Europe Union Germany

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Europe Union Germany
Chairman logo
Portrait Rainer Wieland.JPG
Rainer Wieland
Europa-Union Germany logo.svg
Basic data
Art pro-European, non-partisan citizens' initiative
distribution GermanyGermany Germany , Brussels and Luxembourg
Establishment date December 9, 1946
Place of foundation Syke
Chairman Rainer Wieland
Honorary Chairwoman Walter Scheel (since 1989)
Egon Klepsch (since 1997)
Elmar Brok (since 2006)
Peter Altmaier (since 2011)
Deputy Thomas Mann
Gabriele Bischoff
Heinz-Wilhelm Schaumann
Treasurer Joachim Wuermeling
Secretary General Christian Moos
Manager Birgit Kößling
address Sophienstraße 28/29
10178 Berlin
Members 17,000
structure 16 national associations and federations in Brussels, Luxembourg and Dublin
Youth organization JEF Germany
Memberships Union of European Federalists
European Movement Germany
Federal Network Civic Engagement

The Europa-Union Deutschland e. V. ( EUD ) is the German section of the Union of European Federalists (UEF) .

The EUD is the largest pro-European citizens' association in Germany and sees itself as a non-partisan , non- denominational and independent political non-governmental organization for a federal Europe . The association was founded in Syke in 1946 . According to its federal structure, the European Union is divided into 16 regional associations and around 300 district and local associations. Foreign associations exist in Brussels , Luxembourg and Dublin . The youth organization of the Europa-Union is called Young European Federalists Germany (JEF).


The Europa-Union Deutschland is a citizens' association for Europe based on voluntary structures , which advocates far-reaching European integration and a European federal state . It is active at local, regional, national and European level and brings together representatives of all social groups. As a mediator between citizens and institutions of European politics, she is committed to a Europe that is close to the people and supported by a social consensus .

The creation of federal and democratic structures within Europe is part of the founding idea of ​​the association . Many early demands of the European Union are now a reality: the direct election of the European Parliament and the strengthening of its competences in EU legislation , the expansion of the European Union , the introduction of the euro and the abolition of roaming charges . The association repeatedly positioned itself on factual issues, especially in the interests of a Europe of the citizens . The association accompanied reform processes of the EU in the direction of a European federation , such as the failed constitutional treaty and the current Lisbon treaty .

To disseminate information for European integration, lectures such as B. in schools and associations, as well as colloquia, weekend seminars and study trips to European institutions.


Beginnings in 1946

In September 1946 the Swiss “Europa Union” invited the European federalists to a conference in Hertenstein on Lake Lucerne . Twelve theses were written which, as the “ Hertensteiner Program ”, became the basis of European work in the post-war years and at the same time became the political founding document of what would later become the European Union of Germany. At the same time, Winston Churchill also made a plea for a united Europe in Zurich . The Hertenstein Conference was followed by two more in Luxembourg and Basel , until the “ Union of European Federalists ” (UEF) was founded in Paris in December 1946 , with Italians, French and Dutch particularly well represented. According to a Eurosceptic British source, the UEF was funded in part through the American Committee for a United Europe (ACUE), which was directed by the US Secret Service Office of Strategic Services (OSS), until the 1960s .

Invitations to the UEF events had also been sent to Germans, but they could not attend because they did not receive travel permits from the Allied military governments in the occupation zones in the period after the Second World War . The only exceptions were Germans living in exile in Switzerland, such as Heinrich Ritzel , a former SPD member of the Reichstag . Since 1939, Ritzel was the central secretary of the Swiss "Europa-Union". In several places in the western zones of occupation - especially in the British - groups formed during this time who set themselves the goal of unifying Europe, but initially had little contact with one another.

