Oct 11, 2010
Centre Maurits Coppieters (CMC) promotes policy research at the European and international level, focusing primarily on management of cultural and linguistic diversity in complex societies, multilevel governance, decentralization, state and constitutional reform, secession of states and self-determination, political and economic governance of sub-central governments, conflict resolution, human rights and peace promotion.
Coppieters is a “political foundation at a European level” recognized by the European Parliament since 2007. It is recognised as a non-governmental organisation (asbl/vzw) under Belgian law. It develops its activities with the financial support of the European Parliament and CMC Members.
In accordance with its Statute, CMC pursues the following objectives:
- observing, analysing and contributing to the debate on European public policy issues with a special focus on the role of national and regional movements and the process of European integration;
- defending the peoples’ right to self-determination and the democratic respect for the right to decide by the majority of citizens, freely expressed through a consultation or referendum;
- promoting scientific research, as well as gathering and managing information on the functioning and the history of all national and regional movements in the EU and making the results available to the public;
- making information available to the public on the implementation of the principle of subsidiarity in a context of a Europe of the Regions;
- serving as a framework for national, regional or diaspora think tanks, political foundations and academics working together at the European level;
- maintaining contacts with all organisations active in the promotion of self-determination, human rights and diversity and the institutions of the EU;
- developing actions to open (historical) information sources in a structured and controlled way with the aim of building a common data network on issues of civic nationalism and regionalism in Europe;
Centre Maurits Coppieters takes all necessary actions to promote and achieve the above stated goals by observing the principles on which the European Union is founded, namely the principles of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law.
The geographical scope of the Centre Maurits Coppieters is the European Union together with EU candidate and potential candidate countries.
The partners of the organisation are now based in 8 Member states of the EU and active in 14 regions, stateless nations or constitutional regions. Coppieters aims to enlarge the number of partners and regions involved in this project.
Maurits Coppieters’ Biography
(Sint-Niklaas, 1920 – Deinze, 2005)
The Fleming Maurits Coppieters studied history, obtained a master’s degree in East European studies and later became a Doctor of Laws. During the Second World War, he refused to work for the German occupier. After many years as a teacher, he worked as a lawyer. He was involved in the re-establishment of the Vlaamse Volksbeweging (Flemish People’s Movement), of which he was the President from 1957-1963.
Coppieters’ political career began when he became a member of the Volksunie (VU) which was formed in 1954. With the exception of two years, Coppieters was a member of the Town Council between 1964 and 1983. He was also elected as a member of the Chamber (1965-1971) and as a member of the Senate (1971-1979). At the same time, Coppieters was the President of the VU in the newly formed “Cultuurraad voor de Nederlandstalige Cultuurgemeenschap” (Cultural Council for the Dutch-speaking Community, later the Flemish Parliament), of which he became the President when the VU formed part of the government. In 1979, Coppieters was elected in the first direct elections of the European Parliament.
As a regionalist, he became a member of the Group for Technical Coordination and Defence of Independent Groupings and Members in the European Parliament (TCDI). He made a name for himself when he championed the cause of the Corsicans. Coppieters also played a pioneering role in the formation of the European Free Alliance, of which he became the Honorary President. He continued to play a role in its expansion, even after he said farewell to active politics in 1981. That year Jaak Vandemeulebroucke succeeded him in the European Parliament. Coppieters remained an honorary member of the European Free Alliance. In 1996, Coppieters joined forces with De Batselier to promote “Het Sienjaal”, a text which was written with a view to achieving political revival beyond party boundaries. Coppieters passed away on 11 November 2005.
Among other achievements, Coppieters was the author of “Het jaar van de Klaproos”, “Ik was een Europees Parlementslid”, and “De Schone en het Beest”.