Power Shifts 2015-2017 Archived

Three focus countries, France, Poland and Germany each hosted an international youth forum in the project timeline from 2015 until 2017 involving over 100 young participants each from all over Europe. In 2015 the Academic Power Shifts Forum in Lyon, France, hosted 120 participants from 26 European countries for seven days. Warsaw, Poland followed in October 2016 with 130 participants from 30 countries and the German Conference in Heidelberg from August 9 – 16, 2017 with 126 participants.

The forum participants were supported by eight young experts, the Steering Group. This is a small working group that focuses on five topic dimensions in order to break down the complex topic of energy for the forum participants. The group will accompany the academic forums until 2017 and provide the analytical preparation for the discussions. Their concluding product will be a policy summary, which is to set the basis of the discussions during the final event in Brussels.

Find a brief outline of the project as PDF in our concept paper.

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Three Academic Forums in Three Years

From October 24th to November 2nd, 150 young Europeans have gathered in the wonderful city of Lyon for the first Power Shifts Forum of a series of three. Warsaw will host the second forum from October 23-30, 2016. And Germany will host the last forum in 2017. At the end of these three European youth conferences on the topic of energy, the resolutions will be compiled and handed over to the project patrons.

The participants will be both students who will participate in EYP for the first time and students who have participated before. During the event, they will sit in eight international committees and use their various fields of study to contribute to the discussion on future European energy policies from different perspectives. The programme of the conferences lasts for seven days, following the successful EYP model with Teambuilding, Committee Work and General assembly. Throughout the whole session, a Cultural Programme gives the participants the possibility to get acquainted with each other’s cultures and traditions. This process results in increased cultural awareness, self-confidence and mutual understanding, while at the same time tackling xenophobia and prejudices. Additionally, the focus will be on involving experts and decision makers in roundtable expert hearings.



Main topic: Energy

Energy is possibly the most interdependent political issue of the 21st century. In the past years, we have experienced decreasing stocks of fossil fuels, the nuclear catastrophe in Fukushima, alarming studies on climate change and debates over social sustainability of rising costs for energy supply. Furthermore energy supply was used as political leverage by several states and hence clearly constitutes an important aspect in international political relations. The upcoming years will see crucial debates regarding the direction to take to secure the future of Europe’s energy supply. And while energy-related issues are still mainly being debated on a national level, it seems clear that solutions will have to be European, if not global. The EYP believes that it is not only important to discuss these issues on a European level but moreover to discuss it with young people as they will have to live with these transitions in our energy landscape.

The project’s Steering Group broke down the complex issue of energy into five dimensions in order to provide a framework for the project as a whole as well as for the participants’ work:

Foreign Policy and Security dimension

Energy has become an important political instrument. One main aspect of this dimension is energy security and it includes the security of energy supply and the security of particular state’s integrity. During the forum in Lyon, the participants focused on the ongoing tensions with Russia and Ukraine, the possible implications of the climate conference in Paris and the role of human rights in multinational energy projects.

Technological dimension

We are yet to find a cost-effective way to transmit and store electrical energy at a large scale. Thus energy technology innovation is key to meeting economic, climate and security objectives. The participants discussed especially the future of nuclear energy and the use of fracking in the European Union.

Environmental dimension

Energy use and production affect the sustainability of our resources and, in the long-term, also the well-being of humankind. The project’s discussions about energy policies should thus include environmental perspectives.

Economic dimension

Competitiveness and the functioning of society are dependent on reliable energy supply. The challenge is to ensure safe, secure and sustainable energy that is both economically affordable and profitable. This dimension was discussed by the young participants under the aspects of balancing energy transition efforts with economic growth as well as where the financial means of modernizing energy systems can and shall come from.

Societal dimension

In the past decades, price changes of fuel, general energy sustainability as well as environmental concerns have raised awareness in varying levels of society on the way energy is produced and used.


The Steering Group

  • Patryk
    Patryk Kulig (PL) has studied law in Warsaw and Berlin. Currently working as a junior lawyer specialszing in Alternative Dispute Resolution and commercial law, with special focus on German and Polish real estate and energy law. Patryk contributes to the Team by looking at energy related issues from the perspective of their their legal framework. Since 6 years active in non-governmental sector – member of, i.a.: the EYP Poland, the Polish Forum of Young Diplomats, the Young Polish International Network as well as founder of the European Centre of Arbitration. Life motto: sky is the limit. Interests: international relations and diplomacy with focus on Western Europe, China & USA.

The group is coordinated by Kerstin Eckart (DE) from the Schwarzkopf Foundation and the International Office of the EYP in Berlin. It includes seven young interested experts on energy from six European countries who will enable an analysis of energy policy developments in Europe for the whole project timeframe and who ensure a link between the discussions of our young participants at each international forum.

A key element of the project is the organisation of three international youth forums in France, Germany and Poland from 2015 until 2017. That is why the EYP organisation in these three countries sent one representative each to participate in the work of the Steering Group. Furthermore the group encompasses young interested individuals, such as former EYP alumni and PhD students that joined the project due to different motivations and professional backgrounds – but with a special interest in energy issues!

The aim of the Steering Group is to

  • to monitor energy-related topics, to analyse trends and young people’s opinions and to then provide content for the use of participants/EYP Community.
  • to provide young people with comprehensive information on Energy policy on both the European and National levels.
  • to enable young people to join debates and use (& develop) their energy competence in their respective socio-
    economic environments.
  • to explore the possibilities of developing event formats in EYP.

A Newsletter will be published regularly until the end of the project in December 2017! Every Newsletter will include several articles related to the project’s activities, the Steering Group’s work or general articles on energy issues and what an actual power shift could mean.

Newsletter #1 – spring 2016

Newsletter #2 – summer 2016

Newsletter #3 – spring 2017