Heinrich Ritzel managed to get in touch with Wilhelm Heile , the district administrator of Syke near Bremen , through Dutch and British participants at the Hertenstein meeting . Heile founded an "Association for European Cooperation" back in the Weimar Republic . Together with the factory owner Wilhelm Hermes from Mönchengladbach , Heile initiated a merger of the most important German European groups on December 9, 1946. Based on the Swiss "Europa-Union", Ritzel suggested the name "Europa-Union" for the German "Europeans". Heile became first chairman and Hermes managing director with a secretariat in Mönchengladbach.

The first rallies took place in Duisburg , Cologne , Kiel and Lübeck . In the Soviet zone of occupation , all activities of the European Union and other European associations of western style were banned. The first congress of the European Union took place in Eutin in June 1947 , attended by 200 delegates from 50 district groups. In November 1947, after other federal groups had joined in Germany, the European Union became a member of the UEF and thus its German section.

Under the chairmanship of Winston Churchill, a European Congress was convened in The Hague on May 7, 1948 , attended by more than 700 politicians from the recipient countries of the Marshall Plan . It was prepared by the UEF and funded by the ACUE . The most important result was the establishment of the Council of Europe and the establishment of the European Movement .

The German Council of the European Movement , today's European Movement Germany , was founded in Wiesbaden in 1949, to which the European Union also belongs.


After the European Union Congress in Eutin , the 1st Congress took place in Hamburg in May 1949 under the motto “Europeans of all countries unite!” . Here the publicist Eugen Kogon was elected first president, Carlo Schmid was elected first vice president in absentia. From then on, he served as an advisor to the European Union. Under Kogon, the European Union represented the ideological interests and opinions of German left-wing Catholicism and French integral federalism in the late 1940s and early 1950s . The unification of Europe should bypass the parliaments. Over the years, criticism of Kogon's leadership style and the political orientation of the European Union increased. Added to this was his financial mismanagement, with which he brought the association to the brink of ruin in the early 1950s, which resulted in the removal of Kogons.

On May 2, 1954, the CDU member of the Bundestag Paul Leverkuehn was elected the new president in a vote against Franz Josef Strauss at the congress in Cologne . After a serious car accident and hostility because of his intelligence work in World War II , he had to resign in September 1954.


Members of the university group in Germersheim at question time in the BPA in Bonn 1958
The Federal Congress of the EUD 1975

In the presidential elections at the Hanover Congress in October 1954, Ernst Friedlaender emerged victorious after the opposing candidate Kurt Georg Kiesinger withdrew his candidacy. After the failure of the European Defense Community in 1954 and the massive decline in membership, the goal of a mass organization was initially no longer pursued. Instead, the association focused on specifically influencing the government bureaucracy and political parties. The connection to the West of the Federal Republic was advocated and supported. Friedlaender was supported by the Cologne banker Friedrich Carl von Oppenheim , who was able to ensure the economic survival of the European Union through his contacts in the financial world.

When Ernst Friedlaender resigned for health reasons, von Oppenheim was elected President in Bremen in mid-January 1958. During this time, the General Secretariat moved from Frankfurt to Bonn in order to establish closer ties to federal political actors and to be able to influence German foreign and European policy more strongly. Good relations existed with Federal Chancellor Adenauer and especially with the Foreign Office , which supported the European Union financially. The standpoints of the association under Friedlaender and von Oppenheim stood in stark contrast to Kogon's views. First, they clearly committed themselves to an Atlantic and west-oriented Europe, second, they put an emphasis on economic issues and, third, committed themselves to the free and democratic basic order of the Federal Republic .

Central demands of the EUD in the 1960s and 1970s were, among other things, the implementation of direct elections for the European Parliament and a European constitution . The first direct elections to parliament took place in 1979, and the European Union accompanied them with an information campaign to mobilize as many voters as possible.


In December 1980 Walter Scheel was elected the new President of the European Union. At a rally in 1988 in the domed hall of the Hanover city hall , around 5000 participants called for the completion of the internal market and the establishment of the European Union . In 1989 Scheel was succeeded by Egon Klepsch as the new President of the EUD. Within a year after German reunification , regional associations of the European Union were also founded in the new federal states .

