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The fairy tale of Jean Monnet

The man in the shadow. The incredible story of Jean Monnet” – this is the title of the ARD broadcast on the night of 26 to 27 April 2021. The former Prime Minister of Luxembourg and later President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, praised Monnet as a “European visionary” who, as a behind-the-scenes doer, had overcome all old nationalisms, simply by his gift to “build trust"even among the most important politicians such as Eisenhower, Churchill and Adenauer. But this legend about the “founding Father of Europe”, warmed up again with beautiful old film footage, shows a beautiful “Europe”, which has been and will be divided into friend and foe and which could not fulfill the populist promises of peace, prosperity and democracy from the outset. The most important US actors such as US Secretary of State John F. Dulles and CIA chief Allen Dulles are never mentioned in the ARD broadcast. An extract from the book by Werner Rügemer: Imperium EU – Arbeitsrecht, Krise, neue Gegenwehr (Cologne 2020). The sources have been omitted.

Bankers in the USA

So he found his way into the US as an entrepreneur and banker. He made great profits here as an alcohol dealer during Prohibition, which promoted illegal trade between 1920 and 1933. His Hudson Bay Company also sold alcohol to Indians. With the profits Monnet founded the bank Bancamerica in San Francisco in 1929. He also represented the US Federal Reserve at the French Central Bank Banque de France.

In the 1930s, together with the London-New York investment bank Lazard, he financed railway lines for the feudal capitalist government of General Tschang Kaischek in China, which was also supported by the US government, Mussolini and Hitler: generals of the US Army as well as the Hitler Wehrmacht-von Seeckt and von Falkenhausen-served as military and industrial advisors; IG Farben, Heinkel, Rheinmetall, Messerschmidt and Krupp armed Chiang’s army just as these US arms companies deeds. In 1935 Monnet and Dulles founded the bank Monnet Murname in New York: the whole world became a business area.

“De Gaulle must be destroyed!”

In 1938, Monnet organized US loans so that France could buy US fighter aircraft and modernize its own aircraft industry. In 1939 he initiated a Franco-British commission to procure armaments for the foreseeable war against Germany, especially in the USA. On behalf of the British government under Winston Churchill, he coordinated British borrowing and arms purchases in the United States from 1940 to 1943 in the Roosevelt administration.

In 1943, as Roosevelt’s High Commissioner for the French colonies of North Africa – Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco – Monnet organized the integration of the French military stationed there under the fascist and anti-Semitic General Henri Giraud into the invading British and US military.

Monnet supported to the outside of the influential resistance movement of “Free France” of General de Gaulle. Monnet needed this in public as proof of his anti-Hitler attitude, but hated de Gaulle because of his concept of French national sovereignty. In addition, Monnet avoided, through his formal support of de Gaulle, the appreciation of the even stronger and more popular resistance of the left. The future “founding father of Europe” only secretly showed his real attitude. He called on 6. May 1943 from Algiers the US government: with de Gaulle no understanding is possible, he is an enemy of” European construction “and” European reconstruction": he must therefore"be destroyed".

1943: Concept for the European Economic Community

In 1943, when the Allied victory over Nazi Germany was foreseeable, Monnet conceived the “European Economic Community” on Roosevelt’s behalf for the post-war period – in the context of the “Victory Program”: the US’s production, trade and credit relations with Europe developed during the war were to be converted to peace conditions and expanded and placed under US leadership. But the “United Europe” should only be an economic community, not an independent political community.

Because of General de Gaulle’s public renown, the United States had to form a provisional government after the liberation of France in 1944, including ministers from the Résistance, including communists. But the United States never recognized this government and already in 1946 brought de Gaulle to resign. You placed Monnet in the new “Christian” - led government as head of the newly created planning authority: He organized the “modernization” of the French economy, often using US credit. Monnet retained this function until 1950, under changing governments.

Thus Monnet became the most powerful man in France without having a ministerial office. He was the liaison between the U.S. government, Wall Street, the Marshall Plan authority, in Paris, and the government. He worked with the American Committee on United States of Europe (ACUE), founded in 1948 by CIA chief Allen Dulles. In this function, which is often networked with US actors, Monnet had already negotiated a 550 million dollar loan with the USA before the Marshall Plan for the modernization of the French steel industry.

1950: Concept for the Montanunion

In 1950, the French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman presented the “Schuman Plan” - Schuman had not written a word about it himself. The plan came from Monnet: the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), or Coal and Steel Union for short, was to be the first step towards “a much wider and deeper community of peoples who have long suffered from bloody divisions”.

