Simone Veil buried at the Panthéon
A year after her death the French Auschwitz survivor and women's rights activist Simone Veil has been given the rare honour of being buried at the Panthéon in Paris. France's media also honour Veil's commitment to Europe - she was a president of the EU Parliament from 1979 to 1982 - and examine the continuing relevance of her ideas on European policy.
She made the EU a possibility
Philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy praises all Simone Veil did for Europe in Le Point:
“After the war there were two standpoints on Europe. That of [philosopher and resistance fighter] Vladimir Jankélévitch, who stressed the ontological guilt of Germany and believed that the German language had been definitively corrupted by Hitler's words. For him this culture and this people should never again be allowed to stand on their own two feet. And then there was the standpoint of Simone Veil: no collective guilt, German is the language of Nazism but also of anti-Nazism. For Veil, a Europe was possible whose pillars were precisely a France and Germany that had left their past behind them.”
Veil's Europe is unwell
In his speech in honour of Simone Veil, French President Macron spoke of the ill winds that today's democrats face - as Veil did in her day. For the daily Libération the timing of the tribute couldn't be better:
“These ill winds are now blowing stronger than ever after the difficult meeting of the European Council in Brussels, which was supposed to lay out the Union's migration policy. Signed on Friday at dawn after a night of negotiation, the agreement settles nothing in the political crisis sparked by the populists of Italy, Bavaria, and the countries of Eastern Europe. Its sole merit is that it doesn't displease anyone. It's a fragile compromise that would no doubt have saddened Simone Veil.”