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Under the Joint High Patronage of

Mr Emmanuel MACRON

President of the French Republic

Mr Frank-Walter STEINMEIER

President of the Federal Republic of Germany 

European Idea(l)s

in a Changing World

The 2018 edition of the German-French Young Leaders Conference took place in Paris from 31 May until 3 June. It was held under the joint high patronage of the French President Emmanuel Macron and the German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

At times of rapid and extraordinary changes around the world, the core values of the European Union are challenged. As technological progress has brought along new ways of high-speed exchanges and communication, the impact technological progress has on societies is indisputable and needs to be addressed now. Therefore, the GFYL Conference of 2018 put its spotlight on European ideas as well as European ideals in an ever changing world.

The Franco-German friendship is still very central to European progress. In addition, digital issues will become more and more prominent in the political discourse. This was also expressed by the high level involvement for the opening of the conference at the French Parliament - the Assemblée Nationale - with Béatrice Angrand (Secretary General of the Franco-German Youth Office OFAJ/DFJW), Sylvain Waserman (Vice-President of the Assemblée Nationale), and Christophe Arend (Chairman of the French-German Parliamentary Friendship Group). The group also had the honor to join and be welcomed by the French Prime Minster Édouard Philippe at Hôtel de Matignon afterwards.

The highly participatory approach of GFYL conferences encouraged participants also in the 2018 edition to share their ideas and present their thoughts in a variety of formats such as :

  • Podium discussions on "European dreams / European future" together with German Ambassador to France Dr. Meyer-Landrut or a brunch debate with Pascal Lamy, former Director-General of the World Trade Organisation

  • Workshops from participants for participants on a range of topics like civil participation, leadership and hierarchy in the digital age or European values and international trade

  • WikiTalks by GFYL'ers covering areas like female empowerment and ethics in the digital age, European values, impact investment or needs-based innovation in Africa

  • A field trip to ArianeSpace where participants exchanged with ArianeSpace and ArianeGroup CEO Stéphane Israel and Alain Charmeau.

The four-day conference offered a lot of time for networking and cultural exploration. Two highlights? A visit to the National Museum of the History of Immigration or an exclusive early bird entry to the Musée d'Orsay. 

The whole GFYL team would like to express their thanks to all participants, speakers and partners for the successful conference!

What the people say

"I am happy and grateful to have joined this format, listened to and met high-level speakers like Pascal Lamy and oustanding young people who are passionate in their fields of interest and care about society and the future. The setting in Paris, the visits to the French Parliament, the Prime Minister's Residence and the private visit to the Musée d'Orsay - perfect! All in all: A wonderful learning experience.  "

—  Elena Boroda (2018 GFYL Conference Participant)

Our Partners 2018

In cooperation with

Main Partner

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Main partners

Other institutional partners

Private sector partners

Partners from civil society

With support of

Special thanks to

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Media partners

Conference Olivaint