Welcome note from the President of the AIACE international

Dear AIACE members,



From Valencia in 2018 to Lisbon in 2019, happy coincidence has taken us from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic, and to two different cultures that are both Iberian and resolutely European.
Our Portuguese AIACE colleagues have kindly offered to be our hosts for this anniversary Congress, and to ensure that this annual event continues to enable us to meet our statutory obligations in an atmosphere of conviviality. In so doing, the Lusitanian section has shown its generosity and an admirable willingness to share some of the increasingly complex organisational aspects required to make this annual Congress happen, in association with AIACE INT, in such a way as to achieve greater flexibility whilst at the same time seeking to reduce the cost of participation.
On the other hand, 2019 is a very special date: we will be celebrating 50 years since our association of former officials of the European Union institutions was created. This is obviously an excellent opportunity to raise awareness of AIACE’s role and to highlight the fundamental importance of the European Civil Service, just as I was able to do with President Juncker at our recent meeting with him.
Whilst our annual Congresses will always be a forum in which the debate on our Europe is present, such a significant anniversary gives us a golden opportunity to highlight the role of the civil service to which we are proud to have belonged, and whose unique nature must be preserved as an instrument through which the missing aspects of Europe can be developed. I can but urge you to join us in this special event where all these aspects converge, and where you will have the opportunity to take part in our statutory meetings and information sessions, to enjoy the spirit of togetherness that reigns, and to discover some of the many tourist attractions in this vibrant city and to share our memories of Europe in the capital that gave its name to the great reform Treaty.

With kind regards,
Joaquín Díaz Pardo
President of AIACE International

Welcome note from Didier Hespel, Secrétaire général

Dear AIACE members,


The 2019 Congress will be held in Lisbon on 18-22 May, as decided by the Management Board. The format has been slightly modified to make way for two half-days of conferences/debates with personalities on topics of European interest before the General Assembly and the traditional workshops. As usual, the representatives of the administrations will be present to inform you about all new developments. It will also be the occasion to celebrate the 50th anniversary of AIACE. A special effort has been made to reduce costs, so as to allow a wider public to attend. Come and discover Lisbon, a city full of history, where the sun shines 290 days a year and the average temperature varies between 17 and 22° in late May. The city is built on 7 hills (not only Rome !) and therefore offers many belvederes. The city competes with other European capitals as one of the three safest European metropolises. The cuisine is dedicated to creating over a thousand ways to cook the beloved bacalhau (salted cod), and where you’ll find restaurants to suit every taste, budget and requirement, not to mention the excellent wines. Lisbon is a city full of authenticity where old customs and ancient history intermix with cultural entertainment and hi-tech innovation. The atmosphere of acceptance and peaceful coexistence turns Lisbon into a palette of cultures. Lisbon is famous for its hospitality and the friendly way its inhabitants welcome visitors. English is widely spoken, French in many places as well. Lisbon has a pretty good reputation of being an affordable destination. It is considered the city with the best prices of goods and services in Western Europe.Lisbon has an excellent metro, tram and bus network to get around. Last but not least, direct flights  connect Lisbon with most large European cities, often several times a day and at fairly low rates (when booking well in advance). Come and join us and meet your former colleagues in a relaxed atmosphere. The programme including the social events and excursions will be on line soon.


Welcome Note from the Portuguese Section


Lisbon, the old Olisipo of the Romans. Founded by Ulisse according to popular legend. Lisbon with its popular districts, its traditional festivals, its fadists and the Tagus. Lisbon the white city.

This city, sung by poets, has been the capital of Portugal since 1256. Its historical importance stems from its strategic position at the mouth of the largest river in the Iberian Peninsula, the Tagus. It is from there that the caravels left to discover new worlds. Lisbon has always been an important platform for trade and a centre for trade development. But it is also a city affected by a terrible event. In 1755, on All Saints’ Day, it was shaken by an earthquake that devastated it almost completely and was painfully felt in Europe, where Lisbon was at the time recognized as the centre of the modern world.

Since then, Lisbon has overcome this disaster and rebuilt itself. Today, while keeping its popular and medieval districts, with winding, narrow and historically charged alleys, to which it is difficult to remain indifferent, it has developed and presents modern and futuristic districts. And, above all, it lives in symbiosis with the river. Large gardens line the banks of the Tagus where lisboetes like to practice sports, walk or simply stroll.

It is also the city of seven hills, of which Château Saint-Georges is the most imposing, dominating the Tagus and La Baixa. From its walls and all around the fortification you can enjoy some of the most beautiful views of Lisbon. And don’t forget the various lookouts offering spectacular views of the river and the city, which can also be admired from a cruise on the Tagus River. However, to really feel your heart beat, it is best to travel up and down the street to discover its secrets, stroll through its streets, mingle with people or enjoy the view from the terrace of a café or restaurant.

But we will not understand Lisbon if we do not know Fado. Of popular and unknown origin, it is the result of the culture broth here present. It is in the silence of the night and its mysteries that we sing the verses that express the soul of the Portuguese people, the suffering, the saudade, the love, the jealousy or the passion. Fado has melodic richness and rhythmic complexity and, in its evolution, it has become more artistic and literary. Born in hidden alleys and corners, he left to conquer the world to the sound of the Portuguese guitar and classical guitar. In 2011, it was declared a Cultural and Intangible Heritage Site by UNESCO.

We look forward to welcoming you to the Congress in May 2019.