Jean-Paul Couasnon passed away on 8 November at the age of 80. As a great friend of the "franco allemand", he showed exceptional commitment to Franco-German relations from an early age, particularly to the twinning of the cities of Le Mans and Paderborn. During his term of office as deputy mayor of Le Mans (1971 to 1977), he was the founding president of the Le Mans-Paderborn Franco-German twinning committee.
"In Jean-Paul Couasnon, we are losing a highly esteemed personality and a friend who was and remains particularly close to Paderborn University and the city of Paderborn. He is regarded as the driving force behind Franco-German friendship and had a decisive influence on the development of Paderborn University, not only in the field of European Studies," said University President Prof Dr Birgitt Riegraf.
As far as the cooperation between the universities of Le Mans and Paderborn is concerned, he was also one of the excellent, central players in this field. The Le Mans Paderborn European Studies programme, which he championed with great vigour from the outset, owes a great deal to him, his expertise and his tireless and unconditional commitment to the cause. He was a regular guest lecturer from 2010 to 2017, organised internships for German students in France and acted as an intermediary for well-known French personalities from the worlds of politics, culture and business, who were thus invited to give guest lectures in Paderborn. He also supported the Master's degree programmes "Cultural Heritage" (University of Paderborn) and "Histoire, Civilisations, Patrimoine" (l'Université du Mans), joint doctorates and the NEOPAT research network of the universities of Angers, Nantes and Le Mans in cooperation with the Paderborn University on the new cultural heritage in the Pays de la Loire region.
He has been honoured several times for his extraordinary services in the field of Franco-German friendship. In 1986, he was awarded the Cross of Merit on Ribbon of the Order of Merit of Lower Saxony. In 1995, he was awarded the "Chevalier de l'Ordre National du Mérite", in 2006 he became an "Officier de l'Ordre National du Mérite" and in 2011 the Federal Republic of Germany honoured him with the Cross of Merit on Ribbon. The city of Paderborn honoured him with the Cultural Needle in 2019.
The Faculty of Arts and Humanities at Paderborn University will honour Jean-Paul Couasnon's memory.
This text has been translated automatically.