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We, the former Presidents and President of the Youth of the European People’s Party, which was founded under the guidance of the late President of the European People’s Party, Wilfried Martens, in 1997, express our heartfelt condolences upon his passing on Wednesday, 9th October 2013.

President Martens was a true European. He believed in ensuring the voice of the youth of Europe was to the fore in all decisions. We will be forever grateful to the opportunities he gave us, along with a listening ear for our ideas. A brave statesman, a gentleman and giant of European politics. We will deeply miss him.

Requiescat in pace.

Fredrik Reinfeldt
YEPP, Founding President 1997-1999

Michael Hahn
YEPP, President 1999-2001

Rutger-Jan Hebben
YEPP, President 2001-2003

Daniel Bautista
YEPP, President 2003-2005

David Hansen
YEPP, President 2005-2007

Yannis Smyrlis
YEPP, President 2007-2009

Laurent Schouteten 
YEPP, President 2009-2011

Csaba Domotor
YEPP, President 2011-2013

Konstantinos Kyranakis
YEPP, President

Read the letter.

 
YEPP-Christophe Hansen

I am proud that Christophe Hansen, our active YEPP member from CSJ, is running for National elections in Luxembourg. I know him for his inspiring commitment to the European project, the Common Agricultural Policy and youth employment measures. Christophe, always on the side of PM Juncker was raising CSJ's voice in Europe, and the European voice in Luxembourg. As member of the YEPP Brussels Group, he has proven that young politicians can be very effective and strong when they set common goals.
 
I wish him the best of luck for the Elections on the 20th of October!

 
"I left my soul behind, open up".

 
In the early hours of this morning, for the 39th year in a row, Cyprus was awoken by the familiar but awful sound of war sirens.  They go on every year on the same day and time, on the sad anniversary of the Turkish invasion on the island. 
 
The 14th of August 1974 was one more day that marked the turbulent timeline of our small but historic island-nation.  Following the first phase of the Turkish invasion on the 20th July of that year, 40000 Turkish troops raided the northern part of the island.  Not able to be stopped by the 12000 strong Greek and Cypriot army, they occupied 36% of Cypriot territory.  Thousands were killed or are still missing today, in despair of their loved ones.  The invasion, and ongoing occupation, dislocated hundreds of thousands of people from their homes making them refugees within their own country.  Among them, my twenty-year old parents who fled their homes taking nothing in search of a shelter from the bombs, and had to start their adult lives in refugee camps.  Today, 39 years later, they have yet to be allowed to return to that little place they called home. 
 
A tragic, constant reminder of Turkey’s violation to our basic right of self-determination is the huge Turkish flag that provocatively decorates the mountainside of “Pentadaktylos”, a mountain range in the north. 
 

 

This summer, during the warmest days of the year, while millions of young Europeans are partying hard at the beach holding colorful cocktails, some others, less tanned, are holding switched on microphones instead. They are called young politicians.
 
Their friends are asking them why they choose this instead of relaxing. Instead of tagging their feet in front of blue waves, they’re instagramming teams of talented teenagers in blue t-shirts training themselves to become better debaters. Why? There is no answer to that question. Being active in student and youth politics for 9 years on, I can say with certainty that you only get your answer when you are part of it.
 
The last 2 months I've taken part in events organized by YEPP members in almost every European country. In Norway, Austria, Germany and Luxembourg they are getting ready for national elections in September and October. In Portugal and Estonia they are preparing for local ones in the same months. In Greece, Hungary, Finland and Cyprus new youth leaderships are elected and ready to join the YEPP family while Swedes, Belgians, Lithuanians and Irish are organizing summer schools and summer debates. In Italy, Serbia and Latvia they are building new youth organizations to cope with the current political challenges.
 

 

Our newest member of YEPP, the Hungarian Youth Council of Romania (MIERT), hosted the 10th Edition of their EU Camp in Marosfő, Romania. New Europe Now! Let’s build it together! - was more than the motto of the event. Young members of the parliament, MEP`s and more than 150 young participants took the future of Europe into their own hands. They discussed political issues, made sports and celebrated together for one week.
 

 
Photo: Frank Visser meeting Ukrainian Ambassador to The Netherlands HE dr. Olexander Horin

This article is my first blog for the website of the Youth of the European People’s Party (YEPP). As elected board member I want to work on three political issues in the upcoming period: freedom of religion, fighting democratic deficit of the EU and further democratisation in Eastern Europe. With the Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius (Lithuania) ahead it is whorth to work on this subject and focus on the involved countries, in this article Ukraine.
 
Ukraine gained independence after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and has since veered between seeking closer integration with Western Europe and reconciliation with Russia, which supplies most of the country's energy.[1]
 
Second President of the country Leonid Kuchma was focused to the Russian Federation during his time in office. During the years, opposition to Kuchma grew and led to the ‘Orange Revolution’ in 2004[2] and brought the pro-Western Viktor Yuschenko and Yulia Tymoshenko in charge.
 

 

 
“We cannot be the next generation if we take it for granted. No great generation was born without fighting hard for it. But I am optimistic. I believe you can be the next great generation, because YEPP is now much more than a group of talented individuals, it is now a great community of committed people willing to fight for each other.”

 
Colm Lauder, YEPP, Deputy Secretary General, Ireland, Fine Gael

A sizeable number of delagates from the wider YEPP family attended the 2013 Congress of Mlada Slovenija as invited guests. The event was held in the beautiful Alpine town of Bled. I had the honour to represent YEPP at this event and was pleased to get the opportunity to address our Slovenian colleagues on Saturday, 2nd March during their statutory congress. I am very grateful for the kind invitation from MSi and for the chance to attend such a successful, and enjoyable, congress.
 
Below is a copy of the speech I gave on behalf of YEPP:
 
Dear Friends, dear YEPP colleagues,
It is a great pleasure to address you here at beautiful town of Bled. I am delighted to get the opportunity to address you as a member of the Irish government party, Fine Gael, but on behalf of Europe’s largest and most influential political youth organisation, YEPP. An organisation that proudly had Mlada Slovenija as members since 2003. I am particularly proud to be able to address you during the term of the Irish Presidency of the Council of the European Union. A presidency where youth policies are to the fore.
 

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