Former EU Commission President Jacques Delors is dead. This was reported by the French news agency AFP, citing Delors' daughter Martine Aubry. Delors died at the age of 98.
French President Emmanuel Macron praised him as a “fighter for human justice” on the online platform X (formerly Twitter).
During Delors's term in Brussels from 1985 to 1995, the Maastricht Treaty turned the European Communities into the European Union. The “Delors Report” pointed the way to economic and monetary union. Delors was honored as an “Honorary Citizen of Europe” in 2015 for his “remarkable contribution to the development of the European project”. Other “Honorary Citizens of Europe” include former Federal Chancellor Helmut Kohl and Jean Monnet, one of the founding fathers of European unification.
Before moving to Brussels, Delors was economics and finance minister in his home country under the socialist President François Mitterrand, who took power in 1981.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz praised Delors as a politician who advocated for European unification “like no other”. “He led the EU Commission for a decade and, as a visionary, became the master builder of the EU as we know it today,” the SPD politician wrote on X in the evening. “It is our responsibility to continue his work today for the benefit of Europe. "
Acting EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen described Delors on X as a “visionary who made our Europe stronger.” His life's work is a united, dynamic and prosperous European Union that has shaped entire generations of Europeans.
Macron wrote: "His commitment, his ideals and his integrity will always inspire us. I pay tribute to his work and his memory and share the pain of his loved ones."
The President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, wrote on X that with the death of Jacques Delors, the EU is losing a giant. As an honorary citizen of Europe, he worked tirelessly for a united Europe as President of the European Commission and Member of the European Parliament. "Generations of Europeans will continue to benefit from his legacy," said the EU leader.