“I Want Europe”: Foundations Take a Stand for a Strong Europe
As part of the campaign, prominent figures from the worlds of politics, sports, culture, and society as well as ordinary citizens speak out for Europe. The continually growing group of “ambassadors” includes, among others, former chancellor Helmut Schmidt; Gesine Schwan, president of the Humboldt-Viadrina School of Governance; former EU Commissioner Günter Verheugen; Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche; historian Timothy Garton Ash; soccer player Philipp Lahm; violinist David Garrett; folk music star Florian Silbereisen; TV and radio host Katrin Bauerfeind; and DJ Paul van Dyk. At www.ich-will-europa.de, everybody can post their commitment to Europe and find out more about Europe’s importance; a Facebook page is available as a discussion forum.
“Europe was, and still is, the key for Germany’s future. Therefore I am happy that eleven German foundations for the first time have managed to get together, go public and speak out for Europe as part of a major campaign,” says Bernhard Lorentz, president of Stiftung Mercator. “Especially in difficult times, Europe needs our, i.e. the foundations’ commitment. With ‘I Want Europe,’ we want to take a clear stance and have a lasting impact on the Europe debate in Germany.”
Most of all, the campaign wants to foster and make room for debate, explains Dieter Berg, chairman of the board of management of the Robert Bosch Stiftung: “We want to give the public a chance to have their say. Only when citizens think about the everyday benefits that Europe offers them, will the European project remain alive. This way, we will also be able to master major challenges such as the European debt crisis.”
The campaign is supported by numerous media companies: The RTL Group (RTL, Vox, n-tv), ProSiebenSat1 Media (ProSieben, Sat1, Kabel 1, N 24) and RTL II will run TV and online campaign spots. The Axel Springer Verlag, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung Verlag, Gruner & Jahr, Verlagsgruppe Handelsblatt, Spiegel Verlag, Süddeutscher Verlag, WAZ-Mediengruppe, Zeitverlag, and Google Germany are some of the media companies that help make visible the campaign.
The Berlin-based Blumberry agency is a project partner providing ideas and helping implement the campaign.
Die Engagierten Europäer (The Committed Europeans)
The campaign “I Want Europe” is an initiative of the “Engagierte Europäer.” The Stiftung Mercator and the Robert Bosch Foundation have launched and are responsible for the campaign. The participating foundations individually and collaboratively organize a variety of projects in order to promote European integration. Eleven foundations currently participate in the initiative: Allianz Kulturstiftung, Bertelsmann Stiftung, BMW Stiftung Herbert Quandt, Gemeinnützige Hertie-Stiftung, Robert Bosch Stiftung, Schering Stiftung, Schwarzkopf-Stiftung Junges Europa, Stiftung Genshagen, Stiftung Mercator, Volkswagen Stiftung, Stiftung Zukunft Berlin.
Press release of August 23, 2012