Youth Dialogue Livestream event “100 Years of German-Baltic Diplomatic Relations – Young Perspectives for a future-oriented Europe”
On Thursday, the 26th of August 2021 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (CEST) we invite you to take part in the English livestream of our Youth Dialogue “100 Years of German-Baltic Diplomatic Relations – Young Perspectives for a future-oriented Europe”. At the German Federal Foreign Office in Berlin, young people from Germany and the Baltic states will be engaging in an open dialogue both in person and digitally with:
Michael Roth, Minister of State for Europe, Federal Foreign Office (Germany)
Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica, Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Latvia)
Arnoldas Pranckevičius, Deputy Foreign Minister for European Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Lithuania)
Märt Volmer, Undersecretary for European Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Estonia).
The Youth Dialogue is organised by the non-partisan Europa-Union Deutschland and its youth organisation JEF Deutschland in cooperation with the German Federal Foreign Office. It is part of the citizens' dialogue series “Europe - We need to talk!” and is funded as a cross-border project by the German Federal Foreign Office.
For further information or questions see the attached link or write an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org .
We are looking forward to seeing you!
Event reportThis year, Germany and the “Baltic states” Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania celebrate the 100th anniversary of establishing their first diplomatic relations. Since the resumption of diplomatic relations after the Baltics’ independence from the Soviet Union, 30 years – one generation – have passed. Yet, how does today’s young generation in Germany, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania view the cooperation between their countries as EU Member States? What does this generation hope and expect for the future of Europe? These and many other questions on topics such as EU foreign policy, energy and climate policy or the rule of law were discussed by 53 pupils from the Schiller-Gymnasium Berlin on site in the German Federal Foreign Office on 26 August 2021 together with young people from the three Baltic states. They were answered by Michael Roth, Minister of State for Europe at the Federal Foreign Office (Germany), Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica, Parliamentary Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Latvia), Arnoldas Pranckevičius, Deputy Foreign Minister for European Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Lithuania) and Märt Volmer, Undersecretary for European Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Estonia). At the beginning of the event, a large majority of the students expressed their convention, that the EU has a great influence on their future. In the following 90 minutes, they discussed what political priorities they would like to see from the EU in this regard and how current and future challenges could best be solved as a union. One major topic that moved the students was the relation of Germany, the Baltic countries and the EU with Russia. They made clear that they expect the EU to support the opposition in Belarus, but worry that the EU`s instruments are limited due to fear of an intensifying dispute with Russia. The politicians stressed that the EU is deeply committed to the preservation of human rights in Belarus and therefore has adopted sanctions. However, a student's question about the evaluation of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline also made clear that Germany and the Baltic countries define the relationship with Russia differently, e.g. when it comes to their own energy supply. In addition, the young people dealt with the state of the rule of law and democracy within the EU. The discussion focused on the question of how well the European Union is able to protect the rule of law and freedom of the press in its member states. The four policymakers stressed, that member states must abide by European values and the EU needs instruments to protect them. The students also addressed the question of how young Europeans could succeed in entering professional life. In the following debate, it was pointed out that EU-programmes such as Erasmus+ and the European Solidarity Corps should offer opportunities to gain valuable pre-vocational experience more easily and to more young Europeans without academic background. In the final round of questions, the students pointed out that they considered the EU's climate policy to be too unambitious. The four policymakers then discussed the potential of German-Baltic relations in the area of offshore wind farms in the Baltic Sea. They also debated to what extent the society is prepared to compromise on its own standard of living in order to achieve the goal of climate neutrality by 2050. The students then clearly demonstrated by voting that they were ready for drastic changes. The Youth Dialogue on 26 August 2021 was organised by the non-party Europa-Union Deutschland its youth organisation JEF Deutschland in cooperation with the Federal Foreign Office. The event is part of the citizens' dialogue series "Europe - We need to talk!" and is funded as a cross-border project by the German Federal Foreign Office.
A strong rule of law mechanism must include the possibility of expulsion from the EU
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