It was Paris, January 22, 1963, when General Charles de Gaulle and Bundeskanzler Konrad Adenauer signed the Élysée Treaty and set the base for French-German cooperation, a milestone in the history of establishing the European Union. The treaty aimed in particular at fostering mutual understanding among youth, which was then manifested by the foundation of the French-German Youth Office (OFAJ) in 1966. The CDRSEE and the OFAJ have invited young Greek students to join their French and German peers and since November 2012, 25 students from France, Germany and Greece have formed a team and explored the Euro(pe) crisis. The Youth Initiative is a direct response to the animosities that emerged in the past years and that remind us that peace in Europe is an achievement that we need to nurture and to not take for granted (read more about the project on https://www.facebook.com/EuropeCrisisWithoutEnd).
On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Élysée Treaty, the French and German Consulates in Thessaloniki together with the Goethe Institute and the Institute Français organised a soiree with a selection of French and German opera repertoire, which was hosted by the “Kratiko Odeio”.
The German Consul General, Mr Wolfgang Hoelscher-Obermaier, in his speech referred to the importance of the French-German friendship and the work that it initiated in particular for European youth. Ms Kleoniki Pouikli and Mr Mr Paraskeuas Aslanidis, two of the Greek students that are part of the OFAJ-CDRSEE project, illustrated his words with anecdotes from the latest seminar in Berlin that took place in November 2012 (read more here http://cdsee.org/news-1-65.html) and emphasised that it is the frequent and direct exchange of views amongst European citizens that will finally turn Europe into a Union where all European citizens feel equally at home.