On 22-24 October, the European Liberal Youth (LYMEC), ALDE Party’s youth wing, hosted its first in-person Congress since the pandemic started almost two years ago. Delegates from more than 40 youth organisations from all over Europe came together in Paris and adopted 20 resolutions on key topics, such as mental health, foreign policy, freedom of expression, climate change and enlargement, among others. They also voted on the delegates that will represent the organisation at the next ALDE Party Congress and welcomed a new full member, USR Tineret (Romania).
The Congress started with a series of speeches from liberal leaders that highlighted key issues for European liberals, including the Conference on the Future of Europe, the breakdown on European values taking place in some European countries such as Poland and the promotion of female leadership.
Antoaneta Asenova-Bihlmayer, LYMEC President, praised the organisation’s determination to continue its activity through the difficult times of the pandemic:
“It is our profound belief that it is our role as young liberals that we set an example, that we learn to truly appreciate the time we have together, that we take nothing for granted, that we are an empathetic generation that feels for the human cost and the pain this pandemic has caused and that we are as determined to discuss and take decisions for our future regardless of the form in so far we do it together.”
Timmy Dooley, ALDE Party acting co-president, warned against the threat that the rise of illiberalism in Europe poses, especially to the youth, and encouraged the delegates not to sit back and take action:
“It is the young people of Europe that will benefit the most by the continuation of the European project, but you will suffer the most if illiberal values creep their way back in.
Ilhan Kyuchyuk MEP, ALDE Party acting co-president, gave participants a little push to apply to the next Alliance Of Her class for young female leaders co-hosted with LYMEC:
“I am pleased that the next year we are expanding our flagship Alliance Of Her programme to host a class with LYMEC to empower young female leaders and to give them better opportunities to work closely with our members of the European Parliament and also members of national parliaments.”
Daniel Kaddik, the European Liberal Forum’s Executive Director, insisted on the threat posed by the rise of illiberalism in the continent:
“Make no mistake, a peaceful united Europe is the exception and not the rule. We need to fight like liberals as has been said not only by our late President Hans van Baalen who is still sorely missed, but we need to keep fighting like liberals to make our vision a reality.
Amanda Kanange, President of the International Federation of Liberal Youth, encouraged delegates to work together for Europe’s future:
“Liberals have always believed in a powerful Europe that holds together and is equipped for the future and has the tools to meet the threats to our continent and deliver solutions to the problems that we know as liberals that we can only deal with them together.”
You can watch the opening speeches for the Congress here.
🎉Happy congress to our youth wing @LYMEC this weekend! #ALDEParty acting co-presidents @ilhankyuchyuk and @timmydooley will share their messages during the event later today #LYMECCongress pic.twitter.com/HELQRCT9oF— ALDE Party (@ALDEParty) October 22, 2021
“Liberals will never accept or be silent when our European values are under attack.” #ALDEParty Acting co-President @ilhankyuchyuk addressing @LYMEC Congress this afternoon #LYMECCongress pic.twitter.com/6PNwtWlmNl— ALDE Party (@ALDEParty) October 22, 2021