Jean Monnet was born in France, in 1888, into a family of brandy merchants. In 1922-23 Monnet worked as the Deputy Secretary-General of the newly established League of Nations. After the Second World War, Jean Monnet was in charge of the Commissariat du Plan responsible for the economic recovery of France. In 1950 he prepared his solution for Europe: France must be bind to Germany in a common undertaking in which their neighbours could join, thus creating a Europe-wide area of prosperity and peace. At the beginning of May 1950, he suggested to the French foreign minister Robert Shuman the idea of pooling together the German and French coal and steel production. The idea led to the establishment of the European Coal and Steel Community. Jean Monnet served as the first President of its High Authority.

In 1954 Monnet resigned from the High Authority and in 1955 founded an Action Committee for a United States of Europe. The Committee was disbanded in 1975. In 1976, at a meeting of the heads of state in Luxembourg, it was decided to confer the title of “Honorary Citizen of Europe” to Jean Monnet for his work as founder of the European Community. Jean Monnet died in 1979