Welcome note from Didier Hespel

Dear AIACE members,

As you are aware we unfortunately had to cancel the 2020 Congress because of the covid-19 pandemic. However, it has been decided to postpone the Congress until 2021 on 15-21 May with a similar programme. We’ll be following the format that proved a success in Lisbon last year, with two half-days of talks and discussions with well-known speakers focusing on European issues, followed by the General Assembly and our usual workshop sessions. And of course, representatives of the administration will be on hand to update you on new developments. Our international helpdesk will be there as well, to steer you through the Commission’s various IT applications.  A new feature in 2020 will be a workshop on insurance, in response to the many questions we’ve received recently from members on the future of the various existing insurance policies and the new travel insurance policy. As with the Lisbon Congress we will again be offering a choice between an all-in package, and an à la carte formula for the different events (though there will be a registration fee to help defray our organisation costs).

Loutraki is a small seaside resort on the Gulf of Corinth, famous since Roman times for its therapeutic natural springs. Our working sessions will take place in a beautiful seafront hotel close to the town itself.  Transfers will be laid on from Athens airport, which has flights from most European cities. The average temperature in Loutraki in May is 21°, and the weather is generally sunny, though there is always the slight possibility of a passing shower.

We hope you’ll join us in Loutraki for the 2021 Congress, and enjoy a relaxed break with former colleagues.

Didier Hespel Secretary General, in charge of the organization of the Congress

Welcome note from Despina Vamvakidou

Dear Friends,

In the year 2020, it will be exactly 10 years since the Hellenic Section of AIACE, although it had not yet completed its second year of operation, called for and organized the Yearly Congress in Thessaloniki.
At that time, the economic crisis had just begun in the country, and none of us, here in Greece, knew how it would end. At this point, we hope that the crisis is over and the country is entering the path of recovery.
This year, we have been struck by another crisis, which led to the postponement of our yearly get together. We wanted to organize the 2021 congress at a venue in the south part of the country instead of staying in the north of Greece. So, we decided to ask for the Yearly Congress to be held in Loutraki and Corinth, two cities separated by the Isthmus Channel. We hope you will like our choice too.
The Hellenic Section of AIACE has the honour of inviting you to meet in a region of Greece not only full of history, ancient and modern, but also with a very rich subsoil, a mild climate and agricultural tradition. During the winter time there are crops of oranges and lemons and during the summer months there is a large production of peaches, apricots, pears, olives and oil, but above all, the famous grapes from which the Corinthian raisin is made.

We will happily wait for you.

Despina Vamvakidou, AIACE-HELLAS

Welcome note from Joaquín Díaz Pardo

Λουτράκι (Loutraki) the ancient settlement of Thermae, is the spa town on the Gulf of Corinth to which I have the great pleasure of inviting you for our 2021 Annual Congress.  Once again, to our delight, Greece, the cradle of Europe, has extended a welcome to us for our annual meeting: in 2010, we met in Thessaloniki, where the bright presence of the sea and the imprint of Byzantium left lasting memories. And from the north of the Aegean Sea, this time we travel down to the Gulf of Corinth, the crossroads of 2,500 years of monumental historical clashes and memories.
The use of therapeutic spas (or thalassotherapy to stick closer to the Greek), reminds us of Greek and Roman culture. Thermal springs have made evocative appearances in a whole host of literary works: from Marcel Proust and Stefan Zweig, through Thomas Mann to Françoise Sagan … not forgetting Agatha Christie along the way.
This traditional place of healing, rest and calm calls to us to take the time to foregather, share common memories as former servants of the European Civil Service, and to take an opportunity to remind ourselves of our statutory role and at the same time to reflect on and discuss developments in that Europe which is so dear to us.
While the Lisbon Congress was an extraordinary occasion that culminated in the celebration of AIACE’s Golden Jubilee, and saw our fine public service placed at the centre of our reflections, this time the calendar is marked by the beginning of a new institutional cycle, with a new Commission, presided over – an historic event – by a woman, and a new Parliament, with announced priorities which include advancing the European cause. Our 2021 Congress provides us with a stimulating opportunity to reaffirm our European commitment in the famously friendly ambiance of this annual gathering.
The programme for Loutraki will include a round table discussion, as trialled in Lisbon, giving us an opportunity to discuss topical issues and interesting developments on the European agenda.

Finally, on the practical side, as in Lisbon, where this alternative formula proved attractive to some, participants will have the possibility, if they so wish, of registering on a “DIY basis”, which allows everyone to make their own independent arrangements as regards the choice of accommodation and length of stay.

I look forward to welcoming you in large numbers in Loutraki.

