EUSTORY General Assembly 2011
13 - 16 April 2011, Hamburg, Germany
From 13 to 16 April 2011 the EUSTORY history competition organisers gathered in Hamburg for their Annual General Assembly. This time it was meant to be an extraordinary event, because it was combined with the EUSTORY SUMMIT 2011 and started with a real highlight: a group of EUSTORY Young Professionals entered into a debate with Helmut Schmidt in a matinee on Thursday morning (14 April). The elder statesman – up until today very involved in the European integration process - shared his political experiences with the young European professionals of tomorrow. The summit debate took place in what is regarded as Germany’s biggest speech theatre, the Deutsches Schauspielhaus, which has a history stretching back over 100 years. The audience comprised approximately 1.000 guests, the majority of them being school students from the Hamburg area.
EUSTORY invited alumni from countries that are geographical neighbours of Germany, or nationals of a country that is particularly linked to Germany by its involvement in the Second World War. In particular there were young people from “EUSTORY countries” like Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Italy, Poland, Russia, Spain, Switzerland and Germany. The major concern of the elder statesman was to pass on his engagement for a peaceful and united Europe to the young generation. The alumni were be well prepared for this performance. In February they took part in a preparation workshop where they were trained by experts in terms of rhetorical skills and content, regarding topics such as “The Past as Motivation for Political Action”, “Shaping Politics under Disparate Conditions” and “Foreign and Security Policy in a United Europe”.
This Summit and the exchange with the alumni naturally moulded a major part of the General Assembly. Nevertheless, a substantial amount of time was dedicated to questions that concerned the daily work of running and maintaining a competition: i.e. there was a strong focus on pedagogical/methodological topics and on the exchange of common experience.