European Parliament to honour Simone Veil and Solidarność
The European Parliament is to dedicate the promenade at its Brussels base to its former President Simone Veil and to the Polish trade union Solidarność. Simone Veil became President following Parliament's first direct elections in 1979 and was the first woman to hold the position. Solidarność was the first non-communist some 10 million strong trade union in Central and Eastern Europe and blazed a trail leading to the collapse of communism and the re-unification of Europe.
On Tuesday 30 August at 12.00, current President Jerzy Buzek will inaugurate the "Simone Veil Agora" and the "Solidarność 1980 Esplanade". Simone Veil and Lech Walesa, former President of the Polish Republic and first leader of the Solidarność movement, will be present.
European Parliament President Jerzy Buzek said ahead of the event:
"I am deeply honoured that we will dedicate the European Parliament esplanade in Brussels to both the Solidarność trade union, which helped to overthrow communism and re-unite our continent, and to Simone Veil, a former President of the Parliament and survivor from the Nazi German Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp."
Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme, former Dutch Prime Minister Wim Kok, José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, Hans-Gert Pöttering, former President of the European Parliament, Jean Leonetti, French European Affairs minister, Charles Picqué, Minister-President of the Brussels Region, and Willy Decourty, Mayor of Ixelles, will also take part in the official ceremony and in the unveiling of the commemorative plaques.
In the evening, the Polish rock band Myslovitz will give a public concert on the Esplanade (from 20.00 to 21.15).
The "Solidarność 1980 Esplanade" will run parallel to Rue de Trèves between Chaussée de Wavre and Rue Belliard. The "Simone Veil Agora" will refer to the central part of the esplanade between the Altiero Spinelli building and Place du Luxembourg.