Jean Monnet

French political economist regarded by as a chief architect of European unity (1888-1979)

Jean Omer Marie Gabriel Monnet (9 November 188816 March 1979) is regarded by many as a chief architect of the institutions which would form the European Union. Never elected to public office, Monnet worked behind the scenes of American and European governments as a well-connected pragmatic internationalist.

Continue, continue, there is no future for the people of Europe other than in union.

Quotes Edit

  • France is the nation of the rights of man. … I am sure that none of you commits the insult of thinking that the government, the army, or the administration could wish for and organize torture.
    • Speech on the war in French Algeria before French National Assembly (1957), cited in Torture: The Role of Ideology in the French–Algerian War (1989) by Rita Maran, p. 44

Jean Monnet 1888-1979 Edit

Quotes in the biographical profile at The History of the European Union by the Jean Monnet Association
  • There will be no peace in Europe if the States rebuild themselves on the basis of national sovereignty, with its implications of prestige politics and economic protection…. The countries of Europe are not strong enough individually to be able to guarantee prosperity and social development for their peoples. The States of Europe must therefore form a federation or a European entity that would make them into a common economic unit.
    • Speech to the French National Liberation Committee (5 August 1943)
  • Through the consolidation of basic production and the institution of a new High Authority, whose decisions will bind France, Germany and the other countries that join, this proposal represents the first concrete step towards a European federation, imperative for the preservation of peace.
    • Speech by Robert Schuman (9 May 1950), written by Monnet
  • Continue, continue, there is no future for the people of Europe other than in union.
  • Make men work together show them that beyond their differences and geographical boundaries there lies a common interest.

Quotes about Monnet Edit

  • [A]fter eighty-nine years of his life, Monnet remains, as he has been throughout, impregnably optimistic but not Utopian. He does not believe in miracles, and although he believes that crucial moments of opportunity must never be lost, he gives more importance to patience and direction than to speed and the construction of false timetables. His modesty and manner is underpinned by an unshakeable intellectual self-confidence. ... He is undoubtedly a great man, who has lived a remarkable life.
    • Roy Jenkins, 'Foreword' (August 1977), Jean Monnett, Memoirs (1978), pp. 12–13
  • Even more important was the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), which was formed by France, West Germany, Italy, and the Low Countries in 1951. The plan was the brainchild of the former French prime minister Robert Schuman, who also served as foreign minister from 1948–53. He and his collaborators designed a supranational authority with control of a common market in mining and steel production in all the member countries, which meant mainly in France and Germany. The ECSC was intended as an alternative to a long-term French occupation of parts of Germany to harness its industrial potential. Instead, Schuman believed, all of western Europe could benefit from cooperation between France and Germany, both in Cold War terms, by increasing and regulating strategic production, and in terms of economic development. Jean Monnet, the Frenchman who was the first head of ECSC, also made sure that it had a social purpose, through subsidies for miners and workers, and that its institutions pointed toward wider European integration in other fields as well.
    • Odd Arne Westad, The Cold War: A Global History (2017)

External links Edit

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