EU-US Young Leaders Seminar


Seminar overview

For the past five years, the Fulbright Commission in Brussels has had the unique opportunity to work with colleagues on both sides of the Atlantic to organize the EU-US Young Leaders Seminar. The event, co-financed by the European Commission and the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, represents a unique opportunity for young leaders from across the United States and the European Union to discuss some of the most important issues facing both sides of the Atlantic.

Since its inception, over 200 alumni of U.S. and EU-funded educational exchange programs have participated in the Young Leaders Seminar. Previous iterations of the seminar have focused on topics such as migration, the future of work, disinformation and media literacy, and the future of cities.

In 2022, the EU-US Young Leaders Seminar will welcome 50 American and European young leaders to discuss the future of democracy.

2022 “The Future of Democracy”

The fifth edition of the EU-US Young Leaders Seminar will take place in person from 27 to 29 April 2022 in Brussels and will focus on “The Future of Democracy”.

The event, co-financed by the European Commission and the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, represents a unique opportunity for young leaders from across the United States of America and the European Union to discuss some of the most important issues facing both sides of the Atlantic. At this year’s seminar, participants will examine threats to democracy in the USA and Europe discuss upholding rule of the law, rebuilding trust in public institutions, and developing a diverse, digitally native civil service. As the 75th anniversary of the Marshall Plan approaches, participants will be challenged to envision the future of the transatlantic relationship through their own Marshall Plan 2.0.

Past seminars

2021 “Future of Cities”

14 to 20 April 2021

From 14 to 20 April 2021, the Fulbright Commission in Brussels facilitated the participation of 20 American alumni of the Fulbright U.S. Student Program and 20 European alumni of EU-funded exchange programs in the 2021 EU-US Young Leaders Seminar on the Future of Cities. During a series of panels and working group meetings, seminar participants discussed the future of cities through the lenses of environment and climate change, technology, diversity and inclusion, and public health and will be invited to present their findings and recommendations to the public. Guest speakers at the 2021 EU-US Young Leaders Seminar included representatives of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Education and Culture, the Bureau of Educational Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, the Delegation of the European Union to the United States, and the U.S. Mission to the European Union as well as subject matter experts from reSITE, Cities Alliance – UNOPS, the International Urban Cooperation Programme, the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, and more.

2019 “Shared Transatlantic Challenges: Disinformation & the Changing Media Landscape”

7 to 10 April 2019

From 7 to 10 April 2019, 27 current American Fulbrighters and 25 European alumni of EU-funded exchange programs came to Brussels for the 2019 EU-US Young Leaders Seminar on “Shared Transatlantic Challenges: Disinformation & the Changing Media Landscape”. Over the course of 2.5 days, this diverse group of participants tackled questions of disinformation, media literacy, and transatlantic cooperation through a carefully curated mixture of large-group presentations panel discussions and small-group, free-form breakout sessions. Three aspects of disinformation and media literacy were addressed by expert panels representing the private sector (including speakers from Facebook, Google, and Mozilla), the public sector (including representatives from EEAS, European Commission DG-CONNECT, and USDOS Brussels Media Hub), and civil society (including representatives from academia and NGOs).

2018 “The Future of Work”

15 to 18 April 2018

From 15 to 18 April 2018, the 2018 EU-US Young Leaders Seminar welcomed fifty young leaders from across the United States and Europe for a discussion on “The Future of Work”. Over the course of the seminar, participants discussed the role of technology in the future of work, the skills of the future workforce, and the social implications of the changing work environment. Guest speakers included representatives of European Commission, the U.S. Mission to the European Union, International Labour Organization, and European Trade Union Confederation. Click here for photos from the 2018 EU-US Young Leaders Seminar.

2017 “Inaugural Seminar”

2 to 5 April 2017

From 2 to 5 April 2017, fifty young leaders from the United States and Europe came together for the first EU-US Young Leaders Seminar to discuss the challenges and opportunities presented by the economic, educational, and cultural integration of migrants and refugees. Guest speakers included representatives from the European Commission, the U.S. Mission to the European Union, the European Economic and Social Committee, DAAD, European Network Against Racism, Migration Policy Institute, and more. Click here for photos from the 2017 EU-US Young Leaders Seminar.


“I left this seminar with a great reminder that there are countless initiatives and young leaders striving to shape better communities and societies and that when we collaborate, we can truly make a significant change.”

— 2017 EU-US Young Leaders Seminar participant