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“Europe should create a soul for itself”

European model project Starry Path/Chemin des étoiles sets waymarks at Robert Schuman’s former place of work in Scy-Chazelles/Metz

Gedenkstein mit eingebetteter Büste

On Thursday, April 18, an information plaque and a stone scallop shell were ceremoniously inaugurated at Robert Schuman’s former place of work in Scy-Chazelles near Metz as part of the European model project Starry Path/Chemin des étoiles. Robert Schuman, who is regarded as the founding father of Europe, was buried in the medieval church of St. Quentin. In his honor, a museum was created from his house directly opposite and the Robert Schuman European Center was built next to it. The entire ensemble was awarded the title of “European Cultural Heritage”.

Initiated by the Saarbrücken Regional Association, the European model project Starry Path/Chemin des étoiles has set itself the goal of spreading humanist values via the network of European pilgrimage routes. As a European cultural route and spiritual world cultural heritage, these so-called “Starry Paths” are a reminder of Europe’s roots.

Against this backdrop, Robert Schumann’s vision - “Europe should create a soul” - became the driving force behind developing the project as an exemplary cultural initiative in a large region in the heart of Europe. Over 350 medieval cultural monuments along the routes have become destinations and starting points for pilgrimage tours. They are gradually being equipped with a stone scallop shell and an information board, which, in addition to art-historical and tourist information, also provides the humanistic mission statement of the project for the “spiritual luggage”.

Press release


The mayor of Scy-Chazelles, Frederic Navrot, who hosted the inauguration ceremony, emphasized the connection between the idea of the Starry Path and the history and themes of the village. In future, the aim is to familiarize the many visitors to the town with the concept of the European model project at a central location. He believes that the Europe Week in May and the festivities when the Olympic flame makes a stop at the Robert Schuman European Center on its way to Paris will be a good opportunity to draw attention to this soon.

“How a sense of community and greater solidarity for European values can be developed in our Greater Region is first and foremost a cultural question. Robert Schuman also repeatedly emphasized the pillars of reconciliation, solidarity and peace in his declaration in 1950. We can only succeed in this in our living space if we provide people with examples of this and combine the different identities of the individual cultural landscapes of this large region like a mosaic to form a multifaceted whole. This is precisely one of the main aims of our European model project Starry Path/Chemin des étoiles: with the support of many cooperation partners, we are strengthening the cultural identity of a multifaceted Greater Region and, in particular, raising awareness of European values. We are proud and grateful that today, together with our French friends, we are able to emphatically express this vision of the future at the gravesite of the first President of the European Parliament - Robert Schuman, the “Father of Europe”. His idea of a united Europe and a peaceful world is more relevant today than ever. I would particularly like to thank Mayor Frederic Navrot and his team in Scy-Chazelles and everyone involved for their excellent cooperation,” explained Peter Gillo (patron, President of the SaarMoselle Eurodistrict, Regional Association Director of the Saarbrücken Regional Association).

“Robert Schuman’s vision of developing a united Europe as a cultural entity above all economic interests in order to create a soul for itself has had a decisive influence on the European model project Starry Path - Chemin des étoiles! It is precisely in this spirit that the project aims to exemplify how a cross-border and at the same time large-regional area of experience and a value-oriented European togetherness can also be linked in everyday life on the road. In discussions with many people over the course of the project, we have recognized that the current search movement of many people for meaning in life and for (European) values that connect across borders can be particularly inspired by hiking or pilgrimages. In light of the current situation, we are calling on people to set out as “peace pilgrims” in our Greater Region. On the network of Starry Paths through the multifaceted cultural landscapes of our homeland and especially in the medieval churches along the way, everyone can come a little closer to inner and outer peace and spread this spirit in a very personal way. We invite people - despite their apparent powerlessness - to set a personal example for a united and cosmopolitan Europe along the way,” says Peter Michael Lupp (project manager).
Gilbert Schuh (Vice-President of the Eurodistrict SaarMoselle) supports the project from a cultural policy perspective in Lorraine and emphasized the exemplary nature of the project for the formation of values in cultural tourism in the Greater Region. Laurent Thurnherr, Director of the Robert Schuman European Center and the associated Robert Schuman House, also welcomed the European model project and will be communicating the topic in the center’s information area in the future. He gave the group a guided tour of the facility and explained Robert Schuman’s life.
After the official ceremony, guests were invited to lay a white rose at Robert Schuman’s grave and pause for a moment. Project manager Peter Michael Lupp read the following text:
Projektleiter Peter Lupp kniet vor der Gedenkplatte

The realities of tomorrow are the utopias of today (Viktor Hugo) The Council of Europe is celebrating its 75th birthday this year! Against the backdrop of current world events and the destructive war in Ukraine, we are tasked more than ever with defending Europe’s cultural values and building a Europe of peace and sustainability for our children and grandchildren on their foundations!

The European model project Starry Path/Chemin des étoiles stands for an open-minded and tolerant Europe and, above all, for peace in the world! In the spirit of Robert Schuman, we appeal to the civil courage of all people who are on the Starry Paths in the Greater Region to take an active stand against racism, anti-Semitism and right-wing extremist violence! Spread the democratic principles against discrimination and for tolerance with all your strength and spread peace!


[…The peace of the world cannot be granted without creative efforts commensurate with the magnitude of the threat…Before Europe will be an economic alliance or an economic unity, it must be a cultural unity in the sense of the word…Europe should create a soul for itself…]

Quotes: Robert Schuman from his declaration of May 9, 1950

In April 1950, Robert Schuman, as French Foreign Minister (1948-1952), together with other European statesmen - including Konrad Adenauer - formulated the framework conditions for lasting peace. His “Schuman Declaration” of May 9, 1950 was based on the pillars of reconciliation, solidarity and peace. As the first President of the European Parliament (1958-1960), he was awarded the title “Father of Europe”.