History of European Association of former Prlementarians



European Association

of Former Parliamentarians

 History, objectives, organisation and activities
of the European Association of former Parliamentarians
of the member states of the Council of Europe


1.       On the occasion of the General Assembly of the Belgian Association of former members of parliament, in 1984, in Bruges, representatives of the associations of former parliamentarians of Belgium, Germany, France and Italy talked about future collaboration. It was agreed that they should meet once a year for information and coordination talks. In 1987, the "Four" decided, in Strasbourg, to set up an informal group, to give a European dimension to the activities of their associations and to concretize their engagement in favour of the European ideal. In 1994, this Group, which had been joined by Turkey in 1988, created officially the "European Association of former members of parliament of the member states of the Council of Europe"  (Association européenne des anciens parlementaires des pays membres du Conseil de l'Europe). With the creation of the website in 2005 (http://www.fp-ap.org), the Association has been also using the abbreviation "FP-AP". 

  1. In 1995, Cyprus joined the European Association, followed in 2000 by the Netherlands, in 2001 by Spain, in 2002 by Greece, in 2003 by Ireland and Luxembourg, in 2004 by Austria and Switzerland, in 2006 by Malta, in 2008 by Portugal and Ukraine as well as by the European Parliament Former Members Association and in 2010 by Sweden. In 2010, the European Association provided the Associations of Andorra, Armenia and Poland with the observer status.

  1. In June 2001, a very important decision was taken with respect to two different ways how to cooperate with the European Association:

  • The normal membership with full membership fee and voting rights including full representation in the Bureau.
  • The observer status for a maximum period of two years (without paying any fee). This status provides the possibility to make acquaintance with the European Association and gives the necessary time to create conditions at home for a full membership (the GA amended the Statutes in this respect). Before becoming full members of the European Association, several members made use of this status.

  1. The Association is open to all national associations of former national members of Parliament of the Member States of the Council of Europe and for the Former Members Association of the European Parliament. Every member Association remains autonomous, its membership of the European Association translated through respect of the Statutes in use.

  1. The explicit objective of the Association, embedded in the statutes, is to promote the European ideal, based on individual and political liberties, the primacy of law and true democracy, and to contribute to the European construction. To this end, the association wants to make the European institutions better known and may organise meetings and colloquies aimed at examining the major problems of society.

  1. The Association has two organs: the executive being the Bureau, where every association is represented by two delegates. The General Assembly (GA), composed by three delegates of each member Association, takes the decisions concerning new memberships, the budget and the annual membership fee, the management and the activity programme, prepared by the Bureau. For a two years term, the GA approves the mandate of the Bureau delegates taking into account the proposals of the member associations; it elects   the President and the first Vice-President. The Bureau appoints also a second, third and fourth Vice-President. A restricted Bureau operates within the Bureau and deals with current issues.

  1. The Bureau appoints an administrative Secretary General - and since 2008 an Assistant Secretary General. His task consists of coordinating the different activities of the Association. This appointment has to be confirmed by the GA. This person attends the meetings of the Bureau and the GA. He prepares the agendas for the meetings of the Bureau and the GA. He is responsible for the execution of the budget under the supervision of the Deputy Chairman acting as Treasurer.

  1. Up to now, the Association had the following presidents: Giuseppe Vedovato (Italy), Jacques Augarde (France), Ferdinand Boey (Belgium), Uwe Holtz (Germany), Ali Bozer (Turkey), Manuel Nuñez Encabo (Spain), Mrs. Nuala Fennell (Ireland) and Camille Dimmer (Luxembourg). Since 2010, Ninos Hadjirousos (Cyprus) is President.

  1. The former Presidents of the European Association and the former Presidents of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, who were member of the Bureau of the Association, can participate in the meetings of the Bureau and the GA in an advisory capacity.

  1. The annual contribution of the member associations is 1.800 Euro per association. This amount covers the working costs of the Association - in particular translation costs into the two official languages (French and since 1999 English) - and includes a lump sum to the Belgian Senate for the administration.

  1. The seat of the Association is the Palais-Bourbon (National Assembly) in Paris. Normally and at least once per year, the Bureau and GA meetings take place in Paris. The administrative seat is the Palais de la Nation in Brussels, i.e. the Belgian Senate, whose administrative director Roland Roblain is the Secretary General of the European Association.

  1. Since 2000 and according to its objectives, the Association has decided to organise every two years a European colloquy, the content of which is prepared by the member associations.
  • In 2000, the first European colloquy has successfully taken place at the Palais de l'Europe, seat of the Council of Europe, in Strasbourg. There were more than 60 participants. Theme of the colloquy was "strengthening the parliamentary dimension of the European institutions: Council of Europe, European Union and OSCE". The Strasbourg Appeal adopted by the colloquy participants, was sent to all the parliaments in the OSCE states as well as to the European transnational assemblies.
  • The theme of the second colloquy in Rome in November 2002 was well chosen: "Common European values - Pillars for a European Constitution". About one hundred participants adopted the Declaration of Rome which was sent to the President and other members of the European Convention as well as to the European Parliament, to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and other parliaments.
  • The theme of the third colloquy in Berlin in October 2004 was "European Political Integration in the Face of Global Challenges" (about 80 participants).
  • The fourth colloquy in Limassol (Cyprus) in November 2006 was dedicated to the theme "Europe, the Mediterranean and the Fight against International Terrorism" (about 50 participants).
  • The fifth colloquy took place in Athens in October 2008 on the representative and participatory democracy (about 75 former MPs)..
  • In 2010 the sixth colloquy will take place in Kiev (Ukraine) and will deal with migration issues.

  1. In the past, the European Association - in cooperation with the member associations - organised talks about bio-ethics and religious sects. The member organisations invite from time to time the other organisations to special events, e.g. in 2002 the German Association and in 2005 the Belgian Association at the occasion of their 25th anniversary. In 2003 the Turkish association organised a symposium "Turkey - a European country", and in 2004, the Irish Association organised a seminar on the occasion of the Irish presidency of the European Union. The German Association invited the other associations in 2007 to celebrate the 30th anniversary as did the Italian Association in 2009 for their 40th anniversary.  

  1. The European Association pioneered in 2009 by holding in Lisbon (Portugal) a seminar on the role and status of former parliamentarians and their associations in the political and civil society in Europe. The conclusions of this seminar will be the subject of future publications.

15. For member associations the European Association offers the following advantages:

  • The European Association can be used to develop and enrich friendly contacts to other associations and to promote the European integration.
  • Every two years, they may actively participate in the preparation and implementation of the European colloquy as well as in other manifestations, seminars or days of reflection on selected issues..
  • They will be represented in the Bureau and the General Assembly of the European Association (as a full member with full voting rights).
  • The member associations are regularly invited to anniversaries of other associations.

Prof. Dr. Uwe Holtz

Honorary President

March 2010


History EAFP 2010