Robert Schuman


The Man of borders

Robert Schuman Timeline
  • June 29, 1886 - He was born in Clausen, a suburb of the city of Luxembourg
  • 1904 - Received his Baccalauréat at the Imperial High School of Metz
  • 1912 - Opened a law firm in Metz
  • 1940 - Arrested by the Gestapo, Robert Schuman was held in the prison of Metz and then transferred to house arrest in Neustadt (Pfalz, Germany)
  • 1944 - Returned to Moselle
  • September 4, 1963 - Death of Robert Schuman in Scy-Chazelles in Moselle

Extract from the Schuman Declaration of May 9, 1950

9 mai 1950 salon horloge
"The contribution which an organized and living Europe can bring to civilization is indispensable to the maintenance of peaceful relations."

The Multiple Origins of Robert Schuman

maison natale SchumanRobert Schuman was born in Luxembourg in 1886. He was born German because his father was from Lorraine and became German with the Treaty of Frankfurt in 1870 by the annexing of the three departements of Moselle, Bas-Rhin and Haut-Rhin and his mother acquired German nationality through her marriage.

Robert Schuman, the Man of Borders
Schuman avocat
Robert Schuman was raised in Clausen, a suburb of the city of Luxembourg, but he spent many holidays at the Evrange family farm in Moselle as well as in Kruth in the south of Alsace where his maternal grandparents lived. Only after the armistice of World War I when France recovered the three departements ceded to Germany in 1870 that Robert Schuman acquired French nationality through marriage- he was 32 years old!!

His Home in Scy-Chazelles

portrait SchumanIn 1926 Robert Schman bought a property in Scy-Chazelles, a small village 5 km from Metz.
He remained there until his death in 1963.
Today, you can visit the historic home of Robert Schuman, which was completely restored in 2004 from archival documents and historical photographs.

Did You Know?
Buste Schuman
  • After his escape from house arrest in Neustadt, Germany on August 1, 1942, Robert Schuman lead a clandestined life in orphanages and convents until the Liberation.
  • There is a rose named "Rememberance of Robert Schuman" (It was designed by rose growers in Guillot de Lyon)

Robert Schuman, the Politician


Robert Schuman Timeline

  • 1919-1940 - Deputy for Moselle
  • 1940 - Undersecretary of State for Refugees
  • 1945-1962 - Deputy for Moselle
  • 1946-1947 - Minister of Finances
  • 1947-1948 - President of the Council
  • 1948-1953 - Minister of Foreign Affairs
  • 1955 - Keeper of Seals, Minister of Jusice
  • 1962 - Withdrawal from Politics

Extract from the Schuman Declaration of May 9, 1950

9 mai 1950 salon horloge"Europe will not be made all at once, or according to a single plan. It will be built through concrete achievements which first create a de facto solidarity. The coming together of the nations of Europe requires the elimination of the age old opposition of France and Germany. Any action taken must in the first place concern these two countries."

Robert Schuman, Negotiator of the Major Treaties

signature convention SchumanAs the French Foreign Minister from 1948 to 1953, Robert Schuman was involved in negotiating several major treaties at the end of World War II such as the Statute of the Council of Europe signed in 1949, the Treaty of the North Atlantic signed in 1949, the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms signed in 1950, and the Treaty of Paris establishing the European Coal and Steel Community signed in 1951.

Robert Schuman, Minister of Foreign AffairsChurchill et Schuman

Robert Schuman was Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1948 to 1953 in nine different cabinets. Given the ministerial instability of the Fourth Republic, this was a record.

Robert Schuman Medal

Médaille Schuman "Robert Schuman Medal" was created in July 1986 by the Parliamentary Group of the European People's Party and the European Democrats Party of the European Parliament (Now the European People's Party) to honor people who, through their public action and commitment, have advanced the causes of peace, European integration and the values in the service of man. This particular medal was also rewarded to Pierre Pflimlin, Helmut Kohl, Valery Giscard d'Estaing, Jacques Delors and Michel Barnier.

Did You Know?

  • Robert Schuman spoke fluent German, French and Luxembourg and also studied classical Latin, Greek and English.
  • The bust of Robert Schuman, unveiled in Thionville on October 14, 1973, was kidnapped in 1983 and was found in 1984 in Bousee, Moselle, about 10 km from Thionville.

