«Memoirs of a European» Jean Monnet as a source on the history of European integration

Andrii Martynov

DrHabil. (History), Professor

Institute of History of UkraineNational Academy of Science of Ukraine

Kyiv, Ukraine

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17721/2524-048X.2020.17.2

Abstract. Jean Monnet took an honorable place in the pantheon of prominent Europeans. Many research institutions bear his name. This is not just a historical recognition, but also not a cult of personality, because J. Monnet himself quite objectively assessed his personal place in the European integration process. Evidence of this is his memoirs, which are a valuable source of modern history of European unity. The aim of the article is to analyze the memoirs of Jeanne Monnet as a source on the history of the European integration process, which reveals its main stages, features and ways of solving problems. The undoubted merit of J. Monnet in the history of European integration is the so-called “Monnet method”, which consists in the fact that economic integration was recognized as a forerunner of political unification. Integration should take place from the bottom up, not the other way around. The political life of Jean Monnet as a true French patriot and a great European is the embodiment of current discussions between supporters of functionalism and federalism in the history and modernity of European integration. Proponents of federalism consider the creation of a superpower with supranational governing bodies, to which states transfer most of their national sovereignty, to be the main task of integration. Gradually, a common identity is formed, which distinguishes the group from the external environment. Neo-functionalists believe that national authorities delegate executive powers to the community, not sovereignty. Progress in European integration has been made possible by a combination of long-term, medium-term and short-term factors.One of the main long-term factors in the success of European integration is the European idea as an idea of the territorial and civilization unity of Europe, consolidated by the commonality of historical destiny, which requires institutionalization. There is no general theory of regional integration that can explain the complex integration phenomenon in all its diversity. Existing theoretical approaches remain loyal to the state principle as a form of organization of political life. Only neo-functionalists focus on social groups involved in integration and supranational institutions, not nation-states. Many rules of the European Union are formed in political networks that integrate different territorial levels: local, regional, national, supranational. Monnet called for this to be clearly understood and taken into account in real European politics.

Key words: European integration, Jean Monnet, Monnet method, Memoirs of a European, federalism, functionalism.

Download full text



1. Becker-Döring, C. (2003). Die Außenbeziehungen der Europäischen Gemeinschaft für Kohle und Stahl von 1952-1960.Stuttgart: Campus Verlag.

2. Duchene F. (1994). Jean Monnet. The first statesman of independence. New York: Norton.

3. Featherstone, K. (1994). Jean Monnet and the «Democratic Deficit» in the European Union. Journal of Common Market Studies, 32, 149-170.

4. James, H. (2004). Geschichte Europas im 20.Jahrhundert Falle und Aufstieg. 1914-2001. München: Nomos Verlag.

5. Knipping, F. (2004). Rom, 25.März 1957. Die Einigung Europas. München: Nomos Verlag.

6. Krüger, D. (2003). Sicherheit durch Integration? Die Wirtschaftliche und politische Zusammenarbeit Westeuropas 1947 bis 1958. München: Taschenbuch Verlag.

7. Monnet, J. (1980). Erinnerungen eines Europäers. München: Suhrkamp Verlag.

8. Neuss, B. (2000). Geburtshelfer Europas? Die Rolle der Vereinigten Staaten in europäischen Integrationsprozeß 1945-1958. Baden-Baden: Nomos.

9. Wessels, W. (2001). Jean Monnet. Mensch und Methode. Wien: Dietz Verlag.