Click the link on the right to access the full report
The Warsaw European Young Leaders seminar focused on present challenges and future solutions, but the past cast a long shadow.
Opening sessions were held in the Palace of Culture and Science, a towering reminder of Soviet rule, and the seminar closed after an inspirational meeting with Holocaust survivor, Marian Turski, who shared his experiences of rise of Nazism and warned the Young Leaders not to take their freedom for granted. In between, the seminar explored contemporary issues stemming from the roots of populism and the meaning of “European values” in the 21st century, to cybersecurity and ocean pollution.
Held under the heading of ‘Make or Break Europe’, the Warsaw meeting was the first for the European Young Leaders class of 2018, who brought experience in fields ranging from politics, business and civil society to astrophysics, architecture and the military. The seminar included a public engagement session, bringing in members of the Warsaw public to join the Young Leaders for a brainstorm on concrete measures to restore trust between voters and politicians.
Recommendations that emerged from this session included: a call for more voter control over local-authority spending through participatory budget planning; stimulating political education from an early age; and more purposeful engagement between politicians and the public at local level.
The European Young Leaders (EYL40) programme was launched in 2012, with the goal of bringing together 40 of Europe’s brightest minds every year - aged 40 and under - to debate challenges facing the continent and search for solutions. The programme was initially conceived by Friends of Europe in partnership with EuropaNova.