Our values and goals
The main goal of the European Parliamentary Association is to build bridges among Members of the European Parliament belonging to different political groups and nationalities.
Our association provides MEPs with an informal setting, far from the politically divisive atmosphere of the European Parliament, but still geographically close to it (we are just 5 minutes’ walk from the EP building).
The APE is a place where MEPs can get to know each other as individuals. They can participate in our exclusive events that we regularly hold during every plenary session. They can rent our beautiful rooms for free to organise their own events. They can benefit from a series of promotions that facilitate their life and the one of their assistants in Strasbourg: Our members get a 10% discount for themselves and their visitors groups in 7 restaurants of Strasbourg, another 10% discount in the fashion store of Galeries Lafayette, and they can access our catering service “Chez Soi” at special tariffs.
Moreover, our association strives to be a place where MEPs and diplomats of the Council of Europe can meet and develop fruitful exchanges. Membership of our Association is, indeed, open also to Permanent Representatives to the Council of Europe, who participate in our events regularly and contribute to make of our villa a unique forum of debate.
Finally, the APE is also a place where members of the civil society of Strasbourg, and, especially young generations, can meet directly with MEPs, on the occasion of the many events open to the civil society that we organise during the year, and talk with them in the informal atmosphere that characterises our activities.
The statute of the APE was drafted in 1983 and was modified in 2004 and 2014. It is the founding document of our association and is completed by the rules of procedure.
The association is headed by a board of at least 3 members, including a President and a Treasurer, who are elected for five years. Only the General Secretary is chosen by the President of the APE. The board is responsible to the General Assembly, which is held once a year. The progress report and the main guidelines of the association are to be submitted before the General Assembly.
History of the APE
The European Parliamentary Association was established in 1983 by two proud Europeans, Kai-Uwe von Hassel and Pierre Pflimlin, two statesmen who continuously worked for the unity of the European continent. The association was built on the model of its German counterpart, the German Parliamentary Association, which was founded in Bonn in 1951. Until today, the two associations stand in touch and cooperate on a regular basis.
To be more than a simple parliamentarian’s club, the APE strived since its birth to provide a place of informal encounter and exchange about the future of the European integration, irrespective of political cleavages. As of 2017, five Presidents have been at the head of our association.
The first President of the association, from 1983 to 1985, was former President of the German Bundestag and co-founder of the APE, Kai-Uwe von Hassel.
His successor, Siegbert Alber, came also from Germany: he was Vice President of the European Parliament and he lead the APE from 1985 until 1998.
After his presidency, it was the turn of Ursula Schleicher, former Vice President of the European Parliament, who has been the first female President of our association.
She was succeeded by former chair of the EPP-Group in the European Parliament and President of the European People’s Party, Joseph Daul, in 2004. When Joseph Daul resigned as a MEP in 2014, the Italian MEP Herbert Dorfmann was elected as the new President of the APE.
While first being situated in the European Parliament’s facilities, the APE is now based in the Villa Schutzenberger, near to the European Parliament in Strasbourg, since 1987.
From that point on, the APE has been an essential part of the European life in Strasbourg and has developed a close relationship with the local authorities and other European associations.