Members of the Board of the APE
President: Herbert Dorfmann
Treasurer: Albert Dess
Vice Presidents: Georges Bach, Mercedes Bresso, Isabella de Monte, Ian Duncan, Markus Ferber, Mariya Gabriel, Michael Gahler, Andrzej Grzyb, Jan Huitema, Elisabeth Köstinger, Thomas Mann, József Nagy, Anne Sander, Petri Sarvamaa, Csaba Sógor, Michael Theurer, Manfred Weber
Word of our President Herbert Dorfmann
“Over the last sixty years, Europe has developed a unique way of working together. We have created a democratic union by drawing from different national traditions. Now we are finally united in our political, cultural and linguistic diversity.
The European Parliament, as representative of the people of Europe, plays a fundamental role in the European peace project. It is a forum where people with different traditions and political cultures cooperate to promote peace, freedom, stability and prosperity. The organisation and the working activity of the European Parliament differ significantly from the ones of national parliaments, as coalitions and majorities are built in a different way compared to national assemblies.
The European Parliamentary Association (APE) plays an important role in this context. Indeed, the aim of the APE is to bring together the Members of the European Parliament, irrespective of their political affiliation, and to provide them with a forum where they can establish contacts in an informal way, so as to improve their mutual understanding and collaboration.
Since 1983, the APE is a meeting place for the Members of the European Parliament. It was founded by Kai-Uwe von Hassel und Pierre Pflimlin on the model of the German Parliamentary Association. The German Parliamentary Association brings together the members of the biggest German parties and strives to improve the personal relations among parliamentarians, going beyond parliamentary and party cleavages. This allows a better understanding of different political positions. The APE tries to achieve the same results on a European scale.
The APE organises political debates, information evenings and cultural events, which allow its members to gather regularly in an informal setting and have a constructive exchange of views. In addition, the members of the APE can rent for free the rooms of the association for any event linked to their parliamentary activity.
The APE is in contact with other parliamentary associations, like, for example, the already mentioned German Parliamentary Association, and with the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. This provides us with a direct link to national parliamentarians from different Member States and from other European countries. Moreover, the APE follows also local politics. This gives us the opportunity to establish a special relationship with local authorities.
The European Parliamentary Association organises the initiative “Presidency days”, which is dedicated to the country holding the Presidency of the Council of the EU. A whole series of events, such as expositions, conferences and concerts, are organised within the context of this initiative.
Moreover, the APE organises conferences and events together with other European associations, as, for instance, the “Movement Européen”. The APE is also in a partnership with several student associations and every year offers two scholarships, respectively to one Master student of the University of Strasburg and to a doctoral candidate, within the framework of the “Société des Amis des Universités de l’Académie de Strasbourg”. These research reports are always linked to European issues.
The more Members of the European Parliament will take part to our project, the better will the APE promote political dialogue beyond national and party divisions. In this sense, we are firmly convinced that the APE can offer an important contribution to the enhancement of mutual understanding among the Members of the European Parliament.”
Herbert Dorfmann is since 2009 MEP for the South Tyrolean People’s Party. He is a member of the group of the European People’s Party and he chairs the Intergroup Wine in the European Parliament. Herbert Dorfmann is President of the APE since October 2014. Find more at: http://www.herbert-dorfmann.eu/en/