10 October 2013 – Brussels – The AJC Transatlantic Institute is saddened by the death of Wilfried Martens, former Prime Minister of Belgium and President of the European People’s Party. Martens passed away on the 9th of October at age 77.
Daniel Schwammenthal, Director of the AJC Transatlantic Institute, said: “Today is a sad day for Belgium, for all of Europe and for those committed to the strengthening of the transatlantic partnership. Through his leadership of the EPP, Wilfried Martens worked tirelessly for a stronger Europe to stand hand-in-hand with the United States in defence of human rights and democracy around the world. He was a great statesman whose impact can be seen throughout Europe. The AJC Transatlantic Institute had the great fortune, back in March 2012, to co-host a two-day conference on transatlantic cooperation in pursuit of Middle East stability with the EPP’s Centre for European Studies, which Martens headed, and the German Marshall Fund. I remember his insightful opening remarks on the key role that Europe could play together with the US in bringing stability to a most troubled region. Martens' passing is a loss for Europe and for the transatlantic partnership. Our thoughts are with his family, friends and all those whose lives he touched.”