From Thursday, 5 October to Sunday, 8 October 2023, the third and final seminar of the CGYPP 2023 took place. In Prague and Pilsen we focused on the theme of this year’s edition: ‘Searching for common ground: sustainable future for democracies’ from different perspectives.

We started on Thursday afternoon at the Hanns-Seidel-Stiftung office in Prague. After an opening greeting and introduction to the topic of Czech-German relations by Markus Ehm, director of the HSS in Prague, a debate entitled Best Friends Ever? Czech-German Relations in Uncertain Times with experts – Zuzana Lizcova and Jana Urbanovská followed. Both speakers themselves have participated in the CGYPP in the past. Then we moved together to the German Embassy in the Czech Republic for a social event – a festive reception for the German Unity Day. Here, we engaged in lively discussions with prominent figures from Czech and German politics, society, and business.

On Friday the group has moved to Pilsen, where we delved into the practical aspects of Czech-German relations. Our journey began at the Tandem – Coordination Center for Czech-German Youth Exchanges, where Kateřina Břendová shared insights into the center’s work and the challenges it confronts in the region. An interactive tour of Plzeň with language animation and demonstration of work with youth followed, providing interesting insight into the city and the dynamics of working with Czech-German youth groups. In the afternoon, we spent time at TechTower, Pilsen’s cutting-edge technology park, to discuss the city’s endeavours in fostering start-ups and supporting local students.

On Saturday and Sunday, a rich programme of internal workshops and engaging activities was prepared. At these sessions we explored a variety of topics, including climate activism, where we explored the limits of civil society influence in influencing government responses to climate change and offered Czech and German perspectives. In the meantime, we also focused on finalizing podcasts prepared by this year’s participants, which should be posted on the Czech-German Perspectives channel in the coming weeks.

In 2023, our alumni network has grown further and now numbers over 160 dedicated individuals who have actively participated in CGYPP. This expansion is a testament to the program’s lasting impact and the valuable connections it fosters.

The program is initiated and financed by the Czech-German Fund for the Future. Seminar was organised with the support of the Hanns-Seidel-Stiftung, too.