– Three key notes from Hans, former president of the European Parliament –
18:00 . I think dialogue is the best form of stimulating understanding, between people. My own experience is that it doesn’t matter the age range, people are always open to dialogue if you give them the chance.
18:15 . My father died in February 1945, in the last months of the war and I was born a few months later – so I never saw him. This may be why the search for peace is in my DNA.
I really believe that European integration is a question of peace and war. As of now, we are not paradise on earth but the better part of the world.
18:45 . I had a marvellous time as president. You have your own position but you must be able to mediate with all of the other groups and above all other individuals. and sometimes you have to understand that you are dealing with human beings. I remember one meeting with Erdogan, who was prime minister at the time. At the time Turkey was aspiring to be a member of the EU. He asked me – what do you think about the situation? So I told him the truth. The protocol is that a president of the European Parliament can personally welcome and escort back a president of another country. Yet I said, this time we make an exception on the protocol, in respect to your country and to your personality.
You should say what you believe but also deal respectfully with your counterpart.
Hans is the president of the former member’s association at the European Parliament and was the 27th president of the institution. and has recently published an autobiography. He talked about the ‘cool old pictures in the book’, so I chose this one of him.