As the crisis in the Eurozone grows and public confidence in the European project diminishes, the role of young leaders in the future of the European Union (EU) becomes increasingly important. The European Young Leaders ‘40 under 40’ programme, led by EuropaNova and Friends of Europe, aims to encourage young, active professionals from different fields to share knowledge and experiences and to forge a new generation of decision-makers capable of constructing a strong position for Europe in a changing world.
Following the Paris seminar in December 2011, the second seminar of the programme took place in Brussels on 7-9 June 2012, with the objective of contextualising current deficiencies and strengths in European policy in the broader context of the economic, environmental and social realities facing Europe in the present and for the future. This three day seminar encouraged the Young Leaders to share their opinions on a variety of key European issues and discuss a new era in EU politics.
“We are looking at the end of an era in European integration,” noted Giles Merritt, Secretary General of Friends of Europe. “The present leaders are unlikely to break out of their moulds, so we need new thinking and fresh leadership.”