28 June, 2010

Avalanche2 : Is Mr Soros right that the Euro crisis could bring about the destruction of the EU?

'The euro crisis could lead to the destruction of the European Union,' announced George Soros on 23 June 2010 in Berlin. Is the Hungarian investor/ economist right? He was right in 1992 that the British Pound Sterling was going to have to devalue by dropping out of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM). He made a fortune out of it -- about 1 billion dollars -- by short-selling Sterling. The UK lost more than three billion pounds. It is reported that the UK spent some 27 billion pounds from reserves in supporting the pound.

Will now the whole European structure -- created sixty years ago as the European Community -- implode? Is system that brought peace after two thousand years of warfare DOOMED?

According to Mr Soros the whole European experiment is under threat of destruction. However, according to Mr Robert Schuman, the originator of the system, it would last for a great deal longer than 50 or 60 years.

In Mr Soros's analysis: 'It can be seen that the euro crisis is intricately interconnected with the situation of the banks.' that provided loans to weak or vulnerable countries inside the EU. He names Greece, Spain and Ireland.

'How did this connection arise?' he asks.

His answer: 'The introduction of the euro brought about a radical narrowing of interest rate differentials. This in turn generated real estate bubbles in countries like Spain, Greece, and Ireland. Instead of the convergence prescribed by the Maastricht Treaty, these countries grew faster and developed trade deficits within the eurozone, while Germany reigned in its labor costs, became more competitive and developed a chronic trade surplus. To make matters worse some of these countries, most notably Greece, ran budget deficits that exceeded the limits set by the Maastricht Treaty. But the discount facility of the ECB allowed them to continue borrowing at practically the same rates as Germany, relieving them of any pressure to correct their excesses.'

I would put it slightly differently. Some governments tried to conceal their vital statistics so they could obtain loans by sleight of hand. Everyone in the country then thought then they could get away with the same deceit. Moral: governments should have the highest standards of probity, not the average manifestation of corruption. Secondly, everyone knows that not all governments have the highest standards. Certainly if banks accept paper promises of governments who are known to be cheating (some exposed for about thirty years), it is bound sooner or later to cause grief.

Take the example of the property boom -- what Mr Soros refers to as real estate. It requires a good dose of self-deception to believe that crumbling bricks and mortar have suddenly and universally become more and more valuable as an asset. Who is fooling whom?

Japan gave the lie to this property bubble deceit a few decades ago. The centre of Tokyo around the imperial palace briefly became worth much more than the entire American economy. The bubble burst. The property emperors had no clothes.

Japan is still paying for this folly. If some European governments have had to make sharp corrections for their folly, it is still rather less than the decades of woes that Japanese are paying.

Two economic laws are apparent. The law of the coming crunch: A proclivity to fiddle the books and spend produces (a) a desire for more money from silly creditors (which initially gives a false sense of security about profits) and (b) bad feeling among the creditors who then wake up will eventually cause many creditors to lose their patience.

The second is the law of the Community correction. The Community is designed as a closed system to expose dishonest dealing by governments or private sector banks -- and correct it. All members have the right to look at what sort of tricks the other members are up to. This is a fundamental feature of Community law. Any individual can under Community law take such a cheat to Court if his or her livelihood is affected by it. Usually it is States who take other States to Court, or the Commission.

Other members will eventually force the cheats to stop. It will all end in tears. However the Community system makes a huge difference. Happily, step by step, cheats are led to repentance. A totally reformed, former cheat welcomed back into the Community can become a solid example of probity for all the others.

The present challenge is small compared with the challenge of starting the Euro, as a common currency, in the first place. Much hard work has yet to be done as the Euro's creation was hardly based on authentic Community altruism -- the essential feature of the supranational principle. There remain several vulnerable spots. The exceptions governments give to the property market by governments is one example.

However, there is no question but that the European Community system will outlast its critics.

Am I being too optimistic? My assessment is not based on wishful thinking but scientific conclusions and hard facts. Which country is the keenest on sound currency principles? A clue: it was the country that had one of the worst currency problems in the past. Not just the Weimar inflation in the 1920s (when people carried their wages in wheelbarrow loads of useless paper currency) but also the experience which distorted the trade patterns for the whole of Europe with Hitler's economics in the 1930s. He had a hollow, complex, barter system creating political dependence and where other currencies were discounted to Hitler's rates.

Germany learned about sound currency in practice when it was given a democratic constitution in 1949. A year later it acknowledged a desire to join the European Community which reinforced sound monetary policy. The need for sound money began the moment that the first single market was opened. When did that happen? The exact date is 10 February 1953.

The European Monetary System was a logical part of the first European Community system that the Six governments and their peoples signed up to. The supranational principle, all the founding fathers said, provides the means for the democratic organisation of Europe, open to all countries 'free to choose'. That is what the Europe Declaration of Inter-Dependence says, the foundational document for the present European Union.

Schuman saw the European Community as a great democratic experiment, where the population would learn wisdom by pragmatic choice Sometimes governments make the wrong decisions, they are subject to apathy to introduce democratic measures -- like the mandatory elections they have never introduced. Sometimes they are corrupt. Some leaders may be autocratic. However, the European Community system is built to provide a positive learning curve for European civilisation, based on two thousand years of living and sometimes squabbling together.

But is this above analysis all the story? Is it even the most important factor in the present crisis? Was the 'euro crisis' fuelled and then ignited by the combustibility of low interest rates? Has something been forgotten? Is this a myopic economist's view that leaves out dire warnings made to European leaders consistently for more than half a century?

I hope to deal with that later.

23 June, 2010

Monnet6 The stranger and the 'Monnet Method' What World Leaders should know about peacekeeping

Shouldn't the world and all Europeans be grateful to the man who brought to our attention the essentials for the world to have peace? Shouldn't all European schoolchildren know his name? Some people might say: 'We know it was Jean Monnet who brought Europe a Community and peace. That is why we call it the Monnet Method.'

But what if Monnet himself said that he was not responsible for all this? What should Europeans do if it were found out that Monnet said that the secret of Europe did not come from his own brain but from a stranger who told him the secret? Wouldn't everybody want to know who the stranger was and from where he got the secret? The secret is vitally needed today. War still poses a major danger to the planet.

The truth is Monnet did in fact say that he, Monnet, learned the secret from a stranger. What should we all do about it?

All teachers, all writers of textbooks and history books should take note of this and revise their incorrect versions of history, politics and economics. What is more important: all politicians and all world leaders should immediately note that for several decades they have been deceived and that they had better revise their background papers. They should sharpen up their act before we are too far advanced in the next disasters.

