Magdeburg/Orléans. Sixty years ago, Germany and France laid the foundation for bilateral friendship and cooperation with the Élysée Treaty - the nationalist fairy tale of "Erbfeindschaft" had finally been overcome. But how familiar are our neighbors to us today?

With this question in mind, 50 young people each from Saxony-Anhalt and the French region of Centre-Val de Loire are currently meeting for a 10-day exchange project at the European Youth Education Centre Magdeburg (EJBM). Their task: to examine with an unbiased eye how vividly the Franco-German friendship is lived and to make it fit for the next 60 years with fresh ideas. The meeting is organized by the EJBM, the Landeszentrale für Politische Bildung Sachsen-Anhalt and the EUROPE DIRECT information centers in Magdeburg and Halle. On the French side supports the youth information center CRIJ.


To ensure that the Franco-German exchange is not only planned but also lived, the organizers have come up with a special transnational format: In small Franco-German groups, the young people will tour first through Saxony-Anhalt, then through Centre-Val de Loire, showing each other their 60 favorite places. Their experiences will be incorporated into a publication that is intended to facilitate exchange projects between the two regions. Thus, the project also serves to prepare for the 20th anniversary of the partnership between Centre-Val de Loire and Saxony-Anhalt, which is due in 2024.

The results will be presented to the public at the closing ceremony on October 30, 2023 in Orléans (France). On Thursday, October 26, 2023, the highlight of the German part of the project will be a ceremony with a panel discussion at the State Chancellery, to which Saxony-Anhalt's Minister for European Affairs, Rainer Robra, has issued an invitation.

The Franco-German Youth Office, Lotto Saxony-Anhalt, the Centre-Val de Loire region and the Saxony-Anhalt State Agency for Civic Education are all contributing significantly to the funding of the project.