Simone Veil

Infobox_President | name =Simone Veil
honorific-suffix =DBE

order =16th President of the European Parliament
1st of the Elected Parliament
term_start =July 1979
term_end =1982
vicepresident =
predecessor =Emilio Colombo
successor =Piet Dankert
birth_date =13 July 1927
birth_place =Nice, France
death_date =
death_place =
party =UDF, LDR
spouse =Antoine Veil
profession =Lawyer, politican
religion =


Simone Veil, DBE (born 13 July 1927) is a French lawyer and politician who served as a member of the Constitutional Council of France and the European Parliament.

Early life

Veil was born Simone Annie Jacob, the daughter of a Jewish architect in Nice, Alpes-Maritimes, France. In March 1944, Veil's family was deported, Simone, her mother and one sister to Auschwitz-Birkenau where her mother died shortly before the camp's 27 January 1945 liberation. Veil's father and brother also died in internment. Veil's other sister who had been arrested as a member of the Resistance survived her imprisonment in Ravensbruck. Veil returned to speak at Auschwitz-Birkenau in 2005 for the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the camps.

Having obtained her baccalauréat in 1943 before being deported, she began the study of law and political science, where she met her future husband Antoine Veil.

The couple married on 26 October 1946, and have three sons.

Political career

Minister of Health

From 1974 to 1979 she was Minister of Health in the governments of prime ministers Jacques Chirac and Raymond Barre. She pushed forward the following notable laws:
* Making access to contraception easier (December 4, 1974) – the sale of contraceptives such as the combined oral contraceptive pill had been made legal in 1967.
* Legalizing abortion (17 January 1975), her hardest political fight, and the one for which she is best-known. In June 2007, in a France 2 interview, she acknowledged that science is proving the existence of life from conception: "It is increasingly evident that scientifically from conception is a living being."Fact|date=August 2008

European Parliament

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 its President, which she served as until 1982. As well as being the first president of the elected Parliament, she was the first female President since the Parliament was created in 1952. In 1981, Veil won the prestigious Charlemagne Prize. She was re-elected in the 1984 election and became the leader of the Liberal Democrat group until 1989. She was re-elected for the last time in the 1989 election, standing down in 1993. [;jsessionid=1EE6ABD79E29134106C38C3AAF48E34E.node2?id=1174&language=EN MEP profile: Simone VEIL] , European Parliament website]

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.

Minister of Social Affairs

After many years in the European Parliament she returned to French government from 1993 to 1995 when she was Minister of State for Social Affairs, Health and Towns during the Premiership of Édouard Balladur.

In 1998, aged 70, she received an honorary damehood (DBE) from the British government for her contributions to humanity.

Member of the Constitutional Council

In 1998, she was appointed to the Constitutional Council. 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 seems 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 can put themselves "on leave" in order to campaign for such or such project.

In 2003, she was elected to the Board of Directors of the International Criminal Court's Trust Fund for Victims. [Amnesty International, 12 September 2003, " [ Amnesty International welcomes the election of a Board of Directors] ". Accessed 1 August 2007.]

In 2005 she was awarded with the Prince of Asturias Award in International Cooperation.

In 2007, Veil surprised many observers by declaring her support for the right-wing 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.


In a letter to then Polish President Aleksander Kwaśniewski, Yehuda Levin, the head of the New York City-based Union of Orthodox Rabbis of the United States and Canada criticized Veil's presence in 2005 at the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of Auschwitz's liberation: ‘... Veil [an Auschwitz survivor] – the orthodox rabbis said – was to be held responsible for a mass murder of human life far exceeding that of the German National Socialists by legalizing and promoting abortion.’ [ [ About the scandalous participation of pro-abortion politicians in the commemoration of the liberation of Auschwitz] ]


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Simone Veil — Simone Veil, 2008 Simone Veil [vɛj], geborene Jacob (* 13. Juli 1927 in Nizza), ist eine französische Politikerin und ehemalige französische Ministerin. Sie war Präsidentin des Europäischen Parlamentes. Seit 20. November 2008 ist Simone Veil… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Simone Veil — en 2007. Presidenta del Parlamento Europeo 1979 – 1983 …   Wikipedia Español

  • Simone Veil — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Veil.  Ne pas confondre avec la philosophe Simone Weil. Simone Veil …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Simone Jacob — Simone Veil  Ne pas confondre avec la philosophe Simone Weil. Simone Veil …   Wikipédia en Français

  • VEIL (S.) — VEIL SIMONE (1927 ) Fille d’un architecte, Simone Jacob est née à Nice. Sa vie va être complètement bouleversée par la guerre. En mars 1944 alors qu’elle est en train de passer son baccalauréat, la jeune fille qui n’a que dix sept ans est arrêtée …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • VEIL, SIMONE — (née Jacob; 1927– ), French politician. Veil, the daughter of architect André Jacob, was born in Nice. Deported by the Nazis to Auschwitz – where all the members of her family perished – and Bergen Belsen from March 1944 to May 1945, she survived …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Simone — ist im deutschsprachigen Raum ein weiblicher Vorname. Die männliche Form lautet Simon. In Italien ist Simone ein männlicher Vorname, die weibliche Form lautet Simona. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Herkunft und Bedeutung des Namens 2 Namenstag 3… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Veil — ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Hans Jürgen Veil (* 1946), deutscher Ringer Rüdiger Veil (* 1966), deutscher Rechtswissenschaftler Simone Veil (* 1927), französische Ministerin, Europapolitikerin und Parlamentspräsidentin Theodor Veil… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Simone Jacob — Dieser Artikel beschäftigt sich mit der Politikerin Simone Veil. Zur Philosophin Simone Weil siehe Simone Weil. Simone Veil, 2008 Simone Veil, geborene Jacob (* 13. Juli 1927 in Nizza), ist eine französische Politikerin und ehemalige französische …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Veil — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Cet article possède un paronyme, voir : Weil. Sur les autres projets Wikimedia  …   Wikipédia en Français

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