History of the FDI

"FDI SAAR-LOR-LUX": a Tri-National Federation
of European Engineers

Three Associations of Engineers from three neighbouring countries, the "Verein Deutscher Ingenieure Bezirksverein Saar e.V." (VDI BV-Saar) - for Germany, the "Union Régionale des Ingénieurs et Scientifiques de Lorraine" (URIS) for France and the "Association Luxembourgeoise des Ingénieurs" (ALI) for Luxembourg have already a long story of active relationship.

The origin of this relationship goes back to the 1980’s, when a group of engineers from Germany and Luxembourg joined their french colleagues to study the problems raised by the newly built french atomic power plant at Cattenom, close to the German/Luxembourgian border. This showed evidence that many of today’s technical problems do transgress the political boundaries. In the first place, this concerns implications on life conditions, environment etc., and it may have a bearing on the technical development at the conceptual, planning and production stages.

The technical group formed at this time, quickly developed a friendly relationship giving birth to various activities.

  • It has become a tradition to celebrate every year the "Journée de l’Ingénieur SAAR-LOR-LUX" or "SAAR-LOR-LUX Ingenieurtag", held in turn in one of the three countries and gathering some 200 to 400 engineers with families in a combined technical and social venue.
  • A working team of 10 to 12 engineers from the three countries currently works on problems common to the engineers of Saar, Lorraine and Luxembourg. In 1993, their work led to a publication in the french and german languages, summing up the short term needs for engineers in the SAAR-LOR-LUX industry.
  • In May 1995, the German Association of Engineers VDI held their National German "Ingenieurtage" in Saarbrücken close to Lorraine and Luxembourg. The SAAR-LOR-LUX group of engineers took an active part in the organization of this three days event to which 130 french engineer students from the engineer schools of Lorraine were invited by the VDI.
  • On 02/12/1996, the SAR-LOR-LUX group of engineers was officially consacrated as the "Fédération des Associations d’Ingénieurs SAAR-LOR-LUX" or "Föderation der Ingenieurverbände SAAR-LOR-LUX" and a Cooperation Agreement was formally signed by the three associations. This took place in the little town of Schengen best known for the signing of the Free Circulation Act of the 04/06/1985 by the nations of the European Community.

This presentation of the FDI SAAR-LOR LUX shows how engineers of neighbouring european countries, which may have been separated in the past by artificial barriers, are now naturally led to cooperate.
Many other examples of european engineering cooperation could certainly be described in a different context, e.g. of transnational or multinational industrial activities. Other cases may show up tomorrow, as SME’s become organized into european networks.

The President of FEANI, Sir John Cullen, has stressed the importance for FEANI of communication between European engineers: it thus seems that establishing new links with such groups of engineers as the FDI SAAR-LOR-LUX may be of definite interest.

Author: I. Brikké

© Copyright FDI SAAR-LOR-LUX (webmaster)