Jean Monnet

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Person.png Jean Monnet  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(deep politician)
Jean Monnet.jpg
BornJean Omer Marie Gabriel Monnet
Cognac, Charente
Died1979-03-16 (Age 90)
Houjarray, Bazoches-sur-Guyonne
ReligionRoman Catholic
SpouseSilvia de Bondini
Founder ofAction Committee for the United States of Europe
Member ofLe Cercle
Interest ofFrançois Duchene
French deep state operative, Le Cercle, the most powerful man in France without a ministerial office.

Jean Monnet was a French deep politician, "the most powerful man in France without a ministerial office," and the founder of the The European Coal and Steel Community, which later became the European Union.

Early Life

Monnet, born in Cognac in France in 1888, initially sold cognac with the Martell and Henessy brands all over the world as an entrepreneur. In the Reparations Commission of the League of Nations, founded in 1919, and from 1920 to 1923 as its deputy general secretary, he befriended a Wall Street attorney who was also active there and was close to the government, John F. Dulles, who became US Secretary of State after World War II and brother of Wall Street attorney Allen Dulles, who was to become head of the CIA after World War II: In the future, Monnet will shape the fortunes of Europe with both of them.

Bootleggers and Bankers in the US

He made big profits in the United States as an alcohol dealer during Prohibition, which promoted illegal trade between 1920 and 1933. His Hudson Bay Company also sold alcohol to Indians. With the profits, Monnet founded Bank Bancamerica in San Francisco in 1929. He also represented the US Federal Reserve at the French central bank Banque de France.

In the 1930s, together with the London-New York investment bank Lazard, he financed railway lines for the narco-feudal-capitalist government of General Tsiang Kai-shek in China, who was also supported by the US government, Mussolini and Hitler. US Army generals as well as generals from Hitler's Wehrmacht - von Seeckt and von Falkenhausen - served as military and industrial advisers; IG Farben, Heinkel, Rheinmetall, Messerschmidt and Krupp armed Chiang's army just as US armaments companies did. In 1935 Monnet and Dulles founded the bank Monnet Murname in New York: the whole world became a business area.

"De Gaulle must be destroyed!"

In 1938, Monnet organized US loans so that France could buy US fighter jets and modernize its own aircraft industry. In 1939 he initiated a Franco-British commission to procure armaments for the looming war against Germany, especially in the USA. On behalf of the British government under Winston Churchill, he coordinated British borrowing and arms purchases in the United States in the Roosevelt government from 1940 to 1943.

In 1943, as Roosevelt's High Commissioner for the French colonies of North Africa - Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco - ohe rganized the integration of the French military stationed there under the fascist general Henri Giraud into the invading British and US military.

Outwardly, Monnet supported General de Gaulle's influential resistance movement “Free France”. Monnet needed this in public as evidence of his anti-Hitler stance, but hated de Gaulle because of his concept of French national sovereignty. In addition, through his formal support of de Gaulle, Monnet avoided the appreciation of the even stronger and more popular Résistance of the left. The future “founding father of Europe” only secretly showed his real attitude. On May 6, 1943, he called on the US government from Algiers: No understanding is possible with de Gaulle, he is an enemy of “European construction” and “European reconstruction”: He must therefore “be destroyed”.

1943: Concept for the European Economic Community

In 1943, when the victory of the Allies over Nazi Germany was foreseeable, Monnet designed the “European Economic Community” on behalf of Roosevelt for the post-war period - in the context of the “Victory Program” - the production, trade and credit relationships developed during the war The United States and Europe should be converted to peace terms and expanded and placed under the US leadership. The "United Europe" should only be an economic community, not an independent political community.

Because of its public reputation, the USA had to have General de Gaulle form a provisional government after the liberation of France in 1944, including ministers from the Resistance, including communists. But the US never recognized this government and in 1946 had de Gaulle resign. They placed Monnet in the new, “Christian”-led government as head of the newly created planning authority: he organized the “modernization” of the French economy, often with the help of US loans. Monnet kept this position until 1950, under changing governments.

