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EU: House of European History. Mr Poettering, “knowing the past to achieve a future of peace”

(Brussels) A “house for citizens” to know the history of the Old Continent and European integration, and to continue to build together the future of Europe. This is the inspiring idea, reaffirmed in Brussels today, underlying the proposal made by the then president of the European Parliament, Hans-Gert Poettering, during his first speech as president in February 2007, to build a “House of European History”. Today Mr Poettering recalls those moments and thanks the many people who have worked on the project in the past 10 years: historians, scholars, Parliament officials. The House was created with the support of the European Parliament and Commission (Mr Poettering mentions the then EC President José Manuel Barroso). He explains that the “initiative received support from all political groups” in the European Parliament, and that the Scientific Committee was guaranteed full autonomy. “This museum – he says – will offer debates, conferences, seminars, opportunities to discuss history”, which, of course, can be seen from different angles and from national perspectives. Then a final thought, having recalled the “legacy of the founding fathers”: “The EU represents a story of peace, freedom and development. Outside of its borders, in the very heart of Europe, we have witnessed various wars, from the Balkans” in the nineties “to Ukraine today”. For this reason, too, “our knowledge of history can help achieve a future of peace”.

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