The answer to world peace and European democracy does not lie in the 'Monnet Method'. That is just PR spin. To accept it means that they demonstrate that they are gullible victims of the clever writers of his Mémoires. But a fraud will not bring world peace or democracy. World leaders will have to change their ideas to those more fitting for a globalized world. They need to follow the authentic path and method that brought Europe its peace. That requires an honest search for truth and a dose of humility.

According to his Mémoires, Monnet had been involved in the peace process for Europe that created today's EU, only from April 1950. Returning from the French Alpine resort of Roselend (which he wrongly calls Roseland and says it is in Switzerland!), Monnet says he was looking for a concept to avoid a seemingly inevitable war. He does not say yet that he had created the great Monnet Method to do the job. He was worried. That's all. There are no papers in the Monnet archives that indicate Monnet or any of the Planning Agency staff were working on peacemaking. No paper before April 1950 even mentions the word supranational.

Monnet then makes a real revelation! He learned about supranationality as a concept from someone who he said was a complete stranger. This person just turned up at his office. Believe it or not! Extraordinary. Monnet reveals in the Mémoires that this person was at the heart of the key concepts both in terms of the definitions and the language. And, in fact, much more. Thus Monnet admitted in the Mémoires that he himself was not at the heart of the concept.

He says that this mysterious stranger was at the origin of the key concept of the supranational method -- creating a High Authority, that is a European Commission. The Gaullists hated such words like supranational (Europe's founding principle) and High Authority (de Gaulle wanted to be the High Authority, thus denying the true source of all authority). So weak-minded politicians changed them hoping to appease the Gaullist, nationalist and Communist reaction. As if changing words would make the lust for power evaporate! Some hope! That is not how you deal with self-appointed autocrats, whether so-called representatives of the people / proletariat or other rabble-rousers who were completely unelected and rejected (as de Gaulle then was).

Monnet said this figure who came unannounced to his office was at the heart of the word and also the reality, (à l’origine de la Haute Autorité, du mot comme de la chose. Mémoires, p 352). That is the stranger provided the technical terminology and vocabulary and also oversaw their creation and turning the words and legal expressions into a practical application.

Wouldn't you think that such a brilliant, wonderful person would be acclaimed across the entire 500 million citizens who owe their personal freedoms to the Community method? How many can even identify his name today? Why do so many, apparently intelligent people, praise Jean Monnet for the so-called 'Monnet Method' -- which Monnet says in reality he owes to someone else?

Why isn't it called the Method of the perfect-stranger-who-came-into-Monnet's-office?

Who was this person who for Monnet set down the key part of the Community system? He is a person that the "official history" -- the Monnet method version -- has basically written out of history. His name is not taught in text books. The text books say that Monnet was the originator of "the method". (Unfortunately they can't really define what the method is. How then could it stop two millennia of wars! How will it stop the next, major wars we are faced with?)

Yet Monnet says that Professor Paul Reuter was at the heart of the idea! The name of Paul Reuter should be as well known as Jean Monnet. Who was Professor Paul Reuter? He was none other than a trusted colleague of Schuman! If Monnet mentions, then rapidly passes over, Reuter's name and presence, should we not suspect that Monnet is trying to upstage and overshadow him? The real origin is being purposefully obscured and ignored. This distortion is equivalent to a news agency cropping photographs to leave out the essential fact, perhaps a knife in a would-be assassin's hand. An assailant is made out to be a victim, a pacifist. In this case we are dealing with the opposite. Someone who helped give us the longest period of peace in history. He is taken out of the picture.

Is Monnet's book guilty of ignorance or willful refusal to record the facts? Many other facts are expunged. The extraordinary achievements in constructing a European policy in the immediate postwar years of Robert Schuman as Prime Minister and then as Foreign Minister -- work that was acknowledged widely around the world -- is left out completely. What he had achieved -- such as the Council of Europe -- is denigrated as useless. Thus the Mémoires consistently sidelined the work and action of Robert Schuman.

It is practically impossible to bury the truth forever, so why did the book attempt to do so? Facts, even minor ones, are so inconvenient to fibs.

Monnet wrote: 'An accident brought into my office… a young law professor that I did not know.' The professor came from Lorraine, Schuman’s home region. Schuman was the most prominent personality from Lorraine, the province in the north-east of France. He had been twice Prime Minister. In 1950 he was Foreign Minister, and widely trusted around the world as an honest politician and moreover, a Statesman of great capacity and vision. So we have a story about the beginning of Europe with at least two Lorrainers at the centre of the construction.

For all Lorrainers Schuman was considered the primary legislator in the French Assembly after the First World War. Schuman had brought in the laws to unite the lost provinces of Alsace and Lorraine to metropolitan France but without losing their local traditions, customs and advantages in law. The body of law was called the Lex Schuman.

Schuman continued as a great legal innovator after WW2. He was the major originator of the NATO Treaty, signed in April 1949. It was Schuman's government that suggested and promoted the Council of Europe. The Lorrainer in the Foreign Ministry had a burning desire to solve once and for all the problem of Germany. And now, behold a stranger arrives unannounced from the same formerly German-occupied province.

Would it not be obvious that something significant was afoot? Schuman was known by all by his Lorraine accent. Then another Lorrainer arrives chez Monnet. He talks about how to deal with Germany. Is that a coincidence?

He was, like Schuman, a lawyer, but not yet so eminent. Furthermore he was also an alumnus of the same high school of Metz. In Schuman's time it had been under German occupation; in Reuter's youth it was again part of France. There was also a Reuter in the family tree of Robert Schuman. They may well have been related.

Was this Lorraine university teacher known or unknown to Robert Schuman, then Foreign Minister? Firstly let us say how well-known he was to Schuman before he took this post. When Schuman was made Prime Minister with a mandate to 'Save the Republic', the democratic future of France hung dangerously in the balance. Insurrectional strikes paralyzed the country. Reuter was one of the key men whom Schuman relied on to rescue France from a Communist take-over. France could have gone the way of Warsaw, Prague, Budapest, Sofia, Bucharest and the other capitals were Communists seized the Parliament. Then they seized total control of the State. Reuter was then head of staff to Schuman's trusted Minister of Defence, Pierre-Henri Teitgen. Together Teitgen and Reuter managed to free Parliament where the Communists had held the Chamber hostage. Some persuader!

Reuter was thus one of the great (unsung) heroes of French democracy after the war. Non-French people might ask: Why is so little said of this? Maybe the answer is that the Gaullists were also in cahoots with the Communists at the time. For decades later Gaullists had practically a monopoly of the media and the educational system. They rewrote history.

So we now have a Lorraine professor, former staff member of Schuman's close friend, apparently coming 'by accident' to Jean Monnet's office. Isn't the ego-centric plot of the Mémoires now getting a little thin?

