On 28 – 30 October GLOBSEC Young Europeans’ Forum 2016 was held on the sidelines of the 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 policymakers. 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 in multiple debates with experts on topics, enjoyed Cocktail as well as Gala Dinner. On the last day of conferences, 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.

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 common ground.

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 is 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.