Focus on active European citizenship
Detmold. Under the motto "On tour for Europe" from 7-10. The approximate 30 participants from Hasselt/Belgium, Kaunas/Lithuania, Saint-Omer/France, Oraiokastro/Greece, Reggio Emilia/Italy, Schiedam/Netherlands, Abegondo/Spain and Sandwich/Great Britain discussed the framework conditions for active European citizenship and national historical awareness as a prerequisite for a common Europe during the two-day conference.
Questions that the Europeans dealt with in workshops on the first day of the conference with a focus on active European citizenship included: What are Europe's strengths? What is the added value of active European citizenship? What common values are there in Europe? Markus Töns, Member of the State Parliament and North Rhine-Westphalian representative of the State Government in the Committee of the Regions of Europe in Brussels, gave an introduction to this: "The EU is still necessary in order to fulfil its original function of preserving peace and creating understanding among people from different parts of the EU". Getting to know each other is the most important first step, but then one has to "go one step further and discuss ideas, build trust, find compromises, develop joint projects". This was the occasion for the participants not only to get to know European projects in Detmold, but also to present some from their respective countries.
The second day of the conference on 9 November was marked by historical awareness: City archivist Dr. Bärbel Sunderbrink reflected on the historical significance of 9 November 1938 and 1989 for German history. It came to life as Cathrin-Claudia Herrmann, who spent her childhood in the GDR, and Dr. Birgit Meyer-Ehlert, who grew up in the West of the Federal Republic of Germany, brought the different lives of East and West before the fall of the Berlin Wall to the present with personal and emotional experiences.
The importance of a united Europe was stressed not only by Mayor Rainer Heller in his concluding speech. The participants themselves also drew the following conclusion from the conference: Europe is central to the preservation of peace and the formation of a community despite regional differences and must be cultivated and preserved. In the evening, the European guests took part in the central commemoration ceremony on 9 November 1938 at the Old Synagogue Square before heading home the next morning.
The international network conference was supported by the "Europe for Citizens" programme of the European Union.
On tour for Europe
Detmold. Under the motto "On tour for Europe", European guests from Hasselt/Belgium, Kaunas/Lithuania, Saint-Omer/France, Oraiokastro/Greece, Reggio Emilia/Italy, Schiedam/Netherlands, Abegondo/Spain and Sandwich/Great Britain will meet for an international conference in Detmold from 7 to 10 November. The two-day conference will focus on the discussion of the framework conditions for active European citizenship and national historical awareness as a prerequisite for a common Europe.
At the beginning of the conference on 8 November, the North Rhine-Westphalian representative of the state government in the Council of European Regions (Brussels) and member of the state parliament Markus Toens will give an opening speech. This will be followed by workshops on various European issues. On 9 November, Dr. Bärbel Sunderbrink (City Archivist Detmold) will reflect on the historical significance of 9 November 1938 and 1989 for German history. This is followed by personal experiences from East and West before the fall of the Berlin Wall and again by working groups on historical issues and contexts. In the evening, the European guests will take part in the commemoration ceremony on 9 November 1938 on the site of the old synagogue at 6 pm.
Interested citizens of Detmold will have the opportunity to take part in the above-mentioned programme items of the international conference on 8 and 9 November in the morning. The conference will be held in English and please register with Astrid Illers (Team Europe and International Cooperation) by e-mail at A.Illers@detmold.de or by telephone on 05231/977-454.
The international network conference is supported by the European Union's "Europe for Citizens" programme.
Markus Töns is member of the Landtag Nordrhein-Westfalen (SPD), representative of the federal state government in the Committee of the Regions of Europe in Brussels and 1st vice-president of the PES group there.
His opening speech can be read in German and English here. The spoken word applies! The speech was given in German at the conference.
Detmold's city archivist Dr. Bärbel Sunderbrink spoke on the second day of the conference about Europe's past, its breaches of civilisation and the resulting responsibility for the future. The lecture is available in German and English.
At the European network conference in Saint-Omer 2015, 40 participants from seven European nations (Detmold, Saint-Omer (F), Abegondo (E), Deal (GB), Hasselt (B), Kaunas (LI), Oraiokastro (GR) and Zeitz (Saxony-Anhalt) worked out how regional strengths can be used for entrepreneurial innovation, how business start-ups can be promoted and how the business location can be strengthened. Ideas and projects for marketing strategies were brought together in workshops. The citizens of the cities were also involved in planning and decision-making and encouraged to initiate new projects and apply other concepts to their own cities through exchanges with other cities in order to jointly develop ideas.
This was the last in a series of four conferences on "Customized Emplyoment Project for Cities; Opportunities for Growth".