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Encyclopedia > Jean Monnet

Jean Omer Marie Gabriel Monnet (November 9, 1888March 16, 1979) is regarded by many as the architect of European Unity. Never elected to public office, Monnet worked behind the scenes of American and European governments as a well-connected pragmatic internationalist. is the 313th day of the year (314th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1888 (MDCCCLXXXVIII) was a leap year starting on Sunday (click on link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a leap year starting on Tuesday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... March 16 is the 75th day of the year (76th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Also: 1979 by Smashing Pumpkins. ... Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: European Union The European Union On-Line Official EU website, europa. ...


Early years

Monnet was born in Cognac, France, into a family of cognac merchants. At the age of sixteen, he abandoned his university-entrance examinations part way through and moved to London where he spent some years in the City of London with Mr. Chaplin, the agent of his father's company. Subsequently, he travelled widely — to Scandinavia, Russia, Egypt, Canada, the United States — for the family business. Cognac is a commune in the French département of Charente, of which it is a sous-préfecture. ... This article is about the capital of England and the United Kingdom. ... The City of London is a geographically-small city within Greater London, England. ... Scandinavia is a historical and geographical region centered on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe and includes the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway and Sweden. ...

World War I

In 1914, Monnet was excused from military duty for health reasons but he set to making himself useful in other ways, namely by tackling the looming problem of organizing supplies, which the Allies were unable to resolve and which could have compromised the outcome of the conflict. Monnet believed that the only path that would lead to an Allied victory lay in the merging of France and Britain's war efforts and he proposed a plan that would co-ordinate war resources. The French government agreed upon its implementation : in 1914, he met French Premier René Viviani on this issue. Look up ally in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... René Viviani René Raphaël Viviani (November 8, 1863 – September 7, 1925) was a French politician of the Third Republic, who served as Prime Minister for the first year of World War I. Beginning his political career as a Socialist, Viviani, like fellow Socialist Aristide Briand, was expelled from the...

Due to his success in the war efforts, Monnet, at the age of thirty-one, was named Deputy Secretary General of the League of Nations upon its creation in 1919 by French premier Clemenceau and British statesman Balfour. The League of Nations was an international organization founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference in 1919-1920. ... Georges Clemenceau, by Nadar. ... Arthur James Balfour, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, 1st Earl Balfour, KG, OM, PC (25 July 1848 - 19 March 1930) was a British Conservative politician and statesman, and the Prime Minister from 1902 to 1905. ...

Soon disillusioned with the League because of its laborious unanimous decision-making processes, Monnet resigned in 1923 in order to devote himself to managing the family business, which was experiencing difficulties. Later, as an international financier, he proved to be instrumental in the economic recovery of several Central and Eastern European nations, helping to stabilise the Polish zloty in 1927 and the Romanian leu in 1928. In 1929, his experience in international finance led him to found and co-manage the Bancamerica-Blair, a bank in San Francisco. From 1934 to 1936, at the invitation of Chiang Kai-shek, Monnet lived in China, assisting with the reorganization of the Chinese railway network. Central Europe The Alpine Countries and the Visegrád Group (Political map, 2004) Central Europe is the region lying between the variously and vaguely defined areas of Eastern and Western Europe. ... Map of Eastern Europe Pre-1989 division between the West (grey) and Eastern Bloc (orange) superimposed on current national boundaries: Russia (dark orange), other countries of the former USSR (medium orange),members of the Warsaw pact (light orange), and other former Communist regimes not aligned with Moscow (lightest orange). ... Złoty. ... For the Moldovan currency, see Moldovan leu. ... This page is a candidate for speedy deletion. ... Chiang Kai-shek (October 31, 1887 – April 5, 1975) was the Chinese military and political leader who assumed the leadership of the Kuomintang (KMT) after the 1925 death of Sun Yat-sen. ...

World War II

In December, 1939, Jean Monnet was sent to London to oversee the collectivization of the two countries' war production capacities. When the French government fell in June 1940, Monnet's influence inspired de Gaulle and Churchill to accept a plan for a union of France and the United Kingdom to enable the two countries to stand up to Nazism. This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, KG, OM, CH, TD, FRS, PC (Can) (30 November 1874 – 24 January 1965) was a British politician, soldier in the British Army, orator, and strategist, and is studied as part of the modern British and world history. ... National Socialism redirects here. ...

