“Meeting the young people of EYP is an inspiration for my own work”

The innogy Foundation for Energy and Society, based in Essen (Germany), is a long term partner of the EYP. Through the “Power Shifts – Reflecting Europe’s Energy” project, they support regional, national and international events of the EYP. The project encourages young people from across Europe to explore and discuss European energy policy. We interviewed managing director Stephan Muschick about this partnership during his visit to the International Session in Valencia.

Tell us a bit about yourself. How did you end up in the innogy stiftung?

I just turned 50 years old five days ago. I studied Scandinavian Languages and History, but later I became more interested in communications and society. That is how I eventually ended up in the energy business quite late in my career, since 2009.

What does the innogy Foundation do?

The innogy Foundation is based in Essen in the very west of Germany. It is linked to a huge energy company which is why we engage in the topic of energy and energy education. We believe it is an important topic for the whole society. Today, we talk about climate change and climate protection – and energy is an important element in solving the challenges we are facing.

What is the Power Shifts Project?

Our partnership with EYP is a good combination of elements where we contribute to EYP activities in general, but also go deeper into the energy issue. The project is very close to us, as it brings together the important issues of energy transition and climate change into European political education.

Why does the innogy Foundation support EYP in the long-term?

We have been supporting EYP for many years now, because it is a very vivid and interesting organisation of young people involved in Europe. It is a great decentralized network driven by young volunteers who are actively involved in the important questions of our time.

Another reason is that we, as a Foundation, believe that we have to contribute to the development of the European continent and the region we live in. The issues of energy transition and climate change are crucial for the development of Europe. Ursula von der Leyen, the future President of the European Commission, also mentioned this in her speech to the European Parliament when she talked about the necessity to define a new green and social deal for Europe.

What are your impressions of EYP?

I’ve had the privilege to attend several EYP events in Germany and abroad and my impressions are always 100% positive. It’s nice to meet young people from all over Europe and I’m always impressed by their professionalism. But also their will to be engaged, to be positive about Europe and to show positive energy. For me, meeting people from EYP is always inspiring for my own work, because they show me that it’s worth dealing with this project.

It also shows how important it is to have a dialogue between different countries. That was something I noticed myself firsthand when I attended an International Session of the EYP a few years ago in Izmir, Turkey, a country I love very much. It’s quite different discussing a topic like the relationship between Turkey and the EU while sitting there compared to talking about it at home.