How much do you know about the people who worked assiduously to create the kind of Europe we live in today: a Europe which has known continuous peace for over 60 years?
There have of course been many men and women involved in the process of European integration over the past decades, but we can identify eleven of them as having played a major role in this process. These we call the ‘Founding Fathers’ of the European Union:
Konrad Adenauer – Germany;
Joseph Bech – Luxembourg;
Johan Willem Beyen – the Netherlands;
Winston Churchill – United Kingdom;
Alcide de Gasperi – Italy;
Walter Hallstein – Germany;
Sicco Mansholt – the Netherlands;
Jean Monnet – France;
Robert Schuman – France;
Paul-Henri Spaak – Belgium;
Altiero Spinelli – Italy.
The European Commission has now prepared a series of eleven fact sheets and video clips focusing on each of these individuals and their role in the history of European integration. The fact sheets contain not only details about their professional and political careers, their war experiences and their beliefs in the benefits of European integration, but a fascinating personal profile of each of them, including information about their diverse backgrounds. Who would have guessed for example that one of them was a Nobel Prize winner and another a Davis Cup tennis player?
These materials will be launched today, Europe Day, as a tribute to their achievements, and intend to further develop and add to this roll call of key players in the history of the European Union.
Go to http://europa.eu/about-eu/eu-history/index_en.htm to see these and other materials about the European Unuion’s history.