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The Supporting Ministers & the GFYL Conference

France and Germany have more in common than just our shared history. It is our aim to shape a joint future for our peoples – a future that will be much defined by the digital transformation. It therefore makes a lot of sense for France and Germany to work together across our national borders and follow a joint approach.

I am delighted that this conference hosted by the German-French Young Leaders Programme centres on our «Common Digital Future». Industrie 4.0 is a matter that is absolutely essential for our joint future – as is the main question related to it: how can companies and employees in Europe prepare for the opportunities and challenges afforded by the digital revolution? Digitisation is about more than just technology. It represents an unstoppable process of transformation that is changing the way we live and think – as individuals and as a society and a democracy. ​

I therefore very much welcome the fact that this conference brings together young talent from many different fields to discuss the challenges posed by digitisation.

Berlin has one of the most dynamic start-up scenes in Europe. Paris will soon be home to Europe’s largest incubators. There is major potential for synergies to be created from bringing together stakeholders from these two cities. ​​​

Sigmar Gabriel, Former German Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy

A few days after the anniversary of the Schuman Declaration, I am very happy to welcome you to this first edition of the German-French Young Leaders conference of which I am the patron together with my German counterpart, the Minister of Economy Sigmar Gabriel.


This first edition is dedicated to the digital transformation of our societies. A topic which was not chosen by coincidence! First of all, this revolution concerns both of our countries and Europe as a whole. Furthermore, it creates great and very promising opportunities for the future. There is one single condition for grasping them: mobilising our youth.

It is in this spirit that I would like to congratulate you for creating the German-French Young Leaders Programme. This initiative, driven by young German and French people, is an example that must be further developed and be made fruitful. Your responsibility is to go on working together and innovating!

Emmanuel Macron, Former French Minister of the Economy, Industry and the Digital Sector

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