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.
The proposed legislative packages are necessary, but these alone will not provide lasting remedies for the problems of the youth. We have to dig down to the foundations and strengthen our communities. This is our most important task, because if we remember the chronicles of the previous crises, it is apparent, that strong young communities were always crucial to beat hopelessness.
In order to empower the communities of the youth, we need EU programs that proved to be successful in the past. We welcome the Erasmus For All initiative that was introduced by the European Commission a couple of days ago. But at the same time, we find it essential that the Youth in Action program continues to be an integrated part of if, with separate and adequate funding. We do not have to fix what is not broken.
Based on all these, the Youth of the EPP will strive for achieving three major goals in the coming months. First, we will support the fight against debts and the creation of new jobs. Second, we will fight against political extremism, no matter where it arises: within or beyond Europe. Third, we will continue our struggle against political apathy. We will be active online and offline, because Europe cannot afford to have a passive future generation.
As a cradle of all these, on behalf of 57 organizations of YEPP I would like to offer EPP all our capacities to channel the energy of the youth, to find innovative answers to our pressing challenges. We have a lot to do.
Dear Mr. President, Dear Delegates,
A great president once said that America had a rendez-vous with destiny. If they had a rendez-vous with destiny then, we now have a date with responsibility.
Thank you very much.