Jean Monnet has been called “The Father of Europe” by those who see his innovative and pioneering efforts in the 1950s as the key to establishing the European Coal and Steel Community, the predecessor of today’s European Union.
Jean Monnet’s concept of “European community” was aimed at ending the ceaseless wars on the European continent and enhancing prosperity. And yet today in Europe – to say nothing of the rest of the world – Monnet is often a forgotten historical figure, his contributions to peace and prosperity in Europe largely overlooked.
In commemoration of this 20th century giant, 18 months ago Don C. Smith, who teaches “European Union Law & Policy” and “European Union Environmental Law & Policy” at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, embarked on an effort to produce a video documentary explaining who Monnet was and what his legacy is.
Mr. Smith’s interviews capture the observations and insight of those who worked with Monnet in the key years of the 1950s as well as individuals who have been influenced by Monnet’s contributions to European integration.
Among his “stops” along the way in producing this documentary have been Amsterdam and Groningen in the Netherlands, Lausanne, Switzerland, Cognac, Houjarray, and Paris, France, and Brussels, Belgium.
Mr. Smith has a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from the University of Kansas, a Juris Doctor from the Washburn University School of Law, and a Master of Laws in European Union Law from the University of Leicester (England) Faculty of Law.