It is with deep regret that we have learnt of the passing away of Helmut Kohl, the former Chancellor of Germany and one of the European People’s Party (EPP) co-founders. On this sombre occasion, the EPP President, Joseph Daul, made the following statement:
“Today, it is a sad day for the EPP, for Germany and for Europe. We have lost not only one of the founding fathers of Europe but also a central figure and one of the co-founders of our political family.
It was Kohl, together with former EPP President Wilfried Martens, who firmly took the initiative to extend the EPP and make it the leading political force in Europe. With the help of Kohl’s guidance, the EPP became a party with bold proposals, brave actions, and astonishing results.
Kohl was a convinced European and an extraordinary visionary. The strength of his beliefs and the determination of his actions gave him the courage to push on where others might have given up. His place in history will remain unquestionable for his efforts in reuniting Germany, building Europe, putting in place the Euro, and strengthening the European centre-right.
Kohl leaves behind an unprecedented legacy of peace, democracy, and unity. An example of leadership to many politicians and an icon to many young generations, Kohl will be remembered as one of the greatest European leaders of the past century. While deeply mourning his loss today, we vow to continue his work on keeping Europe united and prosperous.
On behalf of the EPP, I would like to extend our heartfelt condolences to Helmut Kohl’s family, our member party the CDU, and to the German people. May he rest in peace.”