Simone Veil

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Simone Veil
DBE
Simone Veil (1984).jpg
12th President of the European Parliament
In office
17 July 1979 – 19 January 1982
Preceded by Emilio Colombo
Succeeded by Piet Dankert
Minister of Health
In office
29 March 1993 – 18 May 1995
Prime Minister Édouard Balladur
Deputy Philippe Douste-Blazy
Preceded by Bernard Kouchner
Succeeded by Élisabeth Hubert
In office
27 May 1974 – 4 July 1979
Prime Minister Jacques Chirac
Raymond Barre
Preceded by Michel Poniatowski
Succeeded by Michel Poniatowski
Member of the European Parliament
for France
In office
17 July 1979 – 30 March 1993
Preceded by Constituency established
Succeeded by Jean-Marie Vanlerenberghe
Personal details
Born Simone Annie Liline Jacob
(1927-07-13)13 July 1927
Nice, France
Died 30 June 2017(2017-06-30) (aged 89)
Paris, France
Political party Independent (1974–1979)
Union for French Democracy (1979–1997)
Union of Democrats and Independents (2012–2017)
Spouse(s) Antoine Veil (m. 1946; d. 2013)
Children 3 sons
Alma mater Sciences Po

Simone Annie Liline Veil, DBE (French: [simɔn vɛj] (About this sound listen), née Jacob; 13 July 1927 – 30 June 2017) was a French lawyer and politician who served as Minister of Health under Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, President of the European Parliament and member of the Constitutional Council of France.

A survivor from the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp where she lost part of her family during the Holocaust;[1] she served as the first president of the Fondation pour la Mémoire de la Shoah, from 2000 to 2007,[2] and subsequently as honorary president. She was elected to the Académie française in November 2008. She was best known for pushing forward the law legalizing abortion in France on 17 January 1975.

Early years and private life

Veil was born Simone Annie Liline Jacob in Nice, Alpes-Maritimes, France, the daughter of Yvonne (Steinmetz) and André Jacob, an architect.[1] She completed her baccalauréat on 28 March 1944 and was arrested by German authorities days later.[2][3] Veil's Jewish family—Simone, her mother and one sister, Madeleine (nicknamed Milou)—was deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau. They were later transferred to Bergen-Belsen, where her mother Yvonne died of typhus shortly before the camp's 15 April 1945 liberation. Veil's father and brother also died; they are last known to have been sent on a transport to Lithuania.[1] Veil's other sister, Denise, who had been arrested as a member of the Resistance at the start of the war, survived her imprisonment in Ravensbrück. Milou died in a car crash in the 1950s. Veil returned to speak at Auschwitz-Birkenau in 2005 for the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the camps.[4]

After the liberation, she began to study law and political science at Sciences Po and at the University of Paris, where she met her future husband Antoine Veil.[5] The couple married on 26 October 1946, and had three sons: Jean, Claude-Nicolas, and Pierre François. Her husband died at the age of 86 on 12 April 2013,after 66 years of marriage.[6] Claude-Nicolas died in 2002.[7]

Political career

31 May 1988

Ministry of Justice, 1956-1974

After graduating from Institut d'études politiques de Paris with a law degree Veil spent several years in practicing law. In 1956, she passed the national examination to become a magistrate.[1] She entered and held a senior position at the National Penitentiary Administration under the Ministry of Justice. She was responsible for judicial affairs and improved women's prison conditions and the treatment of incarcerated women.[8] In 1964, she left to become the director of civil affairs, where she improved French women's general rights and status.[1] She successfully achieved the right to dual parental control of family legal matters and adoptive rights for women.[1] In 1970, she became secretary general of the Supreme Magistracy Council (Conseil supérieur de la magistrature).[8]

Minister of Health, 1974-1979

From 1974 to 1979 Veil was Minister of Health in the governments of prime ministers Jacques Chirac and Raymond Barre. From 28 May 1974 – 29 March 1977 Minister of Health, from 29 March 1977 – 3 April 1978 Minister of Health and Social Security, and from 3 April 1978 – 4 July 1979 Minister of Health and Family. She pushed forward the following notable laws:

  • 4 December 1974 facilitating access to contraception– the sale of contraceptives such as the combined oral contraceptive pill had been legalized in 1967.
  • 17 January 1975: Legalizing abortion in France, her hardest political fight, and for which she is best known. The abortion debate was a particularly difficult time as those in favor of keeping abortion illegal launched aggressive personal attacks against Veil and her family.[1] However, since the passing of the law, many have paid tribute to Veil and thanked her for her courageous and determined fight.[1]

