The Historical Archives of the European Union at the European University Institute and the Otto von Habsburg Foundation are organising an exhibition and conference on the occasion of the 110th anniversary of the birth of Otto von Habsburg, entitled, "I thank God that I am a member of the European Parliament."
In May 1990, when a journalist asked the former heir to the Hungarian throne if he felt any regret at not having become King of Hungary, Otto von Habsburg replied with the above response.
During his nearly 20 years in the European Parliament between 1979 and 1999, Otto von Habsburg played an active role in the dismantling of the Iron Curtain and in promoting the idea that genuine European integration could only be completed with the accession of the Central and Eastern European states of the continent. His vast historical and political experience gave him great insights into world politics as well as a sound understanding of the specificities of national policies.
The exhibition of the Otto von Habsburg Foundation, complemented by a selection of documents from the Historical Archives of the European Union, aims to summarise the story of the long life of its namesake.
The event will be held in English.
Event image: The MEP Otto von HABSBURG during a session in Strasbourg in July 1981. © European Union - 1981 EP Source: EP Multimedia Centre