Born in Koblenz in 1926, Valéry Giscard d’Estaing is one of the founding fathers of Europe having dedicated his life to ensuring that Europe remains a key economic power on the global stage.
In May 1974, Valéry Giscard d’Estaing was elected President of the Republic of France. In this capacity, he tirelessly pursued a policy of rejuvenating and building a united Europe, supported in this by Helmut Schmidt. The two men pushed for a monetary union by initiating the European Monetary System (EMS), which was launched on 13 March 1979. During his seven-year term, Valéry Giscard d’Estaing actively sought to give new impetus to the European institutions.
Founder of the G8 (then G6), the man behind the creation of the European Council, supporter of increasing the democratic power of the European Parliament, President of the Convention on the Future of the European Union, the man responsible for drafting and editing a Constitution for Europe, founder – together with Helmut Schmidt – of the Committee for the Monetary Union of Europe in 1986, etc. These are just some of the many roles that Valéry Giscard d’Estaing had during his extraordinary life and career. President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing sadly passed away in December 2020. A reformer and a modernist, he left a mark on French and European history that will not be forgotten. His inspirational message to all Europeans will always be remembered and pursued with honour:
“This project belongs to you. For it to be successful, you must cast aside negative ideas – political bias, personal ego and the fear of change to name but a few – and, relying on the foundations of our history, believe in the sincere hope of building one of the great civilizations of the 21st century. We ask that you succeed”.