In August 1940, Jean Monnet was sent to the United States by the British government as a member of the British Supply Council, in order to negotiate the purchase of war supplies. Soon after his arrival in Washington, he became an advisor to President Roosevelt. Convinced that America could serve as "the great arsenal of democracy" he persuaded the president to launch a massive arms production program to supply the Allies with military material. Shortly thereafter, in 1941, Roosevelt, with Churchill's agreement, launched the Victory Program, which represented the entry of the United States into the war effort. After the war, the British economist John Maynard Keynes was to say that through his co-ordinating Monnet had probably shortened World War II by one year. Franklin Delano Roosevelt (January 30, 1882–April 12, 1945), 32nd President of the United States, the longest-serving holder of the office and the only man to be elected President more than twice, was one of the central figures of 20th century history. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000...

In 1943, Monnet became a member of the National Liberation Committee, the French government in exile in Algiers. During a meeting on 5 August 1943, Monnet declared to the Committee: “Alger” redirects here. ... August 5 is the 217th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (218th in leap years), with 148 days remaining. ... Year 1943 (MCMXLIII) was a common year starting on Friday (the link will display full 1943 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...

"There will be no peace in Europe, if the states are reconstituted on the basis of national sovereignty... The countries of Europe are too small to guarantee their peoples the necessary prosperity and social development. The European states must constitute themselves into a federation..."

The Monnet Plan

Following World War II France was in severe need of reconstruction. To rebuild, France was completely dependent on coal from Germany's main remaining coal-mining areas, the Ruhr area and the Saar area (The German coal fields in Upper Silesia had been annexed by Poland). In 1945 Monnet proposed a plan, named after him, to take control of these German areas and redirect the output of German coal production away from German industry and into French industry instead, permanently weakening Germany and raising the French Economy considerably above its pre-war levels. The plan was adopted by Charles de Gaulle in early 1946. In 1947 France removed the Saar from Germany and turned it into a protectorate under French economic control. The area was returned to German administration in 1957, but France retained the right to mine from its coal mines until 1981. This article deals with the 1945-47 plan of the immediate post war period. ... Coal Coal (IPA: ) is a fossil fuel formed in swamp ecosystems where plant remains were saved by water and mud from oxidization and biodegradation. ... Map of the Ruhr Area The Ruhr Area (German Ruhrgebiet, colloquially Ruhrpott or Kohlenpott or simply Pott) is an urban area in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, consisting of a number of large (former) industrial cities bordered by the rivers Ruhr to the south, Rhine to the west, and Lippe to... Saarland is one of the 16 states of Germany. ... Silesia (Czech: ; German: ; Latin: ; Polish: ; Silesian: Ślónsk) is a historical region in central Europe. ...

A European superstate

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As the head of France's General Planning Commission, Monnet was the real author of what has become known as the 1950 "Schuman Plan" to create the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), forerunner of the Common Market. Merry and Serge Bromberger write in their admiring biography of Monnet that the ECSC scheme was "an idea of revolutionary daring" aimed at the gradual creation of a "superstate". They note that Monnet and his fellow insiders planned for national governments to make "a whole series of concessions in regard to their sovereign rights until, having been finally stripped, they committed hara-kiri by accepting the merger." Image File history File links Unbalanced_scales. ... Image File history File links Unbalanced_scales. ...

The following quote is often misascribed[1] to Jean Monnet — in fact it is by the British Conservative Adrian Hilton: Adrian Hilton (born in 1964) is a British Conservative politician who gained media attention during the 2005 general election. ...

"Europe's nations should be guided towards a super state without their people understanding what is happening. This can be accomplished by successive steps each disguised as having an economic purpose, but which will eventually and irreversibly lead to federation."


The single currency was the most important of these steps: as Monnet said, "Via money Europe could become political in five years." (Christopher Booker and Richard North in their book "The great deception").

