The 28th British German Forum discussed the changing dynamics of British and German engagement in Europe. Participants explored to what extent British and German citizens might view the European ‘project’ differently and how they foresee its future.
The forum also examined how the EU’s growing inward focus may impact its capacity to act as a global leader in the international community, for instance leadership on economic stability, regional security and democratic development.
Topics of discussion included the nature of European ‘identity’, the political impact of economic downturn (in the state, regional and international spheres) and the challenges that will face tomorrow’s economic, political and social leaders in Europe – many of whom will be attending the forum.
The British German Forum was established by Chancellor Kohl and Margaret Thatcher in 1985 and has occurred annually ever since. Organised by Wilton Park, the event convenes approximately 50 ‘high fliers’ from Germany and Britain, between the ages of 25 and 35. Participants are chosen from a wide range of professional sectors, including government, business, finance, media, academia and non-government organisations. Those selected represent future leaders in their respective fields.
The forum provides a neutral, dynamic space in which participants can network and share ideas among their peers and gain insight and inspiration from experienced professionals. Through dialogue, it aims to facilitate both increased shared understanding and the building of strong relationships between influential young Britons and Germans.