This volume is a collection of papers presented at the Eighth French-German Conference on Optimization held at the University of Trier (Germany) in 1996. From July 21 through July 26, 1996, about 100 scientists, mainly from France and Germany, but also from other countries, met at Trier to discuss recent de- velopments in the field of optimization. 89 lectures were delivered, covering a large range of theoretical and practical aspects of optimization. Most of the talks were scheduled in two parallel sessions, grouped into sections including convex and nonsmooth analysis, methods in convex and nonconvex program- ming, sensitivity and stability analysis, control theory, ill-posed programming problems, equilibrium problems, and global optimization. Continuing an old tradition, the Eighth French-German Conference on Opti- mization demonstrated vividly the vitality of the French-German cooperation in mathematics. The Scientific Committee of the conference consisted of A. Auslender (Paris), H.G. Bock (Heidelberg), S. Dolecki (Dijon), R. Durier (Dijon), J.B. Hiriart- Urruty (Toulouse), H. Th. Jongen (Aachen), D. Klatte (Zurich), B. Kum- mer (Berlin), C. Lemarechal (Rocquencourt), P.Loridan (Paris), C. Mich- elot (Dijon), W. Oettli (Mannheim), D. Pallaschke (Karlsruhe), J.P. Penot (Pau), J. Stoer (Wurzburg), M. Thera (Limoges), L. Thibault (Montpellier), R. Tichatschke (Trier)' J. Zowe (Erlangen).