During this time, the European Union maintained a good relationship with Federal Chancellor Helmut Kohl , who invited the EUD Presidium to a comprehensive exchange of views in 1990 and, in his 1993 speech at the 39th Congress in Mannheim , affirmed the consistent continuation of European integration .

The European Union of the GDR (the sister organization of the European Union of Germany) was admitted to the Volkskammer election in 1990 , but did not run.

In 1995 the EUD adopted the Charter of European Identity in Lübeck . In 1996 the EUD and the European Movement launched an information campaign on economic and monetary union under the motto “The euro is coming” .

1999 until today

In 1999 Elmar Brok became President of the European Union. With the introduction of the euro , the EUD reached an important milestone in the direction of the completion of the internal market that it required . The EUD has been campaigning for a European constitutional treaty since the 1980s . Even if the attempt to give the EU a constitution failed in 2004, important parts of the treaty were incorporated into the Lisbon Treaty . The EUD accompanied both reform processes in terms of content. Together with the Lisbon Treaty, the Charter of Fundamental Rights also became legally valid , which had been the declared aim of the EUD since 2002.

In 2006 in Bremen , Peter Altmaier was elected President. This year the “European Evening” series of events was launched. When the Federal Constitutional Court declared the Treaty of Lisbon to be constitutional in 2009 , it also decided the creation of a European federal state to be incompatible with the German Basic Law . The EUD sharply criticized the latter decision and decided to continue to adhere to the federalist attitude.

In 2011 Rainer Wieland took over the office of President. At the 58th Federal Congress of the European Union in 2012 in Düsseldorf, the new basic program under the title “Our goal is the European federal state” was decided. The European elections in 2014 accompanied the EUD with a nationwide campaign “Europa mitbeSTIMMEN” to encourage citizens to participate in the election. Further broad-based street actions followed. The focus is on the direct exchange between citizens on current European issues as well as European political education.

In 2014 the project of the citizens' dialogues started under the motto "We have to talk!", Which the European Union carries out together with regional regional associations as well as with various partners. The aim of the concept is to promote the public discourse on current European issues and to accompany it in a critical and constructive manner. Citizens are brought into conversation with experts and politicians in order to support people's participation in the European project. Classic discussion formats such as panel discussions are combined with interactive elements. This participatory and interactive format enables a dialogue at eye level with partners from all areas of society and leaves room for questions, expressions of opinion and the transfer of information.

In the summer of 2016, the European Union and the Young European Federalists started a joint online campaign “Europe needs you now!”. In December 2016, the European Union celebrated its 70th anniversary at the founding site in Syke . The central ceremony with around 200 guests took place in Berlin in January 2017 . On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome , the Union of European Federalists , umbrella organization of the European Union, organized a large demonstration in Rome on March 25, 2017 , the “March for Europe”, in which numerous members of the EUD and JEF also took part. At the same time, the Europa-Union Germany and JEF, together with other pro-European forces, invited people to a demonstration at the Brandenburg Gate . In Berlin around 6000 people showed the flag for Europe and the European Union.

In May 2018, the EUD and together with the Young European Federalists helped shape the first ever “ Europe Day ” as part of the Catholic Day . Under the motto “Search Peace… Find Europe”, a colorful bouquet of action stands and European games with interactive elements were offered on the grounds of the Catholic Day and in the city center of Münster. All measures were aimed at getting people to talk to and inform about Europe about Europe. More than 100 people joined the action. Around 50 volunteers from Europa-Union and JEF designed the European program over two days and six locations.

For the 2019 European elections , the EUD and JEF initiated the #EuropaMachen campaign. The aims of the campaign were to inform (promote awareness and understanding of the advantages and urgency of pro-European, federalist reforms), to demand (generate approval for a selected number of political, federalist demands) and to mobilize (democratic, pro-European mobilization and call for elections to all EU) Citizens, especially young people and first-time voters).

