Former European Commission president Jacques Delors dies

Former European Commission president Jacques Delors has died at the age of 98.

An ardent advocate of post-war European integration, Delors served as president of the body for three terms – longer than any other holder of the office – from January 1985 until the end of 1994.

The Frenchman, a Socialist, was also the founding father of the European Union’s historic single currency project.

He is most remembered in the UK as the object of of the Sun’s anger in 1990 and one of its most famous headlines: ‘Up Yours Delors’.

The front page neatly summed up the paper’s attitude to the rising power of the EU at the time.

French President Emmanuel Macron called him an “inexhaustible architect of our Europe” and a fighter for human justice.

Michel Barnier, the European Union’s chief negotiator during Brexit, said Delors had been an inspiration and a reason to “believe in a ‘certain idea’ of politics, of France, and of Europe”.

His time in office was one of rapid change in Europe’s emerging union.

It was marked by forthright clashes between federalists such as him, who believed passionately in an “ever closer union”, and UK prime minister, Margaret Thatcher, who firmly resisted any shift of power to Brussels.

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