Second out of three seminars of this year’s Czech-German Young Professionals Program was largely dedicated to the current development in Europe. It reflected important issues related to the refugee crisis, changing media outlets, elections, and the importance of security and social cohesion.

Program coordinators, Zuzana Lizcová and Weronika Priesmeyer-Tkocz, opened the four-day Berlin session at the European Academy Berlin. The participants then visited the Czech Embassy, where they had a chance to discuss Czech-German relations and strategic dialogue in Europe with the Embassy counsellor, Eva Dvořáková. The topic was revisited the next day with Kai-Olaf Lang, a Senior Fellow at German Institute for International and Security Affairs / Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP).

The first evening was dedicated to a public fishbowl discussion In the search of truth – fake news, micro-targeting and social bots. German and Czech solutions in the election year at the Czech Centre Berlin.

The refugee crisis has been and will continue to be an important topic of many political and civic discussions. European and German reactions were covered by Mechthild Baumann, Programme director of European Academy Berlin. During the off-record conversation Flight, asylum, migration to Europe – causes, current state and perspectives with Şafak Baş, the situation in Turkish refugee camps was elaborated on. The participants could also confront their ideas of the refugee crisis with the actual experience of an asylum-seeker from Syria, who joined them for the occasion. The program was enriched by an on-site visit in Kreuzberg and Neukölln, a report on cultural and ethnic diversity in Berlin, a discussion about de-radicalisation of people from the right-wing scene, and interesting internal workshops.

European security issues were analysed by Anneke Hudalla from European Academy Berlin, during the session called Necessity or nightmare? The European Union as a provider of security. Last but not least, the participantshad an opportunity to visit the Allied Museum and to learn more about the colorful and complex history of Berlin in the 20th century.

The last session of 2017 CGYPP will take place in September in Passau and České Budějovice.

The project is organized by the Association for International Affairs (AMO) in cooperation with the European Academy of Berlin (EAB) and co-funded by the Czech German Fund for Future.