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Europe – yesterday's idea or a vision for tomorrow?

Posted on 12 April 2018

A new video “Europa – Idee von gestern oder Vision für morgen?”, released by BR Fernsehen in Munich, aims to serve as a reminder of the key values and ideas of the European Union.

In 29 minutes, the video examines some of the criticism that the EU is facing at the moment and demonstrates why the EU is more important today than ever before. This also includes a dive into the history of European Integration and its origins.

Dr. Matthias Heister, former Deputy Secretary General of the Bund-Länder-Kommission für Bildungsplanung und Forschungsförderung, is featured in the video speaking about the pro-European protest movement he was a part of in 1950. Together with other like-minded people from France and Italy, he tore down turnpikes on the German-French border - as a protest action for open borders in Europe, for a common, solidarity policy and against recurrent nationalism. In 2015, Dr Heister published a book discussing this important event using very rich historic and archival materials, as well as, photographs.

Together with his wife, Dr Heister initiated a project, which will transform the former Zollhaus in Alsace St. Germanshof into a European memorial and meeting centre for the youth. Once realized, the Historical Archives of the European Union (HAEU) will organize a permanent exhibition on the European Integration process on site.

Dr Heister also signed a contract to deposit his personal papers and photographs with the HAEU in Florence. These papers will add to and complete the rich collection of sources held by the HAEU on the development and historical importance of the various youth movements and initiatives, which were fostering and propagating European integration after WW II: the Young European Federalists , the Council of European Nation Youth Committees and the European Youth Campaign operated by the European Movement are some of them.

The video “Europa – Idee von gestern oder Vision für morgen?” explores not only the opinions of experts in the field, but also of citizens to get an insight about their thoughts on Europe and what Europe means to them.

Speak German and want to see for yourself? You can take a look at the video here.