In their life very few public personalities have experienced absolute evil so closely and have also been the source of so much support in spite of all adversity. From this Simone Veil developed an unshakeable freedom of thought and expression and also an extraordinary faith in Europe. Her exceptional character helped her transform her ordeals into exemplary commitments.
The first President of the first European Parliament elected by universal suffrage, she marked this institution and all of Europe by the depth of her conviction, the nobility of her vision and the courage of her expression.
Her work to remind us of how important it was to remember the Shoah and of defending Human Rights everywhere in the world was deemed a model. Her work for women's rights made her an icon of this legitimate battle.
For the French and for Europeans she will remain an irreplaceable reference because nothing could challenge her propriety or weaken her convictions. Honest and beautiful, her personality enlightened public life. For us she is the proof that with experience the strength of one voice can move mountains. She showed us that one voice expressed with strength, via example and determination, can change things.
Today Europeans have lost a grand figure of their heritage.