But was Reuter sent by Schuman as Foreign Minister? Did the Minister know he was going to Jean Monnet's office? Maybe it was just a professorial visit from someone who was just looking up dusty archives. Was Professor Paul Reuter the prototype 'Jean Monnet professor'? Was he in other words totally unconcerned about the practical implications of a supranational democracy in Europe?? Was he the sort of person who would not criticise the Lisbon Treaty because the EU funded his chair?

Monnet says the opposite. He was the one who motivated and activated Monnet so forcefully that Monnet convinced himself maybe that he was the originator and the inspirer of the 'Monnet Method'!

What was a professor doing in Monnet's office? Here it is easy to be trapped by the Monnet spin. Calling him professor was not just a tiny bit disingenuous. It is a bit like calling Albert Einstein a violin player. Reuter did give a course at a university in the south of France. He also had work in Paris. The work in Paris was far more important than a course at Aix-en-Provence. Is that clear in the Mémoires? Hardly.

Reuter worked in the French Foreign Ministry for the Robert Schuman as one of the two top lawyers. He had to be meticulous. His advice was sought on every international agreement. He scrutinized all Allied treaties and matters with Germany and with the Soviet Union. Germany was Schuman's great concern and focus of attention at this time.

He also helped alert Schuman of the internal political plots against the Minister. There were many. As a trusted friend and lawyer he could warn him in advance of the conspiracies and sabotage (the word is not too strong) led by senior nationalistic officials of the ministry.

Did Monnet mention this? What do you think? It must have been obvious to anyone of intelligence as the main news of the day was about the political battles over Germany. The names of the politicians and the high Foreign Ministry officials were blazoned in the newspapers as attempting to destroy the policy of European reconciliation that Schuman was trying to create. Not many people in France at the time were in favour of reconciliation. But they did not want another war.

So the Monnet Mémoires tell us that the main ideas about the High Authority, the central feature of the new method of supranational democracy came to Monnet via a close friend of Robert Schuman, then Foreign Minister. Is it really a logical deduction to say that Monnet invented the European Community method? Is it honest?

If you have a problem to solve with a neighbour and he sends a lawyer, you should expect he will require answers to all the most pertinent questions. Monnet was not a lawyer, nor was anyone else at the Planning Agency. In itself the arrival of a lawyer should have switched on lights.

If the neighbour is a friend you should expect that he has already thought quite a bit about the problem. If the neighbour is a lawyer, one of the most eminent in France, and he sends a lawyer to get your support for something, then one thing is fairly obvious. The neighbour has already deeply convinced of what he has to do and the lawyer he is sending is to get you to agree to a minor but important detail.

It would be extremely rash of you to assume that if you agreed on that minor detail and collaborated with the lawyer then it was you who invented the whole scheme of your neighbour. Reuter was a great helper in an even greater work of unifying Europe.

As we saw in the last commentary Reuter had a prominent part in the Schuman Plan conference. Europe's first intergovernmental conference forged its supranational democracy. This information came from documents held tightly until recently by the Jean Monnet Foundation. Yet the Mémoires say that Monnet 'hoped Reuter would come to help draft with us the treaty but matters turned out differently. I do not know why.' (p352).

Their own archives tell the Monnet team otherwise. The Schuman archives too. It contains the very full reports of Reuter on the progress of conference for Schuman's eyes. Furthermore Reuter had an official part of the conference, called by the French government, led by the Foreign Ministry, with representatives of other ministries. He was the deputy to the chief Jurisconsult of the Foreign Ministry, André Gros. These were the top lawyers who were authorized to plead on behalf of the French Republic at international courts of justice. The conference was not organised by Jean Monnet as his private enterprise, as the Mémoires would give readers to believe.

Why does Monnet insist on calling this high official at the Foreign Ministry, a close colleague of Schuman, a professor at the university of Aix? He says that without him, 'I (Monnet) would not have managed to put together immediately the form it assumed to make it the authentic document that originated the Community,' (349). Oh really? This is like saying that a violinist helped a schoolboy solve a problem of physics that the violinist had asked him about in the first place. The violinist departs and the boy says I solved it all by myself.

Professor Paul Reuter, a Jurist of the Ministry, was an excellent lawyer who accomplished this task. It would be refreshing today to see the so-called Jean Monnet professors, rolling up their sleeves, rising collectively from their chairs to the task of working for the implementation of supranational democracy in Europe. Paul Reuter would be a good example to follow of discretion, efficacy and humility.

17 June, 2010

Monnet5 Schuman's speech on 20 June 1950 that defined the struggle for Europe's democracy

On 20 June 1950, Robert Schuman, French Foreign Minister, opened the Schuman Plan Conference, that gave birth to modern Europe, based on the European Communities. This supranational Community system made a complete break with history and Europe's record of wars and bloodshed. The Conference defined the five major democratic institutions of Europe:

European Commission (High Authority)
Consultative Committee (body for organised Civil Society, producers, workers and consumers)
European Parliament
Council of Ministers
Court of Justice

The supranational Community system also far surpassed the achievements of inter-governmentalism (still a major aspect of the Lisbon Treaty with its less than democratic accountability).

Schuman led a large delegation of more than a dozen, half of which came from his own staff, (Bernard Clappier, later Governor of the Bank of France), the two legal counsels of the Ministry (Andre Gros and Paul Reuter) one of the directors-general and other officials of the ministry. Other members included officials from other ministries, plus Jean Monnet (later President of the High Authority) and Etienne Hirsch (later Commission President of Euratom) from the Planning Agency.

The speech gives quite a different perspective than that in Monnet's Mémoires.
  • Monnet was not in charge of the conference. Schuman makes it clear who was.
  • The aim is to create supranational institutions, whereas Monnet says that he did not fancy this expression and never liked it.
  • The conference was an intergovernmental conference with a single goal to achieve this supranational Community. It was not as Monnet seemed to think in the Mémoires a step towards a federation like the USA. Schuman later explained how a supranational Community has certain aspects of federal powers but is not in itself a federation.
  • Monnet was wrong. Schuman was right: the Community system has not developed into something like the USA. It has followed its own separate path. Schuman said his aim was to avoid creating a Superstate, another Leviathan -- the most obvious example of which would be the federal USA.
  • Thus Monnet Mémoires are wrong in saying that the conference was to do anything other than the revolutionary creation of a supranational European Community. It had no mandate to create anything else. A federation is inferior in potential as a democracy to a supranational system when fully developed.
The speech is notable for defining the objectives not only of Europe's first Community but setting the objectives for Europe's peace-making and peace-enhancing path into the future. It describes the goal as creating the supranational institutions necessary for European democracy. The delegates of the six States were told that their draft treaty would have to be so clearly democratic that it would not only have to convince the governments but also all the eleven parliamentary chambers of the six potential Member States (plus other democratic bodies such as economic and social committees). This it did with huge majorities.

