Hague Club Meeting in Hanover

Sep 09 '16

From 8th to 11th of September 2016, the heads of some of the largest foundations in Europe, the Hague Club, are convening in Hanover for their annual meeting.

Dr. Teresa Sanjurjo, head of Fundacio Princesa de Asturias with mayor of Hanover, Stefan Schostok, at the reception for the participants in the new City Hall. (Photo: Sven Stolzenwald for Volkswagen Foundation)

Dr. Teresa Sanjurjo, head of Fundacio Princesa de Asturias with mayor of Hanover, Stefan Schostok, at the reception for the participants in the new City Hall. (Photo: Sven Stolzenwald for Volkswagen Foundation)

The Hague Club has a long tradition of informal exchange: An association of leaders of some of Europe's largest foundations, it has been holding annual meetings at varying locations since 1971.

This year it is the turn of the German members to host this top-level meeting of foundation representatives from Europe and overseas. On the first evening of the event, the mayor of Hanover, Stefan Schostok, gave a reception for the participants in the new City Hall. This is followed today by talks and discussion at Herrenhausen Palace – for example by Andreas Schlüter, Secretary General of the Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft and Helga Nowotny, former president (till 2013) of the European Research Council, as well as Horst Bredekamp, art historian at Berlin’s Humboldt University and since 2015 one of the three founding directors of the future Humboldt Forum in Berlin's rebuilt City Palace.

One item on the agenda is sure to trigger lively debate: Introduced by Wilhelm Krull under the heading "Rethinking Europe", this section poses the question: How can foundations contribute pro-actively towards stemming the anti-democratic and anti-European sentiments currently being stirred up by populists in many EU member states. "All those attending the meeting view such developments with acute concern, especially in the aftermath of Brexit", says Wilhelm Krull. "I do hope that our meeting in Hanover will be able to forge an alliance of individual foundations to bring the positive aspects of European unity more to the fore of public debate."

Mayor of Hanover, Stefan Schostok, with the international guests in the new City Hall. (Photo: Sven Stolzenwald for Volkswagen Foundation)

Mayor of Hanover, Stefan Schostok, with the international guests in the new City Hall. (Photo: Sven Stolzenwald for Volkswagen Foundation)

The guests' working sessions are accompanied by a supporting program including, among others, a visit to PS.Speicher in Einbeck, the Fagus Works in Alfeld, and an evening concert. That the participants are departing with fond impressions of Hanover is not only due to their hosts' hospitality, though: The weather, of course also played a major role: The Indian summer arrived just in time for the Hague Club meeting.