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On May 15, 2012, the heads of all German-[1] and French-speaking[2] university-based veterinary education institutions signed the statutes of a “French-German Summer School for the Promotion of Veterinary Science” (FGS). The signing took place in Budapest during the 25th General Assembly of the European Association of Establishments for Veterinary Education (EAEVE).

The statutes stipulate that an FGS is organized once a year by one of the participating institutions. Each of the participating institutions may send up to two participants who are usually in their postgraduate studies. The costs of participation are largely borne by the delegating institutions, which should secure the financial basis of the FGS.

The first FGS will be held at the Department of Veterinary Medicine, Justiz-Liebig-Universität Gießen on the subject “Membrane Proteins; from cloning to function” from August 19 to 31, 2013. The next events are scheduled to take place in 2014 at the Ecole Vétérinaire in Nantes and in 2015 at the Vetsuisse Faculty in Bern.

With the signing of the statutes of the FGS, a long-cherished idea has been realized. Already in 2004, a meeting was held in Paris with the participation of the faculties, the German-speaking Faculty Association as well as high ministerial representatives on the subject “From the partnerships between the veterinary faculties and the Ecoles Nationales Vétérinaires to a French-German university?”. However, efforts to create a corresponding institution through the Franco-German University in Saarbrücken came to nothing. Only when the Fakultätentag took the initiative with the conviction that such a surely very desirable institution could only be realized on the level and in cooperation of the veterinary training centers, the train started rolling. The then chairman of the Faculty Association, Prof. Bernd Hoffmann, took this mandate with him after his retirement from the chairmanship. The signing in Budapest was preceded by an initial meeting of the Franco-German institutions in Lyon in May 2011, which paved the way for the future. The participating institutions are firmly convinced that such an FGS will promote greater transparency and mutual cooperation. Only based on common scientific interest will it be possible to take the next steps, i.e. to jointly apply for and work on scientific projects and thus come to an active exchange of scientists.

For more than 20 years, the founding father of the association “France-Allemagne Veterinaire; Verband Deutsch-Französischer Tierärzte”, Dr. André Debois, holder of high French awards as well as the Wilhelm-Pfeiffer Medal of the Department of Veterinary Medicine at the Justus-Liebig-University Gießen, had been waiting for such a further step in the specific French-German cooperation. He, who had founded the “France-Allemagne Vétérinaire” in 1971, promised - together with the other chairmen of the association - the active support of the FGS. Even if the financing of the FGS is largely secured by the institutions' own contribution, additional funding will be unavoidable to get the FGS up and running and to be able to offer attractive continuing education in the long term.

[1]: Berlin, Giessen, Hannover, Munich, Leipzig, Vienna, Zurich-Bern.
[2]: Alfort, Liège, Lyon, Nantes, Toulouse.