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!