History of the Jean Monnet House
Jean Monnet acquired the house in Houjarray on his return to France in 1945.
Previously owned by a Swedish family, this former farmhouse is located in the Yvelines département near Montfort-l'Amaury southwest of Paris.
The charm and the location of the house appealed to Monnet's long habit of reflecting in the outdoors and walking in the woods early in the morning. The interior is a reflection of the occupant: simple and warm.
In this thatched-roof house nestling in a hollow of the countryside around Paris, the future of Europe was discussed among the highest dignitaries of his time. In late April 1950, it was here that Monnet with his collaborators wrote the historic declaration that Robert Schuman was to make to Europe on 9th May, proposing the creation of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) and thus laying the bases for the European Community.
In his office, Robert Schuman, Walter Hallstein, Paul-Henri Spaak, Konrad Adenauer, René Pleven and many others exchanged with Jean Monnet their views on our common future. On Sundays, he would invite his friends passing through Paris to visit him here, including Dwight Eisenhower, George Ball, and Edward Heath. Monnet enjoyed conversations at the fireside with great journalists like Walter Lippmann, Hubert Beuve-Méry and his neighbour Pierre Viansson-Ponté.
Jean Monnet died at Houjarray on 16th March 1979.
In 1982, the European Parliament considered that the House, a symbolic place steeped in memories, should be the common heritage of Europeans. The Parliament bought the house, restored it and asked the Jean Monnet Association to recreate the house as it was in Monnet's time, as well as to handle its administration and the events to be scheduled there.
The construction of a Conference Room is in progress in order to accommodate an increasingly large number of people. Scheduled to open in May 2000, it will contain 100 seats. With this new investment, the European Parliament has anchored Jean Monnet's House in the future.
At the present time, the team of the Jean Monnet Association organizes about 250 lectures per year on European history and current events. The enlarged premises will make it possible to accommodate a growing number of European and foreign visitors.
The Jean Monnet House today receives about 16,000 visitors per year, including more than 10,000 students from schools and universities. For group visitors, this has meant some 250 lectures in 1998, or an average of more than 20 per month.
Two-thirds of the groups come from primary-, secondary- and high schools. The final third includes students from the universities and the Grandes Ecoles [élite professional-training universities]; company committees, cultural associations, Twin-City Committees and institutional groups.
The groups from abroad are coming to visit in increasing numbers and from increasingly diverse nationalities, far beyond the borders of the European Union, including the United States, China, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Argentina and Canada.