E.U. Open House 2016 draws thousands of visitors
Each year, embassies of European Union member countries open their doors to the public for one special day in Washington, D.C. For the past several years, France and Germany have teamed up to host this event together. These neighbors located at the heart of Europe share many things with one another. In total, France and Germany’s citizens make up 30 percent of the European population, and the two countries are important partners in trade, education and tourism.
This year, the Embassies of Germany and France wanted to celebrate a pastime that both countries hold dear to their hearts: "football." In June, France is hosting the UEFA EURO 2016, a European soccer championship that takes place every four years (both countries have taken home the winning trophy in the past). At EU Open House, attendees had the opportunity to try their hand at scoring a goal, and even practice dribbling with professional German soccer player Julian Buescher, who is part of the team D.C. United.
There were goodies galore, from French and German flags, to mini soccer balls, to samples of regional cheeses and jams. Many guests enjoyed posing for photos at the "selfie station," whether as tourists in front of the Eiffel Tower or as embassy spokespeople standing at a podium. As in past years, there was plenty of fun to be had for both kids and adults, with face painting, a rocket-launching station, live music and lots of delicious French and German cuisine.
German Ambassador Peter Wittig and French Deputy Chief of Mission Nathalie Broadhurst toured the event together, and even had their turn at the soccer goal challenge.
Thankfully, the rain held out until late afternoon so that thousands of visitors were able to take part in the event.
We can’t wait to see what’s in store for next year’s EU Open House!
More pictures of this event are available on Flickr.