In 1987, former collaborators and close friends of Jean Monnet formed the Friends of Jean Monnet Association. The goal of the Association was "to contribute its support for all activities and projects aimed at reviving and transmitting the memory of Jean Monnet, his work and his teachings. To this end, it gathers information on these activities and projects and ensures their communication to all interested people or media" (Article 2 of the Association statutes). The first President of the Association was Etienne Hirsch, the former President of Euratom, a close collaborator of Jean Monnet and his successor as Plan Commissioner.
In 1988, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Jean Monnet's birth, the European Community decreed the "Jean Monnet European Year" and empowered the Friends of Jean Monnet Association to communicate any information which would increase the awareness of Jean Monnet's work and to ensure that his name live on. François Mitterrand, the President of France, decided to transfer his ashes to the Panthéon. The ceremony took place on 9th November 1988 in the presence of the Chiefs of State and of Government of all the European Community countries. The Association persuaded more than 1500 French and European cities to name public places after Jean Monnet. Among them were many high schools and secondary schools.
In 1990, Paul Delouvrier succeeded Etienne Hirsch as President of the Association, which then was named the Jean Monnet Association.
In the same year, the Association signed an agreement with the European Parliament, which had owned the Jean Monnet House since 1982. The Commission was entrusted with the administration of the House as well as the organization of the various programmes to be scheduled there with the support of the Commission. In this House located in Houjarray in the Yvelines département near Paris, the Association recreated the life style of Jean Monnet.
Everything was then ready to greet visitors and acquaint them with "the House where Europe was born". In addition, the Association supports bodies like mayors' offices, cultural centres, universities and schools which organize European events.
The Association has progressively implemented and developed training and information activities on European construction at the Jean Monnet House. In 1987, the House received 100 visitors; in 1998, almost 17,000 people visited the House. As most visitors by far are from schools and universities, the Association has also broadened its activities as regards European teaching and expertise, with 250 lectures per year. Moreover, the JMA organizes more than 100 lectures per year at Sources d'Europe (Centre d'Information sur l'Europe, Paris, La Défense). A Teachers' Notebooks project called the "Houjarray European Notebooks" is currently underway in collaboration with various public and private partners.
The Administrator of the Sources d'Europe Centre of Information on Europe since 1997, Paul Jaeger succeeded Paul Delouvrier in 1992. In November 1998, he turned over the Presidency of the Jean Monnet Association to Robert Toulemon, Honorary Inspector General of Finance. In January 2001, Philippe Laurette, a graduate of the Paris Institute of Political Studies, General Representative of the Europe and Entreprise Association, succeded Robert Toulemon as President of the Jean Monnet Association. In addition, at this time, Georges Berthoin was named Honorary President of the Association.
The Association is directed by Mr. Arnaud Pinon, assisted by a team of five permanent staff: Mr. Julien Gascard, Mrs. Elsa Glombard, Mr. Yann Guillard, Mrs. Ghislaine Benazet and Miss Josette Torres, along with part-time lecturers on contract.