The deceased former Chancellor Helmut Kohl should be be honoured at EU-level in the wake of his death, according to the President of the Commission, Juncker. Helmut Kohl is the first politician that is to receive a European State funeral.
Kohl, who died aged 87 on Friday, oversaw the reunification of Germany, and explicitly linked it to the unification of Europe in his efforts to foster integration, often in tandem with the then-French President Mitterrand.
“Already during his lifetime Kohl was accorded honorary European citizenship for his extraordinary contributions” said EU-commision President Jean-Claude Juncker to Bild am Sonntag. Therefore, Kohl also deserves a European state funeral, which Juncker vowed to personally push for. Kohl is the first politician who would be honoured in such a way at a European level. Bild am Sonntag has learned that the service would take place in Strasbourg.
A few hours after the death notice, there were already calls for a German state funeral. This would likely be held in Kohl’s home federal State of Rheinland-Pfalz, it was said on Friday. Both in Germany and in Brussels, flags were hung half-mast, and the CDU opened a condolence register in their headquarters. Starting on Sunday, more will be made available in the chancellor’s office and in the State Chancellery in Mainz. The German national team will wear a crape in commemoration in their match against Australia on Monday. Chancellor Angela Merkel called Kohl a “great European” and a “blessing for us Germans”.