Strasbourg (F), 20 July 2012
Michèle Sabban, President of the Assembly of European Regions (AER), sent an official letter to the French Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mister Laurent Fabius. At stake: the Federal Republic of Germany’s Consulate in Strasbourg.
As France and Germany prepare to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Elysée Treaty, the plan to shut down the Consulate casts a shadow over the close bonds between the two countries. “Beyond the services offered, it’s the symbolic and political aspect to which I wish to draw your attention. In European diplomacy, Strasbourg holds a decisive position because it houses several European institutions, but it also represents a strong symbol of the peaceful Europe that our peers have been able to create. It hosts permanent representatives from 47 countries, and it would be extremely hurtful if our German friends left this historical symbol behind,” Michèle Sabban emphasized in her letter.
This plan has also been met with incomprehension from local and regional authorities: indeed, 50,000 German citizens living in this district would be affected by the shutdown, henceforth left to contact the Consulate in Paris! At a time when the benefits of decentralization are widely recognized in France, it would be a shame if our German neighbours, who have always championed federalism, contributed to the high administrative concentration in the French capital.
The Assembly of European Regions (AER – aer.eu) is the largest independent network of regions in wider Europe. Bringing together more than 250 regions from 35 countries and 16 interregional organisations, AER is the political voice of its members and a forum for interregional co-operation.
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