Click the link on the right to access the full report
In a week when the British parliament was once again struggling to find a way out of the Brexit deadlock, almost 60 of the brightest young minds in Europe gathered nearby with a more positive agenda: seeking to harness the potential of collective power and secure support for liberal values in the European Parliament elections in May.
Topics over the three-day seminar of European Young Leaders ranged from climate change to renewed superpower space rivalries; social innovation to the future of financial structures in the digital age. Brexit, unavoidably, loomed large. Speakers made clear that the sense of anger and alienation that led the British to reject the European Union is mirrored by voter dissatisfaction across Europe fuelling support for populist movements.
Young leaders stressed the need for new ideas to reverse the trend of voter indifference or irritation and inspire Europeans to reject retrograde populism. They discussed the type of leadership Europe requires and lamented the failure of established politicians to raise to the challenge of these troubled times. There was a recurring sense that everybody has to take responsibility for change; that no action is too small, either at individual or community level; and that long-term thinking is essential for a safe future.
The London seminar held from March 14- 16 was the latest under the annual EYL40 programme co-launched by Friends of Europe in 2011 to bring together 40 of Europe’s most promising talents under 40.