Brussels, Dec 28 (IANS) Jacques Delors, a former head of the European Commission, the executive body of the European Union (EU), and a key figure in establishing the euro currency, has died, a media report said, citing his daughter Martine Aubry.
A Socialist, Delors had a high-profile political career in France, serving as Finance Minister under President Francois Mitterrand from 1981 to 1984, Xinhua news agency reported.
From 1985 to 1995, he led the European Commission during a transformative decade for the bloc. This period witnessed multiple milestones in European integration, such as the creation of the common market, the Schengen accords for travel, the Erasmus program for student exchanges, and the establishment of the euro as the single currency.
European leaders expressed their condolences and paid tribute to Delors’ contributions to European integration.
“Jacques Delors led the transformation of the European Economic Community towards a true Union … A great Frenchman and a great European, he went down in history as one of the builders of our Europe,” European Council President Charles Michel said.
Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, described Delors as the architect of the modern European Union, saying, “We are all heirs to the life work of Jacques Delors: a dynamic and prosperous European Union.”
On social platform X, formerly Twitter, French President Emmanuel Macron praised him as a “statesman with a French destiny, unwavering craftsman of our Europe, fighter for human justice”.
Hailing Delors as a “visionary” and “architect of the EU as we know it”, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz tweeted: “It is our responsibility to continue his work today for the good of Europe.”