The core of the ECSC, however, was formed by those who had not suffered from the “bloody divisions” that had been invoked, but had worked together during the World War under Nazi direction: (west)German corporations, such as the Thyssen-Hütte, Krupp, Mannesmann, Preussag, Salzgitter (= the ex-Hermann Göring-Werke), Klöckner, Hoesch, Saarstahl, Dillinger Hüttenwerke, Otto Wolff, Gutehoffnungshütte and various companies of the Flick Group. From France were involved e.g. the companies of the de Wendel and Schneider group, about Usinor and Sidelor, from Luxembourg’s ARBED, from the Netherlands, Hoogovens, from Belgium Cockerill and Usines Gustave boël. In Italy, this industry was to be built first.

Super-bureaucracy with U.S. fathers

Monnet became the first head of the Coal and Steel Union in 1952 as “High Commissioner”. He was personal friends with the US players responsible for the redesign of Europe. With Wall Street banker John McCloy, then High Commissioner for the Federal Republic of Germany and Treasurer of ACUE, with banker and US Secretary of State Dean Acheson. He coordinated with his former banker colleague and now US Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, and exchanged views with the neoliberal chief ideologist and the world’s highest-paid multi-media journalist Walter Lippmann. Through his relations with Wall Street, he was able to negotiate special loans for the ECSC, which were guaranteed by the US government.

The bureaucratic governing body under Monnet was called the “High Authority”. This designation was adopted from the USA (High Authority). The function title “High Commissioner” was continued from his function as High Commissioner of the US government during the war in North Africa. The terms express the authoritarian, anti-democratic self-image. The officers were appointed for 6 years, were paid more than the heads of government of the contracting states, were tax-advantaged, had extraterritorial status and were exempt from criminal investigations.

The founding agreement was drafted by Monnet, and was formulated by the US law firm Cleary, Gottlieb, Friendly & Ball. It was a government, bank and corporate law firm. Co-owner was George W. Ball, lawyer and banker, advisor on the Marshall Plan, eventually deputy U.S. Secretary of State.

The authoritarian super-bureaucracy was based in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. His ruling family had lived in North America during the war and established close relations with the Roosevelt administration. The mini-state, politically organized as a parliamentary monarchy, liberated from the US Army, which also laid the foundation for the private radio Luxembourg broadcasting throughout Europe, has now further developed its function as a financial oasis begun after the first World War. The seat of the Coal and Steel Union was also moved here.

Europe-wide management of cheap migrant workers

The High Authority, in consultation with the governments of the participating states, coordinated the cross-border procurement of labour. This was laid down in Articles 68 and 69 of the ECSC Act. Skilled workers should be able to move freely across borders, and their skilled worker qualifications should be harmonised. For the rapid migration of the low-skilled, national governments should reform immigration laws.

For example, the Coal and Steel Union brought cheap migrant workers from the poor regions of non-member countries, initially with short-term work permits, especially to France, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Ruhr region.

Foreign and military policy aspects also played a role. Workers were also brought to the Federal Republic of Germany when unemployment prevailed and millions of Eastern refugees had to be integrated. Thus, the immigration law with Spain came about because Dictator Franco was courted for membership in NATO and wanted to get rid of workers suspected of rioting.

Far away South Korea was important because of the war and the expansion of the US presence there, and workers were also brought from there. Likewise, the founding member of NATO, Portugal, was rewarded – dictator Salazar wanted to get rid of his poor young men, who were vulnerable to “communism”, at least temporarily.

Balance: The Coal and Steel Union as the nucleus of the EU

The ECSC became the nucleus of the European Union in many respects:

Breaking promises of peace, prosperity and democracy

The coal and steel Union was an anti-democratic project. The rights and interests of private capital owners were the guiding principle. Universal human rights, ILO labour law and international law as decided by the UN after World War II were ignored. Dictatorships such as Spain, Portugal and Turkey were natural cooperation partners.

The management of labour law and labour migration begun in the ECSC will be further developed with the consequence of increasing impoverishment of large parts of the employees, in the rich Western founding states themselves as well as in the peripheral states, which are newly admitted to the EU or have candidate status. “Free movement of workers” is the slogan: the labour requirements and working conditions are defined by the corporations and regulated and coordinated by the EU.

At the same time, with the ECSC and its boss Monnet, who operated until 1954, “an elite of high-ranking European officials developed in the shielded little Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, whose role was to develop further with the Treaty of Rome in 1957,” according to Monnet biographer Eric Roussel.