20. Juli 2006

Nouvelle Europe - the way to the Baltic Sea Region

How much do people in France know about the Baltic Sea Region? How many french people know details about the 10 new members of European Union? "It is really not in fashion", explains Philippe Perchoc, president of french NGO "Nouvelle Europe". But his organisation wants to build bridges between the cultures. The project "Baltic Trip" wants to collect more information for french speaking public: the current role of agriculture, the flow of workers between "new" and "old" EU-members, the relation to Russia, the environmental protection - that are only some of the topics, which the project will cover (see document "dossier du voyage" - french) Phillipe Perchoc, Ryad Fagoul and Sindbad Iksel - three french travellers, two of them living in Colombes near Paris, one in Birmingham in England, will try to find out more about the current situation in eight different Baltic Sea States. From July 15 to September 1 st 2006 they will be on travel through Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Sweden and Denmark.

On July 17th the three "Baltic Travellers" spent one day in the Hanseatic City of Bremen. "Is the Hanseatic Tradition still alive? How succesful were the measures to protect the environment of the Baltic Sea? What vision Germans have on the future development of the European Union and the Baltic Sea Region?" These and other questions the three travellers asked to members of
INFOBALT, the Bremen located NGO working with Baltic Sea Cooperation. The "Baltic trip" of Philippe, Ryad and Sindbad is also a media project. A cooperation with German-French TV-Station ARTE helped to produce a several short video-clips, a documentary and lots of photos. A Bloggersite accompanies the travel and gives space for spontanous reports and comments.

The timetable of the trip: Warshaw around July 22th, Vilnius / Kaunas around July 27th, Riga around August 3rd, Tallinn around August 11th, Helsinki around August 15th, Stockholm around August 20th, Copenhagen around August 25th. Quite a long trip - but at the end a lot of material will be collected, and it will be interesting to observe whether the three friends have changed a bit the attitude of French people towards the Baltic Sea Region.

"We have members of our organisation 'Nouvelle Europe' also in some of the countries we now visit," explains Philippe, "and they of course were very eager to help us in preparation of our trip." Possibly there will be many new friends afterwards ... For all those people in the Baltic States, who would like to contact the three French travellers during their trip, and possibly arrange additional meetings, they offer a contact via Email: philippe.perchoc@gmail.com