2010 Vol. 2 No.1 — Spring / Travel

Moving Europe, Brandenburg-style

Is Europe really as far as it seems to many Europeans? Not if you move it to where the Europeans are. This is the idea of Europamobil, a project organised by the Genshagen Foundation, which aims, amongst others, to promote civic dialogue between Germany, France and Poland. Students from different European countries travel with a bus, the Europamobil, all around Brandenburg, situated in Eastern Germany, for eleven days, visiting schools where they are to meet pupils of different ages in order to convey the beauty of the European thought – its diversity and plurality.

The young generation is to be given the opportunity to grasp the essence of European integration by experiencing students coming from different cultural backgrounds, speaking different languages, presenting different mentalities. The objective of reaching more than 3000 pupils within eleven days is ambitious. Therefore, the students participating in this programme are to attend a preparation seminar before going on tour. The final findings are to be worked out in a seminar and discussed at a conference where politicians, businessmen, scholars, teachers, parents and pupils come together. The project starts on September 15 and ends on October 10, 2009. The 2010 edition will take place in France.

Why is this initiative worth mentioning? First and foremost, because it brings together people from different spheres – different cultures, different age groups, different professional backgrounds. This diversity creates a basis for productive tension, for thought-provoking impulses, for creative ideas. Yet even if the deliberations do not result in extraordinary revelations, the meetings as such will be of great value to every participant of the project since the common experience will train their empathy for each other. The earlier in life people have the possibility to get in touch with Europe, the higher the probability that they will appreciate its significance. Though the European Union is far from solving its institutional deficits, it is an unprecedented peace project forming new generations for which one day international contact will become so self-evident that they won’t even realise that it is international. They will not perceive each other through the lenses of their national identities.

Is this too bold a vision? Maybe. But Europamobil implies motion. Europe is in motion. Thanks to initiatives like this one, it is heading into the right direction.


The project  Europamobil is financed by the Robert Bosch Foundation.

More information is available through Magdalena Kurpiewska, project coordinator. kurpiewska@stiftung-genshagen.de
Fondation Genshagen/ Institut de Berlin-Brandebourg pour la coopération franco-allemande en Europe/ Im Schloss 14974 Genshagen Allemagne / Tel. +49 3378 805950/ Fax +49 3378 870013
/ www.stiftung-genshagen.de

CR publishes book + film reviews, interviews, profiles and more. All with a Polish slant, in English.
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