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Press release

EP Bureau decides to set up a "House of European History"

Institutions - 16-12-2008 - 14:46
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On Monday evening the European Parliament's Bureau unanimously took the decision to set up a "House of European History".

The Bureau decided on the following initial steps for the practical work of the setting-up phase:
  • Endorsed the conceptual basis for the establishment of the House of European History on the basis already outlined by the committee of experts  and upon which the Bureau had already held a discussion on 19 November.
The report titled "Conceptual Basis for a House of European History" was drawn up by an expert committee of nine high-ranking European historians and museum experts chaired by Professor Hans Walter Hütter, President of the Foundation of the House of the History of the Federal Republic of Germany.
  • The establishment of a political oversight committee.
  • The establishment of a high-ranking experts' advisory board.
The President will work closely with the Secretary General and the chairman of the committee of experts in order to make proposals to the Bureau for the composition of these two bodies.
  • The establishment of a small administrative start-up team responsible for defining administrative structures of the House, making contact with the relevant public authorities, defining the infrastructural needs of the House, providing assistance to a high-level Academic Committee, and preparing the first compilation of original artefacts.
The Bureau also unanimously took note of a letter from the Chairwoman of the European Parliament's Committee on Education and Culture, Katerina Batzeli, which presented the support of the Committee for the project and laid out a series of proposals for its realisation.
Parliament's President Hans-Gert Pöttering welcomed the decision of the Bureau and said: "The House of European History will bring Europe's history alive for everyone, but especially young people, and will thereby help promote an awareness of European identity."
When outlining the programme for his presidency on 13 February 2007, Parliament's President Hans-Gert Pöttering called for a House of European History to be set up.  Parliament's Bureau unanimously welcomed this suggestion on 10 December 2007 following a wide-ranging debate and convened the committee of experts, who agreed on their project by consensus on 15 September 2008.
EP Vice-President Miguel Angel Martínez Martínez followed the work of the experts' committee as the representative of Parliament's Bureau. The concept was presented to Parliament's Bureau on 19 November 2008 by the chairman of the committee of experts, Professor Hans Walter Hütter.
Members of the committee of experts:
  • Włodzimierz Borodziej (PL), Professor of Modern History, University of Warsaw
  • Giorgio Cracco (IT), Professor of Ecclesiastical History, University of Turin
  • Michel Dumoulin (BE), Professor of History, Catholic University of Louvain (Louvain-la-Neuve)
  • Hans Walter Hütter (DE), Professor, President of the Foundation "House of the History of the Federal Republic of Germany ", Bonn
  • Marie-Hélène Joly (FR), Head Curator, Deputy Director of History, Cultural Heritage and Archives, French Defence Ministry
  • Matti Klinge (FI), Emeritus Professor for Nordic History, University of Helsinki
  • Ronald de Leeuw (NL), Professor, former director of the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
  • António Reis (PT), Professor of History, New University of Lisbon
  • Maria Schmidt (HU), Director of the Museum "House of Terror", Budapest
REF.: 20081216IPR44855