During the year, we organise also other events, such as afterworks, concerts, conferences and one general assembly.
Kehl and Strasbourg are closer than before. Since last April, the two cities are connected by a new tram line, which runs across the Rhine and unites France and Germany. The European Parliamentary Association, together with the Cities of Strasboug and Kehl, decided to celebrate this important cross-border project by inviting its member to an exclusive journey on the new line.
On Wednesday 14 June, more than 150 MEPs and diplomats of Strasbourg gathered at the stop “European Parliament” to take the new tram, which, for the occasion, was painted with the colours of the European flag. During the journey, a guide explained to the participants how the new line was conceived and mentioned the latest developing plans of the City of Strasbourg.
Once in Kehl, Toni Vetrano, Mayor of Strasbourg, welcomed our guests and guided them to the Villa Schmidt, on the German bank of the Rhine, where a beautiful reception took place. In this setting, Toni Vetrano, Alain Fontanel, First Deputy Mayor of the City of Strasbourg, and Herbert Dorfmann, President of the European Parliamentary Association, took the word to point out the historic and symbolic relevance of the new tram connection, as well as the several concrete opportunities offered by a border-free European Union.
In an age of building walls, Kehl and Strasbourg understood the importance of building bridges. A bridge in the hearth of Europe.
On Thursday 16 March 2017, our members gathered at Villa Schutzenberger for the annual general assembly of the APE.
It was an occasion to officially inaugurate the new offices of our administrative team, which has moved in the former concierge’s house, to look back at the activities of the association in 2016 and to present the program for 2017.
It has been agreed that, in the months to come, our members will be invited to:
- a dinner debate on French and German elections with prestigious guest speakers from both the French and the German Parliament;
- an exclusive evening at the fashion store of our partner Galeries Lafayette Strasbourg;
- a special trip from Strasbourg to Kehl on the new border-crossing tram line;
- our traditional Garden Party, which will take place, as usual, just before the parliamentary summer break.
Furthermore, MEP József Nagy was elected Vice-president of our association. He is the first Vice-president coming from Slovakia and he has engaged himself to promote a greater participation of the MEPs from Central Europe to the activities of our association.
On Wednesday 15 March, the European Parliamentary Association hosted the second edition of its Saint Patrick’s Day Party. Around 200 Members of the European Parliament, diplomats of the Council of Europe and parliamentary assistants came to celebrate the Saint Patron of Ireland and enjoy a festive atmosphere with Irish food and drinks, special gadgets and an exclusive lottery sponsored by our partner “Galeries Lafayette Strasbourg”.
St. Patrick’s Day represents an important occasion to commemorate the ongoing Irish social, economic, cultural, democratic, religious and scientific contribution to Europe over many centuries. Moreover, this year it falls in a month of critical importance, with the expected triggering of Article 50 by the UK and with the celebrations for 60th anniversary of the Treaties of Rome.
Yesterday evening was a night full of good vibes. Mairead McGuinness, first Vice-President of the European Parliament, and Ambassador Keith McBean, Permanent Representative of Ireland to the Council of Europe and member of our Association, opened the evening by underling with passion the attachment of Ireland to the European project and making the case for the importance of Saint Patrick’s history for the European cultural heritage.
Many good moments marked the evening, as, for instance, the lottery sponsored by Galeries Lafayette – Strasbourg, which was won by Karin Kadenbach, Member of the European Parliament, and Ambassador Miroslav Papa, Permanent Representative of Croatia to the Council of Europe and member of our Association.
The European Parliamentary Association thanks all its guests, who contributed all to make yesterday evening a night to remember.
On Wednesday 18 January 2017, the European Parliamentary Association organised a drink to celebrate the new President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani. Here below you can find some pictures of the evening.
On Monday 16 January 2017, the European Parliamentary Association hosted its traditional New Year’s Concert to wish its members and friends a happy new year. The students of the Superior Academy of Music of Strasbourg, directed by the Austrian conductor Theodor Guschlbauer and by Professor Pierre-Michel Vigneau, played several excerpts of music from different epochs and composers, including:
- Jean-Baptiste Krumpholtz (1742-1790): Duo pour harpe op. 5. – Allegro, Andante, Allegretto
- Elias Parish-Alvars (1808-1849): Romance n°20 “L’Adieu”
- Sergueï Prokofiev (1891-1953): Prélude pour harpe n°7
- Maurice Ravel (1875-1937): 1er Mouvement de la Sonatine pour Flûte
- Claude Debussy (1862-1918): 3ème Mouvement de la Sonate pour Flûte, Alto et Harpe
- John Thomas (1826-1913): Grand Duo pour Harpe en Mi bémol mineur – Adagio
- Johannes Brahms (1833-1897): Danse Hongroise n°5 arr. pour 2 harpes
More than 80 people, among whom were numerous MEPs, diplomats and consuls, came to be entertained by the wonderful music of the young musicians. After the concert, a cocktail with Alsatian specialties was served in our Caveau, where our guests enjoyed a comfortable atmosphere.