President since 1949

General secretaries since 1946

Parliamentary work

Since 2006 the association has devoted itself to parliamentary work and has parliamentary groups in the European Parliament , in the German Bundestag and at state level. The boards of the individual parliamentary groups are non-partisan.

Working groups

In addition to traditional grassroots work in regional and district associations and parliamentary work, the European Union is increasingly addressing new target groups. At the same time she concentrates her work on the content.

Since 2010 there are only two working groups: the content-related “Working Group Future of Europe” and the functional-content working group “Europe-Professionell - the capital group of the European Union of Germany”. The first working group continues the work of the “working group constitution”.

The target group of the AG Europa-Professionell is employees who deal with European issues in the federal capital Berlin . It was founded in the summer of 2009 and, on behalf of the Presidium, advocates the Europeanization of federal politics. Like the EUD association in Brussels (see below), it brings together lobbyists, officials and scientists. Like parties, the group tries to advertise its goals through personal contacts. Spokesman for the group are currently Sebastian Groening Circle of Thüna, head of the Department of European Affairs of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia to the Federal Government, and Jan Roessel, Speaker EU & Europe at Deutsche Gesellschaft eV Former spokesman for the group were included former civil servant State Secretary Joachim Wuermeling and the officer Silke Kaul . In addition to a series of events for the target audience, the capital city group also worked on papers to improve the German government's European coordination . In addition to the capital group in Berlin, other Europe-Professional groups have been founded in Frankfurt am Main and Hamburg .

Participation in the group is only possible with a professional background and membership in one of the regional associations.

Another working group dealt with the Commission 's Europe 2020 agenda . Members were Joachim Wuermeling , Eva Högl and Reinhard Bütikofer .


Members (since 2019)

president Rainer Wieland , MEP , Vice President of the European Parliament
Vice President Gabriele Bischoff , MEP
Thomas Mann , MEP
Heinz-Wilhelm Schaumann
Treasurer Joachim Wuermeling , former State Secretary D.
Chairman of the Federal Committee Katharina Wolf
Chairman of the Young European Federalists Germany Malte Steuber
Vice-President of the Union of European Federalists Christopher Glück
Otto jewelry
Secretary General Christian Moos
further presidium members Harm Adam , Lars Becker , Linda Bottin , Walter Brinkmann , Claudia Conen , Bernhard Freisler , Manuel Gath , Evelyne Gebhardt MEP, Norbert Herhammer , Sylvia-Yvonne Kaufmann , MEP, Enrico Kreft , Inga Wachsmann , Peter W. Wahl , Birgit Wille , Florian Ziegenbalg and Matthias Zürl
Honorary President Peter Altmaier , MdB Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy
Elmar Brok , MEP a. D.
Egon Klepsch , former president D. of the European Parliament
Walter Scheel , Federal President a. D.
Honorary members of the Presidium Dietrich von Kyaw , † Arno Krause , † Horst Seefeld , † Hans-Joachim Seeler , † Ernst Johannsson

National and foreign associations

The 16 regional associations of the European Union Germany:

  • Europa-Union Baden-Württemberg eV
  • Europa-Union Bayern eV
  • Europa-Union Berlin eV
  • European Union Germany - Landesverband Brandenburg eV
  • European Union Germany - Landesverband Bremen eV
  • Europa-Union Hamburg eV
  • European Union Germany - Landesverband Hessen eV
  • Europa-Union Deutschland eV - Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania regional association
  • European Union Germany - Landesverband Niedersachsen eV
  • Europa-Union Nordrhein-Westfalen eV
  • Europa-Union Deutschland Landesverband Rheinland-Pfalz eV
  • European Union Saar
  • Europa-Union - Landesverband Sachsen eV
  • Europa-Union Sachsen-Anhalt eV
  • Europa-Union Schleswig-Holstein eV
  • Europa-Union Thüringen eV

The regional associations are connected to the national organizations of the European Movement through memberships . As branch associations of the Europa-Union Deutschland, they are also linked to the European Movement.

The European Union also has three foreign associations in Brussels , Luxembourg and Dublin .

