Groupe de Bruges, 20 years: Reflection by GdB President

Groupe de Bruges, 20 years: Reflection by GdB President

"The first meeting was in the first week of February 1995 in the beautiful city of Bruges under the passionate leadership of Edgar Pisani, former French minister of agriculture and former European Commissioner. I will always remember two crucial remarks of this great statesman, who currently is 96 years old! 

  1. You are here just representing yourself, not your country, not your university, neither your NGO or political party.

  2. In our debates the question 'why is the other thinking different from me?' will be the leading principle. 

Based on these two principles we have created this independent and unique think tank about the future of European agricultural and rural policy as a crucial part of the construction of Europe as a whole. Given all the contradictions today in the EU, there is a great challenge for the next 10 years to keep the European project alive and to make it beneficial for all its inhabitants. Food and Agri will keep on playing a major part in this.

For myself it has been a joyful honor to chair the Groupe de Bruges over the last decade."

Arie van den Brand
Groupe de Bruges President