While European heads of state will meet in Brussels at the end of the month for a crucial new summit, 40 young talents from across the EU gathered in Brussels from 7 to 9 June to discuss the future of Europe. Thinking European, working transnationally to promote more integrated European policies, and not being afraid to remain open to the rest of the world—these are some of the core beliefs of the European Young Leaders, a new generation of opinion leaders who will join forces to foster our leaders’ long-term vision. Below are some of the major reflections to emerge from the threeday meeting in Brussels.Re-launching a European economic recovery requires three phases to be undertaken in parallel:
- Short-term growth should be encouraged with greater banking stability, a well thought-out investment plan and greater monetary flexibility;
- In the medium-term, structural reforms should be envisaged, in particular with regard to greater labour flexibility, negotiated on a case by case basis with those involved;
- Our development model should be rethought, with a debate initiated on the meaning of economic growth and of the validity of traditional indicators such as GDP.
Innovation remains a key factor of success for the future of our continent, and many facets of innovation should be encouraged:
- Democratic innovation combining digital technologies and new media to include citizens in the debate and achieve truly transnational objectives;
- Innovation to invent future industries and to create sustainable jobs;
- Innovation in the field of education to better teach young citizens to be open to our globalised world, to be more confident and to be more willing to take risks.
What is at stake is the European Union’s capacity to adapt while its population ages faster than that of the rest of the world. The European Young Leaders want to contribute to inspiring European citizens, so that a new collective trajectory may finally emerge for the European.
This seminar allowed for 40 European participants under the age of 40 to think collectively about the major issues and challenges facing Europe by interacting with key European players such as:
– Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council
– Etienne Davignon, President of Friends of Europe and former Vice President of the European Commission
– Isabelle Durant MEP, Vice President of the European Parliament
– Ferdinando Beccalli-Falco, President and CEO of GE Europe & North Asia and CEO of GE Germany
– Peter Arvai, Co-founder and CEO of Prezi
– Anne Glover, Chief Scientific Advisor to the President of the European Commission
– Heather Grabbe, Director of EU Affairs for the Open Society Foundations
– Anders Flodström, Vice Chairman of the Board of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology
– Sandra Fuentes-Berain, Ambassador of Mexico to the EU
– Stephan Singer, Director of Global Energy Policy at the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)
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