Happy Birthday EU! – 60 years after the Treaties of Rome

60 years ago the foundation for today’s EU was laid when Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Germany signed the Treaties of Rome.

60 years of development, successes, crises and backdrops, but most important of all: 60 years of peace in Europe and 60 years of growing together to one Union.
The EU’s development until today was never easy or without backdrops and problems: France didn’t want Great Britain to join, the Empty Chair Crisis and the non-completion of a European Constitution. However, the EU always found an answer, a solution to the problem and developed further, came back stronger.
The Common European Market was established, inner-EU border-controls abolished and the Euro invented.

And today? Where is Europe heading?
Of course there are problems and crises the EU has to face, maybe more challenging than ever before, or just different?
Migration from Northern Africa, terrorism, and still some outliers of the financial crisis are challenging, however the EU is strong enough to combat these challenges, if it stays together, if we stay together.
Anti-EU movements within some Nation-States, such as political organizations or Brexit as the ultimate are developments within the nations and among the people of Europe. Nevertheless, the reaction to Brexit as well as the recent outcomes of the election in the Netherlands show that the people still believe in the EU, and we should do so! The EU offers a lot: we can travel through the EU as we like, without a passport, for most of the countries we do not even have to change money. Without the EU every of our countries would be alone, would be a minor player (if so at all) at the world scene, between America, China and Russia.

Therefore, we should March For Europe, we should celebrate and we should thank what it brought already and what it offers us.

By Ann-Kristin Gross

Top Ten Fun Facts – Stuttgart

This entry is part 5 of 8 in the series TOP TEN
  • having vineyards since 3 AD, Stuttgart is the only city in Germany with a municipal wine estate, which covers 15.5 hectares
  • City of science – Stuttgart has the highest density of scientific, academic and research organizations in Germany
  • Cradle of the automobile – housing two of the world’s most popular car firms Mercedes-Benz and Porsche, Stuttgart offers to automobile museums (of course Mercedes and Porsche) and the Käfer (second most sold car of the world) was developed here!
  • featuring many vineyards, parks and forests Stuttgart belongs to the greenest cities of Europe. Especially ‘The Green U’ a 8 km long ring made up of parks, offers many recreational areas
  • The Teddybear as we all know it today was invented and born in Stuttgart by Richard Steiff
  • Stuttgart’s Ballett ranks among the world’s best dance institutions and is highly renowned
  • The first TV tower of the world was build in Stuttgart and you can still visit it!
  • City of the Maultäschle – Maultäschle, a typical Swabian dish (and Stuttgart is the capital of the Swabian region) was invented for being allowed eating meat on Good Friday. Normally, you do not eat meat on Good Friday, however the Swabians invented Maultaschen as ‘God is not able to see the meat inside the dough’. So they could eat meat and god did not notice
  • one Europe’s largest christmas markets takes place in Stuttgart every year between the last Thursday of November and 23rd December. Dating back to approximately 1692 and comprising about 280 decorated stalls it attracts around 3 million visitors every year!
  • Keeping up with Munich: Stuttgart has it’s own Oktoberfest – they call it Wasen instead of Wiesn and celebrate it two times a year! A bit smaller than Munich’s Oktoberfest, however it attracts nearly as much visitors as its big brother and is at least as amusing as the Wiesn

Top 10 Fun Facts – Berlin

This entry is part 4 of 8 in the series TOP TEN
  1. Berlin is unique, a city of superlatives and there are far more than 10 facts you should definitely know
  2. Sunny weather and culturally intense: Berlin has more museums than rainy days per year. Berlin offers more than 180 museums covering everything from arts over history and technical stuff to Currywurst and toys, while it rains only on about 106 days a year.
  3. Ever-moving city: Every hour 18 people move from one district to of the city to another one.
  4. Highly international: About 500,000 foreigners live in Berlin, coming from about 185 different nations. But Berlin is not only interesting to foreign nationalities: Many people from all over Germany live in Berlin and so it may not surprise that only 1/4 of all people living in Berlin, are born and raised in Berlin.
  5. Growing city: Every day 435 people move into Berlin while only 327 leave the city.
  6. Green, greener, Berlin: More than 44% of the city’s area is made up by parks, woods, river and other recreational areas. This makes Berlin the greenest city of Germany and high-ranking worldwide.
  7. City of superlatives:
    • KaDeWe is the largest department store of Continental Europe
    • longest beer-garden in the world (2.2 km long)
    • East Side Gallery is largest open-air gallery of the world
    • more than 9 times bigger than Paris
    • more bridges than Venice
  8. Berlin is the only city in the world having 3 opera houses, comprising more than 4000 seats
  9. Ever wanted to get gold directly from an ATM? – At the Gallerie Lafayette in Friedrichstraße this is possible! You can buy gold in 250g portions from the ‘Gold ATM’
  10. Relaxed mentality: Berliners are least worried about the future than everyone else in Germany.