On orders of President Charles de Gaulle after he seized power in France in 1958, the democratic development of these five institutions was "chloroformed". Governments have still not fulfilled their obligations under the early treaties, such as a Europe-wide election for the Parliament (instead of many national elections under different rules), elections for organised civil society in the Consultative Committees (rather than uncontrollable lobbyists), proper selection for membership of the European Commission based on the criteria for impartiality and openness of the treaties, and open debates in the Council of Ministers (rather than closed door inter-governmentalism). Selection of judges should also be made on more impartial grounds as the original treaties specify.

Schuman did not specify when Europeans would succeed in achieving full democratic status for these institutions but he asserted, on the basis of a long study of democracy, constitutions, political and moral philosophy that the achievement of democracy was inevitable. This prediction must be taken as seriously as the one he made in the Schuman Declaration and in the speech below that the Community system was able to make war between Member States 'not only unthinkable but materially impossible.'

Robert Schuman's speech in the Salon d'Horloge of the French Foreign Ministry, 20 June 1950
Six weeks to the day have barely passed since, in this very room so full of historic memories, the French Government announced its plan. Six weeks, although a brief period when it comes to something so new and so vast such as the pooling of coal and steel production of our six countries, is but a short lapse when you consider the usual delays in international transactions.

Some have criticized France for being in a rush. There was talk of swift and brutal tactics. It is precisely because experience has taught us that the best initiatives are stifled when, even before their birth, they linger too long in the prior consultations.

In a world with so many failures, full of anxiety and helplessness, I believe we had the right, even the duty, to count on the strength of an idea to capitalize on the momentum of hope that it gave rise to and the instinctive encouragement of our peoples.

We are at the start of this work. Gentlemen, it is up to you, to whom our six governments have entrusted the task, to justify this hope. This is to be expressed in clear and flexible texts, in order to prepare specific commitments. They are to embrace the principles that determined the choice of our objectives and which constitute the basis for our deliberations. There is agreement between us to focus our work on the goal we want to achieve. Our governments have agreed to seek together, in a free exchange of views and from different situations, the best way to apply the principles we have assumed, leading to the creation of new institutions, unprecedented in the world today.

Gentlemen, it is an awe-inspiring task that our governments have allocated to us and entrusted us with. We will undertake it with respect, conscious of our responsibility. We feel that we are not allowed to fail this task, to abandon without concluding an agreement. That accord, moreover, as you know, will be subject to the judgement of the governments and the sovereign decision of our parliaments.

None of us should hide the exceptional difficulties of our enterprise.

Certainly, each of us can rely on ample statistics. We will also make use of unbiased studies that have been previously undertaken on a national level, as well as by international bodies. But never before has such a system that we advocate been tried out as a practical experiment. Never before have States delegated a fraction of their sovereignty jointly to an independent, supranational body. They have never even envisaged doing so.

We have to prepare a draft treaty, which define in broad terms the function of this common Authority, its attributions, and appeals against its decisions and how its responsibilities will operate. We have to foresee, however, without inserting it in the Treaty, the technical details that will involve agreements to be concluded later, after the ratification of the Treaty. These agreements must be easy to revise and adapt to the lessons of experience.

The fruit of our discussions will determine our conclusions. Here each of you will contribute your suggestions and your criticisms. What we will share is our determination to succeed, to work constructively on the basis of defined principles. We will be inspired by the bold sense of innovation that is too often absent from our international institutions.

Without losing sight of the specific necessities of our own countries, we must be aware that the national interest today consists precisely in finding beyond our national boundaries the means of achieving a more rational structure for the economy, a more economical and intensive production and a larger and more accessible market. Our negotiations will be better and more than selfish haggling that refuses both risk and trust.

Our initiative has no intention of ignoring or disregarding the attempts that are made elsewhere to clean up the European economy. My colleague, Mr. Stikker has recently made an important and fruitful contribution on a different plane than ours; there are between our two objectives no duplication or contradiction.

What characterizes the French proposal is that beyond its economic developments that at present we may only guess at, it has had and retains a political significance that, before any other consideration, has from the first hour appealed to public opinion in many countries.

We want to replace the former practice of dumping and discrimination with enlightened cooperation. That is essential. What is important, however, and is highlighted as the very purpose of the plan, is our willingness to bring together in a common and permanent work of peace two nations, which over centuries have fought each other in bloody conflict. What is important is thus to eliminate from our European Community this latent cause of the trouble, distrust and anxiety. What is vital is the hope of founding on the basis of this peaceful cooperation a solid European edifice accessible to all nations of good will.

We would very much wish that the United Kingdom were present at our discussions. We cannot conceive Europe without it. We know, and this reassures us in our efforts, that the British Government wants the success of our work. When both sides explained their views frankly and amicably, some differences appeared that have prevented it from participating actively, at this stage at least. We remain hopeful that the remaining doubts and scruples arising from doctrinal reasoning will eventually give way to a demonstration of more pragmatism.

The French Government will act in accordance with the concerns of all participating governments and keep the British government well informed of the development of our discussions. It will provide it with the opportunity, if not to come and join us, a hope we continue to have, at least to send us any positive criticism, while preparing the way for future cooperation.

As for us, we will begin work assigned to us as well. We shall first have to adopt a working method. It will be a team effort, rather than a conference with her meticulous and rigid regulations. We have primarily a concern for efficiency. Brilliant eloquence will not distract us.

An information session will allow us tomorrow to fix our ideas in this regard. They will be clarified in the course of personal contacts that we will have the need to establish and maintain.

The substantive issues will be addressed at the same time; we cannot separate one from the other.

We will share our ideas, we confront them against each other, and we will chose between them. The French Government will make known its own ideas in the next few days. The draft text that it will submit to you will form a basis for work that it hopes will prove useful and fruitful.

For today I confine myself to welcome you on behalf of my Government with the ardent desire that we will not disappoint the expectations of the people who put in you their hope and confidence.

Original French Version is available on www.schuman.info

14 June, 2010

Monnet4: The EU should not propagate Monnet's FALSE claims about inventing the European Community.

The 'European Community' was, according to Jean Monnet's Mémoires, a political and economic concept invented by Jean Monnet himself. This is a falsehood. Monnet did not invent it. It was already in existence. In his boast, Monnet is as wrong as if someone today were trying to claim he invented the wheel. It is also theft against the real inventor of the wheel. Can I be clearer? Someone who steals something belonging to someone else is a thief. This is equally true if a person steals the credit or honour of a person as much as stealing a credit card.