European Coal and Steel Community

Following liberation, Monnet proposed a "global plan for modernization and economic development" to the French government. Appointed Planning Commissioner by de Gaulle, he oversaw the revitalization of the French economy. It was from this position that, in 1949, Monnet realized that the friction between Germany and France for control of the Ruhr, the important coal and steel region, was rising to dangerous levels, presaging a possible return to hostilities as had happened after the First World War. Monnet and his associates conceived the idea of a European Community. On 9 May 1950, with the agreement of Chancellor Konrad Adenauer of West Germany, French Minister of Foreign Affairs Robert Schuman made a declaration in the name of the French government. This declaration, prepared by Monnet for Schuman, proposed integration of the French and German coal and steel industries under joint control, a so-called High Authority, and open to the other countries of Europe. Schuman declared: For the conurbation see Ruhr Area. ... is the 129th day of the year (130th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1950 (MCML) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... For other uses, see Konrad Adenauer (disambiguation). ... Robert Schuman (June 29, 1886 – September 4, 1963) was a noted Luxembourg-born German-French politician, a Christian Democrat (M.R.P.) who is regarded as one of the founders of the European Union. ... The Schuman Declaration is the name of the May 9, 1950 public appeal by Robert Schuman, French Foreign Minister, to place Frances and West Germanys coal and steel industries under joint management. ...

"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." [1]

Shortly thereafter, West Germany, Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands responded favorably, the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) was born. Britain was invited to participate, but it refused on grounds of national sovereignty. In 1952, Jean Monnet became the first president of the High Authority. In 1953 Monnet was awarded the Karlspreis by the city of Aachen in recognition of his achievements. Members of the European Coal and Steel Community Flag of the European Coal and Steel Community The European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) was founded in 1951 (Treaty of Paris), by France, West Germany, Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands to pool the steel and coal resources of its member... Bill Clinton received the Karlspreis in 2000. ... Oche redirects here; in darts the oche is the line from which players must throw. ...

Common Market

In 1955, Monnet founded the Action Committee for the United States of Europe in order to revive European construction following the failure of the European Defense Community (EDC). It brought political parties and European trade unions together to become a driving force behind the initiatives which laid the foundation for the European Union as it eventually emerged: first the European Economic Community (EEC) (1958) (known commonly as the "Common Market"), which was established by the Treaty of Rome of 1957; later the European Community (1967) with its corresponding bodies, the European Commission and the European Council of Ministers, British membership in the Community (1973), the European Council (1974), the European Monetary System (1979), and the European Parliament (1979). This process reflected Monnet's belief in a gradualist approach for constructing European unity. The European Defence Community (EDC) was a treaty signed in May 1952 by France, Germany, Italy and the Benelux countries in response to the American call for the rearmament of West Germany. ... The Treaty of Rome signing ceremony Signatures in the Treaty The Treaty of Rome, signed by France, West Germany, Italy and Benelux (Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg) on March 25, 1957, established the European Economic Community (EEC). ... The Commission seat in Brussels The European Commission (formally the Commission of the European Communities) is the executive body of the European Union. ... There are three stages of monetary cooperation in the European Union. ... Established 1952, as the Common Assembly President Hans-Gert Pöttering (EPP) Since 16 January 2007 Vice-Presidents 14 Rodi Kratsa-Tsagaropoulou Alejo Vidal-Quadras Gérard Onesta Edward McMillan-Scott Mario Mauro Miguel Angel Martínez Martínez Luigi Cocilovo Mechtild Rothe Luisa Morgantini Pierre Moscovici Manuel António...

After retiring to his home in Houjarray, Monnet wrote his memoirs. He died in 1979 at the age of ninety. In 1988, by order of the president François Mitterrand, Jean Monnet's remains were transferred to the Panthéon of Paris.   IPA: (October 26, 1916 – January 8, 1996) was President of France from 1981 to 1995, elected as representative of the Socialist Party (PS). ... The Panthéon The Panthéon is a building in the Latin Quarter in Paris, France. ... City flag City coat of arms Motto: Fluctuat nec mergitur (Latin: Tossed by the waves, she does not sink) The Eiffel Tower in Paris, as seen from the esplanade du Trocadéro. ...

His marriage

In August 1929, during a dinner party in Paris, the 41-year-old Monnet met the 22-year-old Italian painter Silvia Giannini (born in Bondini in 1907). She had recently (6th April 1929) married Francisco Giannini, an employee of Monnet when he was a representative in Italy.

