About the department

Come together to create Europe!
L'Europe naît de la rencontre !

Looking back on 60 years of history, we define our French-German and European activities at the Academy as intercultural and European political education.Participants in our events take a joint look at European and global issues, develop common prospects for the future and learn from and about similarities and differences between different countries and their cultures.Our seminars are especially designed for young adults in vocational training or general education and for information disseminators (civil society actors, teaching staff, students). We pursue the goal of promoting political and civic awareness among the participants and of encouraging them to participate in political life. For this purpose, our educational work combines our specialist knowledge in the fields of content, didactics and methodology with the proficiency of a large team of external experts and institutional partner organizations.Our seminars feature learning methods based on action and experience, a critical approach to European issues and the opportunity of getting to know Europe “on site” by visiting the European Institutions.The department's thematic focuses are as follows:

  • intercultural learning
  • common European values
  • (work-related) mobility in Europe
  • Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) in the European Union and its challenges for farmers and consumers
  • growing nationalism and Euroscepticism in Europe
  • intercultural education with a view to sustainable development


Christian Kiefer, M.A., Director of Studies
Degree in political science, law and International Relations at the University of Erfurt, University of Kent, University Jaume I and University of Warsaw
Contact: 0049 6873 662-486, kiefer(at)eao-otzenhausen.de

Sophia Rickert M.A., Director of Studies
Degree in Franco-german studies, transnational communication and cooperation in Saarbrücken and Metz // Intercultural education, migration and multilinguism in Karlsruhe
Contact: 0049 6873 662-446, rickert(at)eao-otzenhausen.de

Event formats

Our department offers French-German and multinational events  directed at various target groups including the following:

  • intercultural European youth meetings for young adults in vocational training or general education
  • training for information disseminators
  • conferences and colloquia directed at both experts and the interested general public

We design the events and run them in cooperation with partners and experts from schools and with partner organizations from the fields of non-school European and intercultural education.

French-German and multinational youth meetings for young adults

Our department offers youth meetings for young adults in vocational training from France and Germany and multinational encounters for young adults in vocational training or general education from all over Europe.

The promotion of the French-German relations and cooperation, especially among younger generations, is and has always been one of the main focuses of our educational approach since the foundation of the Academy. One of the main partners and sponsors of our French-German activities is the Franco-German Youth Office.

Regardless of the participants’ origin and the events' thematic focus, enhancing the participants' intercultural knowledge and competency plays a central role at our youth meetings. We use language animation and a number of formal and non-formal elements to enhance the special character of the seminars (run in the form of meetings) and foster successful exchange.

In these bicultural and multicultural contexts, the participants study topical European issues in detail, obtain basic background information, form their own opinion and develop their argumentation and debating skills, using the example of current topics.

Apart from promoting social competencies such as the ability to work in a team, a sense of responsibility, adaptability and the development of self-initiative, we aim to strengthen the participants' civic awareness through civic and political education, critical reflection and joint action at our seminars.

In order to achieve these objectives, we use the following methods of non-formal education:

  • communication-based methods: interaction, dialogue, mediation
  • action-based methods: experience, practice
  • focus on social skills: partnership, teamwork, networking
  • self-directed methods: creativity, discovery, responsibility
  • participatory methods: focus on the participants' requirements

As a rule, our youth meetings last six to eight days and, in addition to the parts of the programme carried out at the European Academy, include thematic excursions. When visiting Strasbourg, Luxembourg or Frankfurt, the participants get a better idea of the European institutions and can discuss with decision-makers "on site". In addition, we select companies or civil society initiatives etc. relevant to the seminar theme in order to permit the participants to obtain first-hand information about their work and to exchange ideas "on site".

Training for information disseminators
Vivre pour pouvoir faire vivre !
This is the motto of the training courses we organize for information disseminators from the formal educational sector (schools, universities, non-school educational institutions) and the field of youth information and education (NGOs) from Germany, France and third countries. The themes of our continuing education courses include teaching European policy through projects and imparting intercultural competency.

At these training courses, the participants experience an intercultural encounter themselves, enhance their knowledge of the respective seminar theme, are introduced to the latest methods in the field of project-related European education and/or intercultural communication and can apply and reflect on them. Working discussions at European institutions and lectures by renowned specialists complement the programme.

Conferences and colloquia

We regularly organize conferences and colloquia on topical issues associated with French-German relations and European policies in cooperation with other institutional partners from the French-German sector. These events target both specialists and members of the interested public.

  • French-German Dialogue
    The French-German Dialogue has been a highlight in this field since 1999. It is an annual forum for discussion that consolidates debates about the future of Europe, which basically take place nationally, through an innovated and productive French-German and European dialogue outside the government level. Since 2014, the organizers have decided to focus especially on life in border regions because the reality but also the problems of Europe as a common living space become particularly evident in these areas.

Cooperation partners

Our department cooperates with various partners:

Educational institutions focusing on vocational training and general education in the following countries:














Civil society organisations in a French-German and European context:

Institutional partners and foundations committed to French-German and European cooperation:

Publications and downloads

Europäische Akademie Otzenhausen gGmbH
Christian Kiefer
Europahausstraße 35
66620 Nonnweiler
Kontakt: 0049 6873 662-486
Fax: 0049 6873 662-350
eMail:  kiefer(at)eao-otzenhausen.de