François Visine was born on 24 September 1922 in Haraucourt, near
Nancy. A Doctor of Law and Economics, a winner of prizes awarded by
Law Faculties, the Academy of Moral and Political Sciences and the
Académie française, and a Member of the European Senate, he was a
passionate lifelong defender of the European cause. He took on
numerous commitments, but the apotheosis of his European work was
the creation and development of the Fondation du Mérite européen. He
died in Paris on 14 February 1995.
A senior NATO official from
August 1951 until September 1987, François Visine always campaigned
for an “existential and humanist” Europe, for a society that shows
respect for mankind and freedom. He established the Club de l’ABC de
l’Europe, an association under French law that was intended to
facilitate an awareness of Europe by all appropriate means and, in
particular, to encourage the compilation and dissemination of all
works of an encyclopaedic nature on the then constantly evolving
Europe. This Club became the legal basis of the Mérite européen and
the Fondation du Mérite européen took over from it.
François Visine was the
author of numerous works, including the very well-known
“dictionnaire Visine de l’Européen” 1980). Most of his works
and articles are available in the Luxembourg State Archives.
“Peace would be easier to
achieve if mankind could be made to adhere to aconcept
of respect for different
ideas, languages, civilisations, codes of ethics, religions ....
This concept exists and it is called ‘federalism’ ...” (François Visine)