In April 1931, Silvia had a child, Anna. Legally the father was Francisco Giannini.

Divorce was not allowed in France and many other European countries at that time. In 1934, Silvia and Jean Monnet met in Moscow; he was coming from China with the Trans-Siberian, she from Switzerland. He arranged for Silvia to obtain Soviet citizenship; she immediately divorced her husband and married Jean Monnet.

The idea for the Moscow marriage came from Dr. Ludwik Rajchman whom Monnet met during his time at the League of Nations (Rajchman was connected to the Soviet Ambassador to China, Bogomolov). It seems that the American and French ambassadors in Moscow, William Bullitt and Charles Aiphand, also played a role.

The custody of Anna was a problem; in 1935 Silvia with Anna took refuge in the Soviet consulate in Shanghai, where they were living at the time because Francisco Giannini tried to obtain custody of the child. The legal battle continued with a ruling in favour of Silvia in 1937 in New York, but this was not recognized in some other countries. The Monnet family only came back to France 1945. In 1941, they had another child, Marianne.

After the death of Francisco Giannini in 1974, they married canonically in cathedral of Lourdes; both were devoutly Catholic.


  • "There is no real peace in Europe, if the states are reconstituted on a basis of national sovereignty. (...) They must have larger markets. Their prosperity is impossible, unless the States of Europe form themselves in a European Federation." — Jean Monnet (1943)
  • "There is no future for the people of Europe other than in union." — Jean Monnet
  • "Nothing is possible without men; nothing is lasting without institutions." — Jean Monnet
  • "People only accept change when they are faced with necessity, and only recognise necessity when a crisis is upon them." — Jean Monnet
  • "[Monnet was] someone with a pragmatic view of Europe's need to escape its historical parochialism." — Dean Acheson
  • "Building Union among people not cooperation between states"
  • Credited with coining the phrase "Arsenal of Democracy" which was used by, and credited to, Franklin D. Roosevelt.[3]

Dean Acheson Dean Gooderham Acheson (April 11, 1893 – October 12, 1971) was an American statesman and lawyer; as United States Secretary of State in the late 1940s he played the central role in defining American foreign policy for the Cold War. ... This article is actively undergoing a major edit for a short while. ...


The Jean Monnet Building of the European Commission, rue Albert Wehrer, L-2920 Luxembourg is named after him. The building code is JMO. The Commission seat in Brussels The European Commission (formally the Commission of the European Communities) is the executive body of the European Union. ...

Jean Monnet's memory lives on in a considerable number of European universities including the University of Limerick, Ireland, which has a lecture theater named in honor of Jean Monnet and also holds regular summer schools upon the topic of European Integration. Other British universities which honor Monnet include the East Midlands Eurocenter at Loughborough University, the European Research Institute at the University of Bath, the Jean Monnet Center at the University of Birmingham, the Jean Monnet European Center of Excellence at Cambridge, the Jean Monnet European Center of Excellence at the University of Essex, the Centre for European Union Studies at the University of Hull, the Kent Centre for Europe at the University of Kent, the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence, a partnership between the University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University and the University of Salford, the Jean Monnet Centre at Newcastle University and the Jean Monnet Centre for European Studies at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth.

The European Union itself maintains his memory with the Jean Monnet Programme of the Directorate-General for Education and Culture. This aims to promote knowledge on European integration on a worldwide scale, especially at the university level. The Directorate-General for Education and Culture (DG EAC)is a Directorate-General of the European Commission. ...

See also

  • History of the European Union

This is the history of the European Union. ...


  1. ^ For instance Eurofacts
  2. ^ Eurealist
  3. ^ Barnett, Richard. 1983. The Alliance: America, Europe, Japan, Makers of the Postwar World.
  • Jean Monnet: The First Statesman of Interdependence by Francois Duchene (1994); ISBN 0-393-03497-6
  • Christophe Le Dréau, « Quelle Europe ? Les projets d’Union franco-britannique (1938-1940) », dans Actes du Colloque RICHIE de mars 2005, Quelle(s) Europe(s) ? Nouvelles approches en histoire de l'intégration européenne, Bruxelles, Peter Lang, 2006.

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