Under the overarching theme of the CGYPP 2024 “Czechia and Germany – Ready to Face Tomorrow’s Challenges Together?” was held last week in Prague second seminar of the program year.  It was a special seminar, as it included a celebration of the 15th year of the program, which was attended not only by participants of the current year, but also by alumni and representatives of partners.

The seminar started on the afternoon of Thursday 13 June 2024 with the introduction of the programme and an update on the participants over the last two months, when the previous seminar in Berlin took place. The first external input then came from a lecture and workshop by Pavel Hanosek from the think tank Czech Priorities, which focused on strategic foresight. Thursday evening was also marked by the celebration of the 15th year of the program, which was attended by more than 70 guests. Details of the celebration can be read in a separate article.

On Friday morning, a program for CGYPP 2024 participants as well as registered alumni was held in the Chamber of Deputies, Parliament of the Czech Republic. We had a debate with the vice-president of Chamber of Deputies Olga Richterová about social cohesion and challenges for democracy in Czechia and Germany. This was followed by a short tour of the Chamber of Deputies, including a visit to the gallery. After lunch we met with David Stulík, Special Envoy for the Eastern Partnership from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic to discuss Russia’s war against Ukraine and the Western response, the role of the Czech Republic and Germany, and the future of the Eastern Partnership.

Fact-Finding missions followed – parallel sessions with three interesting guests, with whom the participants divided into groups to discuss their work and topics related to current issues. We have discussed with Tomáš Dvořák (Public Relations Manager, Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic), Jan Krčmář (Director of the Czech Solar Association Director of the Czech Solar Association) and Lukáš Slunéčko (Language Technology Coordinator at European Commission, Translator) the relationship of Czech industry and Czechs to the EU and the Euro, renewable energy, and technology and AI. This was followed by a visit to the Centre for Architecture and Urban Planning and the current exhibition Planet Prague.

Saturday opened with a lecture and workshop by Vendula Kazlauskas (AMO). Together we looked back at the European Parliament elections and assessed the results and their impact on European politics. We also looked at the issue of foreign interference in European democratic processes, and participants tried out the roles of various actors attacking or defending our democracies in groups.  This was followed by a series of internal workshops on podcast preparation, the outcomes of fact-finding missions, as well as presentations by the participants themselves focusing on empowering events. The evening ended with a joint barbecue in one of Prague’s parks.

On Sunday, there was an evaluation workshop as well as a discussion on the main conclusions of the workshop. The next steps of the CGYPP and the full range of opportunities where we can continue to meet with participants were presented. We are looking forward, for example, to the third workshop in Brno in October!

CGYPP is initiated and financed by the Czech-German Fund for the Future. The seminar was organized with the support of the Hanns-Seidel-Stiftung.