Jean Monnet


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(b. 9 Nov. 1888, d. 16 Mar. 1979).

French economist A largely self-educated economist from Cognac, he was a civil servant at the Ministry of Commerce (1915–19), a consultant economist to the Versailles conference (1918–19), and Deputy General Secretary to the League of Nations (1919–23). In World War II he worked in the British Supply Council in Washington. In 1943, he joined de Gaulle in Algiers to co-found the French Committee of National Liberation in 1943. He was in charge of developing a plan for economic recovery in a liberated France. The Monnet Plan, in operation from 1947 to 1953, nationalized industries such as Renault and Air France, but otherwise directed the economy very much in cooperation with private industry. A close colleague of Schuman, he worked out the economic details of the Schuman Plan, which gave birth to the ECSC, whose first president he became (1952–5). For the rest of his life, he was a strong proponent of further European integration.

Subjects: Politics — Contemporary History (Post 1945).

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