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Helmut Josef Michael Kohl is a German conservative politician and statesman. He was Chancellor of Germany from 1982–98 and the chairman of the Christian Democratic Union from 1973–98. His 16-year tenure was the longest of any German chancellor since Otto von Bismarck, and the longest for any democratically elected German leader. Kohl oversaw the end of the Cold War, and is widely regarded as the main architect of the German reunification. Together with French president François Mitterrand, he is also considered the architect of the Maastricht Treaty, which established the European Union. Kohl and Mitterrand were the joint recipients of the Charlemagne Prize in 1988. In 1996, he won the prestigious Prince of Asturias Award in International Cooperation. In 1998, Kohl was named Honorary Citizen of Europe by the European heads of state or government for his extraordinary work for European integration and cooperation, an honour previously only bestowed on Jean Monnet. Kohl was described as "the greatest European leader of the second half of the 20th century" by U.S. Presidents George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton.
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