Actually we had wanted to organize the European Picnic for the years 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015, and after that, no more picnics! But then Gwénaël LAMARQUE of the Maison de l' Europe (Bordeaux) (MEBA) arrived on the scene with a question for us, namely whether we could propose our picnic as the closing event of the European Week in Bordeaux. All right, so one more picnic - with the usual cast, in the usual place, with so many of our good friends.
And so it came to fruition: “forty students aged from 18 to 30 from 8 different nations - France, Spain , Italy, Germany, Czech Republic, Poland and Romania – joined us for the European picnic organised on Sunday 22 May in the grounds of the Abbey of Vertheuil in the presence of some 200 guests. The Event was organised by the association Médoc Actif, represented by Christian Büttner. Rémi Jarris, mayor of Vertheuil, inaugurated the 5th edition of this event, in company of the deputy, Pascale Got and of the director of the Maison de l'Europe Bordeaux Aquitaine (Meba), Gwenaël Lamarque..”. (Pascale Moinet-Cordonnier, Sud-Ouest, the 24. may 2016)
And so in spite of the early heavy rain the most wonderful beautiful picnic we had ever organized, and was indoors in the hall of the Abbey with admittedly only "150" participants but in an atmosphere best described as "convivial". So an event which at first could literally have threatened to be under water, was turned into a real festival thanks to the perfect organization of Vertheuil Loisirs, the active support of many volunteers of the associations involved and the fantastic music of Gib and Mathilde along with the marvellous buffet once again provided by the participants themselves, all providing seemingly endless fun and dancing: at the same time many of the young people played football on the lawn in front of the Hall - and it had now stopped raining - while the rest of them mingled with the dancing old age pensioners providing an unforgettable experience for young and old, and indeed for us really a very precious parting gift! Our sincere thanks to all who have provided incredible support especially to the Mayor of Vertheuil, Remi Jarris, Sophie Moufflet and Klaus Moeller-Herrmann..
We wish all success to all those who would like to organise such a picnic in the future and are very happy to provide all our support and advice to any volunteers.
Christian Büttner/Elke Schwichtenberg (Saint-Vivien), translation: Christopher Murray