Security – how do we understand it in Europe?

Terrorism. Peace. Pollution. Stability. As one reads through the cards stuck to the flipchart, it becomes quickly clear how differently we think about the concept of “security”. Influenced by our environment, fields of studies and national contexts, we tend to emphasise certain security topics over others. At the same time, everyone has an opinion on security.

With the lead question of “What does security mean to me?” an international team of Understanding Europe trainers and European Youth Parliament participants set out last week to develop new learning materials for the existing EU Crash Courses. The result: a new 45-minute workshop, consisting of a video and a trainer manual, that will be finalised by the beginning of next year.

The seminar took place in the German Federal Foreign Office from November 9 to 11, 2016. The three days were filled with Foreign Policy and security debates not just among the group itself, but also through visits to the State of the Union speech by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and to the German Parliament. Even the German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier joined us for a selfie!

The seminar was organised in the framework of the acitivities tied to the German Chairmanship of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in 2016, wrapping up a year of security-related discussions and youth activities for the Schwarzkopf Foundation.