Over 60 years EUROPA-UNION Heilbronn

Post photo: Meeting point team 2009

As early as 1946, the self-confessed Europeans were also active in Heilbronn. A regional group of the EUROPA-UNION, brought to life by fellow citizens of the city and district of Heilbronn and networked with professing Europeans from all over Europe from the very beginning, is heavily involved in the political discussion and demands, among other things, a constituent assembly for Europe!

In order to give greater importance to the European idea in Heilbronn after the founding of the state of Baden-Württemberg in 1952 and the first setbacks in European politics and also to maintain uniform association structures nationwide, on May 9, 1953, under the patronage of the then Mayor of Heilbronn Paul Meyle the district association Heilbronn of the EUROPA-UNION Germany was founded. The first mayor of Heilbronn became its first chairman Dr. Karl Nagele. Also the Wahlheilbronn woman Franziska Schmidt was one of the Heilbronn Europeans from the outset who had taken up the cause of Germany's integration into a democratic and federal Europe. The decades-long commitment of the former Lord Mayor of Heilbronn also remains unforgotten dr Manfred Weinman, who organized information and advertising events in Heilbronn in the early 50s with the aim of creating the “United States of Europe”.

Since then, the EUROPA-UNION Heilbronn has been working as an association and non-partisan association, networked with Europeans from over 30 countries and under the international umbrella organization of the European Movement, in society towards a united Europe in peace, freedom and prosperity. By providing information about political, social and cultural developments in Europe, by promoting tolerance and international understanding between the peoples of Europe and by promoting contacts with our European neighbors, the EUROPA-UNION wants to make the importance of the European integration process clearer and the citizens of the need for a personal Commitments to the new Europe are convincing. That is why the EUROPA-UNION has been committed to the integration of people from Heilbronn with a history of immigration into Heilbronn society and its clubs and institutions for decades. The benchmark for action is the European idea, which is based on irrefutable human rights that apply equally to all people and the idea of Pierre Bertaux picks up on the fact that "One is not European by birth, but becomes one through education." This commitment to the integration of fellow citizens with a migration background makes a significant contribution to the fact that the EUROPA-UNION Heilbronn has also become a sought-after contact for new citizens and has been together with for twenty-four years Migrant associations organized an annual event known beyond Heilbronn, the "Treffpunkt Europa", in the heart of Heilbronn. With more than twenty thousand visitors, the "Treffpunkt Europa" is one of the largest events of its kind in Germany and beyond. This event and other subsequent events in the city and district of Heilbronn, such as the "Family Festival on the Gaffenberg", make it easier for the participating clubs and their members to integrate into our society and also eliminate prejudices between the various population groups .

In addition to organizing cultural and advertising events, the EUROPA-UNION initiates, supports and implements educational and informational events all about Europe and the European idea. For the past sixty years, the European competition has been an integral part of schools in the city and region, and for the past five years or so, schoolchildren have been able to get to know the city of Strasbourg and the European Parliament on a regular basis.

Further trips to destinations in the district of Heilbronn and destinations in our neighboring European countries, e.g. Heilbronn’s twin towns, convey the different history, cultures and customs to the participants and thus help all participants to get to know and understand each other better and to develop a mutual understanding of diversity develop Europe and its citizens. Entirely committed to the democratic idea, it goes without saying that all information and educational events also serve the purpose of exchanging opinions. This will be deepened with further discussion events. Experts from all parts of Europe and the whole world are also invited to this. Of course, some members of the EUROPA-UNION Heilbronn have their own immigration history, because the European idea is universal and has made it possible in Heilbronn that the almost 180 members of the association not only come from the city and district of Heilbonn and the European Union, but also from the United States of America, Africa or India follow freely Bertauxs motto: "You become European through education." For decades now, the members of the association have been meeting regularly in certain bars in the city of Heilbronn for a wide variety of events, such as lectures, discussion evenings, European get-togethers and European wine tastings. The clubhouses of the various member associations are also frequently used as venues for meetings and celebrations. There is no doubt, however, that the annual "Treffpunkt Europa" on the Kiliansplatz in Heilbronn on the occasion of the Europe Week plays a role that goes far beyond the members of the EUROPA-UNION Heilbronn. Many people from Heilbronn and some guests who have come especially to this event have made the “European Meeting Place” an integral part of their year – they experience again and again that Europe can also be fun and, above all, that diversity can have more advantages than disadvantages.

Unforgotten are the "Europe Balls", which were the high point of Heilbronn's social life in the XNUMXs, XNUMXs and XNUMXs, the inauguration of Europaplatz and the handing over of the European flag to Heilbronn in the XNUMXs. Over all these decades, the European federalists from the city and district of Heilbronn have always volunteered for the European idea. For their voluntary commitment, some of them received an order of merit from the Federal Republic of Germany or a badge of honor from the EUROPA-UNION Germany and the following of our members were made honorary members of the Heilbronn district association: Franziska Schmidt, dr Karl Nagele, Herbert Klem, dr Walter Dorr, dr Manfred Weinman and Heinrich Kuemmerle Senior. And although the EUROPA-UNION Heilbronn will be celebrating its XNUMXth anniversary this year as a district association of the EUROPA-UNION Germany, its members will not tire and will continue to campaign for a federal Europe for the benefit of a better world.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all 180 members for their constant voluntary commitment, their commitment to a common Europe and our Heilbronn district association. Without their support, many an event would be difficult to realise!

editorial Note: In the original version I had mistakenly way Robert Schuman a quote attributed, but which by Pierre Bertaux (Human mutation 1963:166, "One is not European by birth, one becomes one through education.")

“In principle, they [our politicians] know that they should aim for European goals that are more and different than the sum total of the various national goals. They recognize that to achieve them, European institutions are needed to ensure consensus of opinion, formulate policies, make binding decisions and carry them out effectively. But they defer as long as possible the creation of such political institutions, and when compelled to act, they create them in as modest and limited a form as possible; there is a tendency to take away with one hand what is given with the other.”

Altiero Spinelli, The European Adventure (1972: 13)
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