On September 5-8, 2019, in Annecy, France, at the Centre des Pensières, took place the Third Aspen Seminar for Young European Leaders, jointly organized by Aspen Initiative for Europe, Aspen Institute France and Aspen Institute Germany.

The Seminar brought together approximately 25 participants, aged 25-35, from all over the world.

Three fellows of the Aspen Institute Romania’s Young Leaders Program were selected to attend the seminar: Haris Bilalović (Aspen fellow 2017, host and editor Radio and Television of Bosnia and Herzegovina – BHRT), Rodica Pirău (Aspen fellow 2018, Strategic Change Lead Nordea, Denmark) and Mariana Trifonova (Aspen fellow 2018, Senior Analyst Economic Policy Institute – Sofia, Bulgaria).

In the classic Aspen fashion, the seminar was based on readings by prominent European and non-European authors from various fields. With these texts as a springboard, the discussions addressed topical issues, explored common values and timeless questions and ultimately examined how a young generation should engage with European ideals today.

Haris Bilalović:
What a privilege it was to be surrounded with so many outstanding and dedicated fellow Europeans. I am convinced that AYEL in Annecy convinced us all that we belong to a cohort which has a rather serious and responsible task ahead. Insightful exchange, thought provoking reads and substantial networking are best guarantee we shall cooperate in making Europe and its project prosperous and long lived. AYEL was an inspirational call for action which this generation next will be glad and ready to answer!

Rodica Pirău:
The seminar was a great forum where we, a diverse group of passionate people, discussed at length why Europe is facing these challenging times, how could/should it look in the future to serve the needs of its people, and what can we do to support redesigning the European model.

Mariana Trifonova:
AYEL was a challenging yet enriching and thought-provoking experience. I was humbled by the honor of representing the Aspen Romania community and grateful to the organizers from Aspen France & Aspen Germany.
It was a true pleasure to discuss the values that should build the Europe of tomorrow in the company of 25 young transatlantic leaders whose energy, intelligence and dedication, if leveraged collectively, could help pave the way towards brighter European future.