The first Young Königswinter Conference (then Berlin German-English Youth Talks) was held in 1960. The forum was created to bring together young elites, aged 25 to 32, from Germany and the United Kingdom, in order to foster mutual understanding and an exchange of ideas not only between the two countries but also between the different political conceptions of the participants.
Brought to live following the success of the original Königswinter Conference which had been founded 11 years before, Berlin has become the conference’s preferred venue due to its eventful history. Its former position between East and West and its present role as capital of the reunified Germany make it a fascinating backdrop for talks between young Germans and Britons.
Here, social, political, economic and cultural issues are discussed by a heterogeneous group of participants in a frank and tolerant atmosphere, allowing the participants to gain new insights and perceptions which they then pass on in their private and professional lives. Many lasting friendships have been forged at Young Königswinter. These links remain effective on many levels and contribute to friendly relations between Britain and Germany.
There is an active organisation of Young Königswinter alumni, currently some 500 members, who organise meetings and conferences of their own, e.g. in Brussels, Hamburg, Istanbul, Tel Aviv and Oxford.
Former British ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany and to the German Democratic Republic, Sir Nigel Broomfield, chairs the four-day conference. Every Young Königswinter Conference features a central theme which is divided into three sub-themes that are discussed in respective thematic groups.
In a final session, each group reports on its findings. The discussion results are published in a conference report.
The up to 40 participants can apply directly to participate or are recommended by people from public life or former participants. Requisite is an above average interest in German-British relations and European integration, and an active interest in current socio-political questions. Alumni may not apply again.
Questions and Answers
When is the next Young Königswinter Conference?
The 58th Young Königswinter Conference will be held from July 25 to July 29, 2018.
When are the applications due for the next Young Köniswinter Conference?
Applications are due March 31, 2018.
Where should my materials be sent?
The Application Form, a CV and a 300 to 500-word Letter of Motivation may be sent to headoffice[at]debrige.de.
How can I contact the Deutsch-Britische Gesellschaft e.V.?
You may contact the DeBriGe by emailing headoffice[at]debrige.de.
Do I need to know how to speak German?
No, it is not required. The working language of the conference is English.
May I be accompanied to the conference?
No spouses, significant others, or friends will be included in any part of the conference.
If chosen, what kind of activities might be part of the conference?
Most parts of the conference are dedicated to discussions in three thematic working groups and panels. Events vary every year, past activities have included visits to the German Bundestag, the Federal Ministry of Finance, a concert and reception at the Würth Haus Berlin, a dinner at the British Ambassador’s Residence, an evening hosted by the Federal Foreign Office, and a boat trip through the historical centre of Berlin.
If chosen, what are my responsibilities?
Each participant is asked to actively take part in the working group sessions at the Young Königswinter Conference. For each of the three working groups, one British and one German participant will be asked to give a short introduction into the respective working group topics. You will be notified by the DeBriGe in advance of the conference. A further participant will be asked to write the Young Königswinter Conference Report.
If accepted as participant, do I need to attend all days of the programme?
Yes, we expect our participants to attend the whole programme of the Conference. If, however, circumstances do not allow for that, please contact us as soon as possible.
I live in Berlin, do I need to stay in the hotel during the days of the programme which take place in my city?
The core of the Young Königswinter Conference is an intensive group experience. We therefore prefer that all participants stay with the group at the hotel during the whole time of the programme. If, however, that is not be possible for you, please let us know as soon as possible.
How will I be accommodated?
As the beds at the Conference venue are very limited, please be prepared to be accommodated in a twin room. In case you prefer to stay in another hotel on your own account instead, please contact us for accommodation alternatives.
Does the Young Königswinter Conference Team provide child care service?
No. However, the Königswinter Conference is willing and open to discuss options regarding local child care services for parenting participants. If this is the case, we advise successful candidates to notify us at the earliest date possible to discuss and make the appropriate arrangement.
What will happen after the Young Königswinter Conference participation?
Participants will be given the opportunity to continue to remain actively connected through the network of the Young Königswinter Alumni. Beyond the project duration, Young Königswinter alumni remain involved in an active alumni network and will get the opportunity to build connections with the following programme generations.
If you are based in Berlin and interested in joining regular talks and discussions on German-British and EU topics you should consider membership in Deutsch-Britische Gesellschaft. Please click here for more information.