In 1976 Veil helped to introduce a ban on smoking in certain public places, and worked on the problem of medically underserved rural areas, which Emmanuel Macron still works on today. health priorities.[7]

European Parliament, 1979-1993

In 1979, Veil was elected as a Member of the European Parliament in the 1979 European election. In its first session, the new Parliament elected Veil as first female its President,[7] and served until 1982.[9]

In 1981, Veil won the prestigious Charlemagne Prize.[10] In 1982 she was re-elected in the 1982 election as a Member until 1984 She became Chair of the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party until 1989. She was re-elected for the last time in the 1989 election, standing down in 1993.[9]

Between 1984 and 1992 she served on the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, and the Committee on Political Affairs. After standing down from these committees she served on the Committee on Foreign Affairs and its related Subcommittee on Human Rights. Between 1989 and 1993 she was also a member of Parliament's delegation to the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly, serving as its vice-chairwoman until 1992.[9]

Return to French Government, 1993-1995

From 31 March 1993 – 16 May 1995 Veil was again a member of the cabinet, serving as Minister of State and Minister of Health, Social Affairs and the City in the government of Prime Minister Édouard Balladur.[11] She worked to help mothers of young children, the disabled, and HIV-positive patients in the mid-1990s.[7]

Member of the Constitutional Council, 1998

In 1998, she was appointed to the Constitutional Council of France. In 2005, she put herself briefly on leave from the Council in order to campaign in favour of the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe. This action was criticized, because it seemed to contradict the legal provisions that members of the council should keep a distance from partisan politics: the independence and impartiality of the council would be jeopardized, critics said, if members could put themselves "on leave" in order to campaign for a project.[12] In response, Veil said that she, the President of the Constitutional Council and colleagues had deliberated on the issue beforehand and they had given her permission to take her leave without having to resign. Being a staunch supporter of the European project, she believed others should not "ignore the historical dimension of European integration".[12]

Honors and other activities, 1989-2012

In 1998, she was awarded as Honorary Dame of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) by the British government.[13] She was a Member of the Constitutional Council of France: March 1998 – March 2007.

In 2003, she was elected to the Board of Directors of the International Criminal Court's Trust Fund for Victims.[14]

In 2005 she was awarded with the Prince of Asturias Award in International Cooperation.[citation needed]

In 2007, she was awarded the North-South Prize of the Council of Europe.[citation needed]

In 2007, Veil surprised many observers by declaring her support for the neo-conservative presidential candidate Nicolas Sarkozy. She was by his side on the day after he received 31 percent of the vote in the first round of the presidential elections that year.[15]

Veil entered the Académie française in 2008, the sixth woman ever to do so.[16] Veil joined the Academy's forty "immortals" at their 13th seat, originally the seat of Jean Racine. Her induction address was given in March 2010 by Jean d'Ormesson. On her sword, given to her as to every other immortal, is engraved her Auschwitz number (number 78651), the motto of the French Republic (liberté, égalité, fraternité) and the motto of the European Union (Unis dans la diversité).[17]

In 2008 she won the Charles V Prize, awarded by the Fundación Academia Europea de Yuste in honor of "her acknowledged merits in the struggle for the advancement of women's equality."[citation needed]

In 2010 she received the Coudenhove-Kalergi Badge by the Europa-Union Münster.[18]

She participated as jury member for the Conflict Prevention Prize awarded every year by the Fondation Chirac.[19]

In 2012, she was appointed a Grand Cross of the Légion d'honneur.[20]

Death

Veil died at home on 30 June 2017, two weeks before her 90th birthday.[21] Her son Jean said at her public ceremony July 5 "I forgive you for having poured water over my head", in reference to an event where she had "emptied a carafe of water over his head in disgust at what she considered to be his misogynist remarks".[7]

On 5 July 2017, Veil was honoured with a national ceremony and military honours in Les Invalides courtyard,[22] after which she was interred next to her husband, who died in 2013, at Montparnasse Cemetery.[23] The ceremony at Les Invalides was attended by President Macron, Holocaust survivors, politicians and dignitaries. In his speech during the ceremony, Macron announced the decision to rebury Veil and her husband in the Panthéon.[24]

