The ‘European Community‘ was, according to Jean Monnet’s Mémoires, a political and economic concept invented by Jean Monnet himself. This is a falsehood. Monnet did not invent it. It was already in existence. In his boast, Monnet is as wrong as if someone today were trying to claim he invented the wheel. It is also theft against the real inventor of the wheel. Can I be clearer? Someone who steals something belonging to someone else is a thief. This is equally true if a person steals the credit or honour of a person as much as stealing a credit card.
Everyone loses from this. Whenever anything goes wrong, or someone else wants the same product (whether a wheel or world peace), he directs himself to the supposed inventor for help. But the fraudster has no real understanding about how European peace was achieved in the first place or how to make peace between other countries in today’s world that is increasingly inflamed by war. Europe is heading for multiple trials. The world is again on the brink of major wars. It is high time to tell the truth.
Why did Monnet publish such an outrageous claim that could easily be shown to be false? He is not here to explain. Schuman was long dead and he did not have a family. First, however, it should be admitted that the Mémoires were written by a small group of ghostwriters. But that makes the scandal worse. Surely among the writing team of esteemed political scientists and journalists, there must have been someone who knew the truth. Monnet could have made a mistake or forgotten the facts. But could all of them together? Did none of them object to twisting the facts? Mémoires usually have as a purpose the self-aggrandizement of the author. Did not someone in his team or the publishers warn him he was going a little too far?
Secondly, Monnet put his name to the book. He should have checked the facts himself. He is ultimately responsible for falsifications, fabrications and errors. Monnet however made similar outrageous claims reported in other publications and interviews. So it must be presumed that Monnet promoted the idea. Did he mislead himself in wishful thinking that he was the inventor? Here we are entering into the area of historical psychology and the domain of political fraud which is beyond the space for this commentary. He confessed he had a bad memory. Is this sufficient as an excuse for a matter of world importance?
What are the facts? Monnet describes the exact day when the idea of a European Community supposedly came to him. It was 21 June 1950. At the request of the Robert Schuman, the French Government had agreed that Monnet should be chairman of the first intergovernmental conference in order to establish the Schuman Plan. Schuman had announced the Government’s agreement on this Plan on 9 May 1950. The Monnet Mémoires downgrade Schuman’s achievements. They cannot even recall correctly when Schuman was Prime Minister (it is not mentioned at all) and describe him as either Minister of Finance or a gullible Foreign Minister desperate for Monnet’s help.
This is what Monnet Mémoires say in a section entitled ‘Invention‘: ‘I believe recalling that on that day (21 June 1950) I named ‘the European Community‘ as being the objective we would like to attain.‘ Thus according to this much used text, the identity of the founding entity for Europe, the European Community, was named on 21 June 1950. It became the GOAL of the international effort on the same day. The alleged conceiver of the name and originator of the strategic objective was Jean Monnet. To remove any doubt about this claim the book’s index has under European Community: ‘term invented by Jean Monnet.‘
This claim may seem utterly extraordinary to some people who are not easily duped. It implies that from the time of the Schuman Proposal on 9 May 1950, the Foreign Minister, nor any other body had a name for the new structure to be created. How could the political configuration or the process be discussed without a name? This was not something of no importance: it was an entity that would stop two thousand years of European wars.
That silence, that lack of a name, occurs only in the mind and words of Jean Monnet. He or the co-writers of the Mémoires seem willfully ignorant of the facts. That is, they discarded all facts that disproved their case. That is precisely how nations used to write their histories of Europe, glorifying any victories and ignoring any defeats, while denigrating all who opposed their egotistical views.
The conference to prepare the founding treaty of Europe did not open on 21 June 1950. The book makes clear that Foreign Minister Robert Schuman opened the conference the day before. Were the authors aware of what he said? Clearly. The book quotes part of Schuman’s opening speech on 20 June 1950 in the Salon d’Horloge of the French Foreign Ministry. ‘We feel that we are not allowed to fail in this task, to give up without reaching a conclusion. Never before, I might underline, have States ever agreed to delegate a part of their sovereignty jointly to a supranational body: never before had they even conceived of doing such a thing.‘
Firstly, a biased historian betrays himself by being willingly ignorant of facts and logic. Schuman employed the word, supranational, that Monnet said that he ‘didn’t fancy and never liked‘. Apparently it was too difficult to leave out the word from a nice quotation. According to the Foreign Minister this supranational principle was the key of the whole conference and the whole plan to save Europe. It is difficult to understand how anyone could give leadership to a conference on the revolutionary supranational principle that was ‘without precedent in the modern world‘ (as Schuman said) if, as Monnet, you disliked the word. Monnet seems unperturbed by this illogicality. But if he did not invent the much despised word supranational, why did he lay claim to the words European Community which are intimately connected with it?
Secondly, a biased and untrue autobiographer cuts out what contradicts his self-centered message. If Monnet and his team had published what Schuman said a few sentences further in this speech — and they must have had Schuman’s speech before them — they would have not made such a flagrantly falsified claim to the history of Europe. Schuman explains quite precisely what the conference is all about.
What exactly? To create a peace-making European Community! This is what Schuman said: ‘…what is important and is written in bold letters as the purpose of the plan is our willingness to bring together in a joint and permanent work of peace two nations, which over centuries have fought each other in bloody conflict. What is important is thus to eliminate from our European Community a latent cause of the trouble, distrust and anxiety. What is important is the hope of founding on the basis of this peaceful cooperation a solid European edifice accessible to all nations of good will.‘
According to Schuman’s analysis the European Community already existed. It existed the day before Monnet invented the term! The purpose of the conference was to give the European Community supranational institutions. They had been discussed by many people for two years previously! Apparently Monnet did not know! Schuman described how the intergovernmental conference was to be organised so as to avoid egotistical control or national blockage. Discussions were delegated to working groups with specific European tasks and a supranational European vision of their goal.
