Europe has lost two great Europeans

With the deaths of Jacques Delors and Wolfgang Schäuble

With the death of Jacques Delors, the EU has lost a far-sighted politician who was instrumental in strengthening the bloc’s social dimension. As Commission President from 1985 to 1995, Delors leaves behind a significant social legacy that extends far beyond his term of office. Particularly noteworthy is the first social dialogue summit that took place under his leadership in Val Duchesse in 1985, which laid the foundations for a constructive social dialogue at European level.

During his time in office, Delors was instrumental in driving forward European integration with the realisation of the single market and as a pioneer for the introduction of the euro. His conviction that social justice and economic progress must go hand in hand characterised his entire time in office. His legacy continues to inspire efforts to create a fairer and more people-centred European society.

Wolfgang Schäuble was regarded as the architect of German unity, which not only decisively shaped his own country, but also European unification. His contribution to stabilising the eurozone during the financial crisis is testament to his tireless commitment to the economic unity of Europe. Schäuble was a manager of the financial crisis who, on the one hand, called for European solidarity and, on the other, strived for European solidity through austerity policies. This dualistic approach earned him praise and criticism in equal measure.

As a convinced Christian, he was not always at ease in his 51 years in the German Bundestag, but he was a persistent campaigner and admonisher for democracy.