Since the inception of the European Union at the end of World War II, the idea of creating a common, strong energy policy that would allow Europe to have cheap and secure (and later also green) energy supplies has been constantly buzzing in negotiations and in EU offices. The very idea of the European Union was built on energy: the first nucleus of a united Europe was the European Coal Organisation (ECO), set up in 1946 by the United States and the UK, to coordinate production and distribution of coal (and coal-mining equipment) in the continent, during the severe coal shortage caused by the war. After this experience, which was mostly supervised by the United States, the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) was established in 1951. It was the first European-level institution between Italy, France, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg (the Inner Six), with the idea that establishing a common market for coal and steel would not only promote economic growth and better standards of living, but it would make war amongst European states materially impossible.
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