A bill to authorize the Embassy of France in Washington, DC, to establish a commemorative work in the District of Columbia and its environs to honor the extraordinary contributions of Jean Monnet to restoring peace between European nations and establishing the European Union STATEMENT OF MICHAEL A. CALDWELL, ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, PARK PLANNING, FACILITIES, AND LANDS, NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, BEFORE THE SENATE ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES SUBCOMMITTEE ON NATIONAL PARKS CONCERNING S. 3579, A BILL TO AUTHORIZE THE EMBASSY OF FRANCE IN WASHINGTON, DC, TO ESTABLISH A COMMEMORATIVE WORK IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND ITS ENVIRONS TO HONOR THE EXTRAORDINARY CONTRIBUTIONS OF JEAN MONNET TO RESTORING PEACE BETWEEN EUROPEAN NATIONS AND ESTABLISHING THE EUROPEAN UNION, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES. SEPTEMBER 21, 2022 Chairman King, Ranking Member Daines, and members of the Subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to present the views of the Department of the Interior on S. 3579, a bill to authorize the Embassy of France in Washington, DC, to establish a commemorative work in the District of Columbia and its environs to honor the extraordinary contributions of Jean Monnet to restoring peace between European nations and establishing the European Union, and for other purposes. The Department supports this legislation with amendments. S. 3579 authorizes the Embassy of France in Washington, DC to establish a commemorative work to honor the work of Jean Monnet, a French political economist and diplomat, during the post-World War II period. The bill requires compliance with the Commemorative Works Act (40 U.S.C. Chapter 89) (CWA), which prohibits Federal funds from being used to establish the memorial, and provides direction on the disposition of unspent funds raised for the memorial. Jean Monnet was a gifted diplomat and visionary who is remembered for his critical role in advocating for international collaboration to achieve economic prosperity and security. After the liberation of France at the end of World War II, Monnet formulated the Modernization and Re-equipment Plan, which was designed to spur economic recovery in France. Commonly referred to as the Monnet Plan, it inspired the creation of the European Coal and Steel Community, a forerunner to the European Union. In 1963, Monnet was presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom with Distinction by President Lyndon Johnson. In 1976, as he neared the end of his life, Monnet was the first to be bestowed Honorary Citizen of Europe by the European Council of the European Union for extraordinary work to promote European cooperation. Ideas for new memorials benefit greatly from the review they receive through the National Capital Memorial Advisory Commission (Commission). Established by the CWA, the Commission is composed of government agency representatives who have a critical role or expertise in the location and design of monuments and memorials on Federal lands in the District of Columbia. A key role of the Commission is to provide advice to the House and Senate committees with jurisdiction over the National Park Service on pending legislation that would authorize new commemorative works. On July 27, 2022, the Commission met to review and receive testimony on S. 3579 (and its companion bill, H.R. 6611) to determine whether the bill’s commemorative subject meets the requirements of the CWA. The Commission agreed that the remarkable contributions Jean Monnet made to the U.S. war effort and in facilitating U.S. financial assistance to post-war Europe rose to the level of “lasting historical significance,” in accordance with the requirements of the CWA. The Commission also noted that Monnet’s deep affection for Rock Creek Park reinforced the profound effect that the U.S. had on his thinking and on his ultimate achievements. The Commission, in letters to the Committee dated September 6, 2022, unanimously supported the legislation and recommended technical amendments to the legislation. The Department concurs with the Commission’s recommended amendments. First, we recommend that that the “Government of France” replace the “Embassy of France” as the bill’s memorial sponsor. Similar past legislation for commemorative works sponsored by foreign entities has cited the foreign government as the sponsor, rather than its embassy in Washington. Second, because foreign governments, as memorial sponsors, typically pay for the establishment of a memorial and for ongoing maintenance needs, we recommend that the legislation be amended to expressly provide that “The United States Government shall not pay any expense for the establishment of the memorial or its maintenance.” Chairman King, this concludes my statement. I would be pleased to answer any questions you or other members of the Subcommittee may have.