In the Dombauhütte at the Wiesenkirche in Soest, a discussion group was opened in 1997 on the subject of culture and education, with a focus on the craft of stonemasonry. From 1998, the forum “Soester Runde” became international and doubled in each of the following years.
In 2001, representatives from 16 nations acted on the calls for a European master’s qualification in skilled craft professions. This circle formed the EACD in 2003.
As a basis for the initiative, in 2004 the master builder of the Soest cathedral registered the title “European master of craft®” as a trademark in the European Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market. The first cycle of the program from 2006 – 2009 was successfully completed by five participants. Following the second cycle of the program from 2010 – 2012, six participants were certified following examinations.
This exemplary program received particular attention. Special circumstances were presented by the support of the Board of Trustees of the Builders’ Hut in Soest and the Dortmund Chamber of Crafts, whose president was also president of the German Confederation of Skilled Crafts.
Both in the amendment of the German Crafts Code of the stonemason profession that was subsequently added to Appendix A and in the correction to the EU Directive on the Recognition of Professional Qualifications as well as in the drafting of the EU Qualification Framework by bringing a master craftsman to level 6 of 8, the program presented a solid justification.
The third cycle of the program was scheduled from 2014 – 2017. After the examination had been postponed by a presidium meeting, the Westphalian Cathedral Construction Association and the Dortmund Chamber of Crafts left the EACD on 31 October 2016, with immediate effect. The cathedral master builder, as incumbent past-president, resigned from his role on the EACD Certification Committee on 8 November 2016.
Recalling positive experiences and good times over these past few years, we arranged some handovers by 1 July 2017 before withdrawing the membership of our builders’ hut. The following presentation of the website remains archived as a document of ours. The EACD General Assembly on 8 September 2017, decided to award Honorary Presidency to cathedral master builder, Jürgen Prigl.