So Monnet became the most powerful man in France without a ministerial office. He was the liaison between the US government, Wall Street, the Marshall Plan Authority in Paris and the government. He worked with the American Committee on United States of Europe (ACUE) founded in 1948 by CIA chief Allen Dulles. In this function, which often networked with US actors, Monnet had already negotiated a $550 million loan with the USA for the modernization of the French steel industry before the Marshall Plan.

1950: Concept for the coal and steel union

In 1950, the French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman presented the “Schuman Plan” - Schuman had not written a word about it himself. The plan came from Monnet: The European Coal and Steel Community, ECSC, or Coal and Steel Community for short, was to be the first step towards "a much broader and deeper community of peoples who have long suffered from bloody divisions".

The core of the ECSC, however, was made up of those who did not suffer from the "bloody separations" that had been invoked, but who had worked together under Nazi direction during the World War: (West) German corporations, such as Thyssen-Hütte, Krupp, Mannesmann, Preussag, Salzgitter (= the former Hermann Göring-Werke), Klöckner, Hoesch, Saarstahl, Dillinger Hüttenwerke, Otto Wolff, Gutehoffnungshütte and various companies of the Flick Group. From France, for example, the companies of the de Wendel and Schneider Group, such as Usinor and Sidelor, from Luxembourg ARBED, from the Netherlands Hoogovens, from Belgium Cockerill and Usines Gustave Boel. In Italy this industry should first be built up.

Super-bureaucracy with US fathers

In 1952, Monnet became the first head of the coal and steel union as "High Commissioner". He was personally friends with the US actors responsible for reshaping Europe. With the Wall Street banker John McCloy, then High Commissioner for the Federal Republic and Treasurer of ACUE, with the banker and US Secretary of State Dean Acheson. He coordinated with his former banker colleague and now US Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, and he was in contact with the neoliberal chief ideologist and world's best-paid journalist Walter Lippmann. Through his relationship with Wall Street, he was able to negotiate special loans for the ECSC, guaranteed by the US government.

The bureaucratic management structure under Monnet was called the "High Authority". This designation was adopted from the USA (High Authority). The title of "High Commissioner" was continued from his role as High Commissioner of the US government during the war in North Africa. The terms express the authoritarian, anti-democratic self-image. The management officials were appointed for 6 years, were paid more than the heads of government of the contracting states, were tax-privileged, had extraterritorial status and were exempt from criminal investigations.

The founding contract was drafted by Monnet, the formulation was in the hands of the US law firm Cleary, Gottlieb, Friendly & Ball. It was a government, bank and corporate law firm. Ball was jointly owned by George W. Ball, a lawyer and banker, advisor in the Marshall Plan, and finally Deputy Secretary of State.

The authoritarian super bureaucracy was based in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Its ruling family had lived in North America during the war and had close ties with the Roosevelt government. The mini-state, politically organized as a parliamentary monarchy, liberated from the US Army, which also laid the foundation for the Europe-wide private broadcaster Radio Luxembourg, has now further developed its function as a financial oasis that began after the First World War. The seat of the coal and steel union has also been relocated here.

Europe-wide management of cheap migrant workers

The High Authority coordinated the cross-border recruitment of labor in consultation with the governments of the countries involved. That was regulated in Articles 68 and 69 of the ECSC Law. The skilled workers should be able to move freely across borders, their skilled workers qualifications should be harmonized. For the rapid migration of the low-skilled, national governments should reform immigration laws.

The coal and steel union brought cheap migrant workers from the poor regions of non-member states, initially with short-term work permits, in particular to France, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Ruhr area.

Foreign and military policy aspects also played a role. Workers were brought to the Federal Republic of Germany even when there was unemployment and millions of refugees from the East had to be integrated. The immigration law with Spain came about because dictator Franco was being courted for membership in NATO and wanted to get rid of workers who were suspected of potential rioting.

Far away South Korea was important because of the war and the expansion of the US presence there; workers were also brought in from there. The NATO founding member Portugal was also rewarded - dictator Salazar wanted to get rid of his poor young men, who were vulnerable to “communism”, at least temporarily.


L. François Duchene was a key advisor to Monnet. His principal private secretary as President of the High Authority of the European Coal and Steel Community was Georges Berthoin.

Jean Monnet also worked with François Fontaine.