star quality

Star quality

Today, the Committee, together with a French thinktank, Notre Europe, ¬†held a conference to mark the 20th anniversary of the Community Charter of Fundamental Social Rights. The Charter, adopted on 9 December 1989, was based on an opinion prepared by the European Economic and Social Committee at the initiative of the then European Commission President, Jacques Delors. It was only logical, therefore, that Jacques Delors should have been with us today. Sadly, my duties kept me away from the conference itself, but I met the great man over lunch. A sprightly 84, Delors still has that twinkle in his eye and pugilistic pout to his lower lip and his mind still scintilates brilliantly. Whenever I see him, I can’t help but get a little nostalgic for the heydays of the Delors’ Commissions in the late 1980s and early 1990s. In those days I was in the Commission Secretariat General and frequently got to see Delors in action. There was a buzz and a glow in the corridors and a real sense of major construction work under way, so it was nice to bump into the master architect again. Delors remains a modest, aescetic man but his simple presence generates a lot of media interest. He didn’t disappoint the journalists!