A year after the death of former French President and MEP Valery Giscard d’Estaing, the European Parliament paid him a tribute at a ceremony in Strasbourg.
Opening the ceremony on 2 December, President David Sassoli said how honoured the European Parliament and himself were to pay tribute to Valery Giscard d’Estaing, a “former member and an exceptional man to whom Europe owes so much.”
“Valery Giscard d’Estaing was always committed to building a stronger Europe and poured all his energy into this”, Parliament’s President said. “For him Europe was not a strategic calculation or a random choice, for him Europe was a historic challenge.”
French President Emmanuel Macron highlighted Valery Giscard d’Estaing’s greatest achievements for his country and for Europe. President Macron reiterated how grateful France was for Valery Giscard d’Estaing’s work: “The day after his death, I had the opportunity to pay homage to what he did for France, by modernising it, by reforming it, (…) by serving it in body and in spirit, in uniform and in suit, at all levels and in all aspects of his life. We are celebrating this great European today.”
Anne-Aymone Giscard d’Estaing, wife of the former president, was also present in the plenary chamber. German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Council President Charles Michel, and the President of the European Commission Ursula Von der Leyen also paid tribute to the former French President. Bulgaria’s President Rumen Radev, Portugal’s President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, Slovenia’s President Borut Pahor and Greece’s President Ekateríni Sakellaropoúlou were also present to honour Valery Giscard d'Estaing's memory.
Valery Giscard d’Estaing was proudly pro-European and is seen as one of the driving forces behind the European Monetary System, which eventually led to the creation of the euro.
After being elected as France’s president from 1974 to 1981, Valery Giscard d’Estaing served as an MEP from 1989 to 1993 where he became chair of the Liberal and Democratic Reformist Group in the European Parliament in 1989.
In 2001, Giscard d’Estaing was appointed president of the Convention on the Future of Europe, which led to the 2007 Treaty of Lisbon, which sets out the rules currently governing the EU.