The chairman in Brussels is Frank Hoffmeister, Head of Unit for Anti-Dumping in the European Commission's Directorate General for Trade . The board consists of EU commission officials , employees of the European Parliament , the information offices of the German states, representatives of various company representatives and think tanks . The main work of the group consists of events and networking. Political positioning is less pronounced, with pro-European networking in the sense of soft lobbying for the German community in Brussels.

The second foreign association of the EUD in Luxembourg was founded in 2016. The chairman is Stefan Kohler.

The third foreign association of the EUD in Dublin was founded in 2018. The chairman is Ralf Lissek , Managing Director of the German-Irish Chamber of Commerce and Industry .

ZDF television council

The EUD sends a representative to the ZDF television council . Claudia Conen has been a member of the EUD Presidium since 2016 .


In its 2010 report, the Taxpayers' Association criticized the association's institutional support through the federal budget.


  • Wilfried Loth : The Europe of Associations: The European Union in the European Integration Process (1949-1969). In: Jürgen Mittag, Wolfgang Wessels (ed.): "The Cologne European" - Friedrich Carl von Oppenheim and European unification. Aschendorff, Münster 2005.
  • Vanessa Conze: For a Europe in the West: Friedrich Carl von Oppenheim and the Europa-Union Deutschland. In: Jürgen Mittag, Wolfgang Wessels (ed.): "The Cologne European" - Friedrich Carl von Oppenheim and European unification. Aschendorff, Münster 2005.
  • Aiga Seywald: 50 years of commitment to peace, 50 years of the North Rhine-Westphalia regional association of the Europe Union Germany 1947–1997. Europa-Union, Bonn 1997, ISBN 3-7713-0547-0 .
  • Sergio Pistone, Otto Schmuck: The Contribution of the European Federalists to the Unification Process. In: Otto Schmuck (Hrsg.): People win for Europe - For a Europe of the citizens. In memoriam Claus Schöndube. Bad-Marienberg, 2008, pp. 93-114. ( online , PDF file; 107 kB)
  • Vanessa Conze: Das Europa der Deutschen: Ideas of Europe in Germany between imperial tradition and western orientation (1920-1970) (= studies on contemporary history , volume 69), published by the Institute for Contemporary History , Oldenbourg, Munich 2005, ISBN 978-3-486- 57757-0 (Dissertation Uni Tübingen 2001).

