Jacques Delors

Jacques Delors (born 20 July 1925) held a series of posts in French banking and state planning at the Banque de France in the 1940s–1960s. He was also active in the Christian Trade Union Confederation (renamed the Democratic Trade Union Confederation in 1964). In 1962 he left the Banque de France, where he had quickly risen to an executive position, to head the social affairs division of the state’s General Planning Commission. From 1969 to 1972 he served as chief adviser on social affairs to the Gaullist Prime Minister Jacques Chaban-Delmas. In 1974, Delors joined the French Socialist Party, and became the party’s national delegate for international economic relations in 1976. In 1979 he was elected to the European Parliament, where he served as chairman of the economic and monetary committee. Under President Mitterrand, Delors served as Economics and Finance Minister from 1981–1983, and Economics, Finance, and Budget Minister from 1983–1984. He then became President of the European Commission in January 1985. During his presidency, he oversaw important budgetary reforms and laid the groundwork for the introduction of a Single market within the European Community. In 1996 Delors founded the Paris think tank Notre Europe and remains one of its presidents today.