Jacques Delors
Laureate Jacques Delors being interviewed by NOS

Jacques Delors is the first laureate to receive the Treaties of Nijmegen Medal. The former chairman of the European Commission (1985-1995) was awarded the medal for his efforts in achieving European unity.

Jacques Delors strove to remove European national borders, as he believed economic integration would pave the way for European unity. Delors not only focused on the economic dimensions of European unity, but also on the social cohesion of Europe and the promotion of solidarity between the richer and poorer areas of Europe.

But perhaps Delors played his most important role right after the fall of the Berlin Wall on 9 November 1989. He succeeded in turning German and French interests into European interests. He then prepared the Maastricht Treaty (1991), which contained a resolution on the introduction of the Euro and agreements regarding a common foreign policy administered by the European Council.