Hertenstein talks

Hertenstein talks

All European federalists and those interested in Europe can take part in the Hertenstein Talks, which have been held annually since 2017. These take place in September in Heilbronn or as virtual discussions using appropriate video software.

In 2021, the initiators and moderators decided to allow the Hertenstein Talks to take place in person again from 2022. Even if the virtual Hertenstein Talks were able to attract new participants and left nothing to be desired in terms of intensity, they cannot fully fulfill the actual intention of the Hertenstein Talks.

History of the Hertenstein Talks

The new edition of the Hertenstein Talks of 1946 was decided on the occasion of the celebrations for the seventieth anniversary of the Hertenstein Program on September 21, 2016 by the EUROPA-UNION Heilbronn in Hertenstein (CH-6353 Weggis).

After lengthy internal discussions about the implementation and, above all, about its financing, it was decided on January 8, 2017 that this would first take place in Heilbronn and then be relocated to Hertenstein itself in the medium to long term.

It quickly became clear to everyone involved that the Hertenstein Talks should not remain a local event, but must become a pan-European project.

Everyone also agreed that the first implementation must come from the initiator in order to promote its realization.

It was already recognized during the first discussions during the Hertenstein Talks in 2017 that in the future more topics will have to be added to the three given ones. 

And so the Hertenstein Talks developed into a discussion forum that now claims to cover all relevant topics related to Europe.

Idea of ​​the Hertenstein Talks

The Hertenstein Talks are designed in a first series of talks for a total of 12 rounds of talks, whereby during the first ten rounds (1st to 10th Hertenstein Talks) topics, all of which are derived from the twelve points of the Hertenstein Program of September 21, 1946, continuously - - also by the respective discussion participants themselves and this with a view to the following year -- expanded or specified according to the current and further changing needs and questions of the participants.

In 2027, at the 11th Hertenstein Talks, the results of this decade are to be addressed and discussed in order to finally be able to issue a joint declaration on the Hertenstein Program of 2028 at the 12th Hertenstein Talks in 1946.

With this declaration, the second series of talks should then also be initiated, which will then perhaps even gather federalists from all corners of Europe and the rest of the world again in Hertenstein itself.

The course of the Hertenstein talks

New topics are already being suggested during the ongoing Hertenstein talks, and further topics arise during the preparation of the minutes. When preparing for the following discussions, the next topics are then determined together with the moderators.

The moderators prepare the content of the topics. Some topics are also ideally prepared by two moderators and moderated together during the discussions. 

The moderators present and introduce the topics. Afterwards, the participants absorb the ideas and suggestions to discuss the presented topic within three hours. In the two virtual rounds of talks (2020 and 2021) we reduced the respective rounds of talks to a 90-minute time limit for technical reasons alone, which, however, could not be adhered to.

Moderators and recorders document the course of the conversation in order to be able to present the first results at the end of the conversation (hot wash up) and later also to be able to create the summaries for the joint protocol.

Each participant in the discussion can also bring in their own statements, which are either incorporated into the minutes at the same time or attached to the minutes later.

conversation topics 

Here you will find the topics of conversation

conversation results


Here you can find out more about the moderators of the Hertenstein Talks.


The Hertenstein Talks are supported by the EUROPA-UNION Heilbronn organized and by the EUROPE UNION Baden-Württemberg eV, the Young Europeans – JEF Baden-Württemberg eVthe  EUROPE UNION Germany eV and from the Union of European Federalists unterstützt.


Hertenstein is the most famous part of the municipality of Weggis on Lake Lucerne in the Swiss canton of Lucerne. On September 21, 1946, that was there Hertenstein program adopted.


Heilbronn is a large city in northern Baden-Württemberg and has hosted the current Hertenstein Talks since 2017.


To get a quick overview of the Hertenstein Talks, you can also click on the corresponding Wikipedia entry fall back on.