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European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC)
a regional alliance established in 1951 to promote free trade in coal and steel. Its founding members were (West) Germany France, Italy, Belgium and Luxembourg, five of the six countries that later went on to build on the spirit of cooperation kindled by the ECSC to establish the broader based EUROPEAN UNION. One of the main roles of the ECSC is the regulation of the industry's capacity to ensure that long-run supply is kept in line with demand potential and that individual suppliers, including nationalized concerns, are prevented from dominating the market.