Tuesday, April 23, 2024

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Architect of the Modern EU, ex European Commission President Jacques Delors dies aged 98

World (LNW): Jacques Delors, the esteemed former President of the European Commission, often credited as the visionary behind the modern European Union, has died at the age of 98, his daughter confirms.

Serving from 1985 to 1995, Delors played a pivotal role in shaping the EU, contributing to the creation of the single market, which facilitated the free movement of people, goods, and services within the bloc.

Additionally, he laid the groundwork for the single European currency, the euro.

Despite his significant contributions, Delors faced scepticism, particularly in the UK, where he was viewed as a symbol of Brussels interference.

Delors’ daughter, Martine Aubry, confirmed his peaceful passing in his Paris home on Wednesday morning.

French President Emmanuel Macron hailed Delors as a “statesman with a French destiny” and a tireless contributor to the European project.

Ursula von der Leyen, the current President of the European Commission, described Delors as a “visionary who made our Europe stronger,” while European Council President Charles Michel remembered him as a “great Frenchman and a great European.”

Delors’ legacy extends beyond the single market and the euro; he also championed initiatives such as the Schengen agreement for travel and the Erasmus programme for student exchanges.

Despite clashes with UK leaders like Margaret Thatcher, Delors remained committed to post-war European integration, leaving an indelible mark on the history of the European Union.

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