The Western Balkans during Austria’s EU Presidency

DEBATE The Western Balkans during Austria's EU-PresidencyDear friends of the European Parliamentary Association,

We are delighted to invite you to our next conference debateThe Western Balkans during Austria’s EU Presidency”, which will take place on Wednesday 24 October, at 7:30 pm, in the villa of our association (76 allée de la Robertsau Strasbourg).

Even if the European Union is going through a difficult period, the Western Balkans keep on the road of EU membership and, in this regard, bringing the Western Balkans closer to the European Union is one of the priorities of the Austrian EU Presidency.

What initiatives will the Austrian presidency put in place to fulfill this goal? What are the expectations of Western Balkan countries? Could the Western Balkans give new energy to the process of European integration?

We will have the opportunity to discuss these issues with two prestigious guest-speakers. They are the Austrian MEP Lukas Mandl, member of the Delegation for relations with Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Kosovo, and Dhurata Hoxha, Minister of European Integration of Kosovo.

After the conference debate, you will be invited in our cellar for a cocktail.

We hope to see you there.

Soirée d’ouverture des « Journées de l’Autriche »

SOIREE D'OUVERTURE Journées de l'Autriche lundi 22 octobre, 19h30Chers amis de l’APE,

L’Association Parlementaire Européenne a le plaisir de vous convier à la soirée d’ouverture des « Journées de l’Autriche », une initiative qui va durer trois jours et qui a pour objectif de mettre en lumière l’histoire, la culture ainsi que l’engagement politique du pays détenant la présidence du Conseil de l’Union européenne.

La soirée d’ouverture des « Journées » aura lieu lundi 22 octobre à 19h30, au siège de l’Association Parlementaire Européenne, 76 allée de la Robertsau à Strasbourg.

Vous aurez l’occasion d’assister au vernissage de l’exposition « Bertha von Suttner, une vie pour la paix », dédiée à la comtesse autrichienne Bertha von Suttner. Née en 1843 à Prague, pionnière du pacifisme, première femme à obtenir le prix Nobel de la paix en 1905 quelques années après avoir incité son ami Alfred Nobel à créer un prix portant son nom, elle fut engagée tout au long de sa vie contre l’antisémitisme, le nationalisme fanatique et contre toute autre forme de haine et de discrimination.

Le vernissage sera suivi par une représentation de la danseuse autrichienne Doris Buche-Reisinger.

A l’issue du spectacle, vous pourrez déguster diverses spécialités autrichiennes autour d’un cocktail.

Merci de confirmer votre participation auprès de:

Breakfast with Harold Avraham Weill

(4.10.2018) On Thursday 4 October our members had the opportunity to gain insights in the Jewish community in Strasbourg by talking with the Chief Rabbi of Strasbourg and Bas-Rhin, Harold Avraham Weill, who shared his experience as Rabbi in Strasbourg and Toulouse and extended his analysis also to the Jewish communities in other European cities.

He focused on the role of young people, who gather regularly to analyse and discuss sacred texts and who play a central function in the continuation of the community’s life.

Moreover, he pointed out the importance of hospitality towards refugees, owing also to the history of the Jewish people, and he reflected on the challenges facing religious dialogue in Strasbourg and Bas-Rhin.



Culture, a motor for European integration?

(12.09.18) Could culture give new energy to the European project? And, if yes, how could it contribute to shape a different vision for the future of our continent?

We tried to investigate the relationship between culture and the project of European integration during our civic consultation on the topic “Culture, a motor for European integration?” , which took place on Wednesday 12 September in our villa and which was organised in partnership with the European Student Think Tank, an association of European students.

We tried to understand the role of culture in shaping a common European identity with the contribution of three prestigious guest speakers. They were MEP Jean- Marie Cavada, former journalist and former president of the European Mouvement France, Paul Lang, Director of the Museums of the City of Strasbourg and Céline Mellon, soprano singer.

Referring to their professional experience, the speakers outlined different perspectives on the topic. Their interventions were followed by an exchange with the public, which took also the form of a short quiz, which allowed participants to test their knowledge about the cultural policies of the European Union.

Breakfast with Giuseppe Palmisano

(13.09.2018) How we can ensure the protection of social rights in Europe in order to safeguard democracy? How can we better promote social rights?

On Thursday 13 September our members had the opportunity to discuss about these issues with Giuseppe Palmisano, President of the European Committee of Social Rights. It has been an interesting occasion to learn more about the functioning of this regional human rights body, its strengths and the current challenges that it is facing. Giuseppe Palmisano outlined that

The protection of social rights and welfare state are per se fundamental democratic institutions; not less than the existence and functioning of sovereign legislative parliaments, the principle of non-discrimination, or equality before the law”.

The event was organised in collaboration with the Amicale of the Council of Europe.

Visit of Europa – Park

(5.07.18) On Thursday 5 July the European Parliamentary Association organised for its members an exclusive trip to discover one of the world’s most popular theme park resorts: Europa – Park.

For our members, their families and their collaborators this was an opportunity to get to know one of the most prestigious companies of the Upper Rhine Region and employer of 3500 people.

Participants to this trip were received during the late afternoon by Mr Michael Kreft von Byern, Executive Director of Europa-Park, and seized the opportunity of a short guided tour that included some of the park’s main attractions, like the famous rollercoaster “Silver star”.

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Breakfast with Tomáš Boček

(14.06.18) On Thursday 14 July our members had the opportunity to discuss about the way in which Europe in addressing migration issues with Tomáš Boček, Special Representative of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe on Migration and Refugees, Thorbjørn Jagland.

The mandate mandate of Mr Tomáš Boček is to gather information on how the fundamental rights of migrants and refugees are protected on the ground in the member States of the Council of Europe, and to develop proposals for action at national and European level. He has also undertaken fact-finding missions to hotspots, camps and detention centres in several member States.

The event was organised in collaboration with the Amicale of the Council of Europe.