With the establishment of the Jean Monnet Programme in 1990, the European Commission began supporting academic research and teaching in the field of European Integration within and outside of the European Union. Since 2007, the Jean Monnet activities are part of the new Lifelong Learning Program. They are administrated by the “Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency” of the European Commission, established in 2005.
A major objective of the Jean Monnet Programme is to promote teaching and research on European Integration within different disciplines. This mainly happens through the creation of Jean Monnet Chairs, Jean Monnet Centers of Excellence, and Jean Monnet teaching modules. Furthermore, networking activities of scholars and other research activities are supported. The second major objective of the Jean Monnet Program is funding for genuinely European institutions, such as the European University Institute, Florence, and the College of Europe, Bruges and Natolin, as well as for scholarly associations.
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.