Jean Monnet was a French political and economic advisor. His contribution towards the unification of Europe was second to none. Alongside Robert Schuman, then French foreign minister, he worked on the Schuman Plan (1950), which established the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC).The ECSC enabled the distribution of steel and coal between European countries. Thus opening the channels for economic cooperation in Europe, ultimately leading to the creation of the European Union. Jean Monnet thus being called, “The Father of European Union.”
Much of Jean Monnet’s important life works were done at his home in Bazoches-sur-Guyonne, in the vicinity of Paris, where he lived for 30 years. It was a place where he worked behind the scenes, while never being elected to any public office, to persuade leaders and dignitaries in Europe to cooperate and further the common interests of Europe. The French Government recognized his house as ‘Maison des Illustres’. It is now an important meeting place for discussions on European integration. For his commendable contribution in integrating Europe and his pivotal role in WWI and WWII, Jean Monnet received the Georges Spénale Parliament Gold Medal in 1975. He was also proclaimed as ‘Honorary citizen of Europe’ by the European Council of the European Union. Jean Monnet’s memoir (Mémoires, 1978) was published in 1976 (later translated to English in 1978) and details his life and driving principles.
The Jean Monnet Chair, established with the support of the Erasmus + programme of the European Union, provides an incredible opportunity to university professors specializing in European Union studies. It is a teaching position for a professor, who must devote a minimum of 90 teaching hours in an academic year for three consecutive years. The Chair Professor should also engage in other additional activities.