Monique Flasaquier died on Wednesday evening March 9, 2016, at the Paul Strauss Cancer Treatment Center in Strasbourg, France. For the last four years she was fighting her illness with courage and hope but in the end the treatment could not eradicate her cancer. She had been surrounded by a great number of friends until her last breath, friends who took turns in coming and seeing her with tenderness and sympathy. In recent days, her physical condition worsened quickly. But Monique has gone in peace.
Monique was born in Paris, in a Jewish family marked by sorrow, exile and fear of the persecutions. A refined person herself, she got her university degree with honors. Due to her moral convictions, actions and efficiency, she made a lasting impression on all those who have had the privilege of working with her or who were merely counting on her sympathy and friendship.
After having passed the academic high-school diploma (Bacalauriate) with distinction in 1966, she received her Master’s degree in English in 1969 and graduated, in 1970, from Sciences Po Paris, France’s highest ranked university in politics and international studies. She then began to work in the field which would become the trademark of her professional career, namely international relations. While in New York working as an Attaché to the French Cultural Center, she obtained a second Master’s degree, from New York University.
Hired in March 1973 by the CNRS to work as an intern at the Office for International Relations, she very soon thereafter met Hubert Curien, at that time General Director of the CNRS. He proposed that she join the pioneering team charged with creating the European Science Foundation (ESF) in Strasbourg. It was her first contact with the Alsatian region. After leaving ESF she worked as a correspondent in Social Science and Humanities for the scientific section of the French Embassy in Bonn, Germany, from 1983 to 1989, but returned to Strasbourg in 1989, as she was interested in the idea of President Gilbert Laustriat to create and develop, together with Patrick Cohendet, a true international relations office at the University Louis Pasteur (ULP). That was the era when EUCOR was established (1989), Monique being in charge for ULP ; when the large European research framework programmes were launched ; when the ISU (International Space University) campus was built in Strasbourg (1994), just to name a few examples of international activities that Monique was involved in in one way or another. Monique also became the driving force in international projects at the BETA lab, the Bureau for Economic Theory and Applications (Bureau d’Economie Théorique et Appliquée). She played an instrumental role in the majority of BETA’s large projects, especially European projects, from the EUNETIC project in 1988/89 to more recently the DIME and Evario projects, to name but a few.
Monique had always been — both until her retirement but also afterwards, when her illness would still let her — an unfailing support to everyone she worked with. Though she could be strict and adamant towards older and more experienced colleagues, she always displayed an extraordinary generosity towards the younger ones, to whom she was like a fountain of comfort in moments of doubt, which are so natural to young researchers.
There is no doubt that everyone who knew her will retain good memories of her strong personality, and the way she was driven by the desire to serve as an engaged civil servant. Her incredible efficiency was more than well known : she was an unrivaled translator in several languages, a smart organizer of conferences, a project manager and a good host for visitors… she was intelligent, lively and had a strong notion of what a laboratory and a university should be.
Monique had many friends all over the world, whom she cherished and kept in touch with in a manner that would be suitable to each one of them. She was a very demanding friend, but also with regard to herself. No one has ever renounced her friendship.
She will be missed by many people and in many ways.