Doctorats honoris causa

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Hottell, Ruth. "Simone Veil". Jewish Women's Archive. Retrieved 2 July 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Chan, Sewell (30 June 2017). "Simone Veil, Ex-Minister Who Wrote France's Abortion Law, Dies at 89". The New York Times. 
  3. ^ http://www.encyclopedia.com/women/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/veil-simone-1927
  4. ^ "Simone Veil". France in the United Kingdom. Archived from the original on 20 February 2012. Retrieved 30 January 2017. 
  5. ^ "Une vie (Simone VEIL)". Politique (in French). Retrieved 2 July 2014. 
  6. ^ "Mort d'Antoine Veil, mari de Simone Veil". Le Monde (in French). Retrieved 2 July 2014. 
  7. ^ a b c d e Barbara Casassus Obituary Simone Veil. Lancet, Volume 390, No. 10092, p356, 22 July 2017
  8. ^ a b "Simone Veil, défenseure de l'avortement". L'histoire par les femmes (in French). Retrieved 2 July 2014. 
  9. ^ a b c "Simone VEIL: History of parliamentary service". Europa.eu. European Parliament. Retrieved 30 January 2017. 
  10. ^ "Bahrain business pioneer Veil mourned". Trade Arabia. Retrieved 2 July 2014. 
  11. ^ Décret n° 76 du 30 MARS 1993 RELATIF LA COMPOSITION DU GOUVERNEMENT (in French)
  12. ^ a b "Référendum : Simone Veil répond à Debré". My TF1 News (in French). Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 30 January 2017. 
  13. ^ Veil, Simone (1 September 2009). A life. Haus Publishing. 
  14. ^ "International Criminal Court's Trust Fund: Amnesty International welcomes the election of a Board of Directors" (Press release). Amnesty International. 12 September 2003. Archived from the original on 16 November 2004. Retrieved 30 January 2017. 
  15. ^ "Simone Veil rejoint Nicolas Sarkozy". My TF1 News (in French). Archived from the original on 7 July 2014. Retrieved 2 July 2014. 
  16. ^ Erlanger, Steven (18 March 2010). "France: Ex-Minister To Join Academy". The New York Times. Retrieved 8 November 2010. 
  17. ^ "Simone Veil, une icône à l'Académie" [Simone Veil : an icon in the 'Académie']. Le Parisien (in French). 18 March 2010. Retrieved 30 January 2017. 
  18. ^ "Coudenhove-Kalergi-Plakette: Preisträger" [Coudenhove-Kalergi Badge: Recipients]. Europa Union Deutschland, Kreisverband Münster (in German). Retrieved 30 January 2017. 
  19. ^ The jury for the Conflict Prevention Prize awarded by the Fondation Chirac
  20. ^ "Simone Veil faite grand'croix de la Légion d'honneur" [Simone Veil made Grand Cross of the Legion of Honor]. Le Parisien (in French). 10 September 2012. Retrieved 9 January 2017. 
  21. ^ "Simone Veil est décédée à 89 ans". Le Journal du Dimanche (in French). 30 June 2017. 
  22. ^ * "French rights champion Simone Veil given coveted place in Panthéon". The Guardian. 2017-07-05. 
  23. ^ * Roe, David (2017-07-05). "France buries women's rights icon Simone Veil". en.rfi.fr. 
  24. ^ * Breeden, Aurelien (5 July 2017). "Simone Veil to Be Laid to Rest in Panthéon, Among France's Revered". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Michel Poniatowski
Minister of Health
1974–1979
Succeeded by
Michel Poniatowski
Preceded by
Emilio Colombo
President of the European Parliament
1979–1982
Succeeded by
Piet Dankert
Preceded by
Bernard Kouchner
Minister of Health
1993–1995
Succeeded by
Élisabeth Hubert
Academic offices
Preceded by
Dries van Agt
Invocation Speaker of the College of Europe
1980
Succeeded by
Bruno Kreisky
Awards
Preceded by
Emilio Colombo
Recipient of the Charlemagne Prize
1982
Succeeded by
Juan Carlos of Spain
Preceded by
Erasmus Programme
Recipient of the Prince of Asturias Awards
2005
Succeeded by
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Legal offices
Preceded by
Jean Cabannes
Member of the Constitutional Council
1998–2007
Succeeded by
Renaud Denoix de Saint Marc
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Pierre Messmer
Member of the Académie française
2008–2017
Vacant
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