I say Europe, you say…? Interview with Hans-Gert Pöttering
15 February 2017
I say Europe, you say…?
In our last interview, MEP David Mc Allister’s question to you was: “Where do you see the European Union in 20 years?”
With citizens who have a strong European identity and who are defending our values both inside and outside of the Union.
What was the most interesting myth about the EU you needed to bust in your career?
In the early 90s, the British Royal Family was not very popular and in Britain there was a rumor that the EU had a plan to abolish their Kingdom. My answer was that the British can only do it themselves. In the end, I am happy that the Royal Family is still accepted.
What advice did you give your sons when they started doing politics?
I didn’t give them any advice, they didn’t ask for it, they just did it.
Recently you presented your book United for the Better: My European Way in Brussels. What do you miss most about living there?
I had a very good time in the European Parliament and I am very thankful for that but I don’t miss Brussels.
What is your favourite Konrad Adenauer quote?
‘The situation is serious but not hopeless’.
Being at the forefront of advocating for the big-bang enlargement, what do you think are the prospects for a new enlargement?
We need to do it very carefully because we need the backing of the people of the European Union.
Who is your favourite movie character of all time and why?
Miss Marple, because I like crime stories where you can also enjoy and laugh.
What is your favourite moment from European history, depicted in the House of European History?
The description of the change from communism to liberty in 1989-90.
How do you think the present moment we are living in will be depicted in the House?
As a moment of challenge which we have successfully overcome.
What was the most awkward moment you experienced as President of the European Parliament?
It was the signing of the Charter of Human Rights, in the EP in Strasbourg on 12 December 2007. The anti-European members created a chaos in the Parliament and the King of Jordan, Abdullah II waited to make his speech.
What about most amusing moment?
It could be when Dalai Lama addressed me as a ‘comrade’. I said to him: ‘Your holiness, I prefer you call me a friend’ to which he replied ‘my friend’.
German or Belgian beer?
Working in Academia or in Politics?
Politics with intelligence and emotion.
Historical or crime novels?
Crime novels with historical background.
Which EPP colleague would you suggest for our next interview? What would be your question for her or him?
I would like to ask Ramon Luis Valcárcel Siso the following question: how do you see the relations between the regions in Spain and the Spanish state in the framework of the EU?
I say Europe, you say…? is a series of candid interviews with centre-right movers and shakers of the European project. From legislative work to food preferences, from weekday causes to weekend hobbies, we show you the human face of EU politics and its main protagonists.
Back to the USSR?
23 Feb 2021
Strengthening the EU’s Security of Supply: The Way Forward in 2021
Live-streams - Multimedia
03 Feb 2021
6 Months After the Election, What Next for Belarus?
28 Jan 2021
While the EU searches for a stronger partnership, India’s future global role remains unclear
27 Jan 2021
Safeguarding the algorithm of democracy
21 Jan 2021
The Reasons Behind Navalny’s Return
18 Jan 2021
American Democracy at a Crossroads: a Time for Healing
11 Jan 2021
USA – Catharsis, or Beginning of the End?
08 Jan 2021
A Day of Infamy for the West – But a Bright Light at the End of the Tunnel
07 Jan 2021
[Europe Out Loud] A Threatened European Cultural Heritage?
Europe out Loud - Multimedia
22 Dec 2020