Otzenhausen - a small village in Saarland, Germany; and yet it is world-renowned.
What makes Otzenhausen so special?
Maybe it is the history. Already more than 2000 years ago, the region around Otzenhausen was a center of the Celtic Hunsrück-Eifel culture, as the Celtic hill fort impressively demonstrates.
Perhaps it is the heart of Europe that beats here. Otzenhausen lies in the middle of the "SaarLorLux" Greater Region, just a hop, skip and a jump from the European capitals of Brussels, Strasbourg or Luxembourg. And it wouldn't have taken much and Otzenhausen could have joined in, because the foundation of the EAO in 1954 was based on the commitment during the referendum for the Saar Statute, which envisaged a Europeanisation of Saarland as the seat of the future European institutions.
Perhaps it is precisely this idea - which has been lived out at the EAO for more than 70 years now - of meeting and experiencing Europe and thus building up a personal relationship with other people, ideas and political concepts.
Perhaps it is the 10,000 people from all over the world who come to the Academy every year to meet others and learn more about current issues of European integration and sustainable development.
Perhaps it is our motto "Come together to create Europe" that is lived here every day: encounter not only in the seminar context, but also on the entire premises. Over a glass of wine in our Eurobistro or playing football in the leisure area, people become closer to each other.
Perhaps it is the location. Situated in the countryside, on the edge of the Hunsrück-Hochwald National Park, the EAO sees itself as an open house and invites all guests, residents, hikers, cyclists and many other people from near and far to exchange ideas and experiences, thus enabling further encounters.
Perhaps it is the special conference atmosphere: comfortable rooms, modern seminar rooms, excellent gastronomy and variety of leisure activities.
It is certainly the relevance of our work. In times of poisoned discourse, populism and nationalism, encounters and exchanges of opinion in the sense of civic education are more important than ever.
Certainly it is also this indescribable feeling that connects many seminar participants: to be part of something bigger, part of an idea, part of something magical, part of Europe - Otzenhausen.
You too can get to know the spirit of Otzenhausen. Be enchanted by the magic of the place and the people who make it what it is.
We say "Welcome to Otzenhausen"!