Increasingly, challenges can no longer be resolved at the national level in a globalized world. They can only be tackled jointly by international partners. Mutual understanding and trust are basic prerequisites for successful cross-border cooperation. This conviction forms the basis of our work at the Centre for Europe, where we pursue activities relating particularly to our overarching thematic cluster of Europe.
Europe and the European Union are especially important to us because only a cohesive and democratic Europe that is capable of action can play any effective role in today’s multipolar world. We are convinced that the European Union is also the best organizational form for the future of our continent. Our objective is to strengthen Europe’s cohesion and ability to act. Turkey is linked to Europe on account of its geographical position and wide-ranging political, cultural, historical and economic ties. Sustainable relations between Germany and the other European states and Turkey are also part and parcel of this. We want Germany to live up to its historical responsibility to promote a peaceful, united and free Europe. We are convinced that a unified Europe is the best thing for our continent.
One central element of our activities in the Centre for Europe is the Mercator Exchange, which serves as the umbrella organization for all our exchange programmes. The idea behind this is that international relations can only be forged through personal encounters. Our aim is to give young people in particular the opportunity to acquire international experience and thereby to enhance their intercultural skills. To this end, we bring pupils, students, young leaders and information disseminators from Germany, Turkey and China together within the framework of various exchange programmes. Our guiding philosophy in this context is for people to understand one another, learn from one another and jointly overcome international challenges.
Focusing on the further development of intercultural skills is a challenge for the foundation as a whole.