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Overcoming borders – benefiting everyone

31.10.2015 - Article

Minister of State for Europe Michael Roth, together with his French counterpart Harlem Désir, visited three flagship projects of Franco‑German cooperation in the border region.

The two Ministers of State for Europe Harlem Désir and Michael Roth on board the Franco German fire fighting vessel Europa I
The two Ministers of State for Europe Harlem Désir and Michael Roth on board the Franco German fire fighting vessel Europa I© AA

On 31 October Minister of State for Europe Michael Roth, together with his French counterpart Harlem Désir, visited three flagship projects of Franco‑German cooperation in the border region in the areas of disaster prevention, job placement and vocational training.

Cooperation on disaster prevention

In the case of one of the projects, the term “flagship” can actually be taken literally. The joint fire‑fighting vessel Europa I is a particularly striking example of the benefits of cross‑border cooperation, here very specifically in the field of disaster prevention. Baden‑Württemberg’s European Affairs Minister, Peter Friedrich, also took part in the voyage on Europa I.

Cross‑border job placement and vocational training


Michael Roth talks to apprentices at the Baden steelworks in Kehl
Michael Roth talks to apprentices at the Baden steelworks in Kehl© AA

Jobs, qualifications and prospects for young people – these are the result of cross‑border cooperation in the area of professional mobility. Young French apprentices at the Baden steelworks in Kehl demonstrated a correspondingly high level of motivation in their conversation with Roth, Désir and Friedrich.

Representatives of the company and the cross‑border employment agency in Kehl confirmed the great benefit the project has brought for all participants. “Cross‑border job placement in Kehl is a resounding success! Experiences here show that Germany and France have made the right choice in focusing on professional mobility.”

It was only in July at a conference in Metz that Roth and Désir presented a declaration containing new goals for cross‑border cooperation, which Germany and France aim to achieve over the coming years.

Theme year “Reformation and One World” opened

In the context of the Luther Decade, Ministers of State Roth and Désir participated in the opening ceremony for the theme year “Reformation and One World” together with Anne Brasseur, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. In his speech to the Council of Europe, Roth underscored the global dimension of the Reformation, which changed the world and whose impact can still be felt today – even on issues such as the ongoing refugee debate.

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Speech by Minister of State for Europe Michael Roth at the ceremony in Strasbourg launching the Luther Decade 2016 theme year “Reformation and One World”

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