European movement Germany

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European movement Germany
legal form non-profit registered association
founding June 13, 1949
founder Duncan Sandys , Eugen Kogon , Paul Löbe
Seat Berlin , GermanyGermanyGermany 
motto Make Europe Yourope!
main emphasis European politics, political communication, organized civil society
method cooperation
Action space Europe
Chair Linn Selle
people Michael Gahler , Christian Petry , Manuel Sarrazin , Peter Hahn , Bernd Hüttemann
Employees 10
Members 247 (2018)

The European Movement Germany e. V. ( EBD , until 1992 German Council of the European Movement ) is a non-partisan association of interest groups in the field of European politics in Germany and an institutionally funded intermediary organization of the Federal Foreign Office . It cooperates closely with all EU actors at national and European level, in particular with the German government , the European Commission and the European Parliament . The approximately 250 member organizations represent various social groups: In addition to numerous associations, especially professional associations, several foundations and political parties, individual institutions and even corporations are members. The aim is, in close cooperation with the political institutions, to improve European policy communication, the European foresight and European policy coordination in Germany over the long term, while also promoting the European consideration of one's own interests. The network is part of the European Movement International .

Tasks, projects, politics

The European Movement Germany is a registered association recognized as a non-profit and is institutionally funded by the Federal Foreign Office through the federal budget . It is therefore not a non-governmental organization in the narrower sense, but a quasi-autonomous non-governmental organization ( QUANGO ). Similar to the Goethe-Institut in terms of legal status and institutional relationship with the Foreign Office (AA) , the European Movement signed a framework agreement with the AA in 2015. In terms of content and organization, however, it works closely with the European department. The concept of Europe Communication & European Foresight will be coordinated accordingly. In this context, the European Movement Germany network offers its member organizations information sessions on European topics. These are z. B. for discussions on the current consultation procedures of the Commission or information events on the results of the Council.

The EBD is the central selection point for German students at the College of Europe in Bruges and Natolin . In addition, the Berlin office of the EBD organizes the European competition , with around 70,000 students participating every year. Due to the great diversity within the membership of over 200 organizations, the European Movement Germany cannot always position itself clearly. Classical resolutions, as is common in non-governmental organizations, are usually not made. The most important topics are statements on the framework conditions for German European policy and European public relations work and general questions on the further development of the European Union.

As the largest German network, the EBD aims to strengthen European integration at all political levels. In this context, it is particularly important for the EBD to take into account the different political concepts of its members. In addition, the EBD is based on the European political consensus in politics, society and the economy based on European law. In order to bundle and represent the individual interests of its members as collective interests, the EBD formulates political demands annually. The approval of the political demands is preceded by a consultation process lasting several months within the membership. All activities are based on the statutes and the target agreement with the Federal Foreign Office that is approved by the board and updated every three years. The political demands for 2019/2020 are:

  • Respect European values ​​and fundamental rights
  • Strengthen European democracy and parliamentarism
  • Strengthen pluralism across Europe
  • Strengthen European awareness - involve young people, build Europe
  • Remaining a pioneer: equality at all levels
  • Social and economic alignment strengthens competitiveness and innovation
  • Align the budget with pan-European priorities in a way that is close to the citizens
  • Migration and integration - fighting the causes of flight, helping refugees
  • For the dismantling of borders within Europe
  • Strengthen European foreign and security policy
  • For a single market of the future
  • Making EU policies fit for the implementation of the sustainability goals and the climate agreement
  • Good EU legislation needs transparency and thoroughness
  • For a modern German European policy

Cooperation with other organizations

In contrast to the Europa-Union Deutschland or the Paneuropa-Union, the European Movement Germany is not open to personal members. It works primarily to improve the acceptance and framework conditions for European policy in Germany and avoids activities that member organizations can better take over.

The network therefore works together with country representatives in an advisory capacity in the coordination of European public relations work by the Federal Government , the European Parliament and the European Commission . Together with the institutional partner, the Foreign Office, the network organizes dialogue events. The target group here are actors from the EU, the federal government, the federal states, the regions and civil society.

The large number of EBD de-briefings and Green Paper analyzes on important European developments has intensified the cooperation with the member organizations, the representation of the European Commission in Germany and other federal ministries. For this work, the network was awarded the "EurActiv Award for Debating Europe Nationally" in 2009.


