Young Munich Security Conference 2020




14th – 16th February 2020

Munich, Germany

A cooperation between EuropaNova, BayFrance & many other partners



The future of the European Union depends on its public support. So do EU security and defence policies today. Our seminar connects young innovative thinkers with experts from policy & research in a dialogue on the future of European security and defence. The YMSC is a unique initiative that stands out for its participatory and innovative character. The YMSC will communicate before and during the official Munich Security Conference (MSC) with participants and experts from the MSC, defining the contents of the YMSC seminars. The aim is to bring together young talents and experts for three days and to formulate concrete policy proposals on the future of European security and defence policy. This is a seminar organized by the transpartisan think-tank EuropaNova Paris in co-operation with BayFrance (Bayerisch-Französisches Hochschulzentrum /Centre de Coopération Universitaire Franco-Bavarois), the Franco-German Youth Office (OFAJ/DFJW) as well as the Bundeswehr University Munich, and many other partners in Germany, France and Europe. Both EuropaNova and BayFrance have wide-ranging experience in organizing large events, on major policy issues. They are both strongly committed to engage Europe’s youth in reflecting on Europe’s current affairs and future. The Munich Security Conference (MSC) has been bringing together security policy, military and industry representatives since 1963. High-level representatives are expected each year. The YMSC will take the opportunity to invite high-level stakeholders to play the role of external stakeholders, as well as scholars and policy makers from around Europe, setting up a detailed program in the field of applied policy. With this first initiative, we hope to lay the foundations for a regular European satellite event on European Security and Defence for young researchers and professionals.

1. Some words on the organizers

On June 3rd, 2003, the transpartisan think-and do-tank EuropaNova was born with an important ambition: to meaningfully contribute to the development of a political, democratic and civil Europe, capable of defending the interests of its citizens and promoting its values within a multipolar world. Throughout all these years, the think- and do-tank has consistently fuelled broad-minded debates and inspired European citizen, always resulting in concrete recommendations. Thus, EuropaNova can provide guidance in our most significant areas of experience and expertise: public debates, citizen’s participation awareness and the sensibilization of the younger generations, across Europe. As a first step, we developed a working group on Europe’s defence and security issues two years ago. EuropaNova’s working group (WG) aims at creating a new network of innovative, young as well as experienced actors, through seminar series on reimagining the future of European security and defence issues. EuropaNova is funded through state resources, the EU as well as project-based, punctual funding. BayFrance (Franco-Bavarian University cooperation centre) is a contact and service centre for university and research cooperation between France and Bavaria (Germany). Its missions: Giving advice to students, scientists and universities; Student mobility grants and funding of small projects as well as scientific event management. The office with its binational team is located in the city centre of Munich, hosted by the Technical University of Munich. The centre is financially supported by the Bavarian Ministry of State for Education, Culture, Science and Art (StMBW); and the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs (MEAE). As a multinational and diverse team, we represent a sound example of European co-operation at the level of civil society and across generations. With other “think” and “do-tanks”, as well as many academic and institutional partners, EuropaNova is setting the foundations for a renewed and innovative cooperation with German-speaking European stakeholders. With this seminar we join forces and our proven expertise in advocacy, research, political counsel and seminar management.

2. Objectives

This specific cooperation is a long-term, strategic project around European security and defence issues: This approach will enable to interconnect different networks of young talents and to connect stakeholders in an independent setting aside the official conference, every year. Our goal is to train the next generation of innovative thinkers to have a real impact on Europe’s security and defence politics. The participants will be a selected group of active Europeans, with a proven commitment to the topic. Parts of the seminar will be open for public, enhancing open dialogues. In order to achieve the reconnection of policy actors with civil society, and to open up the traditional closed-up “leaders dialogues”, new platforms and inclusive research possibilities must unfold. Our seminars want to democratize this process by involving Europe’s younger generations and connecting them, across the borderline. Inspired by the famous Erasmus program and drawing on the historical experience of youth exchanges and twin-partnerships, we believe that a united Europe will be sustainable only if its youth contributes to designing the future EU and builds a shared culture. The first objective is to foster exchanges and tight bonds among the participants and networks in order to rethink EU Security and Defence. To that end, Bavaria is a very relevant place and player for the discussions. The YMSC 2020 discusses three main key-topics:

1. New security challenges and roadmaps for Europe: common security & defence ?

2. European migration and internal border policies

3. New technologies and security challenges

Young Munich Security Conference 2020

The YMSC pursues the following long-term objectives:

(a) Create a better understanding, for the different perspectives, across the EU on European security and defence issues, and have a critical reflection on these respective outlooks. In this light, the seminar will reflect on the conflation of new security issues in both public opinion and public action, and possibly disconnect them. The YMSC will therefore bring many stakeholders together, such as think-tanks, political foundations, universities, scholars, policymakers from the MSC as well as the press.

