On August 11, 1952, the United States became the first non-member country to provide international recognition to the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), the precursor to today’s European Union.
Then-US Secretary of State Dean Acheson sent a diplomatic dispatch on behalf of President Truman to Jean Monnet, serving as the first President of the Community’s High Authority, the forerunner of the European Commission, which stated:
“As appropriate under the Treaty, the United States will now deal with the Community on coal and steel matters…All Americans will join me in welcoming this new institution and in expressing the expectation that it will develop as its founders intended, and that it will realize the hopes so many have placed in it.”
One year later the United States established its representation to the ECSC in Brussels. Monnet reciprocated in 1954 by choosing Washington as the site of the ECSC’s first external presence.
In 1971, the Delegation received full diplomatic recognition from the Nixon Administration, becoming the Delegation of the European Commission. With the December 1, 2009, entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon, it became the Delegation of the European Union to the United States of America and part of the European External Action Service.
*Adapted from Mike Mosettig, “Building European Ties in Washington: Europe’s US Delegation 40 Years Later.”