To mark Franco-German Day, the two Commissioners for Franco-German Cooperation, Minister of State for Europe Michael Roth and Minister of State for European Affairs at the French Foreign Ministry Clément Beaune, held a discussion with German and French pupils about European policy, Franco-German cooperation and politics as a career choice.
As part of a discovery day organised by the Franco-German forum for the future, pupils from seven classes in France and Germany had the opportunity to pose questions to the Ministers of State.
At the discussion on 22 January 2021, Minister of State Michael Roth told the pupils:
Being a young person in 2021 is not at all easy. On the contrary, it’s pretty difficult. The global crisis that has been brought on by the pandemic has given rise to many worries and questions about the future, especially for young people.
But COVID-19 has also reminded us of what is essential: The only way we can face down this crisis is if we act together and in a spirit of solidarity, and if we build a future that is in line with our values. That is what we are working hard to do. It is not least thanks to the Franco-German initiative that we have successfully come to Europe’s aid in recent months with a large recovery fund.
However, the European project can only succeed if young people are part of the effort. At today’s exchange with pupils, we witnessed your truly impressive energy, curiosity, points of criticism and creativity. 2021 must be the year of new hope and of renewal.
Franco-German Day was proclaimed in 2003 to mark the signing of the Élysée Treaty on Franco-German cooperation in 1963. By reaching out to German and French educational institutions, it aims to give pupils and students a better idea of the two countries’ bilateral relations, to promote German and French as a second language and to provide information about study and employment options in the other country.
Since 2006, one of its regular features has been a “discovery day” that seeks to give pupils insight into German and French companies and government authorities. Franco-German Day is organised by the Franco-German Youth Office (FGYO) under the auspices of Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and President Emmanuel Macron.