(26 June 2015) – EU leaders meeting for a two-day summit, dedicated to the divisive immigration issues and the Greek crisis, will bestow the title of “Honorary Citizen of Europe” on Jacques Delors, for extraordinary work to promote European cooperation.
Delors, who will not take part in the ceremony, will become the third person to be honoured with this rare title, after Jean Monnet and Helmut Kohl. The decision to honour Delors, widely seen as the most visionary of EU leaders, and who will turn 90 on 20 July, helps convey the truthfulness of his ideas to today’s EU leadership.
Delors is the recognised architect of the euro and the EU’s Eastern enlargement. During his presidency of the Commission (1985-1994) he promoted the development of a European cohesion policy and a new approach to rural development embodied by the LEADER programme.
However, it should be remembered that the long-serving Commission President didn’t mince his words in criticising German Chancellor Angela Merkel for her foot-dragging over the first Greek bailout, and for her lack of leadership in the Union, and former Council President Herman Van Rompuy, for having surrendered to the inter-governmental method, at the expense of the community method that made the Union strong in the 1990s. (With EurActiv)