Via Schengen to Lorraine

At Schengen, I scratch Luxembourg for the second time on my way from Berlin to Santiago de Compostela. Finally I’m going to France. In mid-September I will hike from Trier to Toul. It will be 220 km through a core region of Europe that is still largely unknown to me.

I will start at the Benedictine Abbey in the south of Trier, then almost always along the Moselle towards Metz. It’s only a stone’s throw to Schengen and then it’s straight into France. I will briefly leave the road to Santiago at Cattenom. I want to visit the farm where my grandfather Fritz Heusipp had to work as a prisoner of war after the war. The farmer’s daughter is still alive today and has invited me for a coffee. So it will be my very special Schengen area!  My tour planninng at Komoot. 

My Midlife Photo Shooting with Mathias Bothor

Photo by Mathias Bothor http://mathiasbothor.com
Photo by Mathias Bothor http://mathiasbothor.com

That’s what the mid-life challange is all about. New perspectives!  The present of my love for my 50th birthday was very special and offered me a session with Berlin Mitte photo portrait artist Mathias Bothor. It became more than a photo shooting. More pics

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In the midfield of European Politics: Civil Society, Lobbyism and Participative Democracy within the EU’s Multi-level System of Governance

The article sheds light on the relation between political influence of interest groups in the EU legislative process and pluralist democracy in the European system of multi-level governance. In this context, the article critically examines whether the representation of societal interests can be analytically distinguished from (corporate and private) lobbyism. It is the article’s main thesis that interest representation can only contribute to more democracy and legitimacy in the EU system of multi-level governance if all corporate, governmental, and legislative actors involved in the decision-making process commit themselves to greater transparency.

Hüttemann, Bernd; Sandmann, Elena (2020): Im Mittelfeld der Europapolitik: Zivilgesellschaft, Lobbyismus und Partizipative Demokratie im Mehrebenensystem der EU. In: Forschungsjournal Soziale Bewegungen 32 (4), S. 557–569. DOI: 10.1515/fjsb-2019-0061.

Framing the midfield between citizens and EU policy actors.

Together with Elena Sandmann I recently evaluated the midfield between citizens and political stakeholder. The article sheds light on the relation between political influence of interest groups in the EU legislative process and pluralist democracy in the European system of multi-level governance. In this context, the article critically examines whether the representation of societal interests can be analytically distinguished from (corporate and private) lobbyism. It is the article’s main thesis that interest representation can only contribute to more democracy and legitimacy in the EU system of multi-level governance if all corporate, governmental, and legislative actors involved in the decision-making process commit themselves to greater transparency. Read more

My Istanbul in Çukurcuma – what an immersion!

Istanbul has been a place of longing for me for many years. For a year now I have been diving more regularly into the megacity, into a very special area called Çukurcuma (“Friday Valley”). It is so unknown that I wrote a corresponding Wikipedia article in German today. Çukurcuma is a lively little quarter ignored by package tourists, but encourages individual treasure hunters to get to know antique shops, cafés and a “museum of innocence” of a Nobel Prize winner in literature. Read more

My St. James Way to Cologne

This time I made my way to the holy as libertarian Cologne! This time I made 146 km of my pilgrimage to Santiago (of already 790 km since Berlin). The stage led me from the Westphalian Sauerland highlands, over the so called Bergische Land into the Cologne Lowland crossing the River Rhine. On foot I became aware of the differences that still today are marked by the small territories of the Holy Roman Empire, divided into Kölsch beer drinkers, Schalke fans, agricultural, working and middle-class economies and of course incredulous, Catholic and Lutheran cultures. That’s the way my home state North Rhine-Westphalia is. However, in Grevenbrück near Lennestadt I started.

I went over the “Heidenstraße”, a way I took since Elspe! The “Pagans’ way” medieval trade route ran through the unspoiled hills of the Sauerland. From Grevenbrück I hiked first to Attendorn. The road still reminded me of the Hochsauerland, with its many Catholic shrines and chapels. In Attendorn, the St John Baptis parish welcomed me in the person of the extremely friendly pastor Neuser. He had “tricked” me with the promise of just a simple place to sleep, but my “bedstead” became a perfect geastroom in the baroque rectory. Despite summer vacations, the community life seemed very lively, as in Giershagen I had a community meeting. The pastor himself was a pilgrim in Spain. He confirmed, however, that not so many pilgrims had knocked on the streets in Attendorn over the years. Too bad they miss real hospitality, including morning coffee and local newspaper.

More in German: Meinerzhagen, Marienheide, Rösrath and then Cologne… further on the “Via Coloniensis” to Weilerswist and then back by train to Berlin.

Fremdschämen not Schadenfreude: Germans sceptical of Brexit deadline delay

Political scientist Bernd Hüttemann, who serves as the Vice President of the European Movement International, said that the decision to delay the deadline was largely in the interests of both the EU and Germany – although the longer-term consequences are unclear.

“A delay doesn’t surprise us because many stakeholders are happy that we don’t have to see the real consequences of a real Brexit,” he said.

