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Jacques Delors

Jacques Delors' time as President of the European Commission (1885-1995) was a period which saw great changes and unprecedented development towards European Union.

Born in Paris in 1925, Delors immediately entered the world of finance working in the Banque de France. He deeply engaged in trade union movement and rose to prominence as a Christian activist. He joined Socialist Part. As a Socialist candidate, he was elected to the European Parliament in 1979 and appointed chairman of the Monetary Affairs Committee.

When Socialist Party came to power and Mitterrand became president in 1981, Delors was appointed Finance Minister.

His term as President began in 1985. He was the single most influential President of the European Union to date. Under Delors, an Intergovernmental Conference resulted in the signing of the Single European Act (SEA) in 1986. Then in the so-called Paquet Delors, he proposed budgetary reforms and changes to structural fund distribution.

After the approval of the Paquet Delors, Delors started to focus on the subject of Economic and Monetary Union, producing a three stage scheme that was eventually ratified as part of the Maastricht Treaty.

His final years in the post were marked by severe difficulties within the Union: the rejection of the Maastricht Treaty following the Danish referendum in June 1992, and the crisis in the European Monetary System that caused that plans for Monetary Union were delayed.

His term as President ended in January 1995.

Juan Carlos Ocaña

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