Communication between children, adolescents and young adults is an important element of its mission to advance Franco-German relations within Europe while strengthening the ties between the countries.
Mutual understanding is conveyed and deepened through youth encounters. This way, participants not only get to know the other country’s language better; they also grasp how their counterparts ‘tick’ and can discover similarities in their differences. The educational methodology of the encounter helps close the gaps that might exist as a result of language barriers.
Shaping Europe together
The FGYO has the mission of giving young people from Germany and France an opportunity to make a difference – whether socially, politically, professionally or personally. They should understand the benefits of Europe, democracy and peace, recognising that involvement has an even greater impact when pursued jointly amongst several countries.
The FGYO wants to strengthen Europe through Franco-German cooperation. It is with this in mind that it coordinates the ‘Generation Europe: Young German and French Professionals’ network. It was established to mark the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Élysée Treaty on 22 January 2023 by the German and French governments. In mutual exchange and discussion with stakeholders in politics, business, culture and civil society, network members participate actively in shaping bilateral relations. Thanks to their different life stories and qualifications, ‘Generation Europe’ paints a comprehensive picture of Franco-German friendship. It unites its determination to change perspectives with its dedication to a responsible and sustainable Europe in which diversity and democracy are of paramount importance.
Each cohort in the network develops recommendations for Franco-German cooperation. In this way, participants develop their professional qualifications and deepen their mutual understanding. The aim of the programme is to build an alumni network that will supports cross-border relationships over the long term.
Franco-German friendship: A product of history
Over its more than 60-year history, the FGYO has played a decisive role in shaping the relationship between Germany and France. It is an expression of both countries’ desire to work together in a spirit of partnership and to shape Europe together through peaceful relations. Since its establishment as a consequence of the Élysée Treaty, the FGYO has been bringing young people from Germany and France together so that they can meet and learn to understand one another.
Since 1963, millions of people have participated in exchange projects sponsored by the FGYO and its partners, thus cultivating Franco-German relations. In an effort to deepen this friendship even further, the Franco-German Citizen Fund was established as part of the Treaty of Aachen concluded in 2019. Its purpose is to have a broad impact on the population and to help strengthen European civil society.