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Colm Lauder

Young Fine Gael event in Dublin on challenges to young Europeans

Excerpts from a speech given by Secretary General Colm Lauder to a gathering by young politicians from across Europe hosted by Young Fine Gael, on the eve of the 2014 EPP Congress in Dublin.
5th March 2014
Today we are only a day away from when we, the EPP family, will select the captain of our team, its commission president candidate, for one of the most significant elections since the foundation of the European Community.
You will remember, it was EPP parties that put their heads above the parapet, and charged the no-mans-land of political and economic chaos enthusiastically, though a sense of duty, by stepping into Government in Portugal, Spain, Greece, Ireland to salvage these economies after the excesses of the Socialists and Liberals during the good years.
However, the difficult decisions and measures our, EPP, Governments had to take to stabilise the Euro Currency, to maintain the cohesiveness of the European Union has made us a target for the Socialists and Eurosceptics as the May elections edge closer.
We should not apologise for taking such decisions, we should not feel guilty for implementing difficult and wholly necessary measures, and we should not bow to such pressure from unrepentant populists.


Speech by YEPP Secretary General, Colm Lauder, to introduce the Taoiseach, Enda Kenny TD at the Young Fine Gael Congress, November 2013.
"Those who know Young Fine Gael, will know we have never been a populist in either our politics or our policies. In fact, we have probably been the opposite, putting our own beliefs in politics, our trust in people and in this party to the fore.
And tonight, having seen the successes of this Conference, I have never been prouder of Young Fine Gael. Thank you Sarah for your incredible efforts, and Patrick for your leadership. Thank you.
Three years ago, as we were gathered in Charleville, County Cork, the news broke of then Irish Minister for Finance going begging to the IMF and ECB for funds to meet the growing black-hole in our banking sector and public finances.
The news broke not first our Fianna Fail-led Government, but to a young international delegate from YEPP, who was attending as a guest.
How Embarrassing.
Then, Ireland had a rudderless government led by an incompetent captain, and was in middle of the storm of the century.

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.

Colm Lauder, Deputy Secretary General addresses the EESC

JESC Project for Active Citizenship EESC: January 31, 2013 Brussels This morning, I had the pleasure of addressing a gathering of the European Economic & Social Committee and the Jesuit European Social Centre at the EESC Building in Brussels. The topic of the conference was "Active Citizenship" and was held to present the breakthrough JESC paper "RENEWING EUROPEAN CITIZENSHIP IN A TIME OF CRISES". As Deputy Secretary General of YEPP, I presented a number of key YEPP efforts to support active citizenship amongst the youth of Europe. Several campaign examples were used with particular emphasis on our Bucharest campaign "Save ERASMUS". I also highlighted new YEPP proposals to develop a campaign to 'reconnect' the citizen with Europe and her Institutions. Details of this will follow in the coming weeks.


YEPP sent 15 delegates to participate in a transatlantic youth conference at Princeton University, New Jersey from December 6th to 9th 2012.

It sought to expose academics to politicians and encourage the exchange of ideas among future global leaders. YEPP participants took part in all nine workings groups each of which produced a report or policy proposal. Our YEPP representatives firmly took the lead in these groups sharing their extensive experience with their counterparts. The reports produced will be published on behalf of Princeton University and presented to political channels in Washington D.C. and Brussels.

A summary of the working groups follow below:

1. "Entrepreneurship in Europe." Chair: Sonya A. Hadzhieva


Speech by YEPP Deputy Secretary General, Colm Lauder, to Junge Union's Deutschlandtag 2012 on Saturday 6th October 2012 in Rostock, Germany.
Sehr geehrte damen und herren,        Liebe freunde.       Dear Friends,
It is a great pleasure to address you here at Deutschlandtag in Rostock. I am delighted to get the opportunity to address you not only on behalf of the Irish government party, Young Fine Gael, but on behalf of Europe’s largest and most influential political youth organisation, YEPP. An organisation that proudly had Junge Union as founding members in 1997.
As you will know, YEPP celebrated our 15th Anniversary in 2012, 15 years with Junge Union at our core. 15 years of working together. This process is ongoing and we are delighted to be here in Deutschlandtag with fellow YEPP Board members Sara from Sweden and Junge Union’s very own Benedict Poettering – whom I warmly congratulate on his election as Vice President of Junge Union on behalf of YEPP.
Our role, as young European politicians and innovators has never been so important or influential. The ideas and policies of old have in many cases failed the youth of Europe. Our leaders in Brussels, Dublin or Berlin have given us, the youth, a listening ear to put forward our ideas and our policies. That is an opportunity that I know Junge Union has seized upon, and YEPP has been no different.


Last Monday, I attended the June meeting of the EPP’s Working Group 2, Economic & Social Affairs, at the EPP headquarters in Brussels. YEPP’s participation in this working group has grown and developed over the last few years and valuable contributions have been made on a variety of topics. YEPP was particularly grateful for the support of the Chairman or WG2, Gunnar Hökmark MEP, with a number of resolutions YEPP presented in 2011.
The only topic up for discussion at Monday’s meeting was “Structural & Cohesion Fund”. These EU funds are aimed at Member States whose Gross National Income (GNI) per inhabitant is less than 90% of the EU average. They serve to reduce their economic and social shortfall, as well as to stabilise their economy through targeted investment in infrastructure and development. The discussion was related to the approval of the working groups draft resolution on the “Single Market and Cohesion”, which is to be presented to the next EPP Congress in October 2012 being held in Bucharest.
The resolution does not propose anything radical or explicitly new, however crucially it urges consolidation, simplification and streamlining of various EU policy in how it appropriates and designates funding for cohesion projects. The resolution targets particular areas under eight headings;


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.