The organs of the association are: general assembly , board of directors and general secretary .

The general meeting takes place once a year. All organizations are represented with one vote each.

The board manages the business of the association and represents the different organizational areas: economy, trade unions, education and science, political parties and others. Linn Selle has been President since July 2, 2018 . The current vice-presidents are Michael Gahler , Christian Petry and Manuel Sarrazin. The treasurer of the EBD is Peter Hahn .

Members are elected according to different organizational areas: Organizational area trade union: Sina Frank , DGB ; Kirsten Lühmann Member of the Bundestag, SPD, dbb Beamtenbund and tarifunion ; Organizational area youth: Tobias Köck , German Federal Youth Council ; Organizational area municipalities Lina Furch , organizational area state committees: Andrea Dombois , European Movement Saxony ; Organizational area of ​​business associations: Günter Lambertz , German Chamber of Industry and Commerce ; Patrick Meinhardt , Federal Association of Medium-Sized Enterprises ; Organizational area Education & Research with focus on Europe: Otto Schmuck , Europa-Haus Marienberg ; Ansgar Burghof , Gustav Stresemann Institute ; Organizational area “Non-profit associations with the primary objective of European integration”: Katrin Böttger , Institute for European Politics ; Christian Moos , European Union Germany ; Organizational area parties: Franziska Brantner Member of the Bundestag, Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen ; Katja Leikert Member of the Bundestag, CDU ; Katrin Staffler CSU ; Oliver Luksic Member of the Bundestag, FDP ; Karl Ilgenfritz , Free Voters ; Ulrike Hiller , SPD ; Leo Lüddecke , Volt Germany . Organizational area Other organizations with an interest in European politics: Frank Burgdörfer , Citizens of Europe ; Kryzstof Balon , Eurosozial eV ; Thiemo Fojkar , International Federation ; Manuel Gath Young European Federalists - JEF ; Sabine Overkämping German Association of Women Lawyers ; Jakov Devcic , Konrad Adenauer Foundation

Bernd Hüttemann has been Secretary General since 2003.

Honorary presidents are Hans-Dietrich Genscher  †, former Federal Foreign Minister. D .; Philipp Jenninger  †, former President of the Bundestag D .; Annemarie Renger  †, former President of the Bundestag D .; Walter Scheel  †, Federal President a. D .; Dieter Spöri , former Minister D .; Rita Süssmuth , former President of the Bundestag D .; Wolfgang Thierse , former President of the Bundestag D .; Rainer Wend , former member of the Bundestag D .; Monika Wulf-Mathies , member of the European Commission a. D.


The European Movement was founded on June 13, 1949 as the German Council of the European Movement in Wiesbaden. Until 1954, the founding president was the former Reichstag president Paul Löbe .

The founding years

Even if the idea of ​​Europe is centuries old, the ideas for unification became concrete after the Second World War. The initiative was Churchill's famous speech in Zurich in September 1946, in which he pleaded for the reorganization of Europe, cooperation between independent states. His son-in-law Duncan Sandys took over the active work. As head of the British United Europe Movement, he organized the Hague European Congress of the European Movement in May 1948 . The aim was to then found National Councils of the European Movement, which should join an International Council at European level. Eugen Kogon , from May 1949 President of the Europa-Union , significantly supported the establishment of the German Council of the European Movement by inviting around 90 public figures in January 1949 to set up a provisional executive committee with Sandys.

The European Movement was founded on June 13, 1949 as the German Council of the European Movement in Wiesbaden. At the constituent meeting, 252 top-class members from parties and different levels of social life in West Germany were elected. The founding president was the former President of the Reichstag, Paul Löbe, who held this position until 1954. The office of chairman of the executive committee of the council took over Kogon, second chairman became Hermann Brill . The members included a. also Konrad Adenauer , Ludwig Erhard and Theodor Heuss .

After the first German Bundestag met, the German Parliamentary Section of the European Movement was created on November 9, 1949, and Carlo Schmid took over as chairman . Carlo Schmid had previously been elected Vice President of the international parliamentary group of the international European Movement. Heinrich von Brentano , secretary Fritz Erler , became the second chairman of the section, which until 1950 had 244 members .

