BREAKFAST DEBATES


Every plenary session, we organise for our members an excellent breakfast with a prestigious guest-speaker, who discusses with them in an informal way on a topic related to their activity. Ambassadors, European officials, experts coming from different sectors of the civil society and eminent professors have come during the years to our association.


Thursday 15 June 2017 – Breakfast with Guido Raimondi, President of the ECHR

How does the European system of protection of human rights work and how effective is it? On Thursday 15 June, during our traditional working breakfast, the members of the APE had the pleasure to discuss about this and other related issues with Guido Raimondi, President of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

For MEPs, this was an occasion to address to Mr Raimondi several questions related to the respect of human rights in their country of origin and to debate on how the jurisdiction of the ECHR affects national decisions.

Particular attention was given to the situation in France and to the importance of finding a balance between the respect of human rights and the state of emergency (état d’urgence).

This fruitful exchange is part of the continuous effort that the European Parliamentary Association is making to reduce distances between Members of the European Parliament and diplomats working at the Council of Europe.

We thank the Staff Association of the Council of Europe and its President, Mr Denis Huber, who helped us to take contact with Mr Raimondi and arrange his participation in our working breakfast.


Thursday 18 May 2017 – Breakfast with Ghislain Benhessa, author of “Rule of Law Facing Terrorism”

“There can be no freedom without security.”

On Thursday 18 May, Ghislain Benhessa, lawyer and author of the book “Rule of Law Facing Terrorism”, came to our association to discuss with our members about France’s response to terrorism.

“France is facing the same challenges of the US after 9/11,” acknowledged Benhessa, “The War on Terror is a legal invention of the US, which France is adopting… However, this concept is bound to the institutional and historical structure of the US, where the President is also a commander in chief, and therefore, it is very difficult to transpose it to another legal context, like the French one”.

The War on Terror is not limited to the years of the Bush administration and does no longer refer to an exceptional situation. It is a fully-fledged response to a threat that is still present,” continued Benhessa, who emphasized the importance of prevention, “The real purpose of Guantanamo is not to obtain information but to avoid that terrorists will go back to their cells. This is the meaning of indefinite detention…  John Yoo, legal advisor of Bush, stated that when a country is at war every mean is justified to obtain information”.

“The questions of security and freedom have to be considered as interlinked. There can be no freedom without security. One cannot prevail on the other,” concluded Benhessa.


Thursday 16 February 2017 – Breakfast with Monsignor Jean-Pierre Grallet, Archbishop of Strasbourg

“We have to give young people wings, so that they can be the wings of Europe.”

It was a message of hope that Monsignor Jean-Pierre Grallet, archbishop of Strasbourg, addressed to the members of the European Parliamentary Association during the breakfast on Thursday 16 February 2017. The archbishop, who came to the association to discuss the role of Christianity in Europe, approached many topics that are at the top of the agenda of the European Union, as migration and the environment. “Politicians and priests strive to find an answer to the same questions”, noted Monsignor Grallet, who invited the Members of the European Parliament to put young generations at the centre of their action. “It is fundamental to let young people speak, to give them the possibility to make their voices heard”, pointed out the archbishop of Strasbourg, making reference to his lifetime engagement with young generations.


Thursday 19 Januray 2017 – Breakfast with Wojciech Sawicki, Secretary General of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe

On Thursday 19 January, Mr. Wojciech Sawicki, Secretary General of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), intervened during our traditional breakfast to present the priorities of the Parliamentary Assembly to the Council of Europe for 2017. Mr Sawicki outlined the different challenges the PACE is facing with, focusing particular attention on the backsliding of rights and rule of law in Turkey.

This event was organised in partnership with the Amicale du Conseil de l’Europe and represented an occasion for MEPs and members of the diplomatic corps to exchange on topics that interest the activity of both the European Parliament and the Council of Europe.

This event is, indeed, part of broader effort that the APE is undertaking to reduce the distances between the members of these two institutions.


Thursday 24 November 2016 – Breakfast with Daniel J. Costello, Ambassador of Canada to the EU

On 24 November 2016, our members had the pleasure to meet Daniel Costello, Ambassador of Canada to the EU, and to debate with him the newest developments of the CETA, the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement.


Thursday 6 October 2016 – Breakfast with Bernd Wichterich, Executive Director of the German Parliamentary Association

On 6 October 2016, our members had the pleasure to meet the executive director of the German Parliamentary Association of Berlin, Bernd Wichterich. With more than 1000 members, the German Parliamentary Association promotes the dialogue among German parliamentarians of different political groups. The breakfast was an occasion to renew the dialogue and the collaboration among our two associations.


Thursday 15 September 2016 – Breakfast with Jean-Paul Costa, Former President of the European Court of Human Rights

On Thursday 15 September 2016, we had the pleasure to welcome Jean-Paul Costa, former President of the European Court of Human Rights, for our traditional breakfast debate. He presented the activity of the Court to our members and he discussed with them the challenges facing human rights defenders in Europe and in the neighbouring countries.


Thursday 9 June 2016 – Breakfast with Anthony Gardner, US Ambassador to the EU

On Thursday 9 June 2016, our members had the pleasure to meet Anthony Gardner, US Ambassador to the European Union, and discuss with him the future of the relations between the US and the EU.


Thursday 12 May 2016 – Breakfast debate with Bernard Kirch, Head of the Operation Department of eu-LISA

On Tuesday the 12 May 2016, the members of the APE welcomed Bernard Kirch, Head of Operation Department European Agency for the operational managment of the large-scale IT systems in the area of freedom, security and justice (eu-LISA), to discuss with him about the Schengen information system.


Thursday 4 February 2016 – Breakfast with Frédéric Bierry, President of the Conseil Départemental du Bas-Rhin

On Thursday 4 February 2016, the members of our association had the pleasure to meet and discuss with Frédéric Bierry, President of the Conseil Départemental du Bas-Rhin.


Thursday 21 January 2016 – Breakfast debate with Frédérique Berrod, Professor at the Univeristy of Strasbourg and at the European College Bruges

In January, the members of the APE had the chance to discuss with Frédérique Berrod, Professor at the University of Strasbourg and at the European College Bruges, about a the future of European energy policies.