ALDE Party’s youth wing LYMEC hosted its second digital Spring Congress on 23-24 April, with delegates from more than 62 youth organisations from all over Europe coming together to adopt a common political focus for the Conference on the Future of Europe, 15 resolutions on civil rights in Ukraine, democracy in Belarus, CO2 taxes, education, vaccination policies, to name just a few, and to welcome a new full member, Naša Stranka Youth from Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The Congress opened with a series of speeches from liberal leaders.
Antoaneta Asenova, LYMEC President, took the opportunity to stress the importance of youth participation as part of the Conference on the Future of Europe:
“Now is not the time to long for a time lost in the past. It is not time to come back to the former normality. It is time to roll up our sleeves and insist on the Europe of the future, the way we want to see it. It is time to switch to a Union state of mind and I expect all of you to be active on that. LYMEC is here for you.”
ALDE Party President, Hans van Baalen highlighted LYMEC’s role in generating more force and energy within the liberal family:
“LYMEC should be a mirror for us. When we are too slow, when we are too bureaucratic, they should pressure us.”
President of the European Liberal Forum, Hilde Vautmans MEP warned the audience against the menace of populist illiberal movements:
“It is now that populists, masked under the veil of liberation, are trying to restrict freedom in Europe in the most dangerous ways. They are trying to downgrade and potentially reverse the work and achievements of the past generations whose intelligent and creative spirit allowed us to live in our own continent without borders with an immense cultural diversity and freedom.”
Renew Europe President, Dacian Cioloş highlighted his group’s role in voicing and addressing the concerns of young people in Europe, such as the Green Deal, education, youth unemployment and more:
“When we think about the Future of Europe and how to renew Europe we need to think about the new generations.”
Former European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström also addressed the Congress, underlining the role young leaders play in the post-pandemic world and what they can do when it comes to defending our environment and democracies:
“You young liberals have to be watchdogs. I know you are not silent, and I know these are important to you. You must continue to lead and push your mother parties, the ALDE Party and others, and play an important part in the political debate.”