European Union Constitution: Monnet Matters

The European Union is in crisis. It has been here before. In 1954, the European army project failed; in 1963, French President Charles De Gaulle vetoed British membership; in 1965, to resist more majority voting, Paris blocked progress by leaving its place as an ‘empty chair’. Jean Monnet, the European Union’s founding father, weathered all these storms. How would he react now?

The World Today
4 minute READ

Richard Mayne

Member of the Council of Chatham House

Jean Monnet, the so-called ‘father of Europe’ – ‘grandfather’ he once interjected – died at the age of ninety in 1979. Since then, a generation has grown up without personal experience of the Second World War, the Cold War is a memory, and the European Union has expanded from six to 25. Many of its members have adopted a single currency. But it has been bruised by disagreement over the Iraq war, and shaken by the French and Dutch publics’ rejection of its draft constitution.

Subscribe to read all issues

Articles from the current issue are free to read by all, the archive is exclusive to magazine subscribers and our members. Subscribe or become a member to view articles from the archive.