Fall 2010 American Marshall Memorial Fellowship Program Comes to a Close
From October 7 – 31, 15 emerging American leaders traveled extensively throughout Europe for 24 days with the Marshall Memorial Fellowship program (MMF). Participants came from 11 states, from Florida to Oregon, and included a Vice President of Public Affairs at Charter One Bank, a Member of the Mississippi House of Representatives, and the Brand Manager at Kraft Foods.
The Fellows spent five days in Brussels, Belgium where they discussed the European Union, NATO, and the economic crisis in Europe, as well as the history and current challenges facing the country. Fellows were then divided into smaller groups to visit one of the three northern European cities (Berlin and Freiburg, Germany; Copenhagen, Denmark), southern European cities (Ankara/Istanbul, Turkey; Madrid, Spain; Thessaloniki, Greece) and eastern European cities (Belgrade, Serbia; Krakow/Warsaw, Poland; and Prague, Czech Republic). Topics of the visits ranged from politics, governmental affairs, and urban and economic development to immigration issues, energy, media, religion, and culture. The program included a variety of site visits and meetings including: the German Reichstag, the Danish Broadcasting Corporation to participate to the Danish version of “Good Morning America”, the Freiburg and Belgrade City Halls, the headquarters of the Turkish political parties AKP and CHP, the Spanish Congress of Deputies, a hike around a Greek mountainous village followed by a traditional “kafeneion” (café), a wine-tasting that explored the effects of the Baden Wine Region on tourism and the economy, a discovery walk of central and eastern Bohemia, and a visit to the Auschwitz Museum in Poland. In each city stop, individual appointments were arranged for Fellows according to their professional interests to facilitate the sharing of best practices across the Atlantic. Fellows had the opportunity to connect with European MMF alumni to foster relationships and strengthen the network of young transatlantic leaders created by the program.
Fellows then reconvened in Paris for the conclusion of the program, which included a meeting with President Nicolas Sarkozy’s cabinet advisor for sustainable development at the French Presidential Palace, a tour of France 24, French International TV news channel, a meeting at the City Hall of Paris on the capital city’s international cooperation, a visit to MEDEF, the French national business confederation on French enterprises in the world, a tour of Universcience on science technology, and a lunch discussion on integration issues in France with a representative for the High Authority for the Struggle Against Discrimination and for Equality (HALDE). Fellows then participated in an evening reception to celebrate the Paris office's 10th anniversary, in the presence of distinguished guests and the European MMF partners and coordinators who gathered for the bi-annual European MMF partners and coordinators meeting that the Paris office organized on Saturday, October 30th.
GMF in particular would like to acknowledge the partnership and support of both the Cleveland Foundation and the Niarchos Foundation on this program. GMF would like also to thank its partners involved in the preparation of this Fall program: ELIAMEP in Greece, GLOPOLIS in Czech Republic, the CIR in Poland, Kristina Treschow in Denmark and two new partnerships with Wiebke Küpper in Freiburg, Germany and the Fundacion Rafael del Pino in Madrid, Spain.