Monday 3 december 2018
After a nice breakfast in the hotel we cross the street to have our meeting in the local Starbucks. Annet Bakker, our inventive chair, found in busy Strassbourg this quite lovely conference room on the upper floor. With a big oval table, a beamer and a white wall we are ready to start. The members of the Steering Committee presented themselves and the work they do for EPEA. The branches presented themselves in 20 minutes each. In between a lot of new thoughts came up on recommendations we could share for better European conditions in prison education, like digital inclusion. Didier Schretter, Flemisch but living in Geneva, was invited to talk about his work in the Council of Europe. He works there for 30 years around communication and digital (r)evolution as a part of a good democracy. He told about the history of this Council in a very open and sincere way. He convinced us that EPEA must create better connections to reach more for the rights of education in prison.
Visit to the ‘Palais’ or the Council of Europe.
At 13u we started of with two trams in the direction of the European neighbourhoud. We pass by the buildings of the European Union and the European Court of human rights from the Council of Europe. But we’re going to visit the ‘palais’ of the Council of Europe. A guide is waiting for us. The Council of Europe unites at this moment 47 lands of Europe and includes lands as Russia, Turkey and Azerbeidzjan. In the seventies they build this wonderful palace. The rich style of the building with ful tropical wood in stairs, ceilings. The furniture of wood and clothe material in heavy colours is really typical. We visite the biggest conference hall of the Parliamentary Assembly where 1000 people can take place. Visitors can sit in the back and listen. Every country donated a peace of art as a gift to the Council, so the building presents also a lot of wonderful artworks from all kinds. We thank Per Thrane a lot for organising this visit. We definitively have to come back here for networking…Per Thrane will show us the way.
We continue in Starbucks with our meeting until 18u. Tired but again full of new ideas, we take a rest.
Diner in the center of Strassbourg
At 19u30 we take off by foot to the restaurant ‘the 12 apostles’ where a lovely meal is served. The name of the restaurant makes me think about the story we heard in the afternoon in the Council of Europe about the 12 stars of the Council of Europe. In the beginning there where only 11 countries and the twelfth star was added to get the ‘holy’ figure 12. 12 goes in history for something that is important like the 12 months of a year and the 12 apostles 🙂 The European Union took over the 12 stars and it stays until now the very famous symbol of a united Europe.
Hear more from me tomorrow!