Press release: for immediate release
FMA Annual Events
From left: Monica Baldi, Anthony Teasdale, Sandro Gozi MEP, Gunnar Beck MEP, Klaus Hänsch,
Hans-Gert Pöttering, Marc Tarabella MEP, Michiel Hoogeveen MEP and Helmut Scholz MEP
at the FMA & EPRS roundtable discussion on 1 June 2022 in the EP Library’s Reading Room.
On 1 June 2022, the EP Former Members Association (FMA) and the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) co-organised a roundtable discussion, called ‘The ‘Present Future’ of Europe: The key issues before and after the Conference’, to discuss the FMA publication ‘Present Future of Europe’. The publication, a collection of proposals to stimulate the debate of today’s Europe, was presented and discussed with EU policy-makers, in light of the final report on the outcome of the Conference on the Future of Europe (CoFoE).
This roundtable discussion was opened by Anthony Teasdale, Director General of the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) with the statement: “It is a great pleasure to come together finally in the first official meeting in the EP Library’s reading room in the last two years.”
Teasdale’s welcome was followed by Former EP and FMA President Hans-Gert Pöttering’s presentation of the FMA publication ‘Present Future of Europe’. He stated the relevance of the work as follows: “Our work has not finished with the end of the CoFoE, it has just started, to make sure that there is a concrete follow up to make the EU more efficient, to increase its capacity to act and to deliver what citizens expect.”
The FMA Vice-President and co-author of the book, Monica Baldi, remarked that “it is essential to continue the dialogue, keeping alive a relay race between citizens and politicians, to continue giving a voice to almost 450 million European citizens, considering that Culture plays a fundamental role.”
Then, Dieter Schlenker, Director of EU Historical Archives in Florence, and Professor Steven Van Hecke, advisor to the FMA Reflection Group on the CoFoE, provided introductory remarks on the production of the publication.
Next, Former EP President Klaus Hänsch shared his insights on needed action for the future of Europe. “The union has undoubtedly lost people’s support to a considerably high degree. People are fed up with debates on new constructions and institutions. It is by action on policies, not by constructing institutions, that the Union will regain support. A new treaty reform that is not accompanied by a clear political project will fail.”
After the reflections from the FMA’s side, the current MEPs presented their insights in the CoFoE. Firstly, MEP Marc Tarabella (S&D) emphasised that we should not lose sight of the positive aspects of the EU projects and he pleaded for a more social future of Europe. Secondly, MEP Sandro Gozi (Renew) stated: “I was hopeful but also worried at the beginning of the CoFoe. Hopeful because I strongly believe that this proposal was a good idea. Worried at the beginning, because it was not easy to find the modus operandi to promote a confidence building process among citizens and representatives of the institutions. But I was very satisfied at the end of the process because I think the outcome was very positive.”
In contrast, MEP Gunnar Beck (ID) sharply argued for more scepticism regarding the conference as he questioned the selection process: “The CoFoE presents itself as a democratic exercise. However, the process whereby the citizens were selected was biased towards selecting pro EU-citizens.” With great sympathy for the critique on the CoFoE process formulated by Mr Beck, MEP Michiel Hoogeveen (ERC) stated however the importance of taking a critical look at “what the EU already does right for the citizens”, pointing out the value of the common market and the veto right.
Lastly, MEP Helmut Scholz (THE LEFT) urged the EP to act on the citizen’s requests in the CoFoE: “I think the 320 concrete proposals and 48 recommendations are saying a lot on what people are expecting. Some of the most sincere and important questions are asking for treaty changes. So we, being future former members of the European Parliament, have to deal with this issue now.”
To conclude the roundtable discussion, FMA Secretary Teresa Riera Madurell restated its purpose. “The FMA’s aim has been to contribute our grain of sand to the CoFoE, a conference that we all agree in considering as an excellent opportunity, that came at the right time and that we cannot miss.”
The full recording of the event is available on the FMA YouTube channel.
The Reading Room of the EP Library with speakers and guests of the FMA & EPRS roundtable discussion on 1 June 2022.
Annual Memorial Service
On 1 June, after the Roundtable Discussion, at the Hemicycle of the European Parliament in Brussels the FMA held the 2022 Memorial Service for deceased members and former members of the European Parliament, under the patronage of the European Parliament.
