Our annual flagship conference is a unique initiative that stands out for its participatory and innovative character. The YSC aims at connecting young thinkers with policy experts and academic scholars in a critical and constructive dialogue about the future of European foreign and security policy.


Through the participation on panels and workshops, the submission of policy papers, and a wide range of creative exchanges, the conference provides a perfect environment for sharing and discussing new ideas, such as Franco-German relations and the EU’s strategic autonomy

Our panels and debates are conducted along two dimensions in each of our five topic pillars to give content both depth and space for interdisciplinary contributions.

The Young Security Conference 2022

The third edition of the Young Security Conference will take place on 3-4 June 2022 at the Amerikahaus in Munich. The conference will be held in a hybrid format, including the opportunity to attend in-person or stream from anywhere else.

Two dimensions and five topic pillars

The YSC 2022, like both previous conferences, intends to offer a new venue for foreign and security policy. It builds upon two dimensions: the Transatlantic alliance and Franco-German relationship, with a specific focus on the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union. Additionally, we will include discussions on feminist foreign policy, the Ukraine crisis, and the future of think-thanks among other topics.

Our panels and debates are conducted along these two dimensions in each of our five topic
pillars to give content both depth and space for interdisciplinary contributions.


Two dimensions

All eyes on France

As of 1 January 2022, France will hold the six-month presidency of the Council of the European Union. This will occur in the same year as its presidential elections, which remain vital for the definition of its European policy.

France’s EU Presidency will face the challenging task of readjusting the EU's strategic compass and the French-led Council agenda for 2022 should set the course for European security and defense policy for the coming years.

It should identify ways to ensure the ‘sovereignty’ and ‘autonomy’ of the EU in the face of both past and novel threats. The Franco-German cooperation will continue to actively shape the future European security agenda in several domains.

Readjusting transatlantic cooperation

We now live in a world affected by COVID-19 and climate change, with ever more frequent crises, affecting great powers and our collective security. After the Trump presidency and recent episodes, such as the withdrawal from Afghanistan or the AUKUS polemics, the transatlantic alliance finds itself at a historical crossroads, unsure of its place.

The YSC and its Fellows have the responsibility to provide a new voice, new answers and new questions to these challenges that are not only transatlantic but truly global.

Our 5 topic pillars 

Climate Security: The climate crisis is the biggest challenge of our lifetime. The Euro-Atlantic community and individual states must provide solutions and show willingness to move towards a sustainable model of governance and development. We need a revival of rules and institutions, and we must raise efforts to assess climate security risks and establish concrete steps forward towards limiting climate change and the degradation of the environment.

Cyber Security: The cyber threat level across the globe, and particularly in Europe, has constantly risen over the last years. This will also involve a consideration of the military dimension of cyberspace, a potential role of the EU in the still to be defined concept of “cyber diplomacy”, or the rise of AI - particularly amidst national divergences.

European Neighborhood Security: In the context of EU’s objective to become a stronger actor in the world, the topic of European neighborhood aims at delivering a comprehensive image of the current top-priority issues in the EU, and the surrounding regions. Thus, regions like North Africa, the Middle East, the Russian Federation, and Central Asia manifest a constant interest for the European Union, from perspectives manifesting preventive approaches that contribute to the EU’s current and future endeavors towards its objectives.

Health Security: France and Germany intend to make the medical and pharmaceutical industries more resilient, as the pandemic has revealed clear weaknesses. Ensuring a continuous medical supply throughout Europe has gained strategic importance and poses a great opportunity for the Union to show the added value of supranational cooperation.

European Sovereignty and Autonomy: Franco-German and transatlantic cooperation in the defence industry, also involving other European countries, will become much more significant and play a major role in the future. But here, too, different approaches and views in Europe could undermine Europe's further development into a strategically autonomous international actor.

Previous conferences
Young Security Conference 2021

The second conference was held in July 2021. It ​​succeeded in delivering content to a high standard, building upon its inaugural edition in February 2020. Despite the conditions imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic, namely the inability to bring speakers and participants together in person, the conference recorded a real success in building bridges among attendees. The 2021 event ensured continuity by also anchoring its multidisciplinary reflections on central concepts such as the role of the West on today’s global challenges, the ever-central transatlantic relations, or the role of the Franco-German at the center of a European Integration process which survived a difficult decade and thus finds itself at a crossroads, while remaining a hope to those who want to build a better world for the present and future generations.

Speakers: Ambika Varma, Christine Strassmaier, Dr. André Barrinha, Dr. Anja Opitz, Dr. Gustav Lindstrom, Dr. Louise van Schaik, Dr. Marc-Oliver Pahl, Dr. Patricia Daenhardt, Dr. Roderick Parkes, Dr. Stefan Göbbels, Dr. Vira Ratsiborynska, Eve Roehrig, Gabriele Köhler, Guillaume Klossa, Prof. Dr. Frédéric Charillon, Prof. Dr. Stephan Stetter, Thomas Pellerin Carlin, M. Ulrich Lechte
Young Security Conference 2020

The first conference was held in February 2020. The success of the YSC 2020 is a testament to the capacity of this conference, as the flagship initiative of EuropaNova Germany, to fill an existing gap in foreign and security policy conferences in Europe. This gap is filled by the combination of academic demands with a palatable approach to the public and younger audiences which allows for an effective tabling and discussion of proposals, perspectives and eventually policies to better the continent and the world we live in.

Speakers: Prof. Dr. Stephan Stetter, Dr. Jean Yves Haine, Dr. Anja Opitz, Dr. Holger Stritzel, Mr. Rüdiger Lentz, Mr. Peter Grk, Dr. Asiem El Difraoui, Mr. Denis Cenusa, Ms. Jessica Berlin, Dr. Roderick Parkes, Ms. Alena Kudzko, Mr. Michael Buschheuer, Ms. Lisa Raffy, Ms. Sonja Licht, M. Ulrich Lechte, M. Julien Serre, Dr. Zaki Laïdi, Dr. Nicolas Fescharek, Dr. Elise Bernard