Under the guidance of the NGO “A Soul for Europe”, the already traditional annual Berlin conference, taking place at the dates of Berlin Wall falling, was held from November 8th to 9th 2022. The title of the conference was “Co-Creating Europe from the Bottom Up”. The whole board of Douzelage was present together with representatives of civil society, arts and culture, sharing common European values and experiences.
The panel discussions were focusing on the responsibility of European cities and its citizens to define, foster and develop European values and projects and the means of doing that by using civic involvement through art, education and social responsiveness. Of course, we believe and prove that Douzelage is actively involved on this level and its commitment is proven by the long years of common activities, projects and friendship.
The conference launched the “Europe bottom-up platform” that intends to be a meeting place for organization all around Europe based on the principle that “Europe is shaped by its citizens, its initiatives and organizations. European cities and regions form the basis and are the potential of the European Union. They embody its cultural energy, its history, its values, its beliefs, its diversity. The unity of the Union is based on the cultural diversity of Europe and benefits from its people and regions.” We think that it is very important that Douzelage is part of this platform and we can share our experience, but also find new possible partners. In the same time Douzelage had its own table where we could present our projects (Juniors for Seniors, Metaphora, Historic Highlights, etc) and be a meeting point to discuss common experiences, ideas about a future Europe.
Through Annigje diligent efforts, and through her voice, Douzelage was invited on stage – for a too short period of time – to describe what we are and what we are doing. We think that by participating at these international events we make our voice heard and more people can hear about us and, why not, get inspired by our experience and practices. The platform – https://europebottomup.eu/ – is now open, so we hope we will make it more attractive and popular by all of our examples of commitment and participation.