WATCH: Who was Jean Monnet and why was he so important?

In the late 1940s and early 1950s, Europe was still reeling from the impact of World War II. In the wake of half a century of bloodshed, European leaders had a new impetus to integrate Europe’s economies in order to avoid further conflict among European powers. One of the first major milestones in this new European project was a speech made by Robert Schuman on May 9th, 1950. In this speech he outlines a bold and ambitious new plan to form a ‘European Coal and Steel Community’, the first step in a unique project of integration which eventually birthed the modern European Union. This is why every year on May 9th, we celebrate Europe Day. But who were the people behind the Schuman Declaration? In this video, Martí Grau Segú, Head of Service and Curator at the Jean Monnet House, explains the role of Jean Monnet, a founding father of Europe and one of the most influential Europeans of the 20th Century.