On June 21 and 22, 2022, EU40 – the Network of Young MEPs & MEPs Stelios Kympouropoulos (Greece, EPP), Kira Marie Peter-Hansen (Denmark, Greens/EFA), Marie-Pierre Vedrenne (France, RE), and Alessandra Moretti (Italy, S&D), will host a two-day in-person conference of young local elected politicians from across the European Union. The initiative, which falls under the high patronage of the European Parliament and the European Committee of the Regions, is also supported by the Young Elected Politicians Programme and the European Local Leaders Group.
Taking place in Brussels, the conference will seek to give young politicians, approximately 70 in total, the opportunity to meet their respective European counterparts, to share their ideas and experiences of the local, national, and EU dimensions, and to learn in greater depth how the EU institutions function. The gathering will give the floor to the young elected leaders themselves, facilitating them to have their voices heard, while also allowing different levels of political governance to meet and discuss the pressing issues of the day. The initiative itself was largely inspired by the successes of the Conference on the Future of Europe, and the European Commission instigated “European Year of Youth 2022.” With few specifically youth oriented events planned for this year, the Young Leaders of Europe Conference was deemed to be both a necessary and timely inter-institutional venture.
The two-day event will kick-off on June 21st at 14:30 at the European Committee of the Regions (CoR), during which an assembled panel consisting of MEPs, Mayors and Regional Governors, will engage with the young elected leaders. Senior figures from both the Commission and the CoR will be among those making opening remarks. The theme ‘citizen participation,’ especially as it relates to youth engagement, and how this can foster a sense of democratisation, inspiration, and hope for our future societies, will be the focus point for discussion. A networking cocktail will follow the proceedings later that evening. On the morning of day two, June 22, conference participants will visit the European Parliament, during which further concluding discussions/presentations are planned to take place, including a formal institution tour. The conference will draw to a close that afternoon.