Francois Duchene

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Biographical Information

Francois Duchene (died in 2005)

"As a key adviser to Jean Monnet, the father of European unification, François Duchêne, who has died aged 78, was present at the laying of the foundation stone of the European Union, the European Coal and Steel Community.... Duchêne was helped to his first job, as a leader writer on the Manchester Guardian (1949-52), by Professor RH Tawney, who had taught him at the LSE. This led to the two decisive encounters of his life: the first with a fellow Guardian journalist, Anne Purves, a highly talented writer who became his wife; and the second with Monnet, who read Duchêne's trenchant articles on the economic and political challenges facing a ruined continent and invited the 25-year-old to join him in planning the new Europe... Duchêne accepted Monnet's invitation to Luxembourg, and, between 1952 and 1955, was English language information officer at the high authority of the European Coal and Steel Community, the precursor of the EU commission. Monnet was president, and Duchêne revered him as a man of vision who could get things done. When Monnet returned to Paris in 1955 to advance the next stage of the EU, Duchêne followed, working until 1958 both as a correspondent for the Economist and an adviser in Monnet's core team....His professional life, however, continued unabated, and, in 1963, he moved to Brighton, where he returned to leader-writing, this time for the Economist. During the next few years, he was a Ford Foundation fellow (1967-69), director of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (1969-74) and then professor and director of the newly formed Centre for European Research at Sussex University (1974-84). In these roles, he was central to the debate on Europe's future, east-west relations and many other aspects of international affairs, maintaining close contact with numerous statesmen, including Zbigniew Brzezinski and other leading figures in Washington..." [1]

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  1. Francois Duchene, organizational web page, accessed April 18, 2012.