(C) Harcourt Paris – Source Jean Monnet Foundation for Europe, Lausanne – Jean Monnet Institute, Houjarray
The Jean Monnet Institute was created in 2021 with the support of Jean Monnet’s family by several personalities committed to the European unification project. Its aim is to spread knowledge and understanding of the vision, work and method of Jean Monnet and to ensure that his experience inspires and guides younger generations in their European commitment and decision-makers in the identification of solutions to the major challenges of European construction.
Established in Houjarray in the Yvelines, the village where Jean Monnet lived and worked from 1945 until his death in 1979, the Jean Monnet Institute has two main objectives:
Independent and non-partisan, the Institute will promote the dissemination and understanding of the work and vision of Jean Monnet and the founding fathers among all audiences, in Europe and elsewhere, particularly among younger generations. It will actively collaborate with any entity sharing its objectives and working for European unity.
The Jean Monnet Institute will encourage understanding of the major questions facing Europeans in their quest for unity and identity in the light of Jean Monnet’s experience and method through seminars, round tables, colloquia and publications.
“Is an association dedicated to keeping the memory of Jean Monnet alive really necessary? He who lived and worked without seeking either light or honors, for a long time avoided writing his Memoirs because the past mattered little to him, made asking nothing for himself a means of persuasion, would he be honored or even happy with this initiative?
The answer is simple: if it is only a question of preserving and celebrating a memory of the past, then no he would surely not approve of it. If, on the other hand, it is a question of enlightening the future with the lessons of the past, of transmitting the memory to build the future, then yes, he would certainly be in favor of it.
The Jean Monnet Institute does not want to be an institute “to the glory of the great man”, nor an association working broadly to promote the European project. Our aim is to ensure that the memory of Jean Monnet is useful to young Europeans and today’s decision-makers, that his experience, his work and his method contribute to enlightening our action.
To François Fontaine who assisted him in the writing of his memoirs, Jean Monnet said one day: “You want to force me to look back, I told you that it was not easy for me. And then, don’t forget that we are speaking to those who must now move this Community forward. You have to leave them a… no, let’s not talk about a message, I don’t like that word, I prefer to say the lesson of what we have done can still be very useful. Because our objective is not past history, but always the sight of the future”.
The ambition of the Jean Monnet Institute is none other than this: to put to work the ideas and lessons of a man who – through his talents, his originality, the good sense of his ideas and of its methods – played a central role at periods of history that are reminiscent in many respects of the one we live in today.
If we manage to do this, then the Jean Monnet Institute will have justified its existence.”
– Jean-Marc Lieberherr, President of the Jean Monnet Institute