Twenty-five years after the signing of the Maastricht Treaty, the Limburg capital is inviting prominent Europeans to return to the birthplace of the modern European Union and the euro. During the EU & ME conference on 9 December in the MECC exhibition and convention centre, politicians, entrepreneurs and researchers will be reflecting on expectations at the time when the treaty was signed and the issues of today: political issues, the financial and economic situation and, last but not least, the credibility of Europe for citizens.
EU & ME is part of the ‘Europe Calling! Maastricht Treaty 25th Anniversary’ programme. In this programme, Maastricht and Limburg not only consider the twenty-fifth anniversary of the European Union, but also the current state of Europe and the prospects for the future. This is taking place on the basis of a varied programme in Maastricht and the region, with the debate about Europe being central.
Participants at EU & ME will include Jean Claude Juncker (President of the European Commission), Martin Schulz (President of the European Parliament), Jeroen Dijsselbloem (Dutch Minister of Finance and President of the Eurogroup), Neelie Kroes (former EU Commissioner), Herman van Rompuy (Former President of the European Council) and Gordon Bajnai (former Prime Minister of Hungary). Professors Mathieu Segers, Bruno de Witte, Paul de Grauwe and Maria João Rodrigues will represent the academic world. Various signatories to the Treaty will also be present.
The event will be opened by Theo Bovens, the King’s Commissioner for Limburg, and Annemarie Penn-Te Strake, the Mayor of Maastricht. The conference, which will feature keynote speeches, panel discussions, appearances by signatories to the Treaty in 1992 and a debate among young people, will be chaired by Jacki Davis. EU & ME will also feature music and theatre presentations by students from the United World College in Maastricht. The event will be held in the MECC exhibition and convention centre.
The fact that EU & ME is being held on 9 December is no accident. This is the date of the European Council meeting in 1991 that finally led to the signing of the Maastricht Treaty on 7 February 1992. The event will be concluded in the Provincial Government Buildings on the River Meuse at the location where it all started twenty-five years ago.