Much to Monnet’s astonishment, the key institutions appeared in the separate working groups at the conference. Monnet could not say he invented these either! The working groups were attended not by Monnet, but by some of Schuman’s colleagues who were familiar with the legal definition of a supranational Community. Schuman talked to each working group from time to time. He said he wanted to check whether they were approaching their tasks from a European point of view and to help resolve any problems. Monnet does not mention this.
Schuman’s introductory speech is full of key information about the origin, purpose and future of this European Community. The working groups took it seriously and followed the principles. Monnet does not quote further from this key speech except for the small extract. It would give too much away.
In the two year period before this conference, Schuman had announced that he was setting up an international study programme for analysing the different possibilities of ‘federation or confederation‘ to unite Europe in a democratic framework. Where and when did he announce it? One occasion was at the United Nations General Assembly meeting in Paris in 1948. The next year at the United Nations he described why it was necessary to create other European institutions of a supranational type besides that of the Council of Europe, which was doing the pioneer work for democracy. He explained the need for a European Community based on supranational principles in a major speech at St James’s Palace in London in May 1949. He had also given a long historic analysis of the need for a supranational Community in May 1949 at Strasbourg before the Council started its work. This speech was distributed to all parliamentarians of twelve founder States of the Assembly of the Council of Europe. They immediately set about creating study groups to analyse this new concept.
Was Monnet interested in this? Not at all. He wrote that ‘I gave little attention to these proposals‘ or ‘pious wishes‘ at the Council of Europe (p334). Monnet and his writers seem curiously ignorant also of Schuman’s long and detailed speech in Brussels in December 1949. This and others explained why and how the supranational experiment would be applied to coal and steel.
In the previous commentaries, the following is clear:
- Monnet did not know how to stop wars in Europe
- Monnet did not know what was involved in applying the supranational principle to economics, politics and industries;
- Monnet did not have a plan for European democracy.
- Monnet also made unjustifiable claims to have invented the European Community concept.
What is the European Commission’s attitude to this falsification? Even if it was just wishful thinking by someone who was self-deceived, public institutions should be cautious. They should not spend money on incorrect information. We are dealing with the most important aspects of world government. The European Community brought Europe peace. It is the longest peace Europeans ever had. And it brings a chance for the world to have peace too. The last thing the Commission should do would be to point the public to the WRONG source for correct understanding to apply it today.
Does the European Commission take historic, political, economic and spiritual information about their origins seriously? Have they debunked falsehoods and fibs? Have they realised they are treading on thin ice when they support extravagant personal claims by Jean Monnet? Judge for yourself. This is what the EU’s official online information site www.europa.eu says:
The French economic advisor and politician Jean Monnet dedicated himself to the cause of European integration. He was the inspiration behind the “Schuman Plan”, which foresaw the merger of West European heavy industry.
Monnet was from the region of Cognac in France. When he left school at 16 he travelled internationally as a cognac dealer, later also as a banker. During both World Wars he held high positions involved with the coordination of industrial production in France and United Kingdom.
As top advisor of the French government, he was the main inspiration behind the famous “Schuman declaration” of 9 May 1950, which led to the creation of the European Coal and Steel Community and, as such, is considered to be the birth of the European Union. Between 1952-55 he was the first president of its executive body.
It would, however, be unjust to limit Monnet’s influence to the economic sphere. His famous and much-quoted phrase was “We unite people, not states”. Today’s EU programmes for cultural and educational exchange follow in this tradition.
And the Commission is still wondering why they lack the trust of the public! As stated above, Jean Monnet was the first President of the Commission (High Authority). This presented unusual possibilities for personal-centred propaganda. That was half a century ago. Why has nothing changed since?
Why has the academic community made so little progress in the essentials of supranational Community-based governance? Why have so many professors pursued research-as-usual, seemingly neglecting the revolutionary supranational principle announced by Schuman?
Is it possibly because governments — who are mainly interested in intergovernmentalism — have wangled millions in subsidies from EU funds for such matters? This EU programme for cultural and educational exchange is called the Jean Monnet Programme. Has it created a community of scholars that refuse to criticize the European Community assertions of Jean Monnet? Which EU-funded academic, a ‘Jean Monnet Professor‘, will stand up and say Jean Monnet was guilty of dubious practice and shading the facts about European integration? Such professors are likely to experience sudden lack of support. Their Jean Monnet chairs would be quickly withdrawn from under their professorial posteriors.
Europa.eu tells us the following: The EU Jean Monnet Programme funds academic work presently in 62 countries across the five continents. Between 1990 and 2009, the Action has helped to set up 141 Jean Monnet European Centres of Excellence, 775 Jean Monnet Chairs and 1 137 Jean Monnet Modules and permanent courses. These projects bring together 1 500 professors, and reach 250 000 students every year.
Instead of creating supranational institutions that would enhance supranational values like honesty and critical scientific research, the Commission has managed to apply taxpayers’ money to propagate a distorted concept of history, blind Europeans from Europe’s energy blackmail, its monetary disasters, and other planetary crises while reinforcing counterfeit democracy as a confused substitute for a dynamic supranational Community of European democracies.
The problem will not go away. The longer the Commission waits to tackle it, the more outraged will be the public reaction.