“Everyone knows that a no-deal Brexit would be harmful.”

This led to relief – a feeling which was most likely shared by many on both sides of the Channel.

“It’s like in life, when you are getting ready to jump – you really have to jump – but then you don’t have to jump,” he said.

‘Schadenfreude? No, I’d say more like Fremdschämen’

Overall, Hüttemann said the view in Germany was that British institutions – formerly viewed positively – had lost legitimacy.

“People are really surprised,” he told The Local. “For a long time people thought the British way of politics was a good one. Unlike other parts of European politics which were seen as bureaucratic and boring, British politics were seen positively,” he said.

“British politics have lost tremendously in the eyes of the German public. They’ve now fallen behind the European Union in terms of credibility. Now Brussels seems to be much more reasonable than London, which is very odd in Germany.”

Hüttemann said the feeling towards Brexit was not one of Schadenfreude – the German word for taking pleasure in the misfortune of others – but one of Fremdschämen – or the embarrassment felt for someone who has embarrassed themselves.

SEE ALSO: German word of the day: Fremdschämen

“Do you have a word for Fremdschämen in English? No? Well that’s why you have Brexit,” Hüttemann said.

Hütteman agreed with the assessment of London’s Financial Times which said the ‘conventional’ German view is that Brexit is “a stupid mistake which will cost the UK dearly”.

However he said that while the reaction of British institutions to the Brexit process has been surprising, the outcome of leaving the EU was in some ways predictable given the politics of the UK, which often uses Brussels as a “scapegoat”.

https://www.thelocal.de/20190411/germans-sceptical-of-brexit-deadline-delay

Wanderlust in the Westphalian mountains – my St. James Way from Paderborn to Elspe

Wanderlust in Westphalia on my long way to #finiseuropea in Spain! Since this autumn I completed 720 km of 3,000 km from Berlin to Santiago de Compostela. My last stage led me from Corvey Abbey/Höxter to my home city Paderborn. This time I hiked 5 days from Paderborn into the hilly Sauerland region. A new trail follows an old Middle Age path, called Heerweg/Römerweg. In Elspe I made first steps on the Heidenstraße, which is leading to Cologne. I witnessed a beautiful sunny landscape and met friendly people…  

My report in German and my “Hall of Fame” für my supporters.

from Paderborn to Grevenbrück in 5 days 

First steps in my home region Westphalia

Hilly Westphalia […] seizes the attention of every traveller by reason of the thoroughly picturesque beauty of its position in the green-forested valley of an important and historically remarkable mountain range. The little province [Hochstift Paderborn] to which it belonged was in those days one of those hidden away corners of the earth without factories and commerce, without military roads, where a strange face still caused a sensation and a journey of thirty leagues gave even the more prominent person in his district an aura of an intrepid explorer – in short, a spot like which there were so many others in Germany, with all the faults and virtues, all the originality and narrow-mindedness that thrive only under such circumstances.
Annette von Droste-Hülshoff: Die Judenbuche (The Jews’ Beech)

On my camino road again! #FinisEuropae & #Wanderlust: I made another 90 km of total 3,000 km to Santiago de Compostela! I started from Höxter at the Weser river to my home city Paderborn, crossing hilly Westphalia and the Egge Hills-Teutoburg Forest Nature Park. It is an old region full of green hills and many baroque Catholic churches – and most important: many villages from my childhood where a big part of my ancestors spent all their famer’s life. My first day lead me to Brakel where I stayed in a monastery. On my way I will do a small detour to that village Anne von Droste-Hülshoff the first time heard of the “The Jews’ Beech Thriller”.

my Tour so far from Berlin to Santiago de Compostela here

Data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Links:

Last steps Amelungsborn nach Kloster Corvey… 

next steps Hochsauerland

My camino to hilly Westphalia (or: home sweet home)

Hilly Westphalia […] seizes the attention of every traveller by reason of the thoroughly picturesque beauty of its position in the green-forested valley of an important and historically remarkable mountain range. The little province [Hochstift Paderborn] to which it belonged was in those days one of those hidden away corners of the earth without factories and commerce, without military roads, where a strange face still caused a sensation and a journey of thirty leagues gave even the more prominent person in his district an aura of an intrepid explorer – in short, a spot like which there were so many others in Germany, with all the faults and virtues, all the originality and narrow-mindedness that thrive only under such circumstances.
Annette von Droste-Hülshoff: Die Judenbuche (The Jews’ Beech)

On my camino road again! #FinisEuropae & #Wanderlust: after 559 km another 90 km of total 3,000 km to Santiago de Compostela! Soon I will start from Höxter at the Weser river to my home city Paderborn, crossing hilly Westphalia and the Egge Hills-Teutoburg Forest Nature Park. It is an old region full of green hills and many baroque Catholic churches – and most important: many villages from my childhood where a big part of my ancestors spent all their famer’s life. My first day will lead me to Brakel where I will stay in a monastery. On my way I will do a small detour to that village Anne von Droste-Hülshoff the first time heard of the “The Jews’ Beech Thriller”.

All my St James way to Paderborn is described in German here.