Top 10 Fun Facts – Frankfurt am Main

This entry is part 3 of 8 in the series TOP TEN
  1. International – It is estimated that people of approximately 180 different nationalities live in Frankfurt. This means that almost 1 in every 3 people living here do not hold a German passport.
  2. happy people – Frankfurt is one of the highest ranking cities of Germany and Europe regarding quality of life and life satisfaction.
  3. The world’s largest trade show for books is held in Frankfurt
  4. Frankfurter – the famous sausages originate from here.
  5. Mainhattan – Frankfurt’s nickname because of its significant skyline of skyscrapers, almost similar to Manhattan’s skyline, and the river Main dividing the city into two parts.
  6. Frankfurt and its surrounding area provide for a lot of nature. Additionally, Frankfurt has the largest inner-city forest in Germany.
  7. Culturally important – not only did Johannes Gutenberg the inventor of bookprinting live and work here, Johann Wolfgang Goethe was born and raised in Frankfurt as well.
  8. Frankfurt’s Henninger Tower is the highest beer reservoir in the world.
  9. Large, larger, Fraport – The airport of Frankfurt is not only the most frequented airport of Germany, having the highest travellar and visitor numbers, but it is also one of the largest airport in the world.
  10. After Wolrd War II Frankfurt contended for becoming the capital of the Federal Republic of Germany. However, obviously Frankfurt lost against Bonn.

What you should consider before planning your move

You might have the  idea to work abroad, before planning your move you should make several important considerations:
Assess your chances for getting your “dreamjob”

  • Do you have the required qualification
  • Are the job offers in the new country matching with your wishes and skills
  • Are you able to make compromises regarding the new job in question of company size, company culture etc.

Are you ready to integrate

  • Do you have the required language skills to integrate already? – You will have to improve your skills!
  • Do you have any experiences about culture and social life in the new country or city? – You have to find out about cultural and social specalties!
  • Make a list of your major questions regarding social life and culture!

Find out what to expect  in your new “home”

  • Try to get as most information as possible about the new country!
  • Use all web portals which content information of the country,
  • Try to find out the specific characteristics of the cities you are interested in
  • Try to find out about the specific culture issues in the region of the new city

Top 10 Fun facts – Hamburg

This entry is part 2 of 8 in the series TOP TEN
  1. John Lennon said: “I was born in Liverpool but raised in Hamburg
  2. When Hamburgers refer to the DOM they do not mean a church or cathedrale but a huge fair, taking place three times a year in Hamburg
  3. Hamburg has approximately 2500 bridges and hence not only more than Venice, Amsterdam and London combined, but it has more bridges than any other city of the world
  4. There are more millionaires living in Hamburg than in any other German city
  5. Hamburg is 7 times bigger than Paris and 14% of Hamburg is green space
  6. In Wedel is the ‘Willkomm-Höft’ situated. The only ship greeting dock of the world. It welcomes every ship entering the harbour of Hamburg with the national anthem and flag of the originating country
  7. The VIP-seats of the FC St.Pauli Stadium offer each an own Astra Pils tap as well as a small ice-rink where fresh Currywurst is served
  8. The Miniature Wonderland Hamburg is the largest railway museum as well as the largest model railway in the world. It inherits more the 12km of railway lines
  9. Only men as well as those women working there are allowed to enter the ‘Herbertstraße’ in Hamburg
  10. “Hummel, Hummel” “Mors, Mors” is a very common salutation in Hamburg. However, it is mere used as a distinctive mark and a battle cry among Hamburgers

