Yuste Foundation Regrets the Death of Jacques Delors, Laureate of the Carlos V European Award

The Board of Trustees and the staff of the European and Ibero-American Academy of Yuste Foundation regret the death of Jacques Delors, former President of the European Commission and the first person to receive the Carlos V European Award. Delors received the award on 6 June 1995, during a solemn ceremony that was presided over by King Juan Carlos I. The jury of the award, which was chaired by Marcelino Orejawho would also receive the award in 2017, recognised Jacques Delors “taking into account his open and tolerant spirit and his support of a European model of society based on the defence of democratic values and human rights”. (28/12/2023)

In his speech, when he received the prize, Delors highlighted the creation of the Carlos V European Award and of the European Academy of Yuste, which “would be devoted to promote reflection, research and cultural and artistic creation”. He referred to Charles V stating that “with his personal hallmark, he marked a broadly united Europe, a history of our continent that bore the imprint of another European architect, Charlemagne”. He concluded his speech by asking whether we would be able to give life to what being Europeans meant and whether we would be humble enough to converse with the world and thus maintain Europe’s universal vocation. In his opinion, History and future generations would judge us according to the answers we offered and “will not forgive us for having failed the spirit and having lacked the will”, adding that we will only succeed with “the works of the spirit and the moral impulse that have always guided the messengers and artisans of peace, freedom and solidarity”.

Jacques Delors chaired the European Commission from 1985 to 1995 and thus became one of the architects of the process of building the Union, coinciding with Spain’s accession to the EEC in 1986. Throughout this period, he was the protagonist of some of the most outstanding advancements, such as the creation of the single European market, the signing of the Schengen agreements, the Single European Act, the launching of the Erasmus student exchange programme, which has benefited millions of young Europeans and thousands of Spaniards, the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy and the implementation of Economic and Monetary Union, which is why he is known as the father of the euro.

The relationship between the winner and the European and Ibero-American Academy of Yuste Foundation was very close. Among other activities, he participated in all the Carlos V European Awards as a member of the jury and was a member of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees. Journalist Pilar Cernuda drafted a biographical sketch of Delors for the book of interviews Europa desde Yuste: