The Youth of the European People’s Party (YEPP) relaunched its Transatlantic Youth Summit in Washington D.C., which took place from the 27th to the 29th of April. Delegates from across the United States and the European Union gathered to gain expert insights and exchange views on key issues related to global governance challenges, energy transition as well as sustainable economy.

The Summit kicked off with an evening welcome reception at the Bertelsmann Foundation, followed by keynote speeches from Irene Braam (Executive Director of the Bertelsmann Foundation) Lidia Pereira MEP (President of the Youth of the European People’s Party), Christian Forstner (Director of the Hanns Seidel Foundation, North America), Ria Oomen-Ruijten (President of the Robert Schuman Foundation) and Jim Costa (Member of the U.S. Congress).  

On the 28th of April, the participants were welcomed at the European Union Delegation to the United States by Joseph Dunne (Director of European Parliament Liaisons Office), who highlighted the importance of the Transatlantic Youth Summits’ timely initiative.

Throughout the day, the delegates partook in numerous conferences. The first conference of the day titled ‘Future Global Governance Challenges: East vs West?’, moderated by YEPP Vice-President Nikola Erić, addressed the contemporary relations between the West and the People’s Republic of China, Russian aggression on Ukraine in the context of global peace and security, and how western partners can work together to overcome these challenges.

The second conference, moderated by YEPP President Lidia Pereira placed priority on ‘Cleantech: The business case for the energy transition’ which highlighted the various steps taken already, as well as how it will unfold, impact and evolve in the future. This panel delved further into the topics related to the energy transition in an international landscape as well as policies that are driving this move to cleantech.

The last conference of the day ‘EU-US: The partnership for a sustainable economy’, moderated by YEPP Vice-President Regina Frieser, discussed the importance of EU-US cooperation in the promotion of a sustainable economy. It specifically shed light on the circular economy, the role of businesses and corporations in promoting sustainability and existing policies in place.

The day concluded with a working dinner with a keynote speech from Zach Cooper (Senior Fellow, US Strategy at the American Enterprise Institute) who delved further into the divisions between the EU and the US and how they can cooperate and work together in overcoming shared challenges.

The Transatlantic Youth Summit ended on the 29th of April, with the ‘Conference Conclusions’, where the delegates came together to discuss key takeaways as well as their own perspectives on how these issues can be overcome. The overall, unanimous conclusion was that there is an urgent need for the EU and the USA to overcome differences, cooperate more closely on common goals and to be proactive in their approaches.

The Youth of the European People’s Party extends its thanks to the respective delegates, partners (NDI & IRI) and sponsors (RSF, HSS, Citibank, Microsoft, EY & Interdigital) in coming together to make this event a success, as well as the distinguished speakers who joined us to share their expertise and key insights on the topics discussed.

Panelists Conference I: ‘Future Global Governance Challenges: East vs West?’

  • Kurt Volker – Former U.S. Ambassador to NATO & U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations
  • Jan Surotchak – Senior Director for Transatlantic Strategy, IRI
  • Katie Fox – Deputy Director for Eurasia, NDI

Panelists Conference II: ‘Cleantech: The business case for the energy transition’

  • Tarun Sridhar – Research Analyst, International Monetary Fund, Climate and Development Issues
  • Brianne Miller – Government Affairs Director for Energy and Sustainability at Microsoft
  • Cristina Shoffner – US Policy & Advocacy, Breakthrough Energy
  • Samir Abboud – CEO, Innargi

Panelists Conference III: ‘EU-US: The partnership for a sustainable economy’

  • Dan Hamilton – President of the Transatlantic Leadership Network and  Senior Fellow at the Foreign Policy Institute of Johns Hopkins University
  • Rob Bradley – Managing Director, Climate Change and Sustainability Services, Ernst & Young LLP | EY – Global
  • Sahra English-  Managing Director – Global Government Affairs, Citibank