Category: Activities

The Franco-German Voice of the Youth

The Franco-German Voice of the Youth

Like other large French and German companies, Europa-Park wanted to take part in the ‘Franco-German Voices of Young People’ project, based on a large-scale citizen survey of young people: https://www.soscisurvey.de/consultation_france-deutschland/
A great opportunity for French and German teenagers to make their voice heard! 

The initiative is under the high patronage of the presidents of the Franco-German friendship groups of the National Assembly and the German Bundestag (Mr. Christophe Arend and Mr. Gunther Krichbaum). The aim is to build a bridge between the two countries, and to develop and implement ideas. After analysing the information collected, a feedback phase is organised in the National Assembly to start implementing the ideas received. There will also be joint events in several French and German areas.

The survey is open to all young people between the ages of 16 and 30, and participation is possible until 30th July 2021.
https://www.ffa-dff.org/files/2021/re%CC%80glement%20F%20duree.pdf

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Meeting with the French ambassador in Germany

Meeting with the French ambassador in Germany

Invited by the Franco-German Committee for Cross-Border Cooperation (AGZ), Ms. Anne-Marie Descôtes, French Ambassador in Berlin, was received by Toni Vetrano, the mayor of the city of Kehl, and had the opportunity to exchange views with Mr. Michael Mack.

The city of Kehl is an important engine of European cooperation and is the location of the headquarters of several important Franco-German organisations, such as the Euro Institute, Infobest or the European Consumer Centre, as well as the Joint Secretariat of the Upper Rhine Conference. The visit was about the partnership between various structures of German-French cooperation, with many current topics, such as the problems of commuters and the expected consequences of the current health crisis, being discussed. The Ambassador recognised the key role played by these structures and the committee in strengthening the transnational links between France and Germany, which are now more necessary than ever to make Europe tangible and useful for its citizens. On the evening of the start of the conference on the future of Europe, on 9th May in Strasbourg, the ambassador’s visit to Kehl was therefore of great importance.

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Parlez-vous français?

Parlez-vous français?

At the invitation of the Honorary Consul Michael Mack, the winners of the state award in the French solo category and the members of the Baden-Württemberg state jury of the Federal Foreign Languages Competition gathered in Europa-Park on 12th September 2020.

In order to make learning French in Baden-Württemberg’s schools more attractive, the Honorary Consul Michael Mack decided to give additional awards to those students who took the first three places in the state foreign language competition in the ‘Solo’ category for the school year 2019/2020. He invited the winners and their families to Europa-Park for Alsace Day.
At the invitation of Michael Mack, the judges for the state of Baden-Württemberg for the federal foreign language competition also visited the park on the same day. In cooperation with the Director of Studies Paolo Vetrano, State Representative of the Federal Foreign Languages Competition, their meeting took place in the French quarter of Europa-Park. Everyone involved, including award-winning students, enjoyed a lively exchange of views in the relaxed park atmosphere. We wish you all a successful start to the new school year. À très bientôt!

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Vive la Freundschaft!

Vive la Freundschaft!

Many guests from Germany and France attended Michael Macks’ Consular reception on the French national holiday.

Michael Mack organised the Consular reception on 10th July 2020 at Europa-Park in Rust for the French national holiday. The aim was to show the Honorary Consul’s friendship and affection for the country, especially after the borders between Germany and France had been closed for three months due to the Coronavirus pandemic. It was for this reason that guests from various professional backgrounds were invited to the reception. Politicians, scientists, doctors, entrepreneurs and key players in the realm of civil society from the Consular district of Freiburg & Tübingen and France gathered on the terrace of Balthasar Castle, alongside the representatives of French citizens residing in Germany. After the Honorary Consul Mack, Catherine Veber, Consul General from Stuttgart, and Volker Schebesta, State Secretary in the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport Baden-Württemberg,welcomed the guests. Their speeches were accompanied by music from the Franco-German choir from Freiburg.
In addition, videos by MackMedia were broadcast, including a video on Franco-German friendship that was created for French national holiday together with numerous prominent personalities from both banks of the Rhine. The video message from Jean-Michel Marsal from Mulhouse was particularly touching. The life of the Covid-19 patient was saved thanks to a collaboration of doctors from Alsace and Freiburg, and so he ended his message with a proclamation of ‘Vive la friendship!’.

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Cross-border transport projects at the Upper Rhine

Cross-border transport projects at the Upper Rhine

Michael Mack welcomed the participants of the Franco-German transport conference.

On 13th July 2020, a transport conference for the representatives of the German and French municipalities and economytook place at Europa-Park in Rust. It was organised by the Bundestag member Peter Weiß and his French parliamentary colleague Antoine Herth. Both are members of the Franco-German Parliamentary Assembly. 

In addition to cross-border transport projects such as the Rhine Valley Railway, new rail connections and public bus routes between France and Germany, the networking of bike connections and tourism networking were also discussed. The results of this discussion should be presented at a joint meeting of the transport committees from the two countries. 

