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Jubiläum© Eric Berghen

8 October 2019
Anniversary: 25 years of Europanetzwerk Deutsch

On 8 October 2019, Europanetzwerk Deutsch celebrated its 25th anniversary with eminent guests from the EU institutions as well as from many EU member states at the federal state of Baden-Württemberg’s Representation to the European Union. To kick off the celebrations, ambassador Martin Kotthaus, Bodo Lehmann, head of Baden-Württemberg’s Representation, and Johannes Ebert, the Secretary General of the Goethe-Institut, welcomed the guests to the anniversary event. The role of the German language and the personal experiences of the discussion participants in Germany were explored more closely in various discussion sessions. The event was rounded off with a musical performance and a closing reception.


Bodo Lehmann

Head of the federal state of Baden-Württemberg’s Representation to the EU

Martin Kotthaus © Eric Berghen

Martin Kotthaus

Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Belgium

Johannes Ebert

Secretary General of the Goethe-Institut

Interview with Günther H. Oettinger,EU Commissioner for Budget and Human Resources © Eric Berghen


with Günther H. Oettinger
EU Commissioner for Budget and Human Resources


Ralph Sina
Head of the WDR studio in Brussels

Podium 1: Die deutsche Sprache und Ich  © Eric Berghen


with alumni from Europanetzwerk Deutsch:

Andris Piebalgs
1998–2003 Latvia’s ambassador to the European Union in Brussels. Lead negotiator in Latvia’s accession to the EU. 2004 Brussels bureau chief of the Latvian EU Commissioner Sandra Kalniete. Following this, posting as Latvia’s new representative in the Barroso I Commission as Commissioner for Energy and in the Barroso II Commission as Commissioner for Development.

Pia Ahrenkilde Hansen
From 1991 an official of the European Commission. 1999–2004 Media spokesperson for various Commissioners and Presidents of the European Commission. 2004–2009 Deputy media spokesperson and head of the strategic planning group at the Directorate-General for Communication. 2009–2014 Chief media spokesperson of the European Commission. 2014–2018 Director of the representations of the European Commission to the European member states. 2018–2020 Deputy Secretary-General at the Secretariat-General. Since 2019 Director-General for Communication at the European Commission.

Ricardo da Silva Passos
1975–1976 Public prosecutor at the Cascais district court. 1978–1986 Lawyer at the Secretariat of the European Commission of Human Rights. 1986–1987 Legal officer at the Court of Justice of the European Communities. 1988–1999 Head of department at the Secretariat of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Citizens’ Rights of the European Parliament. 2002–2003 Member of the Secretariat of the European Convention. 1999–2010 Head of division at the Legal Service of the European Parliament. 2010–2016 Director for Institutional and Parliamentary Affairs at the Legal Service of the European Parliament. Since 19.09.2016 Judge at the General Court of the European Union in Luxembourg.

Mary Veronica Tovsak-Pleterski
Initially a diplomat for the Slovenian Foreign Office in Strasbourg, New York and Brussels. Following this, Permanent Representative at Slovenia’s Permanent Representation to the EU and Head of the Committee of Deputy Permanent Representatives during the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2008. Afterwards, Director of the Directorate-General for Climate Action and main advisor at the Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology and Director at the Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs at the European Commission. Currently an economic advisor and Member of the Cabinet of President Ursula von der Leyen.

Podium 2: Deutschland und Ich© Eric Berghen


with guests from Germany from industry, music and sport:

Victoria Nava
Student at the Robert-Schumann University in Düsseldorf

Claudemir Jerônimo Barreto, Cacau
German Football Association Integration Commissioner, German international footballer with 23 caps, German champion, participant in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa

Arleta Brandt
Brandt & Jarzab Personalberatung GbR


with Victoria Nava on the piano and Urszula Padala-Sperber on the violin.


with many guests at the Representation of the State of Baden-Württemberg to the European Union.