Web links

Commons : Europa-Union Deutschland  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Public list on the registration of associations and their representatives
  2. Statutes: "The purpose of the association is to promote international attitudes, tolerance in all areas of culture and the idea of ​​international understanding with the aim of creating the United States of Europe on a federal and democratic-constitutional basis. In order to fulfill this purpose, the EUD organizes meetings and conferences as well as actions at the federal as well as at the state level, informs its members and citizens about the development of the European Union and influences political decision-makers in various ways.
  3. Without great relevance, it also expresses itself on topics such as: restoring the ecological balance , the regulation of genetic engineering , the promotion of renewable energies , the fight against organized crime.
  4. on the role of the European Union Switzerland cf. Thomas Brückner: European Union: European dreams under the Swiss cross. In: Spiegel Online . January 23, 2009, accessed January 2, 2015 .
  5. Euro-federalists financed by US spy chiefs Daily Telegraph, November 19, 2000
  6. ^ Race of the Pan-Europeans . In: Der Spiegel . No. 7 , 1947 ( online - Feb. 15, 1947 ).
  7. ^ Carlo Schmid: Memories . In: Collected works in separate editions . tape 3 . Scherz, Bern, Munich, Vienna 1979, ISBN 3-502-16666-8 , pp. 425 .
  8. ^ Official final result of the elections to the 10th People's Chamber on March 18, 1990
  9. Europa-Union Deutschland: Charter of European Identity. October 28, 1995. Retrieved September 27, 2017 .
  10. Europa-Union Germany events. Retrieved September 27, 2017 .
  11. ^ "On the judgment of the Federal Constitutional Court in its judgment of June 30, 2009", in: 55th Congress of the European Union Germany: Resolutions, December 6, 2009 (PDF; 230 kB).
  12. ^ Europa-Union Deutschland: Düsseldorf Program of the Europa-Union Deutschland. Retrieved September 27, 2017 .
  13. Information campaign Europa mitbeSTIMMEN of the Europa-Union Deutschland. Retrieved September 27, 2017 .
  14. Europe before the election - Europe Union Germany. Retrieved January 27, 2020 .
  15. Retrieved September 27, 2017 .
  16. March for Europe: 6000 Berliners showed the flag for Europe! Retrieved September 27, 2017 .
  17. Europe Day at the German Catholic Day: Search Peace - Find Europe. Retrieved January 27, 2020 .
  18. European election campaign "Make Europe" - Europe Union Germany. Retrieved January 27, 2020 .
  19. Incomplete, based on Vanessa Conze: Das Europa der Deutschen: Ideen von Europa in Deutschland between Reichstradition und Westorientierung (1920-1970) Oldenbourg Verlag, 2005, ISBN 3-486-57757-3 , p. 300. Restricted preview in Google Book search
  20. Karlheinz Koppe: The foundation E prevails , Europa-Union-Verlag, 1967
  21. Europa-Professionell - Capital Group of the European Union. Retrieved January 23, 2017 .
  22. See politics and communication May 18, 2009 Wuermeling speaks for Europa-Professionell ( Memento from April 25, 2012 in the Internet Archive )
  23. Petra Pinzler: EU: Where do you go to the European Minister? In: . July 25, 2009, accessed January 2, 2015 .
  24. ^ Europa-Union Baden Württemberg eV Accessed on September 27, 2017 .
  25. Europa-Union Bayern eV Accessed on September 27, 2017 .
  26. ^ Europa-Union Deutschland - Landesverband Brandenburg eV Accessed on September 27, 2017 .
  27. Europa-Union Deutschland - Landesverband Bremen eV Accessed on September 27, 2017 .
  28. ^ Europa-Union Hamburg eV Accessed on September 27, 2017 .
  29. ^ Europa-Union Deutschland - Landesverband Hessen eV Accessed on September 27, 2017 .
  30. ^ Europa-Union Deutschland - Landesverband Mecklenburg-Vorpommern eV Accessed on September 27, 2017 .
  31. ^ Europa-Union Deutschland - Landesverband Niedersachsen eV Retrieved on September 27, 2017 .
  32. ^ Europa-Union Nordrhein-Westfalen eV Accessed on September 27, 2017 .
  33. Europa-Union Deutschland Landesverband Rheinland-Pfalz eV Accessed on September 27, 2017 .
  34. Europa-Union Saar. Retrieved September 27, 2017 .
  35. ^ Europa-Union - Landesverband Sachsen eV Accessed on September 27, 2017 .
  36. ^ Europa-Union Sachsen-Anhalt eV. Accessed on September 27, 2017 .
  37. ^ Europa-Union Schleswig-Holstein eV. Accessed on September 27, 2017 .
  38. ^ Europa-Union Thüringen eV Accessed on September 27, 2017 .
  39. ^ Association of Ireland. Retrieved June 24, 2018 .
  40. Who we are - Europe Union Brussels. Retrieved August 13, 2020 .
  41. See EU-Verheugen and ARD-Krause at the verbal barbecue event of the Europa-Union Brussels July 26, 2009  ( page no longer available , search in web archives ); see. Self-presentation at 2Template: Dead Link /
  42. Claudia Conen new representative of the European Union in the ZDF television council. June 15, 2016. Retrieved September 27, 2017 .
  43. ↑ Saving potential in the federal budget: The list of the taxpayers' association ( Memento of September 24, 2015 in the Internet Archive ). Status: April 2011 (PDF file).

Coordinates: 52 ° 31 '35.3 "  N , 13 ° 23' 58.8"  E