News and Research on Europe highlighting Robert Schuman's political, economic, philosophical contribution from the independent Schuman Project Directed by David H Price.
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Learn about Schuman's life

What contemporaries thought of Schuman 

Robert Schuman's Proposal of 9 May 1950 

Was the Proposal the start of a European Federation?

Europe's democratic institutions
FIVE institutions for Europe

Schuman on Democratic Liberty

What is the difference between a federation or a supranational Community?


WARNING! Counterfeiters of European History OFFICIALLY at Work! 

What did Schuman say about post-Soviet Europe? 


EU's ENERGY non-policy 

 How to manage disastrous CLIMATE    CHANGE 

Europe's Geography already extends worldwide!  
Is Turkey European? Is Cyprus? Is Russia?   

  Enlargement: long awaited! Collect EU's 5 keys 

The inspirer of Europe,

Schuman OR Monnet?

The supranational system of the Community, which has gave Europe a lasting peace, is based on the golden rule of Luke 6:27. Treating a vicious enemy as yourself is unknown in history. De Gaulle and authoritarian nationalists hated the idea of Community. De Gaulle called Jean Monnet mischievously the 'inspirer' or initiator of the European Community. Many historians have followed without reflection. But there is no real evidence he was.
1. End of European wars. At the origin lies a revolutionary spiritual idea, a scientific theory, for ending war. For thousands of years until 1945, Western Europeans were at war every generation. Robert Schuman gave two speeches in May 1949 (London and Strasbourg)  proposing the creation of a supranational community that he said would put an end to the war and bring lasting peace. Such a supranational Community had never existed in history before. Schuman said so many times. A year later, the French government accepted his proposal for a supranational European Community with its five democratic institutions. Western Europe has since begun to benefit from the longest period of peace in the history of the six founding members. In 1953, he confirmed this peace was assured. Our generation, after more than 60 unprecedented years of peace, can confirm he was right. Thus it was totally scientific in theory and application. Schuman's proposal was the result of a profound analysis, political realism and the application of Christian Democracy. Monnet made no such scientific predictions, nor had any such scientific theories. Schuman said the European Community was like a 'scientific experiment' based on a theory about which he had absolutely confidence.
2. Supranationality. Monnet was unaware of the concept of supranationality. According to his Memoirs, Monnet had been involved in the process only from April 1950. Monnet learned about supranationality as a concept from a stranger, who turned up in his office and was none other than a trusted colleague of Schuman! Monnet said: 'An accident brought into my officeÖ a young law professor that I did not know. " This professor from Lorraine, Schumanís home region, was Paul Reuter. He was, as Schuman, an alumnus of the high school of Metz. He worked for the Robert Schuman at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a top lawyer and helped him against the conspiracies and sabotage (the word is not too strong) led by senior nationalistic officials of the ministry, attempting to destroy the policy of European reconciliation that Schuman was trying to create.
3. Political craft. Reuter was a very busy man, with his family, a university course in Aix-en-Province and the important work with Schuman at the Ministry in Paris. However, he stayed several days with Monnet. Why? Reuter reported that it was to the teach Monnet, in what he called a maieutic, the basic elements that  Monnet needed to know to edit or at least, become involved in the Schuman Declaration. Bernard Clappier, Schuman's director of staff, had already provided a great deal of background to Monnet in their weekly lunches. Using Monnet, an official who was responsible only to the Prime Minister Bidault, Schuman avoided the inter-ministerial committee of senior officials nationalistic and hostile to any democratic and egalitarian agreement with Germany. He then presented the document as partly the Prime Minister's own initiative in two Cabinet meetings. 
4. Reuter the editor. The archives of Monnet, recently published in facsimile, Un Changement díEspoir, prove that Professor Paul Reuter, the colleague and confidant of Schuman, wrote the outline and the first draft in pencil and also most of the later corrected drafts. Monnet began numbering the drafts only from the first draft typed by his secretary. He made minor changes to what Reuter had written, and admitted in the Memoirs that his corrections reduced the meaning and impact of Reuter's original.
5 Monnet refused supranationality and hated the term. The draft of Reuter included the innovatory legal concept and principle, supranationality. Monnet crossed this out of the drafts and replaced it with 'federation'. The supranational Community is a  legal term requiring a multinational treaty for its implementation. Monnet, indicates a contemporary writer, 'did not have the slightest knowledge of international law.' (Elgey) Neither any of his team. He wrote: "I did not like this word, (supranational) and never fancied it." In his Memoirs, he does not devote a word to the European policy carried out by Schuman when he was Prime Minister in 1947-8! The first government Schuman proposed the Council of Europe, creating the means to articulate European public opinion and law-based Human Rights. It was a vital step and many parliamentary committees discussed the concept of supranational communities, following Schuman's initiative, well before Monnet's involvement. Monnet said that he did not follow these intellectual debates on European unification! He thought them a waste of time leading to 'an impasse.' The Memoirs, largely written by his friends when he was 88 years, goes further. He claims that on 21 June 1950 he invented the term "European Community." Not true. Schuman used concepts of a supranational European Community in many speeches over the previous years. He talked about this subject at the United Nations on September 23, 1949 and September 1948. Schuman had used terms like 'community' and 'supranational union' in his great speech from London to the creation of the Council of Europe (May 1949) in the presence of foreign ministers and ambassadors of Europe. Schuman gave the opening speech of the Treaty conference on 20 June in which he used the term European Community!
6 United States of Europe. The book of Monnet speeches, The United States of Europe has already begun, indicates, moreover, that his preference was not for a European Community but for a "United States of Europe" (whatever that meant). Monnet never explained. It is probably based on classical federal principles. The transposition of a federal American or Canadian model to Europe which has its many kingdoms (Britain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Denmark, Norway, Sweden) and anti-monarchical republics (France, Germany Italy, Switzerland) would never have worked. Schuman analysed, in speeches, writings and books, all the possibilities. He regarded such a federation as unrealistic. His work was aimed at preventing the creation of a 'super-state' such as the USA. Hence it is diametrically opposed to a centralising federation. He wanted to preserve and promote European national cultures, languages and special attributes. Unlike Monnet, Schuman has defined the concepts of supranational Community, an ingenious new idea, in precise terms, both political, economic, legal, even theological. Schumanís definition of democracy is perhaps the best and most scientific ever made.
7. Reuterís account. Among the strongest evidence that Monnet did not invent the idea of a supranational European Community are the writings, speeches and notes Professor Paul Reuter, published 30 years after the events. These show that Prof. Reuter spent several days to convince Monnet that his previous ideas were wrong and to steer him in the direction of a solution of coal and steel. Monnet and the co-authors of his Memoirs seem to have been strangely ignorant of the work and speeches of Schuman in the years previous to Monetís involvement. They were well known and well published. As for Schuman, he said little but was satisfied that history (based on principles of supranational scientific truth) would be the judge of his inspiration.
© May 2007 Bron David H Price
The account of Paul Reuter will be published in the book: Robert Schuman, Jalonneur de la Paix mondiale.


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