Top 10 Fun facts – Munich

This entry is part 1 of 8 in the series TOP TEN
  1. Beer is considered food and not an alcoholic beverage in Bavaria
  2. The Biergartenverordnung allows you to bring and eat your own food in a Bavarian beergarden
  3. Oktoberfest is held in September mainly and ends the first weekend in October
  4. The Bavarian dialect is difficult, even for other Germans: Brötchen (Buns) are called Semmeln and the city’s name ‘München’ becomes ‘Minga’
  5. Munich’s specialty the ‘Weisswürste’ (white sausages) is served with sweet mustard and freshly baked pretzels and ONLY until 12:00 noon
  6. not counting the cities in Alaska, Munich is located more north than any larger city in the US
  7. The city’s name ‘München’ was derived from the old High German ‘Munichen’ and means ‘by the monks the place’
  8. According to legend the architect of the well-known Frauenkirche (Cathedral of Our Lady) tricked the devil into thinking the church having no windows. However, when the devil realised he had been duped he stamped his foot near the entrance. You can view the footprint called the devil’s step even today.
  9. Munich’s English Garden is heavily influenced by Asian architecture, comprising Chinese pagodas, a Japanese teahouse as well as temples
  10. the oldest building in Munich known today is neither a church nor a Bavarian pub or tavern – it’s a toilet of the year 1260

New year – Berlin’s registration offices

This entry is part 3 of 4 in the series Authorities

New year – good news concerning registration offices

Back to business as usual at Berlin’s registration offices

In order to get an appointment at the municipal registration office you had to wait up to two months last year. The new year started with good news concerning appointments at the registration office. Now your get an appointment on a short term notice which means  you will get your appointment within TWO WEEKS instead of waiting two months!! You should keep that in mind when making an appointment with the foreign department to apply for residence permit or work permit.

Our tip: If you know when you will move to Berlin exactly, ask for an appointment. You can make it online.

EU BLUE CARD

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series EU BLUE CARD

Is it a great chance for highly skilled workers from third countries to work in the EU?

But is the current EU BLUE CARD that attractive?  Will highly skilled workers from third countries join the EU to strengthen the EU’s competitiveness?

The EU’s current Blue CARD for immigration of highly skilled workers is not well-equipped for these challenges. There are too many parallel – national Member states’ rules and different condition and procedures across the EU. The BLUE CARD was launched “as an EU flagship initiative” in 2009. Between 2012 and 2014 have been issued only 30.000 BLUE CARDs only EU wide. This is the main reason for the European Commission to revise the Directive.

EU Commission will recast the BLUE CARD. The proposal for the new BLUE CARD shall attract more highly skilled worker.

Which are the main proposed changes?

  • Harmonization, simplification and efficiency
  • More inclusive and flexible admission conditions
  • Enhanced Intra-EU mobility
  • Faster and more flexible procedures
  • Improved rights

For the EU faces significant labor and skill shortages in certain sectors, it will be important to attract these highly skilled workers from third countries to enhance the competitiveness of its economy.

Relocation: to move or not move

If you have ever been offered a great job in another city or country, you know the feeling. On the one hand, there’s the excitement of a new place and a new culture. On the other hand, you feel sad about leaving friends behind. You worry that your family will be unhappy in a new city.
How can you decide if a move is the right thing or not?
First of all you should gather as much information as possible about the new location, city and country. Try to find out the big differences between your home country and your new destination.

Before you make a decision, you should also look at what other job opportunities are available in the new location, if this company is the only company there in your industry and the job doesn’t work out, it may be difficult to find something else.

What is about your family?
Give them a chance to visit the new city to find out what it can offer them. Still, it might be better for everyone if your family stays in your current location while you get used to your new position, gohelpy specialists say. “The initial period in the new job is about making connections, meeting people and working many hours to get up to speed”.
Sometimes, a decision to go out before the rest of your family can be a great one. It gives you time to focus on the transition and pave the way for the rest of them to join you.