Johan Beyen

Picture of Johan Beyen

Date of Birth: 05/02/1897

Age: 78

Place of birth: Utrecht

Nationality: Netherlands

The most unknown of the founding fathers of the European Union

Wim Beyene born May 2, 1897 in Utrecht (Utrecht). His father, Karel Hendrik Beyene, was a lawyer and head of the railway company `Maatschappij tot Exploitatie van Staatsspoorwegen`. Mother of the future policy, Maria Luisa Cohen, came from a musical family. Beyene and was an avid music lover. Every day he played the cello and took the tool in all its trips abroad. In Wim had two brothers, one of whom later became famous archaeologist. Beyene In 1922 he married, he and his wife had two sons, but by the end of the 30s he started an affair with an Austrian Margaretha Antonia Lyubinka. After the Second World War Beyene divorced and married his Gretel. This marriage was very happy.

Johan grew up in Utrecht, he studied at the local university, and in 1918 a doctorate in jurisprudence. After graduation he got a temporary place of assistant in the Dutch Ministry of Finance - he just turned 21, and over the next few years, he rose to the post of deputy minister. After 1924 Beyene held several senior positions in the private sector - led board `Philips` and the Dutch branch of the central bank of the Dutch East Indies, was the director of one of the precursors of `AMRO Bank`, vice-president and president of the `Bank for International Settlements` in Basel (Basel) and the director of `Unilever`.

During World War II he served in addition to the leadership of `Unilever`, as a consultant of the Dutch government in exile in London, and in 1944 played an important role at the Bretton Woods conference of the United Nations, which resulted in the creation of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Since 1946 Beyene represented the Netherlands on the board of the World Bank, and since 1948 - and the IMF.

In 1952 Beyene, who did not belong to any political party, was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs, mainly for the balance of political forces in the government. He served in this post for four years, and after the next elections in 1956, his political career came to an end.

Wim Beyene has played a very important role in the creation of the EEC. In August 1954, when France refused to ratify the treaty collapsed plans for a European political community and the joint armed forces to replace the armies of France, Germany, Italy and the Benelux countries. Beyene understood that in the near future integration of Europe in the political sphere is absolutely impossible, and believe that the United Europe should begin in the economic field. He devised a plan to create a pan-European market, combining it with the ideas of the political community.

April 4, 1955 Beyene sent a memorandum to his colleagues from the Benelux countries, Paul-Henri Spaak of Belgium and Luxembourg Josef Beck, offering him his idea of ??the customs union. April 23, 1955 in The Hague held a meeting of the three Foreign Ministers of the Benelux countries, where they have developed a draft of a general memorandum, completed May 18, 1955. Two days later, the ministers acquainted with the memorandum of the Government of France, Germany and Italy, offering to discuss ways of integrating the European economy at the upcoming conference, the six member-states of the European Coal and Steel Community.

The conference, held from 1 to 3 June 1955 in the Italian Messina, Beyene led the Dutch delegation. The final decision of the conference participants to a large extent reflect the views of the Dutch Minister and became the basis for further work on the creation in 1957 of the European Economic Community and the European Atomic Energy Community, as well as the modern European Union.

After leaving the post of Minister of Foreign Affairs, Beyene kakoe-to time engaged in negotiations with Germany on the border issues, and in 1958 he was appointed Ambassador of the Netherlands in France and remained so until 1962. In retirement, Beyene received several leadership positions in the banking business. He died on April 29, 1976.

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