Everyone loses from this. Whenever anything goes wrong, or someone else wants the same product (whether a wheel or world peace), he directs himself to the supposed inventor for help. But the fraudster has no real understanding about how European peace was achieved in the first place or how to make peace between other countries in today's world that is increasingly inflamed by war. Europe is heading for multiple trials. The world is again on the brink of major wars. It is high time to tell the truth.

Why did Monnet publish such an outrageous claim that could easily be shown to be false? He is not here to explain. Schuman was long dead and he did not have a family. First, however, it should be admitted that the Mémoires were written by a small group of ghostwriters. But that makes the scandal worse. Surely among the writing team of esteemed political scientists and journalists, there must have been someone who knew the truth. Monnet could have made a mistake or forgotten the facts. But could all of them together? Did none of them object to twisting the facts? Mémoires usually have as a purpose the self-aggrandizement of the author. Did not someone in his team or the publishers warn him he was going a little too far?

Secondly, Monnet put his name to the book. He should have checked the facts himself. He is ultimately responsible for falsifications, fabrications and errors. Monnet however made similar outrageous claims reported in other publications and interviews. So it must be presumed that Monnet promoted the idea. Did he mislead himself in wishful thinking that he was the inventor? Here we are entering into the area of historical psychology and the domain of political fraud which is beyond the space for this commentary. He confessed he had a bad memory. Is this sufficient as an excuse for a matter of world importance?

What are the facts? Monnet describes the exact day when the idea of a European Community supposedly came to him. It was 21 June 1950. At the request of the Robert Schuman, the French Government had agreed that Monnet should be chairman of the first intergovernmental conference in order to establish the Schuman Plan. Schuman had announced the Government's agreement on this Plan on 9 May 1950. The Monnet Mémoires downgrade Schuman's achievements. They cannot even recall correctly when Schuman was Prime Minister (it is not mentioned at all) and describe him as either Minister of Finance or a gullible Foreign Minister desperate for Monnet's help.

This is what Monnet Mémoires say in a section entitled 'Invention': 'I believe recalling that on that day (21 June 1950) I named 'the European Community' as being the objective we would like to attain.' Thus according to this much used text, the identity of the founding entity for Europe, the European Community, was named on 21 June 1950. It became the GOAL of the international effort on the same day. The alleged conceiver of the name and originator of the strategic objective was Jean Monnet. To remove any doubt about this claim the book's index has under European Community: 'term invented by Jean Monnet.'

This claim may seem utterly extraordinary to some people who are not easily duped. It implies that from the time of the Schuman Proposal on 9 May 1950, the Foreign Minister, nor any other body had a name for the new structure to be created. How could the political configuration or the process be discussed without a name? This was not something of no importance: it was an entity that would stop two thousand years of European wars.

That silence, that lack of a name, occurs only in the mind and words of Jean Monnet. He or the co-writers of the Mémoires seem willfully ignorant of the facts. That is, they discarded all facts that disproved their case. That is precisely how nations used to write their histories of Europe, glorifying any victories and ignoring any defeats, while denigrating all who opposed their egotistical views.

The conference to prepare the founding treaty of Europe did not open on 21 June 1950. The book makes clear that Foreign Minister Robert Schuman opened the conference the day before. Were the authors aware of what he said? Clearly. The book quotes part of Schuman's opening speech on 20 June 1950 in the Salon d'Horloge of the French Foreign Ministry. 'We feel that we are not allowed to fail in this task, to give up without reaching a conclusion. Never before, I might underline, have States ever agreed to delegate a part of their sovereignty jointly to a supranational body: never before had they even conceived of doing such a thing.'

Firstly, a biased historian betrays himself by being willingly ignorant of facts and logic. Schuman employed the word, supranational, that Monnet said that he 'didn't fancy and never liked'. Apparently it was too difficult to leave out the word from a nice quotation. According to the Foreign Minister this supranational principle was the key of the whole conference and the whole plan to save Europe. It is difficult to understand how anyone could give leadership to a conference on the revolutionary supranational principle that was 'without precedent in the modern world' (as Schuman said) if, as Monnet, you disliked the word. Monnet seems unperturbed by this illogicality. But if he did not invent the much despised word supranational, why did he lay claim to the words European Community which are intimately connected with it?

Secondly, a biased and untrue autobiographer cuts out what contradicts his self-centered message. If Monnet and his team had published what Schuman said a few sentences further in this speech -- and they must have had Schuman's speech before them -- they would have not made such a flagrantly falsified claim to the history of Europe. Schuman explains quite precisely what the conference is all about.

What exactly? To create a peace-making European Community! This is what Schuman said: '...what is important and is written in bold letters as the purpose of the plan is our willingness to bring together in a joint and permanent work of peace two nations, which over centuries have fought each other in bloody conflict. What is important is thus to eliminate from our European Community a latent cause of the trouble, distrust and anxiety. What is important is the hope of founding on the basis of this peaceful cooperation a solid European edifice accessible to all nations of good will.'

According to Schuman's analysis the European Community already existed. It existed the day before Monnet invented the term! The purpose of the conference was to give the European Community supranational institutions. They had been discussed by many people for two years previously! Apparently Monnet did not know! Schuman described how the intergovernmental conference was to be organised so as to avoid egotistical control or national blockage. Discussions were delegated to working groups with specific European tasks and a supranational European vision of their goal.

Much to Monnet's astonishment, the key institutions appeared in the separate working groups at the conference. Monnet could not say he invented these either! The working groups were attended not by Monnet, but by some of Schuman's colleagues who were familiar with the legal definition of a supranational Community. Schuman talked to each working group from time to time. He said he wanted to check whether they were approaching their tasks from a European point of view and to help resolve any problems. Monnet does not mention this.

Schuman's introductory speech is full of key information about the origin, purpose and future of this European Community. The working groups took it seriously and followed the principles. Monnet does not quote further from this key speech except for the small extract. It would give too much away.

In the two year period before this conference, Schuman had announced that he was setting up an international study programme for analysing the different possibilities of 'federation or confederation' to unite Europe in a democratic framework. Where and when did he announce it? One occasion was at the United Nations General Assembly meeting in Paris in 1948. The next year at the United Nations he described why it was necessary to create other European institutions of a supranational type besides that of the Council of Europe, which was doing the pioneer work for democracy. He explained the need for a European Community based on supranational principles in a major speech at St James's Palace in London in May 1949. He had also given a long historic analysis of the need for a supranational Community in May 1949 at Strasbourg before the Council started its work. This speech was distributed to all parliamentarians of twelve founder States of the Assembly of the Council of Europe. They immediately set about creating study groups to analyse this new concept.

