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On Tuesday 8th May, 2012, EPP President Wilfred Martens invited a group of youth politicians to discuss with him the EPP Manifesto. Such invitations are not that common! So my first reaction was....Mr Martens and the EPP are interested to give the EPP Manifesto a dosage of youth!

To start with, the EPP Manifesto was only 5 or so pages long. This is long enough to keep someone reading but not too long such that someone looses interest. Through reading a manifesto, a person should understand in clear and no uncertain terms what the EPP is all about, what we believe in as a family of European political parties.

Job creation was on top of the list. It remains as of today an issue of concern. I can say however, that in my country, Malta, unemployment has been kept to relatively smaller rates (in the 6% region), but I empathised nonetheless with my European counterparts, such as Spain and Greece. As I discussed with Spanish and Greek representatives, it is clear that the abnormal high unemployment rates are leading to brain drains, forcing students to abondon their beloved nation in seek of better future opportunities.

Juha-Pekka Nurvala's picture

Let me start by thanking the JONG-CD&V for inviting me to their Congress. It was a superbly organised event and I wish all the best to their election campaign! I have not come across similar idea than ‘LOLA’ before and I encourage you all to have a look!
We had a lot of discussions about the local elections, economy and the reforms now underway in Belgium. Overall, I am really happy to see that Belgium has managed to get itself moving after being paralysed by the political crisis that left Belgium with out a government for over a year.
I believe and I think everyone else who attended the meeting shares my belief, that if Belgium implements all the reforms it is now planning and implementing already that it will become a really strong economy again. We were told of the high increase of labour cost compared to Germany that took place during the last ten years and how that has caused some companies to become less competitive. I was really happy to hear that the government is prioritising the competitiveness of Belgium companies since that is where the new jobs are created and wealth produced to the society. I hope that they implement the German type reforms and get at least as good results as Germany did! 


On the 31st May 2012, the Irish citizenry vote on one of the most important referenda of a generation, a vote that could mean the difference economic recovery or pariah status as a nation. This blog entry addresses the importance of Ireland's adoption of the European Fiscal Stability Treaty.
Ireland needs certainty. Irish businesses need certainty. International investors need to have certainty in Ireland. The upcoming referendum on the European Fiscal Stability Treaty, while not perfect, provides that certainty. It provides reassurance, a sort of guarantee that if worst came to worst, Ireland has options and a viable route to recovery.
The rejection of EFS Treaty will provide only confusion, uncertainty and fear - exactly what those on the 'No' side want to capitalise on for their own political gain. Its rejection could mean a new nadir for Ireland.
While domestic Irish business can and will deliver the growth and innovation to help reduce our sovereign and personal debt burden, as a small and open economy on the fringe of Europe international investors need to have confidence that they are investing in a country that is economically and politically stable. 


Erbil. Visit in the northern part of Iraq. Hopefully the independent state of Kurdistan in the future. Meeting with Prime Minister Mr. Nechirvan Barzaniand, with the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of Parliament and H.E. the Chaldo-Assyrian Bishop to Ainkawa. I was impressed how safe and stable the situation seems to be. The regional government achieved a lot in only a few years. Many experiences collected about Iraq and the region.


I met Montassar 4 months ago in Marseille in the EPP Congress. He was not talking too much even though he had countless thoughts crossing his mind. Montassar was one of the front-runners of the revoution in Tunisia. He also managed to create the "League of Young Patriots". Most of us have no clue about what this organization stands for, but i can tell you one thing for sure. If Tunisia is full of people like Montassar, democracy is not too far away.

Merkel Pöttering Junge Union Federal Board Poettering Benedict Berlin

Berlin. Also foreign policy was a hot topic during a discussion of Chancellor Merkel and the Federal Board of the Junge Union Deutschlands. I found it very useful and interesting to have the opportunity to ask and to listen to the Chancellor in the 1,5 hours lasting meeting in her office in Berlin. Chancellor Merkel stated the importance of a stable and reliable European fiscal policy and sees that in this field has been made progress but she also thinks, that there is still a long way to go. Also the situation in the Middle East was part of the discussion and the possibility that the conflict with Iran could become more serious. Mrs. Merkel made clear, that without any doubt, Germany is with Israel and supports its need to protect its boarders and people.


Estonia. The spring school of the IRL Noored took place in Taagepera, Estonia, close to the Latvian border. Youngster from the mother party IRL who is in the government coalition in Estonia, where present. Vice President of YEPP, Benedict Pöttering, used the opportunity in his speech to give the young participants an overview about the YEPP structure and activities. In the following discussion the young Estonians wanted to know more from the YEPP representative about youth unemployment, the relations of YEPP to Russian organizations and also how big the influence and impact of YEPP is with regard to the mother party EPP and european governments and societies. After the spring school Benedict continued with his visit in Estonia and attended a seminar of the Pro Patria Foundation ( related to the IRL) with the topic "the future of conservatism".


With great pleasure I participated to YFG Conference in Tullamore, Ireland on 17-19th of February. It was both, in terms of organisation and political content, an outstanding Conference.
As we all know, Ireland was bailed out in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. Last year Fine Gael became the biggest party and formed a coalition government with the Labour party. Mr Enda Kenny has done exactly what he said that he would do during the election campaign. He promised strong and courageous government and he has delivered that.
There have been numerous reforms put in place by the new government and based on what he said couple of weeks ago in Tullamore, there will be more and there still is lot to do. However, what Fine Gael has achieved already is remarkable; they have given hope back to people. The economy of Ireland was in ruins thanks to the failed politics of Fianna Fail and a lot needs to be done to get it right again but I am absolutely certain based on what I heard from Mr Kenny and from the youth of Fine Gael that Ireland will become the Celtic Tiger again.