After Jean Monnet’s death, the President of the European Parliament Emilio Colombo took steps to purchase Houjarray as part of the common historical and cultural heritage of Europeans. Those close to Monnet stated that, shortly before his death, he had requested that the house should one day be dedicated to welcoming young people. The European Parliament worked to honour this request and create a space for education, connection and discussion for all of Europe. The deed of sale between Monnet’s heirs and the Parliament was signed on 7 December 1982.
The European Parliament knows how important it is to contribute to the preservation of Europe’s historical heritage and to honour the memory of one of the founding fathers of Europe. Its aim is to make this house an emblematic focal point and home of the European spirit of integration. Following the farm’s renovation, it was decided it should become a space for people to meet, debate and learn about European integration. It wasn’t just the Parliament that was inspired to continue Jean Monnet’s legacy: his old friends decided to create the Association des Amis de Jean Monnet in Paris, with the aim of continuing the memory of Monnet, his work and his teachings.
The Jean Monnet House was soon transformed into a museum dedicated to the life of its former owner and the functioning of the European Community, and was opened to the public in 1987 in the presence of former Presidents of the European Parliament Pierre Pflimlin and Simone Veil. On the centenary of his birth the European Community institutions declared 1988 the ‘European Year Jean Monnet’, and that same year his ashes were transferred to the Panthéon on the proposal of French President François Mitterrand. In 1990, an agreement was signed between the Association des Amis de Jean Monnet and the European Parliament, which granted it the operation and management of the site under the responsibility of its Information Office in Paris.