The Paris terror attacks in November 2015 were clearly aimed at young Europeans and their way of life. But not only (most of) the victims were young Europeans – so were the perpetrators. The terrorist attacks in Brussels three months later shook up the world of many young people who work or hope to find a place in the ‘Brussels bubble’. They were a wake-up call for the young everywhere in Europe many of whom probably for the first time realised that a peaceful and untroubled future can no longer be taken for granted. Again, the perpetrators were young Europeans. How did Europe get to this point and what can young Europeans do to reclaim their future? How do young people in Europe see their own future and the role they can play to keep our societies open, pluralistic and democratic? How much freedom are they willing to give up for their security? How much security are they willing to give up for their freedom? What will and should European societies look like in ten years’ time? What can Europe learn from the way similar situations are/were handled in other parts of the world?
On 21 June 2016, the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung European Union hosted another Workshop for the Future for young Europeans. This time the participants discussed how to deal with the after effects of the Paris and Brussels attacks and the fear and insecurity they have caused among the young. Together with five expert facilitators the participants worked in small groups to develop strategies on how to shape an open and tolerant society in light of the terrorism threat. With the experts offering insights and advice based on their professional and/or personal experience, the groups worked on questions concerning security, integration, identity and others. A recurring theme was also how to deal with xenophobia as a reaction to the recent migration and refugee flows into Europe. Download the full report for the key findings of the workshop.