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Without decisive action, the allure of populism and apathy among mainstream voters’ risks turning next year’s European Parliament election into another stepping stone for anti-European nationalism. Throughout 2018, European Young Leaders have been seeking solutions to defend European values and inspire a fightback at the upcoming May election.
At their spring seminar in Warsaw, European Young Leaders listened to an inspirational message from Holocaust survivor Marian Turski on the dangers of taking freedom for granted. The autumn gathering in Malta debated concrete examples from Switzerland, the Netherlands and Malta of citizens and politicians thwarting populist ambitions by standing up for liberal values. It produced calls for more direct democracy and ethical social media campaigns.
This year’s European Young Leaders & Alumni meeting in Brussels drew on those debates with a focus on the EP elections, searching for means to persuade more Europeans to vote, and to vote for politicians that support a European future.