Inaugural Ceremony of the Club Year 2016 / 2017
20 September, 2016 / Europasaal, Federal Foreign Office
Political Berlin's two month-long summer hiatus is over and the new 2016/2017 club year at Willkommen in Berlin is already in full swing. Things got off to an official start with the inaugural ceremony on the 20th of September in the Europasaal of the Federal Foreign Office. President Tone Korssund-Eichinger greeted the members and international guests of the club.
In her speech, the president remarked on how in a time shaped by war, terrorism, refugee misery and unpleasant nationalistic tendencies, she often has the feeling that the work of Willkommen in Berlin is more relevant than ever, and that understanding and friendship between nations is not only a task for politicians and diplomats. "We are confident that the positive personal experiences and interactions that result from our work also have a positive effect on other aspects of the relationships between our countries and people“.
In his greeting, State Secretary Stephan Steinlein also emphasized the importance of Willkommen in Berlin. "In a turbulent world, Willkommen in Berlin is a constant. Its work is an important point of reference for settling in and experiencing our city“. Further, he mentioned that the club plays an important role as a partner and host for foreign diplomats and their families - also very much in the interests of the Federal Foreign Office. For this reason, the Federal Foreign Office has always willingly supported the club and will continue to do so.
To paraphrase Goethe: There is an inherent charm to every new beginning - this also proved true at the inauguration of the 2016/2017 club year. The Europasaal of the Federal Foreign Office was well filled. Members and international guests were in high spirits and, with great interest, sought out information about the over 30 activity groups and the new annual programme. A musical interlude by the "Diplomatic Choir of Berlin“ gave the event a particularly festive flair.