‘We’re not a nation defined by Brexit’: First Minister announces ‘year of Welsh-German activity’

Picture by the Welsh Government

Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford announced plans for a year of activity to celebrate and strengthen the historic ties between Wales and Germany.

The Welsh Government said it was part of a renewed push to increase Wales’ international profile and increase collaboration post-EU membership.

‘Wales in Germany 2021’ will highlight a themed year of activity to showcase the relationship between Germany and Wales, the First Minister said.

“Our already deep ties with Germany have grown ever stronger, and now, more than ever, we want to celebrate these ties and see them flourish” he said.

“We are not a nation defined by Brexit, but a nation that has always been outward-looking, internationalist and welcoming.

“I’m delighted that we’re beginning 2021 with a celebration of our close historical ties between Wales and Germany. It’s a celebration of not just our economic ties to a major European ally, but of culture and globalisation. Our two nations have always worked closely together across a number of areas such as science, education and innovation as well as culture, tourism and the arts, and we have every intention that these close ties will continue to prosper.”

 

‘Twinned’

The planned events will highlight Wales and Germany’s business networks, cultural ties and other partnerships.

First Minister Mark Drakeford will begin the year of celebration by virtually meeting with the German Ambassador to the UK, Herr Andreas Michaelis on Monday 11 January.

Deputy Minister and Chief Whip Jane Hutt will also attend a virtual panel event with the German diaspora in Wales, along with the Helga Rother-Simmonds, the German Honorary Consul to Wales, Professor Colin Riordan, President and Vice-Chancellor at Cardiff University.

The First Minister finished by saying: “Many Welsh people call Germany their home and many Germans have chosen Wales to be theirs. From the firefighters of Ravensburg to the communities of Rhondda Cynon Taf, towns and cities across our nations are twinned and friendships have been forged.

“These ties will prosper, and as Wales starts a new journey on the world stage, we have made it clear that we’re open for business, that we are welcoming to new opportunities and our bonds of friendship remain steadfast.

“We may have left the EU, however, the cultural and historical ties between Wales and our European partners will never be broken.”

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