2012 – Forum on participation
On September 9th 1962, the French president Charles de Gaulle held a speech in the courtyard of the Palace of Ludwigsburg. In this ground-breaking address, he cemented the political reconciliation between France and Germany. On the occasions of the 50th anniversary of the event, the Franco-German Institute and Ludwigsburg organised a forum for young people on participation in Europe. The project included an online phase, in which around 30 groups from France, Germany and other European countries worked on specific issues relating to climate change, the debt crisis, migration and demographic change. The project concluded with a conference in Ludwigsburg prior to the official ceremony with the Federal chancellor Angela Merkel and President François Hollande at the palace on September 22nd 2012. At the conference, representatives from each group reflected on ways in which young people could become involved in dealing with the challenges facing Europe. A jointly produced text, the Ludwigsburg Initiative, was presented to the ministers for European affairs, Bernard Cazeneuve and Michael Link, and the MEPs Sylvie Goulard and Andreas Schwab at the concluding public panel discussion.