Each year, the European Commission's Directorate General for Education and Culture (DG EAC) organises the EU-US Young Leaders Seminar, where around 50 young leaders from Europe and the US come together to discuss a key topic or challenge facing the EU and US. This year's event occurred in Brussels on 3-5 April 2023 with the topic "Active Civic Participation",
Participants included current beneficiaries of the US Fulbright program, students and alumni of Erasmus Mundus and Marie Skłodowska-Curie programs, and representatives from the European Commission, the European Parliament, the US Government, and private sector actors.
These are testimonials of some of the thirteen EMA members present at the seminar.
Segismundo García Valverde, EMA CR for Spain “Bringing together 25 young leaders from the US and 25 from the EU to discuss relevant topics for three days is the spirit behind the EU-US Young Leaders Seminar held yearly in Brussels. I was lucky enough to be invited to join its 6th edition and will definitely not forget it. During these three intense days, we had the chance to listen to experts in democracy and civic participation. We were honoured with the presence and inspiring speeches of Donna Brazile, a living legend of USA politics and Othmar Karas, the current First Vice-President of the EU Parliament. It was extremely enriching to debate hot topics concerning our societies such as peace and security, the environment, technological innovation and human rights. I believe there is a bright future ahead for our transatlantic and diverse network of inspired young people that will shape the future of democracy.”
Juan José Luis Delgado, EMA member
“I had the pleasure to attend the 6th Edition of the EU US Young Leaders Seminars, thanks to the Erasmus Mundus Association. This was a very enriching experience where I was able to learn more about civic engagement, hear the extraordinary stories of many civil society leaders, as well as receiving training from them. It was also a unique opportunity to discuss transatlantic relations and network with other participants from the US and the EU”
Melanie Steentjes, EMA member
“I was lucky enough to be invited to attend the 6th annual EU-US Young Leaders Seminar in Brussels. Together with a total of 25 US and 25 EU participants we heard from inspiring speakers during the panels and discussed plenty of topics on environment, peace and security and technological innovations, with the overarching theme 'Democracy and Civic Participation'. We were able to exchange ideas, share our experiences and strengthen transatlantic bonds as we learned about the similarities and contrasts between Europe and the United States. I left the Seminar not just with a ton of ideas and new connections, but also with the certainty that by working together, we can effect real change and address challenges on both sides of the Atlantic.
I am very grateful to Erasmus Mundus Association for selecting me to represent EMA and my master Europubhealth, together with my fellow EPHSA Europubhealth members Dr Sander de Souza, MD and Federica Castellana. Big thanks also to the Delegation of the European Union to the United States, the U.S. Department of State, European Commission, the German Marshall Fund of the United States, the Commission for Educational Exchange between the U.S., Belgium and Luxembourg, The Fulbright Program, and the Erasmus Mundus Association for making this event possible!”
Federica Castellana, EMA member
“The EU-US Young Leader Seminar has been an inspiring and amazing experience. I knew that I would learn new things about Active Civic Participation and the Transatlantic Partnership between the EU and the US. Still, more than these, I met extraordinary people, and we had the possibility to exchange our ideas, our views, and our knowledge. The panellists gave different perspectives on the topics discussed, and some of them were able to motivate and inspire at the same time. I felt that they were giving us strength and hope for the future, encouraging us to do more and we can create changes in the community. It has been an opportunity to network and be more aware of the power of civic participation and the meaning and importance of democracy. ”