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
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
Europe's Geography already
Is Turkey European? Is Cyprus? Is Russia?
awaited! Collect EU's 5 keys
inspirer of Europe,
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
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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