WYA Europe Holds Successful 2021 ELC

November 23, 2021 – From November 15th to 17th 2021, the World Youth Alliance (WYA) Europe in collaboration with WYA Germany successfully hosted the 10th Emerging Leaders Conference (ELC) in person in the European Headquarters (Brussels).

The ELC is an annual event hosted by WYA Europe, which seeks to bring together young leaders, active members and youth advocates from across Europe to interact with policy makers, experts and leaders on current global issues. It also provides young individuals with special training on programs in those areas to give them the adequate tools to make a difference in their own communities. Known for its intimate forum for dialogue, as well as intellectual formation via lectures and discussions, the ELC fosters a meaningful network of friendships based on a shared vision of the human person.

Following the successful 9th, first virtual edition of the ELC in November 2020, WYA Europe and WYA Germany were delighted to organize the 10th jubilee edition of the in-person project, sponsored by the Erasmus+ programme. This year’s conference theme was “Human Dignity Debate in the European Parliament“. Youth from 9 European countries and 10 partner organizations participated in the event. The main aim of the event was to empower youth in understanding human rights and human dignity, and raise their awareness about the importance of civil advocacy knowledge. During the project activity, youth gained knowledge about how to get involved in advocacy processes and prepare strategies that will help them and other youth to be informed about the EU institutions, human rights, as well as youth dialogue and youth policies. Throughout the entire event, as well as the “Meet Your MEP” session, the participants got an opportunity to meet several Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), assistants to the MEPs, as well as other employees of European institutions, who gave them a better insight in the Development of EU Politics and Human Rights and answered their questions on the current topics.

Right from the first day, the participants had an opportunity to learn more about the project and methodology, Youthpass, and to get to know each other during the icebreakers. Furthermore, they participated in a workshop about the work of the European Parliament. Finally,the day was concluded with a session on simulation of the European Parliament (Reflecting on the Human Dignity Debate in the EP) and reflection of learning outcomes. WYA would like to express our gratitude to our partner, Minerva University and, especially, the Regional Outreach Manager Antonia Boorman, for the interactive and practical Leadership workshop held on the Monday.

During the second day of the project activity, the participants learned a lot about Youth, Health and Education in the EU during the panel discussion with Mr. Mislav Barišić (WYA Policy and Research Specialist for Europe), Mr. Emilio Dogliani (COMECE Policy Adviser for Culture, Education and Youth), and Ms. Margarita de la Pisa Carrión (Member of the European Parliament). In a follow up session, the participants worked in small groups and discussed the European Parliament Youth Resolution. The resolution elaborates on the topic of Future of Youth in the European Union. This was an opportunity for our young participants to offer their experienced and argumented suggestions. In this way they practiced advocacy work directly to the European Parliament, for an empowerment of the EU Youth, in the post-pandemic employment and social recovery. Another productive day finished with the reflection of learning outcomes and a great evening to share experineces and thoughts of this international group. We are very thankful to Lodzkie House for hosting the second and third day of the event in their beautiful venue.

The last day of the Emerging Leaders Conference was dedicated to the European institutions. The day started with a visit to the Parlamentarium, followed by meetings with the Members of the European Parliament. That time was dedicated to discussions about policy making, current issues and topic of the EP and offering proposals of the youth in important matters. The project activity was wrapped up with concluding dissemination plans, final evaluation and reflection on the day’s activities. During the three days of intensive learning activities, we were delighted to see our participants becoming equipped with knowledge and skills to effectively articulate, promote and defend human dignity in all areas of policy. To celebrate their achievements and success of these incredible three days, the event was closed with an official Closing Ceremony.

If you have any further questions, please contact us at germany@wya.net and/or europe@wya.net. More information about this project and the ones to come as a result can be found on Social Media of WYA Europe Facebook (@WYAEurope) and Instagram (@wyaeurope) as well as WYA Germany (facebook.com/WYAGermany and instagram.com/wya_germany/).