Was Monnet interested in this? Not at all. He wrote that 'I gave little attention to these proposals' or 'pious wishes' at the Council of Europe (p334). Monnet and his writers seem curiously ignorant also of Schuman's long and detailed speech in Brussels in December 1949. This and others explained why and how the supranational experiment would be applied to coal and steel.

In the previous commentaries, the following is clear:
What is the European Commission's attitude to this falsification? Even if it was just wishful thinking by someone who was self-deceived, public institutions should be cautious. They should not spend money on incorrect information. We are dealing with the most important aspects of world government. The European Community brought Europe peace. It is the longest peace Europeans ever had. And it brings a chance for the world to have peace too. The last thing the Commission should do would be to point the public to the WRONG source for correct understanding to apply it today.

Does the European Commission take historic, political, economic and spiritual information about their origins seriously? Have they debunked falsehoods and fibs? Have they realized they are treading on thin ice when they support extravagant personal claims by Jean Monnet? Judge for yourself. This is what the EU's official online information site www.europa.eu says:

The French economic advisor and politician Jean Monnet dedicated himself to the cause of European integration. He was the inspiration behind the "Schuman Plan", which foresaw the merger of West European heavy industry.

Monnet was from the region of Cognac in France. When he left school at 16 he travelled internationally as a cognac dealer, later also as a banker. During both World Wars he held high positions involved with the coordination of industrial production in France and United Kingdom.

As top advisor of the French government, he was the main inspiration behind the famous "Schuman declaration" of 9 May 1950, which led to the creation of the European Coal and Steel Community and, as such, is considered to be the birth of the European Union. Between 1952-55 he was the first president of its executive body.

It would, however, be unjust to limit Monnet's influence to the economic sphere. His famous and much-quoted phrase was "We unite people, not states". Today's EU programmes for cultural and educational exchange follow in this tradition.

And the Commission is still wondering why they lack the trust of the public! As stated above, Jean Monnet was the first President of the Commission (High Authority). This presented unusual possibilities for personal-centred propaganda. That was half a century ago. Why has nothing changed since?

Why has the academic community made so little progress in the essentials of supranational Community-based governance? Why have so many professors pursued research-as-usual, seemingly neglecting the revolutionary supranational principle announced by Schuman?

Is it possibly because governments -- who are mainly interested in intergovernmentalism -- have wangled millions in subsidies from EU funds for such matters? This EU programme for cultural and educational exchange is called the Jean Monnet Programme. Has it created a community of scholars that refuse to criticize the European Community assertions of Jean Monnet? Which EU-funded academic, a 'Jean Monnet Professor', will stand up and say Jean Monnet was guilty of dubious practice and shading the facts about European integration? Such professors are likely to experience sudden lack of support. Their Jean Monnet chairs would be quickly withdrawn from under their professorial posteriors.

Europa.eu tells us the following: The EU Jean Monnet Programme funds academic work presently in 62 countries across the five continents. Between 1990 and 2009, the Action has helped to set up 141 Jean Monnet European Centres of Excellence, 775 Jean Monnet Chairs and 1 137 Jean Monnet Modules and permanent courses. These projects bring together 1 500 professors, and reach 250 000 students every year.

Instead of creating supranational institutions that would enhance supranational values like honesty and critical scientific research, the Commission has managed to apply taxpayers' money to propagate a distorted concept of history, blind Europeans from Europe's energy blackmail, its monetary disasters, and other planetary crises while reinforcing a counterfeit democracy as a substitute for a supranational Community of European democracies.

The problem will not go away. The longer the Commission waits to tackle it, the more outraged will be the public reaction.

09 June, 2010

Monnet3 The whole world needs to know if Monnet 'inspired' European democracy

The European Union is a system that unites 27 democracies in the world's greatest trading power. It should be the model of democracy for the world. The EU is larger than the USA. The populous Chinese have a tiny economy in comparison. Democracy in Europe is therefore a major topic for all. It is of global importance. In the past half century, the Community system astounded the world by its rise from the ruins of war. It must therefore have features that are invaluable for inhabitants of the entire planet. But today many ask: Is the European system coherent as a democracy? Have leaders lost their way? If it is not working as the Founding Fathers intended, why not? The origin of the system is important for everyone to understand.

The EU and its core Community system has features known in no other system in the world. One new idea is the European Commission (originally called the High Authority). It has a Parliament but also other features such as Consultative Committees. Where did they come from? How are they supposed to work together? Who originated such a system that not only unites 27 democracies but requires they practice good values towards neighbouring States? It thus also reinforces democratic practice at home.

Did the idea come from Jean Monnet whom Charles de Gaulle called the 'inspirer' of the European Community? Did Monnet bring the system into existence in April-May 1950? He was supposed then, according to popular legend, to have given a key paper for a speech explaining all this to the allegedly docile and ignorant Robert Schuman, France's Foreign Minister.

If he was so clever in his ideas, Monnet must have meditated long and hard on what sort of democratic system was best suited for the purpose. It had to fit, without dissension, six divergent countries of western Europe. It had to have a stable basis to make a Community. Stability is essential in order to solve problems that had never been tackled before. It solved the problem of almost endless war. It dismantled the dangerous, exploitative international cartels, some of whom paid Hitler. It also created for the first time a single market in Europe without any quotas or tariffs. All this without the Community falling apart at the first political row.

Luckily to solve this problem of the origin of European democracy we have Monnet's Mémoires. IF Monnet was at the origin, then the book should tell us all about his original views about European democracy.

Do they tell us about European Democracy? NO. The word, Democracy, does not even appear in the Index.

What Monnet tells is nothing to do with democracy. The whole question seems to come up by accident during a discussion. Jean Monnet was the chairman of the intergovernmental conference to create the Treaty. He had been nominated for the post by Schuman and was assisted by some of Schuman's colleagues. Monnet contributed very little to the debate about European democracy among the politicians who insisted on a Parliament. Only after the Community institutions were formed and met did Monnet confess that he delivered his first 'political' speech to the Council of Ministers. That seems tantamount to saying that Monnet usually avoided politics and with it any debate, discussion or analysis about democracy.

What did Monnet write about his own ideas in relation to the European Community? Not much. His comments are mainly confused and contradictory, but hardly democratic. His point of departure in April 1950 is, he records, the plans that he had discussed during the war in 1943. He was then with de Gaulle and some colleagues in Algeria. This wartime plan centered on the 'amputating' the Ruhr area from a German State and putting it under international or French control (Mémoires p263-4). This concept curiously coincided with the Gaullist, nationalist policy pursued vehemently after the war. This revanchist idea was opposed by the Americans and others who saw it leading straight to another war of revenge by the Germans.

