Former German chancellor and Honorary Citizen of EuropeHelmut Kohl, who passed away on 16 June, was honoured for his contribution to Europe with a ceremony hosted by Parliament in Strasbourg on 1 July 2017.
The ceremony was be attended by the presidents of EU institutions, former and current heads of state and government and other dignitaries.
Helmut Kohl, born in 1930, served as German chancellor from 1982 to 1998 and led the country through its reunification in 1990 following the collapse of the Soviet bloc. Together with then French president François Mitterrand, Kohl played an instrumental role in the signing of the Maastricht Treaty in 1992, which created the euro and transformed the existing European communities into the European Union. EU heads of state and government proclaimed Helmut Kohl as “Honorary citizen of Europe” in December 1998. “The creation of German unity and the consolidation of European unification, culminating in Economic and Monetary Union, are Dr Helmut Kohl's life's work. For that life's work, we offer him our sincere gratitude and our heartfelt appreciation,” said the conclusions of the European Council in Vienna. Only Jean Monnet (in 1976) and Jacques Delors (in 2015) have been awarded the same title.
“Helmut Kohl was a visionary and a statesman who championed reconciliation and unity among the peoples of Europe. He will be missed,” said Parliament President Antonio Tajani on the news of his death.