Following the remarkable success of the “May in Strasbourg” meeting, the French Ministry of Agriculture urged the organisers to continue cooperation on professional basis. So it happened that in October 1992 members of the COE (Comité d’organisation d’EUROPEA) travelled to Edinburgh (UK) to prepare the statutes, and with that, we were definitely on the way to establish EUROPEA as a legally recognised European organisation.
As agreed in Edinburgh, delegates representing Belgium, Germany, Denmark, France, The UK, Ireland, Luxembourg, Netherlands and Portugal gathered at Lycée Technique Agricole in Ettelbruck (LU) on 14th January 1993, and for two long days they worked hard discussing all the articles of the important document. In the afternoon of 15th January 1993, The EUROPEA Statutes were accepted and signed by the eight founding countries. In that moment EUROPEA was born! And although, the formal recognition was still to be accomplished, that particular date is considered to be the birthday of our network.
This is how Jacob Kjaer (DK), our first president, described this historic event in the initial EUROPEA Newsletter in May 1993:
“In January this year a set of statutes for the European organisation EUROPEA was agreed upon at a meeting in Luxembourg. Unfortunately, Greece, Italy and Spain were absent, and the German representative claimed that he was not able to officially represent Germany (…).
Representatives of the remaining 8 countries signed the statutes. They have been coordinated with the Belgian legislation, as the organisation will have its future centre in Belgium.
These revised statutes are now being circulated between the eight countries, and when it is terminated, we expect to have the organisation recognised by the Belgian law. This may facilitate sponsoring from EU-funds.”
While waiting for the legal recognition, the early EUROPEAns refused to sit back and relax. And although it was not possible to organize the first official General Assembly just yet, they set up a seminar with the topic on environmental problems and met again in the period of 16th – 18th May 1993 in Tune (near Roskilde, DK). In addition, an informal GA was also held there. Emile Bertrand (BE) was named as the next president, and Zaragoza (ES) was appointed the venue of the succeeding meeting.
Salute the founders and long live EUROPEA!
Acknowledgements: Many-many thanks to Madelon (NL), Jacob (DK), Henrik (DK), Emile (BE) and Georges (LU) 😊 Photos: Madelon (NL) 😊