Former Prime Ministers pledge to smarter Europe

On 27 June 2016, the Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies Honorary Board held its first meeting.

In the aftermath of the UK Referendum on the EU, the members of the board agreed that now is the time for not less, not more, but a smarter Europe. It has become evident that the EU institutionalism process has not been a satisfactory response for European citizens in furthering European integration.

The meeting was focused on current developments in Europe, on how to (re)shape the EU, not only in today’s context of post-Brexit, but also on how to address the EU’s challenges of migration, terrorism, security and populism.

The Martens Centre newly formed Honorary Board aims to reinforce the expertise background of the organisation, not only for the purpose of enhancing the think tank’s expert profile, but also in order to boost its intellectual capacity, enabling our experts to address the EU’s current and future challenges.

The members of the board are all former prime ministers and former Heads of EU institutions belonging to the EPP family, with a successful track record of country and institutional reforms.

The meeting was attended by Jacques Santer, Herman van Rompuy, Jan Peter Balkenende, John Bruton, Jan Krysztof Bielecki, Andrius Kubilius, Antonio Samaras, Lawrence Gonzi, as well as by president of the Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies and former Prime Minister of Slovakia, Mikuláš Dzurinda.

Other board members who could not be present for the first meeting include Jose Maria Aznar, Wolfgang Schussel, Pedro Passos Coelho and Carl Bildt.