Post photo: Dr. Manfred Weinmann at the reception in 2005
Dear Lord Mayor, ladies and gentlemen!
I am particularly pleased to be able to speak this greeting again today, not only because we are celebrating the 25th European Meeting Point tomorrow, but because we are all - and this is only a few days after the inauguration of our new mayor - today at the reception of the mayor the evening before of the meeting point Europe are invited.
In doing so, Mr. Mayor, you are continuing a tradition that existed under your predecessors, Mr dr Manfred Weinman started and under mr Helmut Himmelbach has become a highlight of the year for most of us.
It's not traditional, how Thomas More aptly put it, to preserve the ashes, but to carry on the flame. And you, Lord Mayor, have kindly agreed to do so.
When I say this flame, I don't mean the Olympic flame. To the horror of many, this is now being passed on by dictators, potentates and warmongers. By this flame I mean our European idea, which is blazing in many of us and hopefully will carry the European spark further, beyond Heilbronn, too, and will ignite as many of our fellow citizens as possible with enthusiasm for Europe.
For this reason we have been organizing the meeting point Europe for 25 years and for this reason we also demand a Europe house for Heilbronn. However, this Europe House is not intended to be another “Infopoint Europe” or another “Europe Direct”, but rather a European educational institution, also as a counterpoint to the Heilbronn “Experimenta” – which, as is well known, puts technology in the foreground.
Because education is a civic duty! Only education - and this for everyone if possible - can save us from the creeping dehumanization of this world. And only education - not weapons - can save us from future wars.
Europe is education and citizen participation at the same time! Here in Heilbronn we are still on the right track. And we want to continue this together. Tomorrow at the meeting point Europe, on May 25th in the voting booths and maybe in a few years also in the "Europahaus Heilbronn".