Even when it was founded, the European movement was non-partisan. The work of the German Council was financed from public funds, in the first few months from grants from the federal states and from 1950 from funds from the Federal Chancellery .

Increased tasks and reforms

Slowly a more precise role for the German Council of the European Movement emerged. The executive committee, headed by Eugen Kogon, met regularly and issued statements on European policy issues, particularly in the areas of economy, social policy, law and culture, as well as proposals for European policy coordination by the German government. With the establishment of the European Cultural Center in Geneva and the College of Europe in Bruges, the German Council was given new tasks, as it selected the fellows of the Collège. The Council also organized the European School Day created in 1953 (since 1978 called the European Competition ), which was intended to familiarize pupils with the idea of ​​integration. In addition, the council tried to mobilize the German public by participating in international congresses, conducting opinion polls, and publishing rallies and information for the press and members.

Although European integration was promoted by the Coal and Steel Community (also ECSC) in 1951 and the Treaty of Rome establishing the EEC and EURATOM in 1957, considerable differences of opinion emerged about the future of Europe (e.g. about the need for a constitution for the continent) both between the national and within the German council.

The poorly transparent management style of Kogon led in 1954 to his replacement as President by Ernst Friedlaender , who reformed the organizational structures of the German Council of the European Movement. However, after he fell ill and resigned his offices in 1958, Hans Furler was elected as his successor.

The 1960s and 1970s were dominated by direct elections to the European Parliament

During the 1960s, the European Union and the German Council intensified their activities. B. by setting up a joint press office. In order to bring government action and public opinion more in line, direct elections and a strengthening of the powers of the European Parliament were called for during the 1960s and 1970s . The second half of the 1970s was dominated by the direct elections scheduled for 1979, especially with regard to broad public relations work that focused on advertising for voter participation and information about party associations at European level.

At the same time, the number of member organizations steadily increased and regional organizations were founded - 14 national committees still exist today.

Overcoming the "Eurosclerosis" of the 1980s

Although the number of member organizations was growing steadily, the German Council of the European Movement was confronted more and more with financial problems, so that the information service had to be discontinued. The tried and tested structures that had already been created for the preparation of the first direct parliamentary election were retained in the following years to accompany further elections.

The 1980s were marked by a certain " Eurosclerosis ", triggered by controversies about the agricultural subsidies and the EU budget , which also paralyzed the activities of the German Council. The crisis was overcome with the adoption of the Single European Act (1987), followed by the revisions of the Maastricht Treaties (1993) and Amsterdam (1999). In this context, the Federal Government and the German Council worked more and more closely together in discussing and providing information on current European policy issues.

Innovations since the 1990s

During the 1990s, the name of the organization was brought into line with that of the other national sections of the international European movement , so that the German Council was now called the European Movement Germany (EBD).

The education and media work was intensified, among other things by the establishment of the Prize Women of Europe - Germany in 1991, but also by the debates about the economic and monetary union , the constitutional treaty , and the eastward enlargement , for which the EBD served as a forum. In particular, it shaped the work of the Constitutional Convention thanks to a study group that was set up together with the Europa-Union and presented position papers to the President of the Convention, Valéry Giscard d'Estaing , on improving the EU's ability to act and legitimizing it . From 2004, the technical detail work on the EU was further trained by developing a working concept for European communication and European foresight. The EBD's best-known projects are the de-briefings and briefings that take place at different locations at member organizations but also at embassies in Berlin.

The Berlin office opened in the late 1990s and has since become the main office. Since 2006 the company has been located on Sophienstrasse in Berlin- Mitte. In the same year the statutes of the EBD were fundamentally reformed, so that now every member organization has one vote in the general assembly and has to pay an annual fee. The range of organizations has also become more and more differentiated.

In 2010, the membership of the EBD exceeded 200 organizations. This means that the association had grown by over 70 new organizations in just seven years. In order to be able to accept new members more quickly, the board can decide to accept them. The general assembly in 2010 decided to commit itself to good governance in the European Union and the German EU actors. The 2010/11 work program emphasizes that the position of interest groups and civil society in the Lisbon Treaty requires a redesign.

