Architect of Modern Europe, Dies Aged 98

Written by Jeppe W

Dec.28 - 2023 11:24 AM CET

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Jacques Delors, a pivotal figure in the European Union's history and former President of the European Commission, has passed away at the age of 98. His daughter, Martine Aubry, confirmed his death to the news agency AFP. Delors died peacefully at his home in Paris.

Renowned for his instrumental role in shaping the European Union, Delors served as the President of the Commission of the European Communities (now known as the European Commission) starting in 1985. During his ten-year tenure, he significantly accelerated the pace of European integration.

Under his leadership, the European Union achieved milestones such as establishing the single internal market and adopting the Maastricht Treaty, which further solidified the EU's foundation. French President Emmanuel Macron paid tribute to Delors on social media, praising his ideals and commitment to European unity.

However, Delors' staunch support for European integration also made him a controversial figure among EU skeptics. Born in Paris in 1925, Delors was educated in economics at the Sorbonne. He began his career as a civil servant before being elected to the European Parliament as a member of the French Socialist Party in 1979. He later served as France's Finance Minister before his appointment as the Commission President.

His legacy as one of the chief architects of the European Union remains significant, as he was instrumental in steering the region towards greater unity and cooperation.

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