Yours, with warmest wishes,
Joaquín Díaz Pardo, President of the International AIACE

Theme: Overlay by Kaira
Loutraki, Athens


Comme vous le savez, nous avons été amenés à notre grand regret à annuler les Assises 2020 de l’AIACE pour des raisons évidentes à l’époque. Nous avions par la même occasion décidé de reporter ces Assises et donc aussi l’Assemblée générale à 2021 ; nous nous étions fondés sur les informations à notre disposition à l’époque. Entretemps, les choses ont fort évolué et dans le mauvais sens. En effet, l’évolution dramatique de la pandémie de Covid-19 en Europe cet automne est plus que préoccupante, et ce dans la plupart des pays, et il est de plus en plus improbable qu’un vaccin soit disponible en temps utile et en nombre suffisant d’ici mai 2021. Par conséquent, le Conseil d’administration de l’AIACE s’est vu contraint une nouvelle fois d’annuler les Assises 2021 qui devaient se tenir à Loutraki en Grèce du 15 au 21 mai. Nous espérons bien sûr que la situation finira pas se stabiliser en 2021 et permettre en fin de se retrouver à Loutraki en 2022. Les participants qui avaient déjà payé une avance pour 2020 ou 2021 seront remboursés.


As you know, we had to cancel the AIACE 2020 Yearly Congress for reasons that were obvious at the time. At the same time, we had decided to postpone the meeting and therefore also the General Assembly to 2021, based on the information available to us at the time. In the meantime, things have changed a lot and in the wrong direction. Indeed, the dramatic development of the Covid-19 pandemic in Europe this autumn is more than worrying, and this is the case in most countries, and it is increasingly unlikely that a vaccine will be available in time and in sufficient numbers by May 2021. As a result, the AIACE Management Board has been forced once again to cancel the 2021 meeting to be held in Loutraki, Greece from 15-21 May. Of course, we hope that the situation will eventually stabilise in 2021 and finally allow us to meet again in Loutraki in 2022. Participants who had already paid an advance for 2020 or 2021 will be reimbursed.


Wie Sie wissen, wurden wir zu unserem großen Bedauern veranlasst, das AIACE-Treffen 2020 aus Gründen abzusagen, die damals offensichtlich waren. Gleichzeitig hatten wir beschlossen, die Tagung und damit auch die Generalversammlung auf Grund der uns damals vorliegenden Informationen auf 2021 zu verschieben. In der Zwischenzeit haben sich die Dinge sehr verändert, und zwar in die falsche Richtung. In der Tat ist die dramatische Entwicklung der Covid-19-Pandemie in Europa in diesem Herbst in den meisten Ländern mehr als beunruhigend, und es wird immer unwahrscheinlicher, dass bis Mai 2021 ein Impfstoff rechtzeitig und in ausreichender Menge zur Verfügung stehen wird. Infolgedessen sah sich der AIACE-Vorstand erneut gezwungen, die Sitzung 2021, die vom 15. bis 21. Mai in Loutraki (Griechenland) stattfinden sollte, abzusagen. Natürlich hoffen wir, dass sich die Lage im Jahr 2021 schließlich stabilisiert und wir uns 2022 in Loutraki endlich wieder treffen können. Teilnehmer, die bereits einen Vorschuss für 2020 oder 2021 gezahlt hatten, werden zurückerstattet.


Zoals u weet, hebben we tot onze grote spijt de AIACE Meeting 2020 geannuleerd om redenen die destijds voor de hand lagen. Tegelijkertijd hadden we besloten om de vergadering en dus ook de Algemene Vergadering uit te stellen tot 2021, op basis van de informatie waarover we op dat moment beschikten. Inmiddels is er veel veranderd en gaat het de verkeerde kant op. De dramatische ontwikkeling van de Covid-19-pandemie in Europa dit najaar is in de meeste landen meer dan zorgwekkend en het is steeds onwaarschijnlijker dat er op tijd en in voldoende aantallen een vaccin beschikbaar zal zijn tegen mei 2021. Als gevolg daarvan was het bestuur van AIACE opnieuw genoodzaakt de vergadering van 2021 die van 15 tot 21 mei in Loutraki, Griekenland, zou worden gehouden, af te gelasten. Natuurlijk hopen we dat de situatie zich uiteindelijk zal stabiliseren in 2021 en dat we elkaar uiteindelijk weer zullen ontmoeten in Loutraki in 2022. Deelnemers die al een voorschot hadden betaald voor 2020 of 2021 worden vergoed.


Come sapete, siamo stati indotti a cancellare il Meeting AIACE 2020 per motivi che all'epoca erano ovvi. Allo stesso tempo avevamo deciso di rimandare la riunione e quindi anche l'Assemblea Generale al 2021, sulla base delle informazioni a nostra disposizione in quel momento. Nel frattempo le cose sono cambiate molto e nella direzione sbagliata. In effetti, il drammatico sviluppo della pandemia di Covid-19 in Europa quest'autunno è più che preoccupante nella maggior parte dei paesi, ed è sempre più improbabile che un vaccino sia disponibile in tempo e in numero sufficiente entro maggio 2021. Di conseguenza, il Consiglio di Amministrazione dell'AIACE è stato nuovamente costretto ad annullare la riunione del 2021 che si terrà a Loutraki, in Grecia, dal 15 al 21 maggio. Naturalmente speriamo che la situazione si stabilizzi nel 2021 e ci permetta finalmente di ritrovarci a Loutraki nel 2022. I partecipanti che hanno già pagato un anticipo per il 2020 o il 2021 saranno rimborsati.

Didier Hespel

Secretary General, in charge of the organization of the Congress