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Walter Hallstein (1901-1981)

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Walter Hallstein was the first president of the European Commission from 1958 to 1969, a committed European and a decisive proponent of European integration. In his opinion, the most important prerequisite for a successful political integration of Europe was the creation of common economic institutions. As president of the European Commission, Hallstein worked towards a rapid realisation of the Common Market. His energetic enthusiasm and his powers of persuasion furthered the cause of integration even beyond the period of his presidency. However, the speed of unification during the so-called Hallstein Period was legendary. The one-time Secretary of State in the German Foreign Ministry originally attained international recognition through the Hallstein Doctrine of the 1950s, which shaped German foreign policy for years to come, and had at its core the linking of the young democracy into Western Europe.

Type: HISTORY   Reference: I-002477   Date: 19/03/2007   Duration: 04:41
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