2023 FMA annual events 3-4 May

Librorum - Roundtable discussion

From left: Michael Hindley, Hans-Gert Pöttering, Klaus Hänsch, Monica Baldi, Jo Leinen at the FMA & EPRS roundtable discussion on 3 May 2023 in the EP Library’s Reading Room.

On 3 May at the European Parliament Library’s Reading Room (SPINELLI 05D) the EP Former Members’ Association (FMA) and the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) co-organised a Librorum – Roundtable discussion concerning the biography of the former FMA President and former EP President Hans-Gert Pöttering entitled “A European Conscience”, which tell us about his life.

This roundtable discussion was opened by Othmar Karas, First Vice-President of the European Parliament with the statement: “Only if we know our roots, we can find ways into the future!”

Vice-President Karas’s opening was followed by FMA Vice-President Monica Baldi’s presentation of the book and of the author. Then, we had a very interesting roundtable discussion with Hans-Gert Pöttering, former EP and FMA President, followed by a Q&A session moderated by Michael Hindley, FMA Board Member. We had many enriching and interesting exchanges about Mr Pottering’s memories as a former Member and former President of the European Parliament. Jo Leinen concluded the event.

The full recording of the event is available on the FMA YouTube channel.

Hans-Gert Pöttering, former FMA and EP president in the FMA & EPRS roundtable discussion on 3 May 2023.

Annual Memorial Service

On 3 May 2023, the Fourteenth Annual Memorial Service for deceased former Members of the European Parliament took place, organised by the FMA under the patronage of the European Parliament. Current and former members of the European Parliament, current and former EP officials were commemorated former MEPs who passed away in 2022-2023. Dr. Klaus Hänsch, FMA president and former President of the European Parliament welcomed the ceremony and paid special homage to deceased former President of the European Parliament José-Maria Gil-Robles Gil-Delgado: José María has been an outstanding politician, a man of authority, open, intelligent and conciliatory, able to combine great humanity with great firmness and fine irony. He was my immediate successor as President of the European Parliament, bearing testimony to the substantial political reputation he had acquired while serving as a Spanish Member in the Group of the European People’s Party.”

The 2023 Annual Memorial Service in the Hemicycle of the European Parliament in Brussels.

Othmar Karas, First Vice-President of the European Parliament brought tribute to the commemorated former members who passed away in 2022 and 2023: “We honour deceased Members, former Members and Presidents of this House as our colleagues, friends and family.  We honour them for their life’s work, their ideas, their passion and vision. We honour them for their contribution to the European democracy project.”

He added: “We are faced by more global challenges than at any time since 1945: the war in Ukraine, the pandemic, the energy and climate crisis, the humanitarian, social and economic consequences, the threats to liberal democracy, nationalism, populism, polarization. Nobody can manage these challenges alone. Only united we will stand before history. In this spirit, let us commemorate those, who have shaped the Europe of today. And let us honour their achievements, by further strengthening the European Union of tomorrow.”

First EP Vice-President Othmar Karas at the 2023 Annual Memorial Service.

FMA Board Members Manuel Porto, Teresa Riera Maruell and Jean-Pierre Audy delivered the readings.

FMA Vice-President Monica Baldi conducted the Honour Roll Call.

Finally, Enrique Barón Crespo, former President of the European Parliament, concluded the ceremony and the European Hymn was played at the end of the Memorial Service.

The Memorial Service was broadcasted live and the full recording can be viewed on the FMA website. The brochure of the event with a complete programme and the messages of former colleagues is also accessible via the FMA website.

Dinner Debate

After the Memorial Service, on 3 May 2023, the FMA Management Committee organised a Cocktail Reception followed by a Dinner Debate in the Members’ Restaurant of the European Parliament. The audience was a mix of former MEPs, MEPs and EU officials.

The event was chaired by FMA President Klaus Hänsch. Guest Speaker Mr Paolo Gentiloni, EU Commissioner for Economy gave a speech entitled “Years of change: Europe after the pandemic and the war in Ukraine” followed by an exchange of views with FMA members.

During this debate, we had the opportunity to discuss economic issues and Mr Gentiloni had some very relevant questions about the future of Europe such as: “Can we continue to find different ways of funding common projects? In 50 years will we succeed in having a fiscal capacity and complete the economic architecture?”

Former EP President and FMA president Klaus HÄNSCH with EU Commissioner for Economy, Paolo Gentiloni at the FMA Annual Dinner Debate on 3 May 2023.

Annual General Assembly

On 4 May 2023, the FMA 22st Annual General Assembly took place in the European Parliament in Brussels. Once per year, members gather to sum up an intense year of work, to discuss the current activities of the Association and submit their proposals.

The following members were elected in the order below and will serve on the Board of the Management Committee for a period of two years.

  3. Michael HINDLEY
  4. Manuel PORTO


Following the first meeting of the Board of the Management Committee on 4 May 2023, you will find below the members of the Association’s Bureau:

President – Klaus HÄNSCH

Vice-President – Monica BALDI

Treasurer – Jean-Pierre AUDY

Secretary – Teresa RIERA MADURELL

You can find the full composition of the FMA board, formed by ten members, on the FMA website.

FMA President Klaus Hänsch; FMA Vice-President Monica Baldi, FMA Treasury Jean-Pierre Audy, FMA Secretary Teresa Riera Madurell ; FMA Board Members Michael Hindley, Godelieve Quisthoudt-Rowohl, Manuel Porto; FMA Secretary General Elisabetta Fonck.