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In the Parliament of Strasbourg, Macron pays tribute to Giscard the European


Through the celebration of the former president, European leaders and the Head of State greeted the Franco-German couple he formed with Helmut Schmidt.

From our correspondent in Strasbourg

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Dreaming of Europe and making people dream of Europe

", said Valéry Giscard d'Estaing to whom the Parliament of Strasbourg - where he sat from 1989 to 1993 - paid a vibrant tribute, this December 2, one year ago for the day after his death. Joining the speeches welcoming this "

great European

" who was "

one of the builders of Europe

", President Emmanuel Macron took advantage of his visit to Strasbourg to lay the groundwork for the French presidency of the Union that France will exercise for six months, from next January 1.

It was President Giscard d'Estaing himself, or rather a film retracing his European meetings that opened the tribute dedicated to him. "

I apologize for making you wait so long,

" he told journalists before the first European Council in 1974. This sentence echoed this one-year wait, also linked to the pandemic, while the European tribute to Helmut Kohl in 2017, in this same hemicycle, shortly before the religious funeral. But they were all there, the presidents of the European institutions, several European leaders, the former president Nicolas Sarkozy, fellow travelers like Jean-Pierre Raffarin, François Bayrou or Dominique Bussereau, former president of the Jeunes Giscardiens, surrounding his wife, Anne -Aymone and her children.

How would he have received these tributes, he who has experienced highs, but also disappointments, as Emmanuel Macron recalled. The successes were the establishment of the European Council, and President Macron said he was nostalgic for “

this inaugural fervor

”, “

this shared conviction to convince the people

”. It was also the decision, among others, to elect the European Parliament by universal suffrage. The opportunity to greet Simone Veil, another great figure in Europe, who was the first president, in 1979, of the Strasbourg assembly. "

The European Parliament was a miracle

", slipped the French president.Who took the opportunity to defend his proposals for "

transnational lists

" in the European elections and "

the creation of the right of parliamentary initiative in the continuity of what it defended


The celebration of the Franco-German couple

But there was also the failure, in France and the Netherlands, of the referendum on the European constitutional treaty. "

The Treaty of Lisbon took up elements that may have inspired us subsequently

", positively Macron, mentioning, for the future, "

the challenges in the fields of health, climate and digital ...

" Before him, the President of the European Parliament, David Sassoli recalled that, "

during his seven-year term, Valéry Giscard d'Estaing laid the foundations for the economic and monetary system, supported by German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt

". "

Europe, he wanted it ambitious, asserting its role on the international scene

", added the President of the European Council, the Belgian Charles Michel.

For the President of the Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, much applauded, he was "

a great lover of France, a great dreamer of Europe, and the architect of European integration throughout his life

" . The former German minister remembered "

the election of a young and dynamic French president

", but especially insisted on "

the measures taken with his minister Simone Veil, allowing thousands of women to take their destiny in hand

”. Remembering "

the complicity between President Giscard d'Estaing and Chancellor Helmut Schmitt

", she recalled their "




in Blaesheim, a few kilometers from Strasbourg. "

They have had the privilege of serving causes beyond them…

”supported Von der Leyen.

Referring to the

current "

hard times

", President Frank-Walter Steinmeier warned those who would consider leaving the Union.

Europe needs patience, when you have signed treaties, you have to stick to them…

” he said.

Macron is already preparing for his EU presidency

At the end of the tribute, Emmanuel Macron had lunch with the President of the European Parliament and with the leaders of the political groups. On the menu, the priorities of the French presidency, which he will have the opportunity to develop in front of MEPs on January 19 during the session in Strasbourg. The Head of State also had an interview with David Sassoli who will have to leave his chair in January. According to an observer, the Renaissance group, with the French macronists, would negotiate support for the Maltese MEP Roberta Metsola, appointed by the EPP conservatives, in exchange for an agreement on keeping Charles Michel at the head of the European Council ... For the family and friends of the former French president, this day of European tribute isended at Strasbourg Cathedral with an “

in memoriam ” mass.

»Celebrated by the archbishop, Mgr Ravel.

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2021-12-02

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