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A man in the fight against the Europe-myths
In a building complex on the Isar, the same three important European institutions under one roof: the patent office, and the offices of the EU Commission's and Parliament's work. Before the European election on may 26. May the interest in the two political institutions is particularly large. Joachim Menze is head of the European Commission representation in Munich. He must often talk on the events and the Position of the EU Commission are represented. the Manuel Kronenberg

really wants now, no one is more on the subject. Nevertheless, some people came to the evening discussion in the Evangelical city Academy close to the Sendlinger gate. A middle-aged gentleman in a grey sweater comes to life. "To whom all the good is?" he asks. He had heard so far still no satisfactory answer. Full of expectation, he directed his gaze to the front. There, Joachim Menze has set, a large man with white hair, on a chair, to the questions of those present. Menze is head of the representation of the European Commission in Munich and explains their point of view on the Brexit.

On the two chairs in addition to Menze, Alexander Lau of the chamber of industry and Commerce for Munich and upper Bavaria and of the German-sit British lawyer David Hole. One thing all three agree that A UK's exit without a Deal would be a disaster. That the outlet is moved once, is not on this evening. "There was no Outcry," continues the gentleman from the audience. He's surprised, he says, because I fought in Germany and the rest of the EU, no one, as the Referendum was announced and as the British later for an exit agreed. "But," says Menze. "Of course, there has been an Outcry." But it was true that David Cameron, the British Prime Minister, the rest of the EU have urged for restraint, because he feared otherwise, despite the effect of the British. And he could not imagine, says Menze, anyone really from Brexit. "It all hurts, really."

Joachim Menze is head of the regional representation of the European Commission in Munich.

(photo: Catherina Hess)

The next day, Menze sitting at a table in his office at the Bob-van-Benthem-Platz, directly on the Isar, opposite the Deutsche Museum. The huge mirrored glass building with the broken wings is almost a Symbol of Europe in Munich. Because here, not only the premises of the regional representation of the EU Commission, but also to the liaison office of the EU Parliament. The majority of the building serves another purpose: Here the main seat of the European patent office is located.

The discussion evening on the eve was very expired professional, says Menze. He must often talk on the events and the Position of the EU Commission represented - not only to the Brexit, though the heated, of course, the minds. Because the representation is because: on the one Hand, it serves as a link between the Commission in Brussels and the Federal government and the Bundestag, the länder and local authorities. Equally important, this is to Inform the media and citizens. The regional representation in Munich for Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria responsible. Eight employees are working here. In Germany, there is still a Regional office in Bonn and the mission in the capital.

Normally, he was speaking in front of a lot of special audience, explains Menze, for example, in front of industry representatives. Then he had a quasi-ambassadorial role and should be familiar in Detail. In the run-up, he has to read therefore many of the documents, explained the lawyer, who since 2014 the representation. However, there are also events to come which many of the biased citizens. As happens sometimes, you'll face prejudice. Especially when it comes to such emotional topics, such as, for example, the transatlantic free trade agreement TTIP.

"We addressed with a lot of malice," says Menze. But not only of the citizens. He sits down at his computer, opens the web site of the representation and selects the tab "EU myths". It always come back to that in the media half-truths and false statements circulating that the Prestige of the Commission of damage, he explains. On this page, some listed were invalidate, you try to - Contain false statements is an important part of the work. For example, the claim that the EU would ban the beer out of stone jugs. The have written to a newspaper once, says Menze, and many more would have copied it then unchecked. An exciting theme, for example, the claim that the EU would want to oblige Restaurants to provide free water to serve.

But the activities of the representation are not only against prejudices. It is one of their activities, the Commission in Brussels informed of the Situation in the Region. Or to make the preparations, if, for example, the President of the Commission comes to visit to southern Germany.

Menze leaves the office, to show what Form can take the Service of representation for the citizens. He runs across the aisle to the archive, where all information and brochures are kept folders. Here you can see what topics people are interested in just, he says. The pile of brochures on the currency Union, for example, as well as untouched on the shelf. Menze pulls out a thick folder. On the Cover of a Fox and the words "Europe is easy". You'll start early to inform the children, he explains. Actually, the "Child's play"-brochure the most popular of all. Almost 100 000 copies were distributed to 2018 in Germany. Even if children on 26. May self-may not vote - the EU is not only a thing for adults.

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