On 28 – 30 October GLOBSEC Young Europeans’ Forum 2016 was held on the sidelines of GLOBSEC Tatra Summit. The aim of the project was to give young professionals an opportunity to discuss current challenges in the EU while improving their policy-making skills and engaging in networking with their peers as well as senior policy makers. GLOBSEC Young Europeansʹ Forum was an excellent opportunity for emerging leaders to confront their views on current European, foreign and economic issues. In just three days they participated on multiple debates with experts on topics, enjoyed Cocktail as well as Gala Dinner. On the last of conference, they joined the main GLOBSEC Tatra Summit 2016. That is enough from us, let’s read impressions of GLOBSEC Young Europeans’ Forum participants.
The GLOBSEC Young Europeans' Forum was an illuminating and enlightening experience - a chance to meet other young people from all over Europe interested in international politics but engaged in different areas: some students (but with different expertise), and professionals from a variety of areas contributing to a superb discussion. It was particularly worthwhile to have speakers from such a wide variety of areas: many were not actually speaking about my specific research interests but despite my (at times) ignorance, I found them all very insightful and credible on their policy areas. In particular, I thought GYEF was especially useful for challenging the assumptions we hold (both overt and tacit) and bringing them out into the open. I especially enjoyed the Working Group on the Future of Europe: so much prognosticating is done about Europe and how it is sick, but remarkably little seems to be done to try and fix this so I felt this was a step in the right direction. Thanks for a great weekend, and hopefully I can participate in more GLOBSEC events in the future.
Adam Bernstein Student, College of Europe (United Kingdom)
The GLOBSEC Young Europeans' Forum was an excellent opportunity to meet young people from all around Europe and exchange with them views on issues that are currently pressing the EU the most. Even though we have more or less agreed on an overarching diagnosis of the majority of the EU’s problems quite soon, it has taken us a lot of time and efforts to agree on solutions how to tackle the diagnosis. In the end, all of us had to make some concessions and compromises in order to deliver the expected outcome – a policy paper. I believe that none of us was completely happy with the outcome but I think that this moment captures the EU quite well – compromises, concessions and considerations to national specificities need to be made and taken into account by all Member States in order to find a common ground.
EU & International Energy Affairs Officer, Ministry of Economy of the Slovak Republic (Slovakia)
The GLOBSEC Young Leaders’ Forum has been a great opportunity to share ideas with peers from all over Europe. It has made me realise that exchanging thoughts between young people from different backgrounds are the key to shape the future of the European project. The workshops with outspoken thinkers, policy-makers and influencers created the basis for our own enriching discussions. Not only from a political, but also from a social point of view it has been a wonderful experience to challenge and adjust my own understanding of Europe because of the intercultural setting. The GLOBSEC Young Leaders’ Forum has been the beginning of long-lasting friendships and a continuing network of young Europeans professionals who can work together to build a better Europe.
Laurens Soenen, Communication Officer, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Belgium (Belgium)
The GLOBSEC Young Europeans Forum was a wonderful opportunity for me to meet a lot of successful and dedicated professionals from all around Europe, engaged in various fields of work. It also gave me the opportunity to have fruitful discussions with the participants, which at the end also produced a policy draft, so it was great to share my own experiences about certain issues and to hear other opinions and different perspectives when dealing with these issues. The organization of the event was also impressive, one of the best I have ever seen, and I would warmly recommend this event to a lot of young European professionals who are willing to build a professional network and to meet a lot of European colleagues!
Bojan Stojkovski, Journalist, News Agency Makfax (Bulgaria)
This year’s GLOBSEC Young European’s Forum has provided a great opportunity to discuss crucial questions for the future of Europe, peace and order, to participate in activities and exchanges with young academics and professionals from diverse backgrounds, and to engage with participants beyond our working groups, such as politicians and practitioners. Personally, GLOBSEC Young European’s Forum was a great chance to talk to like-minded people about fundamental issues outside my own academic bubble. It has helped to make a step towards reality and to test to what extent young Europeans are actually able to contribute and influence policy choices and political directions. Both the sessions and working group meetings as well as the social programme, in which we were able to talk to and network with policy-makers, politicians and practitioners, were great experiences. Thanks to the great combination of discussions and social exchanges, I would highly recommend to attend GLOBSEC Young European’s Forum and I am very much looking forward to participating again myself.
Nele Ewers-Peters, PhD Candidate, University of Kent (Germany)
As an alumni of GLOBSEC Young Leader’s Forum 2015, I had the honour to attend the 2016 Tatra Summit's Young European Leaders as a facilitator of a working group on migration. I very much enjoyed the discussion at the main Tatra Summit, but this year I was particular struck by the in-depth debates at the sessions organised for the Young Leaders. Overall, GYEF was an excellent experience. If you are an active and aspiring young professional interested in current affairs, then GLOBSEC Forums are the place to be. The discussions are frank, critical but also constructive. It is a fantastic opportunity to meet leading policy-makers, and to develop one’s network. For me, it is particularly important that there is also a strong emphasis on output and within the working group on migration we produced a set of concrete policy recommendations that will be published by GLOBSEC and that we intend to promote to policy-makers.
Researcher, University of Kent, Cantebury; GLOBSEC Young Leaders’ Forum Alumni (Belgium)
The GLOBSEC Young Europeans’ Forum was an informative and instructive three days. Over the course of this forum, participants were forced to think critically on the state of the EU and its path of development. Particularly significant was how intellectually stimulating our conversations were. Our discussions forced us to think outside the contexts of both our fields of expertise and that of the countries we come from. These debates built on our knowledge of current events and policy issues, showing how difficult it is to unite member states on various policy issues but at the same time highlighting how much room and potential there is for strengthening this union. GYEF gave me tools and perspectives to think about how to consequentially improve the state of the EU. Moreover, it was a pleasure meeting some of Europe’s future policy- and change-makers. I truly enjoyed my GYEF experience and would recommend it to all young Europeans.
Hannah Braun, LNG Business Development, PGNiG Supply & Trading GmbH (Poland)
The GLOBSEC Young Europeans' Forum is a one-of-a-kind experience for any aspiring policy-maker. Working with a small group of people on a specific policy has been a great learning experience for me, just as the opportunity to listen to experts speaking on so many current topics. It was also a privilege to be present at a gathering that captures the attention of policy-making circles all over Europe - the GLOBSEC Tatra Summit - and which this year happened in Bratislava during the time Slovakia holds the Council Presidency. I must not mention how much I enjoyed coming in contact with the participants at the Summit and so getting the opportunity to expand my network. I am grateful for the possibility to contribute with my ideas to a paper to be published by GLOBSEC and for the advantage of being part of an ever increasing Alumni network. I will always keep the priceless memories from the social activities. I would recommend GYEF to anyone who wants to enter the small world where great ideas are discussed and where solutions to great problems are sought and sometimes found.
Doris Manu, Head of Communications, Club Alpbach Brussels (Romania)