The performance of Brahms’ Hungarian Dance n. 5, which you can watch below, was particularly appreciated:
Wednesday 11 May 2016 – Afterwork: “What future for Europe? – The challenges facing the European youth”
On Wednesday 11 May 2016, the European Parliamentary Association was pleased to organise its second afterwork on the topic “What future for Europe? – The challenges facing the European youth”.
On this occasion, youth entrepreneurs and students were present to discuss with MEPs from different political groups and with different nationalities, and with our special guest Catherine Trautmann, Vice President of the Eurometropole Strasbourg and former MEP and Minister. They talked and exchanged their views on the European Union and their expectations regarding the future of Europe under the moderation of Kai Littmann, chief editor of Eurojournalist.
Monday 9 May 2016 – Conference with the Association of Masters in Economics of Strasbourg: “Taxation and tax harmonisation in Europe”
On the 9 May 2016, the APE organised its first conference in cooperation with the AMES, the Association of Masters in Economics of Strasbourg, on the topic: “Taxation and tax harmonisation in Europe” with Alain Lamassoure, MEP, and Michel Devoluy, head of the Observatory of European Economic Policies.
The event was attended by large public, who had the opportunity to discuss with our prestigious speakers during the conferences and during the cocktail that followed.
On the 10th of March, the European Parliamentary Association held its General Assembly for the year 2016.
Several members came to discuss the future activities of the association for the next twelve months. Many proposals were forwarded on how to continue to pursue the mission of the association, i.e. the promotion of political cooperation and dialogue beyond national and political divisions.
Since the beginning of this year, the European Parliamentary Association started to diversify its events and the General Assembly sustained this new approach firmly. With the alternation of two new formats of events, i.e., dinner debates and parliamentary afterworks, MEPs are given the opportunity to come every Wednesday of the plenary session to our association, to debate in an informal atmosphere and to enjoy each other’s company.
On Tuesday 8th of March 2016, the European Parliamentary Association held its first afterwork, to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. This new format of event is aimed at promoting different national traditions among MEPs and celebrating the contribution of different Member States to the European cultural heritage.
The evening was opened by a keynote speech of Mairead McGuinness, Vice president of the European Parliament, who reminded the audience about the enduring relevance of the message of St. Patrick, Patron of Ireland.
Several Members of the European Parliament, together with some Irish officials of the Council of Europe, took part to the event and enjoyed each other’s company in an atmosphere marked by the traditional Irish music of the group of Yves Béraud.
On Tuesday 19 January, the European Parliamentary Association organised its annual New Year’s Concert to wish its members and friends a great start in the year of 2016. For the first time, a quartet of young musicians of the Superior Academy of Music of Strasbourg demonstrated its amazing skills with a program containing different epochs and composers, as for example Mozart and Piazzolla. A hundred participants gathered to enjoy the wonderful concert of the students, which marked the beginning of the series of events that the APE organised in 2016.
On 14 January 2014, the APE organised its traditional New Year’s Concert during the first plenary session to celebrate the beginning of 2014. Two outstanding Austrian musicians, the Tenor Herbert Lippert and the pianist Eduard Kutrowatz, gave an amazing performance, presenting several songs and arias from Johann Strauss, Ludwig van Beethoven and Franz Liszt. The evening was very enjoyable for the impressed audience, not only because of the wonderful music, but also because of the delicious buffet which was served afterwards. What a wonderful way to start the New Year!
Since the APE was founded in 1983, it has always contributed to strengthen the non-partisan relationships of members of the European Parliament. To celebrate the achievements of our association during the first thirty years of its existence, the APE invited it members to a special anniversary dinner. Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament and proud member of our association, welcomed the guests and underlined the relevance of informal dialogues and good connections between all members of a democratic system to secure that political cleavages do not become personal and divide the society. All in all, the anniversary celebration was a fantastic evening and gave hope that the APE will continue and increase its essential work in the next thirty years to come.