For three days, the youth will develop concrete ideas for peace and work together to prepare the way for a European and transnational culture of remembrance. Experienced youth leaders will support them in their efforts.
The workshop program will be framed by opening and closing ceremonies at which high-ranking politicians will be present, including the President of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs Heiko Maas. At the conclusion of the meeting, the young people will present their ideas and discuss them with the politicians, thus giving the youth a voice in building a peaceful and conflict-free future in Europe and in the relationship between this continent and its neighbors.
A specific challenge for the participants unique to an event of this magnitude will be addressing the differences between diverse points of view concerning the events that occurred at the end of the First World War.
What are the consequences of the War for the affected countries today? How do we transition from war to peace? What does the notion of peace in Europe mean today? The future of the continent and the relationship with its eastern and southern neighborhoods are also central topics.
With the Franco-German Youth Office’s many years of experience in peace education and memory work as well as intercultural learning, the multi-perspective experiences of the participants will contribute to memory work that goes beyond national or bilateral points of view.
A total of 500 participants between the ages of 15 and 22 from 45 countries were selected from a pool of more than 1,600 applicants.
Among them are about 100 school-age students from approximately 100 schools in Germany and France who were selected through a school initiative by the French Embassy / Institut français Deutschland (Germany) to present their projects for peace. As citizens of tomorrow, they are already making their contribution towards building a common future based on mutual understanding.
“Youth for Peace – 100 Years after World War I, 100 Ideas for Peace“ serves as the final event of a series of events and projects commemorating World War I that have taken place in the past five years.
In 2014, approximately 100 young people from France and Germany met on Hartmannswillerkopf in Alsace, one of the most violently contested areas during the war, to deliver their messages of peace to the heads of state of both countries, Joachim Gauck and François Hollande.
In 2016, 4,000 young people placed a colorful symbol of peace at the memorial site in Verdun in the presence of the French President, the German Chancellor, and numerous members of both governments.
In addition to these events, the FYGO has been promoting a total of 100 “Projects for Peace” organized by schools, associations, and youth organizations that followed the DFJW’s call to action since 2014. Numerous innovative projects were promoted that utilize approaches or instruments for supporting memory work and were dedicated to conveying peaceful values.
The international youth meeting "Youth for Peace - 100 Years after World War I, 100 Ideas for Peace" stands under the patronage of the German Federal Foreign Office and the Mission du Centenaire de la Première Guerre mondiale (MdC).
The event is realised by the Franco-German Youth Office (FGYO) in close cooperation with the Institut français d’Allemagne / French Embassy in Berlin, the Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge e.V. (VDK) and the Office National des Anciens Combattants et Victimes de Guerre (ONACVG).
Additional partners of the event are: Deutsch-Polnisches Jugendwerk (DPJW-PNWM), Koordinierungszentrum Deutsch-Tschechischer Jugendaustausch (Tandem), Fachstelle für internationale Jugendarbeit der Bundesrepublik Deutschland (IJAB), Jugend für Europa, Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO), Stiftung Deutsch-Russischer Jugendaustausch (DRJA), Koordinierungszentrum Deutsch-Israelischer Jugendaustausch (ConAct), UK German Connection, Deutsch-Türkische Jugendbrücke, Deutsch-Baltisches Jugendwerk (DBJW), Arbeit und Leben, Körber-Stiftung et al.
The Franco-German Youth Office (FGYO) is an international organization working for Franco-German cooperation, which has enabled nearly 9 million young people from France and Germany to participate in 320,000 exchange programs since 1963.