The NGO is being awarded a prize today for its work by Michael Roth, Minister of State for Europe, and Anne‑Marie Descôtes, French Ambassador to Germany.
It is not a matter of course for young people from low‑income families to travel abroad and make new friends in different countries. The NGO « Une Terre Culturelle » from Marseille has found a solution to this. For almost 20 years, it has organised programmes for teenagers and young adults from deprived backgrounds with the help of the Franco‑German Youth Office. « Une Terre Culturelle » is being awarded the Adenauer‑de Gaulle Prize at the Federal Foreign Office today for this work. Speaking at the award ceremony, Michael Roth said:
Experiencing things for yourself in the world is the best vaccine against propaganda and half‑truths. You, « Une Terre Culturelle », incorporate the alternative. You stand for widening people’s horizons, for the opportunities and options of the united Europe, and for its values.
Roth said that the NGO is motivated by the desire to encourage young people and boost their confidence in their own abilities. In concrete terms, « Une Terre Culturelle » sends young people from France to project partners in Germany. The partners range from the scouts to sport, educational and cultural centres. « Une Terre Culturelle » also develops further training courses on intercultural learning for people who work in the socio‑pedagogical and cultural sectors.
What is the Adenauer‑de Gaulle Prize?
Prizes draw attention to their recipients and are a source of motivation and inspiration. The Adenauer‑de Gaulle Prize was established on this day 30 years ago. Since 1989, it has rewarded and supported civic participation in the Franco‑German partnership. In practice, this means that the prize has been awarded to German and French resistance fighters and people who worked to foster reconciliation, but also to artists and towns. Laureates include the actors Daniel Brühl and Audrey Tautou, as well as Anneliese Knoop‑Graf and Hélène Viannay as representatives of the German and French resistance. The two unique bilateral projects, arte and Airbus, also received the award, as did Helmut Schmidt and Giscard d’Estaing. The winners of the prize receive 10,000 euros. The award is named after Konrad Adenauer and Charles de Gaulle, who were instrumental in paving the way to close friendship between Germany and France, former enemies, through the signing of the Élysée Treaty in 1963.
Youth exchange – a symbol of the Treaty of Aachen
The large number of exchanges between young people from Germany and France reflect the spirit of the Treaty of Aachen, which breathed new life into the Élysée Treaty and has made Franco‑German friendship fit for the future. One of its main aims is that people on both sides of the border should benefit more from each other at the regional and municipal level, with greater civic exchange and cooperation providing concrete and measurable benefits. A new mobility scheme will be set up for young apprentices in the field of vocational education. There are also plans to make it easier for people to learn German and French as a foreign language.