Origin as a legal concept
After the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945, Albert Einstein spoke and wrote frequently in the late 1940s in favor of a "supranational" organization to control all military forces except for local police forces, including nuclear weapons. He thought this might begin with the United States, Great Britain, and the Soviet Union, and grow to encompass most other nations, presenting this as the only way to avoid nuclear war. He broached the idea in the November 1945 and November 1947 articles in The Atlantic Monthly that described how the constitution of such an organization might be written. In an April 1948 address at Carnegie Hall, he reiterated: "There is only one path to peace and security: the path of supranational organization." Thanks to his celebrity, Einstein's ideas on the subject generated much discussion and controversy, but the proposal did not generate much support in the West and the Soviet Union viewed it with hostility.
With its founding Statute of 1949 and its Convention of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, which came into force in 1953, the Council of Europe created a system based on human rights and the rule of law. Robert Schuman, French Foreign minister, initiated the debate on supranational democracy in his speeches at the United Nations, at the signing of the Council's Statutes and at a series of other speeches across Europe and North America.
The term "supranational" occurs in an international treaty for the first time (twice) in the Treaty of Paris, 18 April 1951. This new legal term defined the in creating the European Coal and Steel Community and the beginning of the democratic re-organisation of Europe. It defines the relationship between the High Authority or European Commission and the other four institutions. In the treaty, it relates to a new democratic and legal concept.
The Founding Fathers of the European Community and the present European Union said that supranationalism was the cornerstone of the governmental system. This is enshrined in the Europe Declaration made on 18 April 1951, the same day as the European Founding Fathers signed the Treaty of Paris.
"By the signature of this Treaty, the participating Parties give proof of their determination to create the first supranational institution and that thus they are laying the true foundation of an organised Europe. This Europe remains open to all nations. We profoundly hope that other nations will join us in our common endeavour."
This declaration of principles that included their judgement for the necessary future developments was signed by Konrad Adenauer (West Germany), Paul van Zeeland and Joseph Meurice (Belgium), Robert Schuman (France), Count Sforza (Italy), Joseph Bech (Luxembourg), and Dirk Stikker and Jan van den Brink (The Netherlands). It was made to recall future generations to their historic duty of uniting Europe based on liberty and democracy under the rule of law. Thus, they viewed the creation of a wider and deeper Europe as intimately bound to the healthy development of the supranational or Community system.
This Europe was open to all nations who were free to decide, a reference/or an invitation and encouragement of liberty to the Iron Curtain countries. The term supranational does not occur in succeeding treaties, such as the Treaties of Rome, the Maastricht Treaty, the Treaty of Nice or the Constitutional Treaty or the very similar Treaty of Lisbon.