11th YGLN Meeting
MOSCOW, RUSSIA, 20 – 22 November 2019
In November 2019, the YGLN held its first meeting in Russia. Around 20 members from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Germany, Italy, Russia, Turkey and the US participated in the three day gathering in Moscow. The group was hosted by ELN and YGLN partners, the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC), the Friedrich Ebert Foundation and Schneider Group.
The discussions covered a variety of topics including threat perceptions of Russia and the Western states; nuclear risk reduction; the future of the Paris Charter; and geopolitical competition between the post-Soviet states, Russia and the EU. The group also discussed how civil society is under pressure and why patterns of media consumption particularly among younger people in Russia and the West are hardening prevailing prejudices and clichés of the other. The group concluded that there must be more responsible ways of choosing media channels and scrutinizing information. It was agreed that increasing travel between Russia, other European states and the US may help these individuals diversify their channels of information and consume media in different languages. This may also increase their interest in foreign policy issues, which, according to recent polls conducted in Russia, Ukraine and Germany, is at record lows among the younger generation. Given the conflict-driven climate in Europe engagement from the next generation must be addressed.
10th YGLN Meeting
BERLIN, GERMANY, 13 – 15 October 2019
In October 2019, the YGLN met for the third time in Berlin. The group visited the German capital a few weeks before the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The members reflected that a generation ago it would hardly have been possible to convene a group such as the YLGN, made up of young people from countries across the Euro-Atlantic region, from East and West.
During the roundtable discussion hosted by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, YGLN members addressed political, legal, ethical and social disruptions for Euro-Atlantic societies and how to nudge them in the right direction. The group discussed the issue of populism, with an emphasis on right-wing radicalism in Europe, and its potential threats and weaknesses. They spoke about strengthening the rule of law in times of global disorder, and the challenges to academic freedom in several countries. On the issue of disruptive technologies, discussions focused on the implications of AI, quantum computing, and Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems (LAWS) on modern militaries and societies. When assessing the global market and climate change, members discussed options for national governments to incentivize climate-beneficial consumer choices.
9th YGLN Meeting
BERLIN, GERMANY, 23 – 25 June 2019
In June 2019, the YGLN met in Berlin where the Heinrich Böll Foundation kindy hosted the group’s roundtable discussion. The members discussion was focused on West-Russia relations, common interests, dividing lines as well as potential strategies on how eventually overcome divisions. Members addressed the current state and future of the OSCE, and why it is difficult for the OSCE to continue to actively shape a common European security architecture. The group also discussed military risk reduction and perspectives for a renewed and more effective NATO-Russia dialogue, and also looked at frozen conflicts in the Eastern European region and whether there may be an opportunity to address the intractable issues in the future. Despite the sharp dividing lines between Russia and the West, there is still a set of common interests, including cyber security and arms control in the nuclear sphere. They then explored how best to pursue cooperation in these areas to make the Euro-Atlantic region safer . The roundtable was followed by a visit to the Chancellor’s Office and a panel discussion with an evening reception hosted by the French Embassy.