Jean Omer Marie Gabriel Monnet, born in 1888, is one of the intellectual and political fathers of the European integration process after the end of World War II. His name is closely linked to the concept of gradual integration and the supranational decision-making procedures of the European Community are still often referred to as the ‘Monnet method.’
Originally a tradesman, he had a leading role in the coordination of the allied war production efforts in both World Wars. After a short term of service as the first Deputy Secretary General of the League of Nations in 1919-1923, he mainly remained in the background of French ministries and administration. In 1950, Jean Monnet played a crucial role in drafting and implementing the Schuman Plan and thus in the creation of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC). From 1952 to 1954, he was the first president of the High Authority, the predecessor of the European Commission. Since 1955, he was mainly devoted to the activities of the Action Committee for the United States of Europe. Jean Monnet died in 1979. His remains were transferred to the Panthéon in Paris in 1988.