KelbelCamille Kelbelis an academic assistant and PhD candidate at the ULB. From 2012 to 2016, she was taking part in the ‘PartiRep’ Interuniversity Attraction Pole. Prior to joining the ULB, Camille Kelbel was an academic assistant at the College of Europe, Bruges. 

It is difficult if not impossible to talk about Europe’s past and the milestones of the European integration process without mentioning France’s role. Although France is only one of the architects of European integration as we know it today, its weight in the political and historical narrative is disproportionate to that of other states. An imbalance that the European Union itself has helped to fuel: while recent events have reminded us that Helmut Kohl was one of the three personalities to receive the distinction of “Honorary Citizen of Europe”, the other two were French – Jean Monnet and Jacques Delors. Jacques Delors is perhaps the personality who best embodies this “France-Europe”, often presented as the providential man in a somewhat decontextualized perspective. While great progress in integration has certainly been made under his leadership as President of the Commission (and in particular the Single Act and the Maastricht Treaty), the more favourable economic and political climate at the time must invite us to be cautious in invoking the “Delors myth”, especially when we wish to make comparisons with the presidents who succeeded him.

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