Walter Hallstein was
born in Germany in 1901. After presiding over the German delegation that
negotiated the Plan Schuman, 1st January 1958 he became the first president of
the European Commission. He maintained in that post until 1968.
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.
During his mandate, De
Gaulle vetoed British accesion to the EEC. In 1965, a proposition of Hallstein,
supported by the European Parliament, on the founding of own funds of the
Community was also vetoed by the French president. The crisis of the "empty
chair" followed. The absence of the French Ministers paralysed the Community.
The Luxembourg Compromise put an end to the crisis.
Walter Hallstein died