Robert Schuman and Europe

Robert Schuman Timeline
  • May 9, 1950 - Schuman Declaration
  • 1955-1961 - President of the European Movement
  • 1958-1960 - President of the European Parliamentary Assembly

Extract from the Schuman Declaration of May 9,1950

9 mai 1950 salon horloge"The French Government proposes that action be taken immediately on one limited but decisive point : It proposes that Franco-German production of coal and steel as a whole be placed under a common High Authority, within the framework of an organization open to the participation of the other countries of Europe."
"The solidarity in production thus established will make it plain that any war between France and Germany becomes not merely unthinkable, but materially impossible."

May 9 : Europe Day
Drapeau Kléber
It was at the European Council in Milan in 1985, that the Heads of State and Government of the Member States of the European Community agreed to commemorate the Schuman Declaration of May 9, 1950, by making May 9th "Europe Day" celebrating the origin of European Construction.

Robert Schuman and Jean Monnet

Monnet et SchumanIt's Jean Monnet, the French Commissioner for the Plan of Modernization, who was appointed by Charles de Gaulle in 1945, who came up with the idea to ensure the country's economic recovery as well as creating a community of partners to achieve a long lasting peace on the European continent. In a paper on May 3, 1950, he wrote "It is (therefore) necessary to abandon the past forms and enter into a process of transformation, both through the creation of common economic base and the introduction of new authorities accepted by national sovereignty." As Foreign Minister, Robert Schuman took political responsibility for the project and the ideas of Jean Monnet provided the basis of the speech by Robert Schuman on May 9, 1950.

Did You Know?

  • In 1960, the European Parliamentary Assembly unanimously voted to award Robert Scuman the title of "Founding Father of Europe"
  • Do not confuse Robert Schuman, the Founding Father of Europe, with German composer Robert Schumann (1810-1856)

Robert Schuman and Strasbourg

Robert Schuman Timeline

  • 1904-1910 - Studied law in Berlin, Munich and Strasbourg
  • 1910 - Received PhD in civil proceedings in Strasbourg
  • 1912 - Took his final exams in Strasbourg
  • 1958-1960 - President of the European Parliamentary Assembly in Strasbourg

Extract from the Schuman Declaration of May 9, 1950

9 mai 1950 salon horloge"In this way, there will be realised simply and speedily that fusion of interest which is indispensable to the establishment of a common economic system, it may be the leaven from which may grow a wider and deeper community between countries long opposed to one another by sanguinary divisions."

Robert Schuman : The First President of the European Parliamentary Assembly

On March 19, 1958, Robert Schuman, the Christian Democrat candidate, was electedpremière réunion Parlement européen chairman of the Joint Assembly of the three European Communities at its constitutent session in Strasbourg. The election of Robert Schuman had the support of all political groups. It was also during this session that Assembly decided to adopt the name of "European Parliamentary Assembly." The name "European Parliament" was not used until 1962.

Robert Schuman and the Establishment of the Council of Europe

Reunion-Conseil-de-l'EuropeOn August 8, 1949, Robert Schuman opened the first session of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, as the representative of France, host of the organization. This session was held at the Hotel de Ville of Strasbourg, the Council of Europe did not yet have its own premises for its operations. The first session of the Consultative Assembly of the Council of Europe was held at the Palais Universitaire two days later on August 10, 1949.

The House of Europe in StrasbourgMaison de l'Europe (Strasbourg, 1950-1977)

In the Alsatian capital the construction of a real "European House" started in 1949 opposite the Parc de l'Orangerie to accomidate the Council of Europe, one of the first intergovernmental orgaizations based in Europe after the end of the Second World War. This house was demolished in 1977 to make way for the construction of the Palace of Europe, the current headquarters of the Council of Europe.

Did You Know?

  • Robert Schuman worked as a referendum in the courts of Strasbourg and Illkirch
  • Pierre Pfilmlin, mayor of Strasbourg from 1959 to 1983, was minister of Agriculture in the governement of Robert Schuman from 1947-1951.
  • From 1987 to 2009, the name "Robert Schuman" was part of the title of the Faculty of Law at the University of Strasbourg in homage to the founding father of Europe, who was also a former student of the institution.
  • Robert Schuman never had a driver's license but was driven by his private secretary, who took him frequently to Strasbourg, the seat of the first European institutions.
© Photos : European Parliament - Council of Europe