A relatively new tool of the EMD is surveys among the member organizations. On the occasion of the respective EU Council Presidency since 2008, possible topics of focus of the members have been asked every six months. From 2012 to 2015, the EBD, together with EurActiv, surveyed the interests of European policy once a year under the title “EU trends”. In 2011, the format “ EP rapporteurs in dialogue” was introduced to highlight the increasing importance of the European Parliament in the legislative process. Since autumn 2012 there has been a dialogue format with the European Minister of State in the Foreign Office, today (as of January 2020) Michael Roth .

The EBD contributes "to a not inconsiderable degree to socialization in European politics and in the field of EU professionalism" by organizing the "networking of political and professional actors".

President since 1949

General secretaries since 1949

Other personalities

Member organizations

The European Movement Germany currently consists of 252 member organizations (as of December 2019). Admission is decided by the board of directors.

See list of members of the European Movement Germany .

See also


  • Adriana Lettrari: Living Brussels in Berlin . In: Journal for Policy Advice . No. 1 . VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, 2010, ISSN  1865-4789 , p. 69–73 ( ).
  • 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 Verlag, Münster 2005
  • European Movement Germany (Ed.): Festschrift "60 Years European Movement Germany" . Berlin 2009 ( ).
  • European Movement Germany (Ed.): From the circle of dignitaries to the European network. Six decades of European movement . In: Festschrift "60 Years of the European Movement in Germany" . Aschendorf, Berlin 2009, pp. 13–28.

Web links

Commons : European Movement Germany  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Multiplier campaign for the 2019 European elections .
  2. Networking | Network EBD. Retrieved January 13, 2020 (German).
  3. AA and EBD sign target agreement 2015-17 . In: .
  4. a b Europe Communication & European Foresight | Network EBD. Retrieved January 13, 2020 (German).
  5. Office. European Movement Germany, accessed on November 18, 2012 .
  6. ( Memento from March 4, 2010 in the Internet Archive )
  7. Think, act and govern European! | Network EBD. Retrieved January 13, 2020 .
  8. ↑ Main focus of the European Movement Germany e. V. | Network EBD. Retrieved March 29, 2017 .
  9. Think European, act and govern democratically! | Network EBD. Retrieved January 13, 2020 (German).
  10. ^ Minister of State Hoyer pays tribute to the services of the "European Movement Germany" network. Federal Foreign Office, November 13, 2009, accessed March 22, 2011 .
  11. cf. News from April 25, 2008 New edition: Round table on European communication
  12. European summit at EURACTIV. In: November 15, 2009, accessed on January 13, 2020 (German).
  13. Board of Directors. In: Network EBD, accessed on 7 July 2018 .
  14. ( Text of Churchill's speech in Zurich, 1946 PDF; 249 kB)
  15. ^ Prize for women in Europe . In: .
  16. "The EBD offers various formats and advice to meet these requirements, creates a space for information, exchange and strategy development and connects all volunteer and professional people involved in Europe." Adriana Lettrari: Brussels in Berlin ( experience ) . In: Journal for Policy Advice . No. 1 . VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, 2010, ISSN  1865-4789 , p. 69–73 ( ). ( Memento from April 19, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  17. Google Maps . In: Google Maps .
  18. ↑ Priorities 2015/16 of the European Movement Germany e. V. . In: .
  19. Network EBD: Second half-year survey 2010. In: August 29, 2010, accessed on January 13, 2020 (German).
  20. EMD survey 2015. European Movement Germany, 25 June 2015, accessed on 13 January 2020 .
  21. ^ EP rapporteur in dialogue. European Movement Germany, accessed March 25, 2014 .
  22. EMBD Minister of State in Dialogue | Network EBD. Retrieved January 13, 2020 (German).
  23. ^ Sebastian M. Büttner, Steffen Mau: EU professionalism as a transnational field . In: Berlin Journal for Sociology . tape 24 , no. 2 , 2014, p. 158 , doi : 10.1007 / s11609-014-0246-7 .
  24. See annual report 2002
  25. Member organization - Network EBD . In: . Retrieved April 13, 2017.

Coordinates: 52 ° 31 '35.8 "  N , 13 ° 23' 59.3"  E