The other idea that Monnet promoted was that of creating a single market like that of the USA. As a young man Monnet was impressed that he could sell the family's cognac across the United States without any customs or tariff barriers. He wanted to see the same single market happen in Europe. This idea was of course in direct contradiction with military amputation of the Ruhr. It was unrealistic to assume that Germans, still high on a dose of nationalistic adrenaline, would sit passively by to the loss of their industrial heartland. Could a single market ever happen if the Ruhr was under military occupation? The experience of the 1920s showed this was not possible.

Neither of these 'big' ideas of Monnet had much connection with democracy. They were rather Big Business plans for the exploitation of the market. Significantly missing was any mention of democratic rights or even consumer participation in industrial decisions.

Monnet wrote that in April 1950 that he realised that he had to rethink these ideas! Why? Because Germany had already begun to have a democratic government in 1949. His plan originally depended on military occupation to dissect the Ruhr. By 1950 the Ruhr was already part of that democratic Germany. Its borders were defined. There was no chance of forming a separate Ruhr colony as de Gaulle wished.

How did this happen? Monnet does not say. He does not mention that Schuman was the great architect of this German democracy. The archives show that Schuman encouraged this German democracy in spite of major opposition and mass rallies by the Gaullists and Communists. Schuman even came against the resistance of the Americans who thought he was going too far and too fast in untying Allied controls. The British and the other Allies were even more afraid that Schuman was going to release another German monster after Hitler's war.

So Monnet was forced to re-evaluate his highly nationalist and incendiary ideas simply because progress towards the democratisation of Europe was already well under way in early 1950. Schuman gets no mention or credit for this in the Mémoires. One might ask why.

For several years earlier, Schuman had made his policy clear to all. What is the most public way you can announce a policy to all the world? How about announcing it to all the world's representatives at the United Nations? That is exactly what Schuman did. He did it not once but on two occasions. Both major speeches were delivered to the UN General Assembly before the Schuman Declaration became government policy on 9 May 1950. He spoke in 1948 and 1949 to the UN General Assembly. He announced that he was not only aiming to create democracy in Germany but also place Germany in a European democratic framework.

Well, you might say, it is true that Schuman spoke about a democratic German in a democratic Europe. But the French people, including Monnet and his team of writers for the Mémoires, could not possibly know about such speeches at the United Nations.

Firstly, let us make it quite clear that Schuman gave many other speeches about creating European democracy specifically for the French people in France. He spoke about it many times in Parliament. These debates were very noisy and sometimes violent occasions as he was opposed by Gaullists and Communists and other assorted nationalists. Some opponents were in his own party. And if any one continues to argue that speeches at the United nations were not heard by the French, let them be reminded of the UN history.

In September 1948, the General Assembly met at the Palais de Chaillot in the heart of Paris. Schuman was well known as a courageous politician. He had a few days previously been Prime Minister. He announced exactly the broad lines of the French government's European policy. Germany was among the burning topics of the day. Schuman's policy before the UN was the exactly same as that he had pioneered in his two mandates as Prime Minister. This is what he said in 1948.

'A renewed Germany will have to insert itself inside the democracy of Europe. The dismemberment of this old continent, so often and cruelly torn by war, is a relic of times past. It is certainly a respectable past and we have no desire to suppress the facts. Now, however, our times are those of large economic units and great political alliances. Europe must unite to survive. France intends to work on this energetically with all its heart and soul. A European public opinion is already being created. Already concrete efforts are taking shape that are marking the first steps on a new road.. …

'We are, of course, only at the start of what is a great work. … Let us hope, God willing, that those who are presently hesitating will not take to long to be convinced about it. An economic union implies political cooperation. The ideas of a federation and a confederation are being discussed. We are happy to see such concepts being taken up, and studied in numerous international meetings in which personalities most representative of European public opinion are participating. Now is the time for such ideas to be analysed and supported by the governments themselves. In agreement with the Belgian Government, the French Government has proposed to follow up suggestions to call a representative assembly of European public opinion with a view to prepare a project for organising Europe. This assembly will have to weigh all the difficulties and propose reasonable solutions which take into account of the need of a wise and progressive development.'

It is totally extraordinary and needs a great deal of explaining why the Mémoires have such obvious errors, to use a polite word. They repeat the fable about Monnet's giving some paper about the future of Germany and Europe to Schuman. On the question of the future of Germany, Monnet says, Schuman 'had no constructive idea to take with him to the meeting' on 10 May 1950 with Allied leaders in London.

This is one of the greatest libels or the greatest admission of ignorance of recent European history. Firstly, the public record says exactly the opposite. Secondly, Schuman did not have any meeting in London on 10 May. The conference started on 11 May 1950. Thirdly, Schuman himself announced to the press that the specific question of the future of Germany was not on the agenda for the meetings. The records in the archives show this to be the case.

For the world to profit from European democracy requires all people to understand Schuman's ideas. And the first people with a major responsibility to proclaim those ideas are at the European institutions. Why have they failed so miserably at this vital job?

03 June, 2010

Monnet2 : The world needs real supranationality. Did Monnet invent it?

Our livelihood and possibly our lives may depend on a correct understanding of supranational democracy. It involves a system for the security of Europe. Europeans are now facing a future of extreme difficulties. It is vital therefore that Europeans understand what it means and where it came from.

Many textbooks still erroneously repeat that Jean Monnet, a civil servant at the Planning Agency, gave the idea of a supranational European Community to Robert Schuman, the distinguished Foreign Minister and Prime Minister of France. Supposedly, according to this myth, Schuman was looking around for an idea for a conference and had no idea what to do about Germany and Europe.

Did the concept of a supranational Europe come in a paper from Jean Monnet? The answer to that important question is a definite NO. Monnet was unaware of the concept of supranationality before April 1950. Monnet's ideas on Europe up till then have nothing to do with a supranational Community. He had a couple of ideas about the postwar Europe, (they were irrealistic and contradictory). They had nothing to do with a supranational Community.

The Schuman team (composed of both his own staff and sympathetic politicians) were talking about supranational proposals long before that. How then could Monnet have invented the idea? It was in circulation long, long before Monnet had the faintest inkling of supranationality. Schuman introduced a debate -- which Monnet ignored and dismissed as a talkshop -- specifically to promote and redefine the concept of supranational Community amid the global dangers of the early postwar world. Monnet made no contribution to this technical, legal, economic and political debate.

So if Monnet had no idea about supranationality, and only learned about it from others, he can clearly not be called 'Mr Europe'.

At best he was a helper in a movement that had been in progress for several years. Mr Monnet states clearly that he came across it only in April 1950. That was the date he says that he returned from a holiday with the sentiment that 'another war was near if we were to do nothing.' He added: 'When I returned to Paris in the first days of April, I did not have a ready-made response, but rather a full view of the reasons to act and an orientation that was precise enough for me that the time for uncertainty was over.' Mémoires, p342). That is all a bit vague. That time around April, however, was the date he came into sustained contact with the team around Robert Schuman. There is nothing in this reflection about a supranational democratic Community but only the looming possibility of war. Schuman had signalled that many times in no uncertain terms a year earlier.

