European Movement Belgium
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The European Movement - Belgium (EMB) is the Belgian branch of the International European Movement. As a non-profit association, open to all individuals and organisations supporting European integration, the EMB works for the promotion of a united Europe, closer to its citizens. In this context, it tries to inform and call on Europe and to contribute to the development of a European consciousness. Supported by its members, the EMB is independent and autonomous, with headquarters in Brussels.
The Belgian Council of the European Movement, founded in 1949, has played an important role in the European integration, especially under the inspiration of Presidents like Paul-Henri Spaak and Jean Rey, respectively Chairman of the Parliamentary Assembly of the ECSC and of the European Commission.
A difficult financial situation and the European Parliament elections by universal suffrage in 1979 (which was, for some, an ideal link between the Community and its citizens) led the Belgian scuttling. The association was then dissolved when the European idea had progressed and its function to encourage the Belgian authorities to adopt a pro-European was less necessary.
In 1992, in the wake of Danish and French referendums on the Maastricht Treaty, and in opposition to 'Eurosceptics' who showed Europe as the cause of all evils, some political figures such Willy De Clercq(†), have revived the Movement European - Belgium. Because of a widening gap between European integration and public opinion, its action has become absolutely relevant and necessary.
To achieve its objectives, the EMB organizes annually through Belgium a diversified program and activities accessible to a wide audience:
- Cultural evenings on member and candidate states to the EU,
- A rally "Brussels Capital of Europe"
- Public debates with Belgian and European personalities
- Radio broadcasts
- Interactive animations during the Europe Day
- Open weekends at Val Duchesse to commemorate the 50 years of Rome Treaty (20 000 visitors)
In partnership with the young comity and Young European Federalists- Belgium, the EMB is also introducing a range of activities for young people:
- training weekends on Europe
- visit of the European institutions in Brussels, Strasbourg and Luxembourg,
- Interschool debates,
- Interactive lessons on current events,
The European Movement - Belgium finally participates in the activities of the International European Movement.
The European Movement - Belgium is one of 41 national councils of the European Movement International. It is composed of a General Assembly, a Bureau and a Board of Governors, which meets every two months. The EMB is currently chaired by Olivier Hinnekens, successor to the post at Anne Van Lancker former MEP (Socialist Group) and Charles-Ferdinand Nothomb, Belgian Minister of State.
Office 2014 - :
- President: Olivier Hinnekens
- Vice-President (NL): Lin Vanwaeyenbergh
- Vice-President (FR): Patrick Vandenbossche
- General Secretary: Patrick Vandenbossche
- Treasurer: Dominique Ostyn