"A Soul for Europe"
"A Soul for Europe" is a civil society initiative that is committed to establishing a "Citizens' Europe" throughout Europe. 50 young people from across Europe form the Strategy Group, which is responsible for the conceptual development and dissemination of the idea of "A Soul for Europe" through projects and initiatives – young people who stand up for the idea behind the initiative and who are active in their cities and seek out dialogue with policymakers. The members meet regularly to exchange their experiences and are establishing a European network.
The organisational back-up for the initiative’s projects are four offices in Europe hosted by international organisations: Felix Meritis Foundation in Amsterdam, Stiftung Zukunft Berlin, the European House for Culture in Brussels and Setepés in Porto. The Cultural Front Belgrade and the Stichting Caucasus Foundation in Tbilisi are associated partner offices.
The "Cities and Regions" working group
A working group of the "A Soul for Europe" initiative has formed in Berlin that addresses the responsibilities that cities and regions share for Europe. It also deals with how the cultural assets of cities and their citizens can be used in the European unification process and how cities and regions can be brought on board as allies for a "Citizens' Europe". The working group launched the "Cities for Europe" initiative in collaboration with the European Affairs Commissioner of the Berlin Senate and Guimarães, the European Capital of Culture 2012. With the support of the German Federal Agency for Civic Education (Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung), it is responsible for establishing the network and the "Cities for Europe" online portal.
Members of the working group:
Volker Hassemer, Co-founder of "A Soul for Europe" and former Senator of Berlin
Volker Panzer, Journalist
Brigitte Russ-Scherer, former Lord Mayor of Tübingen (Spokesperson)
Bernhard Schneider, Member of the "A Soul for Europe" Strategy Group
Jörg-Ingo Weber, Consultant
Hanna Wolff, Journalist
The Advisory Board
The Advisory Board for „Cities for Europe“ consists mainly of former and active mayors of European cities and has a counseling function. It supports the efforts of the working group on a political level and promotes the expansion of the network of participating cities. It specifically targets active and former mayors to make efficient use of their administrative knowledge and power to encourage citizens’ activism in their own cities.
Following the constitutive Advisory Board Meeting in November 2013, the Board members will come together regularly to report on the efforts of the past and discuss future ideas and projects. The Advisory Board Members will consequently carry this message of active citizenship and commitment for building a “Europe from the bottom up” back into their own cities.
Members of the Advisory Board:
Dr. Francisca Abreu, Former Deputy Mayor of the City of Guimarães
Dr. Emil Boc, Mayor of the City of Cluj
Hella Dunger-Löper, Berlin Secretary of State, Authorised Agent for Europe and Civic Action
Dr. Rafał Dutkiewicz, Mayor of the City of Wroclaw
Yordanka Fandakova, Mayor of the City of Sofia
Tomasz Kayser, Deputy Mayor of the City of Poznan
Piotr Krzystek, Mayor of the City of Szczecin
Fabrizio Matteucci, Mayor of the City of Ravenna
Brigitte Russ-Scherer, Former Lord Mayor of the City of Tübingen
Werner Spec, Mayor of the City of Ludwigsburg
Cities for Europe
c/o Stiftung Zukunft Berlin
Tel: +49 (0)30 263 92 29-47
Fax: +49 (0)30 263 92 29-22