How then could he have invented the idea of a supranational Community? It seems obvious that he absorbed the idea. There are no tariff barriers or borders to ideas. They become attached when the listener thinks they are a good idea and starts to think about them and then repeat them himself.

Monnet's over-enthusiastic supporters later claimed his plan was at the origin of the present Europe. And later, several years later, Monnet himself began to believe this legend. This became ossified in the Mémoires. But if anyone took a closer look at it this account is full of holes. That is to put it politely.

After several decades of research I have never found a single document of Monnet's before April 1950 that uses the word 'supranational' . If anyone finds one, please let me know. There are documents I have not seen. But those who have gone through the entire Monnet archive have never come up with a quotation. Extensive research of these extensive archives was done at the time of the Mémoires were written. A team of ghostwriters drafted the chapters based on the archives and what Monnet told them. I am sure they would like to find such a quotation too. They found nothing.

It is not as if the word supranational was just coined in 1950. It wasn't. It dates probably half a century before then. It is used in the context of a peaceful united Europe by eminent people around the time of the First World War. In one sense WW2 was a Nazi German war fought against the supranational idea. So why did not Monnet use the term?

Who then did use the word and concept before April 1950? Robert Schuman certainly did. The team who produced the Mémoires may or may not have come across these. It would be surprising if they had not. They had a lot of publicity at the time.

A year before the Schuman Proposal, Robert Schuman gave a major speech in France on the life-and-death challenges facing Europe and the world. This is probably the most important speech in all the history of European unification. He started with the following words.

We are carrying out a great experiment, the fulfillment of the same recurrent dream that for ten centuries has revisited the peoples of Europe: creating between them an organization putting an end to war and guaranteeing an eternal peace.

Schuman said in this speech of May 1949 that the measures were necessary because the world was facing a suicide of war. How was this great experiment to be carried out? What was the guiding principle to bring lasting peace to the continent that had been torn by war for thousands of years?

"Our century, that has witnessed the catastrophes resulting in the unending clash of nationalities and nationalisms, must attempt and succeed in reconciling nations in a SUPRANATIONAL association. This would safeguard the diversities and aspirations of each nation while coordinating them in the same manner as the regions are coordinated within the unity of the nation."

And Schuman himself referred to a previous speech he had given at St James's Palace in London. The royal palace of St James's is where all foreign diplomats are accredited in the United Kingdom. It was not therfore given in a corner but before all the foreign ministers of Europe and amid the diplomats of all nations. It was given the maximum amount of publicity. This speech described the new limits of Europe. In it Schuman said that the future of Europe also depended on putting the idea of a supranational union into effect.

Thus Schuman declared that unless Europe unified according to suprantional principles it would not only lead to the destruction of Europe but world suicide. He warned in other speeches that there was a far greater danger than ever before because the Soviet Union was now armed with atomic weapons. Yet in 1953, after having established the first supranational European Community, Schuman also declared that the idea that war was not only unthinkable but materially impossible inside the Community was definitively acquired.

How could such major speeches on the future of Europe lose their prominence? They deal with the future of Europe, that is, they remain important still for all Europeans today. How could such speeches get lost? Why did Monnet not refer to them in his Mémoires, written in 1976?

It also needs explaining why, when the French Foreign Ministry held an exhibition in 2000 to celebrate the fiftieth year of the Schuman Declaration, they seem to have no idea about these speeches. The Strasbourg speech seems not to be mentioned in the catalogue. This was a speech that the French Government had distributed to all European governments and all parliamentarians at the Council of Europe in 1949. The second speech that Schuman gave in London at St James's Palace is misdated and without contextual attribution. However, the copy at the Quai d'Orsay shows its importance. It was the original manuscript written in Schuman's own handwriting. This is the speech that indicates exactly where the new borders of Europe lie.

Yet the Quai d'Orsay during the period of President Charles de Gaulle had not only lost the idea. It also buried the speech (luckily in the archives). The aim was evidently so that it would not be referred to by the Gaullist diplomats. De Gaulle had a strictly nineteenth century idea of where Europe's borders lay. When he engineered a seizure of power, de Gaulle could benefit from the very supranational system that brought European peace and prevented world war, while vehemently denouncing the supranational Community and Schuman at the same time!

It is only thanks to the more recent researchers and archivists that these documents ever saw the light of day. How is it that the successive French administrations of a Gaullist stripe refused to publish such vital information for all Europeans? The Gaullist administrations had no desire for freedom of information or even responsability to French citizens or other nationalities. They wanted to impose another history about the real foundations of Europe, a Franco-German axis. Autocracies make up their own rules in the matter. History is part of their poisoned weapons.

Why did this happen? Because the word 'supranational' especially when attached to 'democracy' was like presenting a red rag to a bull -- for the Gaullists. The same thing can be said for another word, Schuman.

This goes someway in explaining why there is so much confusion about supranational democracy. De Gaulle who put much of the media under his own control also boosted to the anti-Community disinformation. He called Monnet the 'inspirer' of Europe. Logically, that would mean that he was the inspirer of the supranational Community. Monnet thought wrongly that he could work cooperatively with de Gaulle after he had seized power. He was flattered by the title. Some of the French public liked the idea that there was harmony not a conflict of ideas.

But the title 'inspirer' is hollow. The evidence is that Monnet did not know what supranational democracy was all about. He hardly used the word supranational, even after 1950.

So let us give Monnet the last word. The word supranational appears in the fifth or sixth draft of the Schuman Declaration that was being prepared. This part of the draft was not written by Monnet. How do I know? Monnet crossed out the term. This is what he said about it: "I do not like the word supranational and never fancied it." Mémoires p 352).

Thus the Schuman Declaration does not contain the word supranational. So if this was Monnet's sole work (which it wasn't) then why does he not explain it? However there is no doubt that the European Community that issued from the French Government's decision was created on a supranational basis. The word supranational was written into the first constitutionalizing Treaty, the Treaty of Paris, in the key article 9. It was confirmed also in the most important Europe Declaration made by all the Founding Fathers of the Six Member States. How come then if all the statesmen said that a supranational structure was the real foundation of Europe, Monnet was the firmly of the opinion that the term was not important.

Today is it is clear that Jean Monnet had nothing to do with defining the meaning of a supranational Europe. Yet this is the concept that is vital for all Statesmen, politicians and researchers to understand. It rescued Europe from another world war in the 1950s. Today we need not only to understand it. We need to apply it.