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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.


Some months ago, YEPP initiated a joint meeting of European party political youth organizations. Thanks to the European Youth Forum, the gathering was organized some days ago in Brussels.
Members of the Board from ECOSY (Young Socialists), LYMEC (Young Liberals), FYEG (Young Greens), JEF (Young Federalists), EDS (Students) and the Free Alliance were present to the debate. YEPP was represented by Juha-Pekka, Konstantinos and myself.


Last Sunday I wrote an opinion in one of Malta's newspapers on the outcome of the EPP Summit and Congress held a few weeks ago. Indeed, it was a historical summit as the decisions made by our leaders will perhaps change the way we think when it comes to the euro and EU fiscal policy. We all have come to realise that a decision taken in Athens effects the markets in Germany. But perhaps we all knew this - and failed to take the necessary actions. Had this been the case, the EPP Congress would not have been historic and there would not have been the need for historic decisions to be taken.

The majority of Member States have now accepted the fact that failing to respect the 3% annual deficit and 60% debt will lead to automatic sanctions. Some Member States adhered to these thresholds without the need to have sanctions implied directly upon them - it is evident however, that others failed to do so. As to the latter, today's peoples have to make good for wrong decisions which have been taken in the past. Today's decisions will ensure that tomorrow's people will not need to pay for wrong decisions we take today - simply because these decisions are right, just and responsible towards a sustainable future.

Intergenerational Justice

Centre of European Studies (CES), organised a panel discussion on the future of the Euro in the EPP Congress in Marseilles. Prime Minister of Finland, former YouthEPP board member, Jyrki Katainen and Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orban were both talking about the importance of saving the Euro and solidarity. As the representative of the YouthEPP I had to ask a question about intergenerational justice and the then upcoming European Council meeting. Since I'm studying in the UK, and as you all must know, the UK has imposed some heavy austerity measures, and rightly so bearing in mind that their deficit was close to Greece's deficit, well over 10%. Large budget cuts were imposed on all Government Departments, usually between 10-20% but the cuts on Higher Education were quite considerably higher, around 40%. This led to the fact that, tuition fees in British Universities will go up from the current £3400 up to £9000 in the autumn of 2012. When solidarity is mentioned, we should not only think about solidarity between citizens or people within the EU but solidarity and justice between generations. 


It was a great experience to participate in the founding Congress of PSDB, the biggest opposition party in Brasil, where I was invited to share my experience and thoughts on the political situation. As sister countries they are familiar with our work in Portugal at the level of the Party and JSD and our practices are always a useful example for their initiatives. Brazil plays a very important role in global politics, being the leading country of the South American League. The President of Brazil, Dilma and her party are facing numerous corruption problems.

The other 2 international guests were Juan Carlos Martinez, one of the youth leaders of Primero Justicia, Opposition Party in Venezuela, and Collin Jergens member of Barack Obama's campaign team.


"Dear Mr. President, Dear Delegates,

This congress is rightly devoted to the need for renewal. We can only agree that the EPP has a clear commitment to give a new momentum to the European project. However, we also have to make it clear, that this is not possible without the support of the generations to follow.

The youth are among those who are most affected by the crisis in Europe. The rate of youth unemployment exceeded 20 percent, and we are largely exposed to the consequences of high public deficit. Let me recall that an average European citizen faces a debt of around 20.000 euros. That sum that to be paid back mostly by the future generations.

This is a heavy burden that might have serious consequences: political apathy or more openness to political extremism. Therefore, the proposals to fight against debts, the struggle for more financial discipline and the creation of new jobs is something that is very much in the interest of the future generations as well. Solidarity must prevail not just between countries, but also between generations.

Alexander Milinkewitsch and Vice President of YEPP Benedict Pöttering Marseille

Alexander Milinkewitsch and Vice President of YEPP Benedict Pöttering

France. During the Congress of the mother party of YEPP, the EPP, in Marseille members of the YEPP have had plenty opportunities to meet and talk to various political leaders and strong personalities also of non EU countries. During a short chat with Aljaksandr Milinkewitsch, one of the leading persons of the opposition in Belarus, Benedict reassured Aljaksandr Milinkewitsch that YEPP supports the opposition movement in Belarus and especially the young people who are fighting for human rights and freedom in their country day by day.