The Youth European Leadership Workshops (YELW) combined with Eat & Meet, and the European Council Forum (ECF) provide European students and young professionals the leadership skills, intercultural knowledge, exposure, and key tools necessary to tackle global challenges throughout their careers. These unique events focus on individual empowerment and aim to engage young people on all levels: local, global, and virtual.
The individual empowerment is very important as it often takes a leading person for a group to make the first and decisive steps ahead.
Tillmann Heidelk, President, Young European Leadership
Events took place in Brussels from the 3rd to the 8th of March, gathering 30 participants from around the world. The YELW included sessions on public speaking and negotiation skills, while Eat & Meet allowed young people to meet with policy-makers over dinner. During the YELW, participants networked with their counterparts and practiced their public speaking and negotiation skills. Similarly, the participants had the opportunity to acquire practical skills, meet European leaders such as Karl Falkenberg, Director General of DG Environment, European Union, representatives of the NATO as well as simulate the European Council meetings. One participant, Erduan Musliji (Switzerland) mostly enjoyed meeting international decision-makers: “having the opportunity to learn directly from NATO employees about the organization and discuss and question them on different topics was very interesting”.
Preparing young Europeans for their professional life
Participating at the conference helped Daniel Marchi (Germany) immensely. “Dreaming about becoming a diplomat, I learned a lot and became aware of my negotiation style as well as my weak points. I will definitely benefit from these lessons in the long run”. Daniel also liked the fact that each nation’s representative had the opportunity to express their opinion and learn how to speak in front of large groups. Through valuable experience in public speaking, young people can improve their rhetoric while becoming acquainted with the most diverse cultures and viewpoints. Finally, many participants, like Sophia Clementi (Italy) who leads the delegation of the European Union at the Y20 Summit 2014 in Australia thought the networking aspect of the events was one of the most important. “There were many young people from all across Europe who have similar interests and most importantly a similar drive to create change in the future. It is really important to create a network of these individuals to facilitate future initiatives and the events in Brussels did just that”.
The European Council Forum consists in a simulation game, in which young Europeans are supposed to simulate the work of the European Council as closely as possible. Like the “real” Council, divided into several groups, the participants worked on specific topics such as shale gas and Italy’s future in the Eurozone. The goal of each group was to agree on the law and address the problem.