The 54th Jung Königswinter Conference was held between 17th-22nd June 2014 at the Europäische Akademie Berlin and I was greatly honoured to represent the Bristol Hannover Council at the event, which was organised by the Deutsch-Britische Gesellschaft.
The theme of this year’s Conference was “What kind of EU do we want?” and the results of the European Parliamentary Elections and imminent appointment of the next President of the European Commission provided grounds for intense dialogue.
I joined 41 other British and German delegates from diverse professional backgrounds including academia, politics, law and economics for five days of lectures, study groups and splendid social events.
In groups we debated the state of the European Union and its institutions from different perspectives, including socio-political, economic and diplomatic. Our discussions were further enriched by fascinating keynote addresses from Sir Simon McDonald (British Ambassador to Germany) and Martin Kotthaus (Director General at the Auswärtiges Amt – German Foreign Office) and lectures from political and economic experts.
Delegates were very much in agreement that Europe faces many challenges moving forward, but it was inspiring to hear so many ideas about how these challenges could be faced.
We all left the Conference having learned a lot from the guest speakers, the organising committee headed up by Sir Nigel Broomfield (former British Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic) and from each other, and enjoyed ourselves thoroughly.
Thank you to all those involved.
The photo shows Gerard Owen in conversation with Sir Nigel Broomfield, former British Ambassador to Germany and Chair of the 54th Jung Königswinter Conference.