Walter Hallstein, President of the European Economic Community
Professor of international law and economics before the war, he was taken prisoner by the Americans (1944). After imprisonment he was elected Rector of the University of Frankfurt (1946). He becomes counsellor to Chancellor Adenauer for international affairs (1950). The “Hallstein doctrine” is one of the basis of West German diplomacy. The FRG refuses to maintain diplomatic relations with states recognising the GDR.
German State Secretary for Foreign Affairs (1951-1958), Bonn representative in the Messina Conference (1955), he is omnipresent in the preparatory phase of the European construction. He signs the Treaties of Rome in the name of West Germany (1957), and becomes the first President of the Commission of the EEC (1958-1967). First designated for two years, his mandate will be renewed three times. He is the leader of the institutional building, and gives the Commission its structures and its reputation for technical competence. He is the initiator of an international policy for the European Communities. In 1967, the institution of a single Commission allows General de Gaulle to impose his conceptions for limiting the powers of the Commission. Hallstein does not ask for a renewal of this mandate. After a brief career in the German Parliament, he retires from political life in 1972.