EU office: Newsletter - May 2021
Europe Week 2021 lights up the districts of Chemnitz with the stars of the European flag
The 27th Europe Week began on 1 May. The series of events aims to shine a light on all the benefits that Europe has to offer. With this in mind, the Buntmacher*innen culture group, the CWE (Economic Development Corporation) and the city’s EU Office have launched the #CEUROPE21 campaign: spraying the EU stars on the pavement and chalking suitable words and messages to get passers-by thinking about Europe and coming up with their own ideas for the European Capital of Culture 2025 process. Find a star, and upload a photo of it to Instagram!
Europe Day itself ‒ which this year comes at the end of Europe Week ‒ will look back to Robert Schuman. On 9 May 1950, the former French foreign minister delivered his famous declaration. In it, he proposed founding the European Coal and Steel Community, which played a significant role in reconstruction following the Second World War and was also the forerunner of today’s EU. His speech sent a powerful signal of hope and was one of the first expressions of the European idea as we understand it today – solidarity and cooperation between the member states.
Set against the backdrop of this historic moment and in the light of current events, the main objective of Europe Week is to highlight Europe’s positive aspects and to bolster solidarity among European citizens. As part of the events in Europe Week, the Wert – Werk – Statt workshop tackles the fundamental questions of human coexistence, which are very much at the forefront of people’s minds given the current situation. It is organised by the prodan project, which has teamed up with the Karl-Schmidt-Rottluff Grammar School for an artistic and cultural exchange. On 9 May 2021 solaris FZU (the Saxony Educational Centre for Youth and the Environment) offers visitors the chance to embark on a tour of Europe. Hosted online by Padlet, EUROPE TO GO: You Decide Where It’s At. European Solidarity Corps for Europe Day 2021! is an event that looks at ways to work together in Europe during the pandemic.
Every May, the Parisian initiative proclaims European Neighbours’ Day. Falling this year on 28 May, its goal is to bring Europeans even closer together. This annual event originates from France in the Fête des voisins.
More detailed information about the activities taking place in Chemnitz for Europe Week can be found on the EU Office website.
Global project seeking to reconnect people with nature in Chemnitz
The first stakeholder meeting of the INTERLACE project (International Cooperation to Restore and Connect Urban Environments in Latin America and Europe) took place in Chemnitz on 18 March 2021. This EU-funded project is designed to support cities in Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean in their efforts to rewild urban ecosystems. Besides Chemnitz, other participating cities include Envigado in Colombia, Granollers in Spain, Krakow in Poland, Portoviejo in Ecuador and CBIMA, which represents five municipalities in Costa Rica.
The project has been running since September 2020 and is set to continue until August 2024. A total of EUR 5.5 million has been provided in funding. The project’s core aim is to promote ecological rehabilitation in cities and restore natural spaces. In Chemnitz, attention will focus on renaturing brownfield sites, as well as on environmental education. This will reduce heat stress, restore or create biodiversity and put people back in touch with nature.
During the stakeholder meeting, various participants were invited to present their projects, talk about urban chal-lenges and network with other attendees.
Volkshochschule Chemnitz and its new ERASMUS+ project We:MoveForward
With this project, vhs (Chemnitz Adult Education Centre) seeks to identify and harness the potential within three strategic fields and at their intersections: inclusion, digitalisation and service optimisation. Its goal is to continue improving its educational and other services. VHS is keen to gain an understanding of how education will look in the future, find fresh inspiration and explore new opportunities. It also wants to develop its educational, administrative and planning expertise.
All permanent staff members and a number of freelance tutors from a range of disciplines will take part in themed training courses and sit in on classes. They will be invited to try out new approaches for themselves and engage with European professionals who have expertise in these areas. Finally, they will develop transfer solutions for Chemnitz.
vhs has successfully collaborated on Erasmus+ projects since 2014. Thanks to this fully funded project, Chemnitz remains a reliable partner in this European development programme and is able to maintain and continue its varied European portfolio.
EUROCITIES working group Art and Culture in Public Spaces
As a member of the Culture Forum for Chemnitz, Katrin Franz from the city’s Department of Culture took part in the working group Art and Culture in Public Spaces. Participants met online 18 March 2021 to discuss urban history and postcolonialism. A total of 25 representatives from major European cities, including Dublin, Lisbon, Ljubljana, Turin and Vilnius, were in attendance. At present, Munich and Nantes are responsible for chairing the group.
Participants agreed on a work programme for 2021 and presented best practices: for example, a sound art project by media artist Christina Kubisch in Dublin and a public art gallery in Lisbon. Closing the meeting, all participants were in agreement that art and culture in public spaces was especially important during the Covid-19 pandemic. After all, public spaces are the only places that are largely safe and accessible and where the risk is manageable.
In the following week, Katrin Franz and Katja Kluge from the EU Office kept up with the online presentation of the English-language publication “Local Networks: (A guide to) Reimagining the Work of Cultural Centres”. Published on 25 March 2021, the guide features a section on the process of developing a cultural strategy for the City of Chemnitz on page 47. The Department of Culture received a request for information following the Culture Forum in April 2019, which was hosted by Chemnitz.
Markus Lewe, Mayor of Münster, opened the online meeting of the German Eurocities Dialogue (GED) on 12 and 13 April 2021 with a virtual welcome address. The meeting is a chance for German Eurocities to get together regularly and share information on a national level. This time, it was Münster’s turn to play host. Unfortunately, participants from across the country were able to experience the city on their screens only.
The key topic for both days was internationalisation. Day one produced several interesting conversations about various international networks and networking opportunities, including how to develop Eurocities further, the cooperation platform and participation in Europe Week. Day two began with a survey on internationalisation strategies. Next, Pia Sachs, EU Coordinator for Chemnitz, spoke about the city’s strategy for European Capital of Culture 2025, discussing individual projects as well as the overall process. This was followed by a short presentation on the “Freundschaftsbahnen” (friendship trains) in Frankfurt am Main, which are named after the twin cities and embla-zoned with images of them. The meeting paved the way for lots of new ideas and provided inspiration for future projects.
Europass – a free tool for Europe-wide learn-ing and working
Photo: European Union
The European Commission is offering an online tool for finding learning and career opportunities across Europe: Europass. The website is available in 29 languages and provides templates for users to create their own CV and covering letters; it also offers information and tips on working and studying in Europe. Users can also get Europass Digital Credentials.
Users can create a personal profile, listing their skills, and thereby enable Europass to suggest jobs and courses that might be a good match. It also provides numerous links to other useful services. These features and many others allow users to make the most out of all the benefits of Euro-pean mobility.
European dates from May to July 2021
7 April to 7 July 2021 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Chemnitz University of Technology
Lecture series: Migration and Urban Space in the Past and Present by Chemnitz University of Technology in co-operation with the smac, Wednesdays
3 May 2021 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Citizens’ dialogue with Minister-President Michael Kretschmer:
A Year of the Coronavirus Pandemic – What Can We Learn from It in Europe? (Register via this link)
5 May 2021 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Saxon State Ministry for Eco-nomic Affairs, Labour and Transport and EUROPE DIRECT Dresden
What Does the EU Offer? How Much Does Saxony Bene-fit? And What Do the European Structural Funds Accom-plish?
7 May 2021 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. EUROPE DIRECT Dresden
Europe Quiz Online | Traces of Europe in Saxony
3 June 2021 Saxon State Agency for Civic Education
Poland: Moving away from the Rule of Law? Engaging with law and democracy in the Europe of the future.