(b) Stimulate discussion and new ideas on the future of the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) framework, the permanent structured cooperation and new institutional roadmaps. The workshops will analyze and critically discuss 3 core topics:

1. European Security & Defence and NATO relations

2. The future of EU’s “hard security”

3. Hybrid threats, border security & migration

The specific under-topics on this part will be published in December 2019, depending on current EU issues and the new EU institutions. The morning-sessions workshops in the morning are dedicated to the “Young Professionals Core Group” (invited by call for participants), to critically discuss the diverse topics and to foster political innovation. Those workshops will be closed to the public and happen at the Institut Français, Munich. The afternoon- and evening sessions will be open to the public, with a capacity for approx. 100 participants.

(c) Stimulate discussions on EU’s border policies: How we deal with the migration and internal borders issue will be vital to the future stability of the EU. During the European elections, European citizens could vote for diverse political proposals, often in view of EU’s border and migration issues. How do we categorize the Schengen zone, internal borders and EU’s borders today? After the political crisis triggered by refugees from war zones, or the behaviors emanating from state actors such as the US, Turkey or the US, EU MS tried various solutions.


Day 1: Arrivals, presentation of the program and networking cocktail

Day 2: Morning Session 1: The future of EU’s “hard security” after EU’s elections

Morning Session 2: Challenges and opportunities: European Security & Defence and NATO relations

Afternoon-Session 1: EEAS and Neighborhood Policies

Afternoon-Session 2: Hybrid threats, migration and sustainable policies in Europe

Evening Session: Exchanges with experts on current policy difficulties

Day 3: all sessions will be attended by the participants

Morning Session 1: Proposals : Migration and border policies

Morning Session 2: Proposals : New policy roadmaps for the EU

Afternoon-Session 1: Forum of ideas 2, with experts

Afternoon-Session 2: Presentations and paper proposals of the participants

Evening Session: Networking Cocktail: Exchange with experts and the continuation of group works

Day 4: Mots d’adieu and last departures


The three-day seminar will be held in Munich, Germany, on 14th – 16th February 2020: the first day will represent a day of arrivals and first moments of networking between the participants. The next two days will thus be the occasion to work together. The main location of the workshops will happen at the Institut Français in Munich. The open public sessions will happen within a city hall in Munich, hosting approx. 100 people. In addition to diversifying the various inputs the participants receive by coming to Munich, the interest is to invest in network building and thereby lay the ground for future cooperation afterwards. The second edition of the YMSC will happen in 2021.

Target group

Target groups are European young professionals, experts and policy makers, from EU, candidates and potential candidate states. The invited approx. 40 participants (“young professionals core group”) must have previously shown some kind of commitment to the topic of European security, defence and migration. The latter can be developed in their studies or their work; in a cultural, juridical, political or activist type – what matters is that they demonstrate a keen interest in the subject and a high potential of continuing to do so, really wanting to make a difference in whatever way (research, arts & culture, politics, business, media, social work, etc.). We will reach out to potential candidates by sending out a call for application through our diverse networks to universities, civil society and policy-making bodies. While the selected participants will attend the seminar, this seminar strongly aims for spill-over effects, spreading the outputs to wider society and European policy makers. We will communicate this seminar before, during and after the seminar through three types of channels: mailing lists and networks, a distinct website, and social media. In doing so, we will make use of both written and visual means of communication, including a videoclipaiming to enhance the rate of applications that is currently in the making.


A part of the seminar will be dedicated to presenting the participants' policy proposals. Overall, the seminar shall result in a jointly written policy proposal, by the participants and experts, as well as a summative report on how EU’s security and defence model can become more inclusive for citizens. While the participants will produce a jointly written statement and policy papers on how to democratize European security, defence and migration policies, we will produce a short documentary on the process leading up to this result, next to our summative evaluation. This way, we hope to reach and inspire policymakers, experts and wider public to rethink the meaning of European security and defence policies. Reaching out to policy and decision-makers, experts and the media in the different parts of Europe that our seminar series takes us to, our aim is to have a visible impact on the wider public debate about European policy issues, motivating more citizens to get involved. This will also include such things as the publication of our academic evaluation of the seminar in academic journals, reflecting on the seminar’s process and conclusions. Our seminar’s tangible success thus depends on the final statement, its outreach and the new long-term bonds between the participants.