Close to 9.500 citizens took part in the annual Open Day of the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Sunday 10 June. They had the opportunity to visit the building and inform themselves about the work of MEPs. The programme of the day has enabled children as well as adults to better understand the way the Parliament operates, its role and its contribution to the European construction.
The traditional raising of the European flag by Eurocorps took place at 9:30. At 10:00, the vice-President Rainer WIELAND proceeded with the official ceremony opening of the doors, with the participation of other MEPs, national representatives, Eurocorps General Jürgen WEIGT, Strasbourg deputy Mayor Nawel RAFIK-ELMRINI and Claudine GANTER, regional counsellor of the region Grand Est.
The debate in the hemicycle, from 11:00 to 14:00, was one of the highlights of the day: visitors could exchange with MEPs, especially on topical issues including employment, security, migration, Brexit, international trade and EU governance, as well as on the European elections of May 2019. The attendance was numerous and citizens could ask their questions. Interpretation was provided in French, German and English.
Five MEPs took an active part in the debate:
- Rainer WIELAND (Germany), vice-President
- Anne SANDER (France)
- Andreas SCHWAB (Germany)
- Edouard MARTIN (France)
- Jean-Luc SCHAFFHAUSER (France)
Among the numerous stands, one could notice those of the political groups and the various departments of the European Parliament, as well as those of several European institutions including the European Central Bank, the Court of Auditors, the Ombudsman and Eurocorps. Visitors could also discover the parlamentarium Simone Veil opened in July 2017. To be noted as well, the representation of Bulgaria and Austria, holding the EU presidency respectively in the first and second semestre of 2018. In addition, over 57 partner organisations, including a great number of associations with a European dimension, took part in the event. For the first time, the German region (land) of Baden-Württemberg was represented with a stand.
Outside the hemicycle, a debate took place between the representative of Reporters sans frontières, laureate of the Sakharov Prize 2005, Antoine BERNARD, and visitors on the importance of free and independent media for European democracy.
Many animations, be they pedagogical, musical, festive and various shows took place outside the Parliament, in the Agora and on a dance floor inside the building.
Thus, the small ones like the big ones could fully enjoy the day!