Former Commission President Jacques Delors passed away

Jacques Delors signing EPSU Charter at ETUC Congress 1995

Jacques Delors signing EPSU Charter at ETUC Congress 1995

(9 January 2024) Former president of the European Commission Jacques Delors died on 27 December 2023. Commission President Delors is generally seen as the architect of the modern EU with an expanding internal market. This market was seen to revitalise European economies to compete with the US and to construct the EU bringing countries and regions together. He was behind the project that led to the Euro. He promoted a social dimension, a firm believer that an EU without trade unions as its core would not be worth the trouble. He set up the so-called Val Duchesse process with the ETUC and the employers and which resulted in the recognition of European social dialogue and European level Collective Agreements (Treaty articles 151-155). This legacy however has been questioned by subsequent Commissions and saw its limits when an EPSU agreement was opposed by the Commission leading to a case before the European Court of Justice. With a new agreement before the Commission, let us expect that it honours Delors’ views.

We remember him in EPSU as the Commission President that came to the EPSU stand at the ETUC Congress in 1995. He signed his support for the EPSU Charter on Public Services recognising early on that an EU based on an internal market alone would not be enough for Europe and European citizens.

Jacques Delors was President of the European Commission from 1985 to 1995.  He was a life-long member of a trade union. First of CFTC (as of 1945) and then as part of setting up the CFDT as a secular trade union organisation as of 1964.

The memorial of the ETUC

And of the CFDT

For the Court case of EPSU vs the Commission