In his welcoming address, Honorary Consul Michael Mack emphasised that for Europa-Park, of which he is the Managing Partner, the further expansion of the transport infrastructure between Alsace and Baden is important not only for economic reasons, but also to promote cultural and political integration.

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Friends from Germany and France together again

Friends from Germany and France together again

Brigitte Klinkert, President of the Haut-Rhin Department Council, visited the Honorary Consul Michael Mack after the German-French border reopened.

On 22nd June 2020, a week after the German-French border reopened, the French Honorary Consul Michael Mack received Ms. Brigitte Klinkert, President of the Haut-Rhin Department Council. During the Coronavirus crisis, the two of them worked very hard to maintain Franco-German cooperation. For this reason, the main topic of their meeting was the continuation of the projects of cooperation between the Department of Haut-Rhin and the consular district of Freiburg & Tübingen, such as the Post-Fessenheim Plan and the construction of the Freiburg-Colmar railway line. Immediately following this, Brigitte Klinkert was appointed ‘ministre déléguée’ for integration measures at the beginning of July. Michael Mack congratulated her on this new position.

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The border is open again!

The border is open again!

Michael Mack took part in the reopening of the German-French border.

The ceremony to reopen the German-French border took place on 15th June 2020 at the Centre for European Consumer Protection in Kehl. In addition to the French Honorary Consul Michael Mack, there were also numerous public figures from both countries who are committed to maintaining and strengthening Franco-German relations during the Corona crisis. Their common message is: “The Rhine is no longer a border!”
In the period from mid-March to mid-June 2020, when the border between the two countries was closed, the French Honorary Consulate in Freiburg stood with French and German citizens and offered help and information. 295 emails and 172 calls were processed, sometimes on weekends or outside of normal working hours. The calls from other parts of Germany were not uncommon. Most of the inquiries, of course, related to the regulations for managing the spread of Coronavirus in France and Germany, and the easiest way to get across the border.

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Dinner for the Consular Corps in Baden-Württemberg

Dinner for the Consular Corps in Baden-Württemberg

At the invitation of Minister President Winfried Kretschmann, Michael Mack took part in the dinner that was organised on 10th March 2020 for the members of the Consular Corps of the state of Baden-Württemberg in the New Palace in Stuttgart.

In his address, Minister President Kretschmann emphasised that the Consuls General, Consuls and Honorary Consuls working in Baden-Württemberg were “bridge builders and links between our states”. At the same time, they help their fellow citizens as contacts and on-site service providers. He thanked his guests for their work with the words “They help our state to have such great economic, scientific, cultural and personal connections all over the world.”

In Baden-Württemberg, there are currently more than 60 states represented by Consular representations. Most of them are Honorary Consulates, of which the French Honorary Consulate in Freiburg is one of the oldest.

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New ways for Franco-German friendship as the theme of the consular New Year’s reception in Europa-Park

New ways for Franco-German friendship as the theme of the consular New Year's reception in Europa-Park

An efficient connection between key members involved in civil society of Franco-German friendship at the state level, as well as a stronger involvement of young people in the club activities – these were the wishes that were expressed at the first consular New Year’s reception on 12th January 2020 in Europa-Park.

At the invitation of the French Honorary Consul Michael Mack, 30 representatives of the partnership associations and German-French societies from the administrative districts of Freiburg and Tübingen met to kick off the new year. Among them were the two directors of the Franco-German secondary school from Freiburg and Dr. Nadine Fouques-Weiss, board member of the Assembly of French Living Abroad. In the middle of the French themed area of Germany’s largest theme park, the guests had the opportunity to share their experiences with Michael Mack in person. He paid particular attention to connecting Franco-German associations. “It is important to me that the key members of civil society involved in Franco-German friendship have the opportunity to exchange ideas and support one another,” said the Honorary Consul.
In addition to the guests at the reception, another 100 members and friends of registered associations came to Rust on 12th January. After the productive meeting, everyone spent the rest of the day in Europa-Park, which presented itself in winter clothes.

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Freiburg under the sign of France

Freiburg under the sign of France

Michael Mack took part in two France-related events in Freiburg on 2nd December 2019: the farewell to Martine Chantrel, the long-time director of the Centre Culturel Français, and the talk on the occasion of the 30thanniversary of the France Centre.

Before the retirement of its long-time director Martine Chantrel, the French Cultural Centre organised a farewell party. Since she had also served as the French Honorary Consul in Freiburg from 2004–2018, she received a lithograph by Tomi Ungerer from her successor, Michael Mack. French Ambassador Anne-Marie Descôtes awarded Ms. Chantrel the Order of Chevalier de l´ordre des Arts et des Lettres.
On the same day, Honorary Consul Mack, together with Ambassador Descôtes, also took part in the celebration at Albert Ludwigs University to mark the 30th anniversary of the France Centre. On this occasion, Michael Roth, Member of the Bundestag, Minister of State for Europe in the Foreign Office and representative for German-French cooperation, gave a talk on the subject of The Treaty of Aachen in the auditorium of the university. For a Franco-German cooperation that looks to the future.

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