He was a man of principle in a world where principles are often hard to find. He strove for peace in an area where peace is hard to achieve. I would like to say that we need more people like him - but the truth is that there will never be many like him.
I met Shimon Peres last year and was impressed by his lucidity and vitality, at the young age of 92. He transmitted the quiet strength of those who are used to moving mountains. He was truly inspirational. As Commissioner responsible for research, science and innovation, I am particularly fond of quoting a sentence of his, which, for me, is Shimon Peres in a nutshell: “The value of a country is not and will never be measured by square metres of land, but by the number of scientists per square metre.” I will miss him. The world will miss him.