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Helmut Schmidt and Valéry Giscard d’Estaing laudatio

Presentation of Jean Monnet Foundation Gold Medal to Chancellor Helmut Schmidt and President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing.

 The Former President Valery GISCARD d’ESTAING and Chancellor Helmut SCHMIDT on the occasion of their presentation of the Jean Monnet Foundation’s Gold Medal. No one can doubt that this ceremony will become an important event in the history of the Foundation, testified to by the presence, in this room, of the numerous prestigious guests. Please permit me, in these circumstances, to pay tribute tribute on behalf of us all, to the guardian of the memory of Jean MONNET and the European flame, Professor Henri RIEBEN. On cannot praise highly enough his enthusiasm, his rigour, and his intellectual curiosity. He hosted, in 1992, one of the seminars on the Crossroads of Science and Culture that I organised to stimulate cultural and ethical reflection around Europe. And, it is only natural that it was here that the theme of a model of European society was developed, so dear to Henri RIEBEN, active and inspired participant of this colloquium. The Professor has picked a well-chosen moment to honour these two Statesmen who, among other determining actions, brought the vision and the project of a European money. This money, already in existence for financial market operations will, from 1st January 2002, take its concrete form of notes and coins. How can one, in what follows, distinguish between these two great individuals who began, decided, and argued in favour of this project together? This laudatio, as you may well understand, will be devoted to the genesis of this great project. But I would not wish, for all that, to forget the other features of their careers. A few words then, where really it would require two books.