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Fall in for dialogue!

Young leaders from the military and police are seeking dialogue in the Alpbach symposia.

No doubt they stand out from the crowd visually. But that shouldn’t distract from the fact that the recruits from the Theresian Military Academy are visibly enjoying Alpbach. “Right from the first day we found so much to interest us. And we were able to get rid of one or two prejudices”, says Yassin Al-Rawi, who is just emerging from a seminar. “People often know very little about what we do. That’s why we have a lot of discussions between the seminars and explain some things.”

Mit den Studierenden der Militärakademie: Phillippe Narval, Geschäftsführer des Europäischen Forums Alpbach (Foto: EFA17)

Dialogue between civil society and executive As a scholarship-holder, he and three fellow students of the Academy are gathering knowledge about China’s Silk Road plans, the violent past in South Africa and Turkish foreign policy. “This year’s general theme suits us really well”, explains Yassin. “In Austria’s areas of operation it’s important to gain a good overview of the conflicts and think in a pan-European way.”

Cooperation is the order of the day when the young cadets meet the four participating police trainees. “Uniform connects”, admit Yassin and his fellow student Lukas Wieland, laughing. For them, close contact between police and military is crucial. But recent conflict situations have also shown how important cooperation between civil society and the executive is, the two students point out. The Seminar Week offers plenty of opportunities for dialogue. Lukas and Yassin sum up their experiences after two days in Alpbach: “We’re enthused by how open the people are here. They approach each other. That must be the Spirit of Alpbach.”