EULOCAL June 2018

EULOCAL – Even Us Little Ones Count A Lot

A Douzelage Project in Bad Kötzting 7 to 10 June 2018

Bad Kötzting (DE) was involved in this project together with Chojna (PL), Marsaskala (MT) and Velletri (IT). Initiator of this project, which was funded by the “Europe for Citizens” program of the EU, was Köszeg (HU). Istvan Matrai conceived the program together with the other participants. After meetings in Marsaskala and Velletri, Bad Kötzting took its turn.

Besides workshops concerning the EU (“Why be in the EU?” and “Why do we respect EU?”) one of the main topics was a workshop about the endangerment of bees and other insects. Karsten Nasdal and Simon Haselbauer, teachers at the local Gymnasium, gave a lecture about beekeeping, about the reasons why bees and other insects in Europe are endangered, and what we can do against the constant decline of the population of these insects, which are so important for our ecosystem. Not in the least bees are crucial for pollination. But even the little things count a lot: we were given examples for it. E.g. building “hotels” for insects in the garden, or just let the lawn turn into a meadow by mowing less or not so short. After the theoretical part the participants could observe the bees in the school’s bee house and work at the honeycombs.

The next day a field trip was organised. The participants went up a mountain by chairlift and were given a guided tour by ex-officers at a former NATO tower, a huge building, from where German air-force soldiers scanned the radio communication between Czech and Russian military aircraft and the ground stations during the times of the cold war. The impressive construction on the mountaintop could be climbed up to a platform high above the ground with spectacular views of the Bavarian Forest and into the Czech Republic. But the participants also got an impression of the enormous costs of the Cold War and the amount of man power which was needed. The abandoned construction made them feel that peace and partnership in the center of Europe is also a benefit of the enlargement of the EU. “Why to be in EU”? The visit gave one of the positive answers to this question.

Due to a thunderstorm the chairlift had to be stopped for some time. A part of the visitors walked down the steep hill. Unfortunately Mario Calleja, the mayor of Marsaskala, toppled over during the descent, broke his ankle and had to be brought to hospital. We wish him all the best for his recovery.

We are looking forward to the next meetings in Chojna and Köszeg later this year.

Wolfgang Kerscher