Dr. Hans-Gert Pöttering, former President of the European Parliament and of the FMA welcomed the ceremony and paid special homage to deceased former Presidents of the European Parliament David Maria Sassoli and Lord Henry Plumb: “It is with particularly deep emotion that we pay homage today to two exemplary figures and eminent Europeans, President David Maria Sassoli and President Lord Henry Plumb, who led the House of European Democracy with balance and determination. Two figures who embodied political commitment in its noblest sense and who understood its profound meaning, that of uniting rather than dividing. May the memory of David Maria Sassoli and Lord Henry Plumb always serve as an inspiration to us all.”
The 2022 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 47 commemorated former members who passed away in 2021 and 2022: “We honour them as our colleagues and friends. We honour them for their life’s work, their ideas, patience and tuition. We honour them for their contribution to the European project and our European liberal democracy.”
First EP Vice-President Othmar Karas at the 2022 Annual Memorial Service.
FMA Vice-President Monica Baldi and FMA Board Members Miguel Ángel Martínez Martínez, Edward McMillan-Scott and Manuel Porto delivered the readings.
FMA Secretary Teresa Riera Madurell conducted the Honour Roll Call.
Finally, Klaus Hänsch, former President of the European Parliament, concluded the ceremony with the closing oration: “We must hold together, strengthen and defend this Europe of reconciliation and cooperation, of peace and security, of freedom and justice and of tolerance and democracy – even and especially when it costs us something. From the beginning, our Union has stood against dictatorship and against subjugation. Today, it stands with the Ukrainian people against the Russian dictatorship’s cowardly neo-imperialist aggression. In this time of crisis and war in Europe, we honour our deceased colleagues with a promise:
Yes, we stand up!
Yes, we are strong!
Yes, we stand together!”
The European Hymn was played at the end of the Memorial Service.
Besides FMA members and family members of the deceased former members, EP Vice-Presidents Dita Charanzová and Rainer Wieland, among others, attended the ceremony.
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.
In the evening of 1 June, the FMA Management Committee organised a Dinner Debate in the European Parliament’s Presidential Salon, preceded by a Cocktail Reception hosted by the FMA. The audience was a mix of former MEPs, MEPs and EU officials.
The event was chaired by FMA former President Hans-Gert Pöttering. Guest Speaker Pat Cox, former EP (2002-2004) and FMA President (2010-2014), gave an inspiring speech on ‘War in Ukraine – the 21st century’s most momentous geopolitical event’: “Putin’s invasion of Ukraine marks a point of inflection in global history and is the most momentous geopolitical event so far of the 21st century. This new reality has been an eye-opening wake up call for democracies across the world. For all their contested politics, these democracies got the message loud and clear and responded to the challenge with a speed, substance and coherence that Putin and perhaps even they could not have anticipated.”
From left: Former EP President Klaus HÄNSCH, FMA and Former EP President
Hans-Gert PÖTTERING and Former FMA and EP President Pat COX
at the FMA Annual Dinner Debate on 1 June 2022.
Annual General Assembly
On 2 June 2022, the 21th Annual General Assembly of the Association of Former Members of the European Parliament was held at the European Parliament in Brussels.
Once a year, members meet to review a year of intense work, discuss the Association’s current activities and present their own proposals. It is an opportunity to stay in touch and catch up with former colleagues.
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.
- Monica BALDI
- Edward MCMILLAN-SCOTT
- Jean-Pierre AUDY
- Klaus HÄNSCH
- Paul RÜBIG
Following the first meeting of the Board of the Management Committee on 2 June 2022, 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 Board Members Jean-Piere Audy, Miguel Ángel Martínez Martínez,
Monica Baldi, Pier Antonio Panzeri and Teresa Riera Madurell; FMA and EP former President
Hans-Gert Pöttering and FMA Secretary General Elisabetta Fonck
at the Management Committee Meeting on 2 June 2022.
|About the FMA
The Former Members Association of the European Parliament aims to foster relationships between former Members of the European Parliament by publishing a quarterly Bulletin and newsletters, organising social and cultural events, information meetings, debates and study visits, and by keeping in contact with similar organisations in other countries. In addition to that, FMA members engage in democracy support and election observation missions as well as fostering the cooperation with universities by participating pro bono in the EP to Campus educational programme.
The Management Committee of the FMA is composed of ten elected former MEPs.
For further information, please contact Valerie RASKIN:
Tel. +32 (0)2 284 07 03