scientific institution to further research. Belgium has however recognised the risk of the ECSC remaining too dependent on United States loans as a way to fund modernisation in the Community.

For the first time in this Committee, an expert guest was then invited to the meeting. The called upon representative, prosed by the Italian Christmas Democrat, was an Italian miner working in the Belgium mine who had also been part of a recent mining disaster due to the lack of safety regulations. The worker highlighted the shameful working conditions, the lack of safety regulations and the absence of any financial compensation for his injury in the disaster. Overall, this has highlighted the great need for social reforms as well as legal improvements which could give equal rights to workers across the member states countries.

It is not yet certain whether the emotional and horrific story of the miner will encourage the member states to decide to focus on harmonisation of legislations across the Community or will remain centred on their individual national actions. We will continue to follow this debate with cautious hope for the former...

-Marta De Grandi, Correspondent for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung


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