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Date : Tuesday, 14 May 2019
Date : Wednesday, 15 May 2019
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Date : Saturday, 25 May 2019
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Energy, Environment and Climate
Date: Thursday, 14 March 2019 12:30 - Saturday, 16 March 2019 15:00

Venue: Contact Organizer

The first meeting of the EYL class of 2019 will take place during one of the most crucial and defining years for the European project thus far. The United Kingdom plans to leave the European Union only two weeks after this seminar is held. that will -symbolically- take place in London. The way Europe deals with that loss in the following months and years to come will be essential for its endurance. On the ubiquitous question ‘Does Europe Matter?’ the European population will voice their opinion during the European elections only eight weeks after the young leaders meet for the first time. 

Against this backdrop, the seminar will be given added gravity as we examine our understanding of the European project and assess its strengths and weaknesses as well as our expectations for the future of the Union. However, this much needed debate is in danger of revolving around a narrow dichotomy: pro-Europeans versus Eurosceptics.  

In an era in which we are facing global issues that demand quick and effective collective action, such as climate change, migration and growing inequalities, politicians appear to be distracted and paralysed by polarisation. The once omnipresent trust in the rational and stable middle ground of deliberative party politics is disappearing, with people instead opting for strong emotions, populistic rhetoric and big personalities. 

In a fast-paced world, which is the perfect breeding ground for insecurity and anxiety, one would think people would crave stability, maturity and dignity in global affairs and public policies. Instead, antagonistic narratives seem to be the only way of conceiving the vote. The political debate has been highjacked by alt-, hard- and far right movements that instigate high-tension debates, in which more moderate voices are losing power and influence. This results in hostile debates between groups in societies, as recently shown in France with the Gilets Jaunes, where raw emotion and occasional violence are no exception. 

What is the glue binding Europe together for the future?  How can we convince people of a common purpose, enabling them to be better connected in their needs and concerns? How can we convince people of the notion of a common good? How do we make sure that people ignore what needs to be ignored and keep their eye on the (common) price?

The London seminar is the first of a series of meetings which form the foundation of the 2019 edition of the European Young Leaders’ programme, and its themes have been chosen to reflect the core work of Friends of Europe for this year and into the future. Many of the ideas generated in this seminar will feed into the 2019 workstream of our Europe Matters programme and provide the basis for a series of wider follow-up debates via our online platform Debating Europe and its 3.5 million strong community of citizens. #EUevents



All Dates

  • From Thursday, 14 March 2019 12:30 to Saturday, 16 March 2019 15:00

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