19 Sep, 2023

YELL Summit focuses on cultural preservation and revitalisation

Almost 20 young elected liberals from twelve different countries participated in Renew Europe CoR’s Young Elected Local and Regional Leaders Summit, discussing the revitalisation of culture in Europe, technology such as drones and the fight against gender-based violence. 

The Summit was chaired by Dovydas Kaminskas, Mayor of Taurage, Lithuania, and Renew Europe CoR President François Decoster, Mayor of Saint-Omer, France and Vice-President in charge of Culture, Heritage and International Relations for the Hauts-de-France region.  

This year’s YELL participants shared local examples of cultural democracy and how it unites communities to overcome challenges and foster a European identity. 

“Culture is diversity, and diversity is transnational – but also local. If we do not respect our differences and build upon them to overcome them, we risk forgetting our united values. We need to build bridges among us, not walls. The European support being provided to Ukraine is the greatest example of this,” said participant Tadej Marusic. 

“Today we feel European, but we are not in Europe if we think about investment in skills, employment etc. How can we bring these to people in regions? We need to start talking about the problems that really affect people,” added Mariano Scuotri. 

“European culture means Ukraine and the United Kingdom as well. It ranges from books to people to food… And we never should stop promoting values with sister cities. It’s especially important now with the rise of extremists,” highlighted Ramona Gogu. 

Mirja Vehkaperä – Mayor of Oulu in Finland – will look to bring more culture, well-being, jobs and develop their region in a sustainable way as European Capital of Culture in 2026. 

The programme included a consultation on two upcoming European Committee of the Regions reports, covering drones and stopping gender-based violence. Throughout the consultation, participants contributed meaningful experiences and perspectives from their municipalities. 

The YELL Summit took place in Brussels on 14-15 September, and included sessions with LYMEC - European Liberal Youth. 

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