On December 2nd, Valérie Giscard d’Estaing died at the age of 94. Born in Germany and fluent in German he kept close ties with Germany. He was a European and worked throughout his career to shape the European Union.
The friendship with Helmut Schmidt, who was German chancellor during Giscard’s presidency, became a fundamental element of their common ability to shape politics.
Both of them saw the opportunity in creating the dialogue. In 1975, both of them invited four other heads of state to the Château de Rambouillet. The Group of 6 (G6) was an informal meeting. One that wanted to create a forum to exchange amongst them without the stiff formality of official meetings. That, it eventually led to the more formal G7, G8, and G20 meetings doesn’t change the basic idea that connection fosters dialogue.
Giscard d’Estaing and Schmidt both went beyond the dialogue. Their friendship and their statesmanship led them to share and discuss all decisions they saw as having implications on each other’s country and Europe. They wanted to decide together.
Their ego didn’t need the ability to decide on their own.