Robert Schuman

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Robert Schuman
President of Council: 1947–1948
Foreign Minister: 1948–1952
Profession: Lawyer

Robert Schuman (June 29 1886September 4 1963) was a noted Luxembourg-born French politician, a Christian Democrat (M.R.P.) who is regarded as one of the founders of the European Union.


[edit] Biography

Robert Schuman's father, Jean-Pierre Schuman (1837–1900), was born a French citizen in Evrange, Lorraine, just across the border with Luxembourg. His mother tongue was Luxembourgish. After Lorraine became part of Germany in 1871 (Imperial Province of Elsaß-Lothringen), he became a German citizen. Robert's mother, Eugénie Duren (1864–1911), a Luxembourgian lady born in Bettembourg, became a German citizen by marriage in 1884. Although born in the suburb of Clausen, Luxembourg City, Robert Schuman was German by virtue of the principle of jus sanguinis; he took up French nationality only in 1919, after Alsace-Lorraine had been retaken by France. His mother tongue was Luxembourgish, his second language standard German. Since he only learned French in school (as every Luxembourgian does) he spoke it with a Germanic accent.[1]

Schuman's pursued his secondary education at the Athénée de Luxembourg secondary school in Luxembourg, a former Jesuit College, but as the Luxembourg secondary school diploma was not valid in Germany, he had to pass for his Abitur in Metz. His university education took place in the German education system. He received his law degree, after studying at the University of Bonn, the University of Munich, the Humboldt University in Berlin and in Strasbourg.

After the death of his mother in a coach accident Schuman briefly considered the religious life, but resolved to pursue a lay apostolate. He remained single and celibate throughout his life. He became a lawyer, and was judged medically unfit to serve in the Imperial German Army during First World War. He was a member of the city council of Metz as well as the German Katholikentag. After the First World War, Alsace-Lorraine was retaken by France and Schuman became active in French politics. In 1919 he was first elected as deputy to parliament on a regional list later serving as the deputy for Thionville until 1958 with an interval during the war years. He had a major contribution to drafting and parliamentary passage of Lex Schuman in French parliament. Schuman investigated and patiently uncovered postwar corruption in Lorraine steel industries.

In 1940 Schuman was arrested by the Gestapo but escaped in 1942 and joined the French Resistance.

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Graves de Communi Re (1901)
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After the war Schuman rose to great prominence. He was Minister of Finance, then briefly Prime Minister from 1947–1948 becoming Foreign Minister in the latter year. On May 9 1950, seeking to remove the main causes of post-war Franco-German tension and adopting a scheme of Jean Monnet, Schuman invited the Germans to jointly manage their coal and steel industries. This formed the basis of the European Coal and Steel Community, which eventually evolved into the European Union. This became known as the Schuman Declaration, and to this day May 9 is designated Europe Day.

Schuman later served as Minister of Justice and first President of the European Parliamentary Assembly which bestowed on him by acclamation the title 'Father of Europe'. In 1958 he received the Karlspreis, an Award by the German city of Aachen to people who contributed to the European idea and European peace, commemorating Charlemagne, ruler of what is today France and Germany, who resided and is buried at Aachen. He was also a knight of the Order of Pope Pius IX.

Celibate, modest and un-ostentatious, Schuman was an intensely religious man and was strongly influenced by the writings of Pope Pius XII, St. Thomas Aquinas and Jacques Maritain. It was announced on 15 May 2004 that the diocesan investigation of the cause of beatification would soon conclude; this might have as its result, that Schuman will be declared "Blessed" by the Roman Catholic Church.

[edit] Miscellaneous

The Schuman District of Brussels (including a metro station, square and railway station) is named in his honour. Around the square ("Rond Point Schuman") can be found various European institutions, including the Berlaymont building which is the headquarters of the European Commission, as well as key European Parliament buildings. A Social Science University named after him lies in Strasbourg, France.

In Luxembourg there are:

Schuman's place of birth house was restored by the European Parliament and can be visited; as can his home in Scy-Chazelle just outside Metz.

[edit] Schuman's First Government, November 24 1947July 26 1948


Image:Robert schuman.jpg
Robert Schuman receiving the Karlspreis in the city of Aachen in 1958

[edit] Schuman's Second Government, September 5 1948September 11 1948

Preceded by:
Paul Ramadier
Prime Minister of France
Succeeded by:
André Marie
Preceded by:
André Marie
Prime Minister of France
Succeeded by:
Henri Queuille

[edit] External links

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Robert Schuman

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