A Question of leadership?

12 October 2018 - 09:30 - 12:30
Colombe Cahen-Salvador, Iain Couzin, Věra Jourová, Mikko Salo

How can we convince Europeans to care for Europe and make sure that they vote in the upcoming elections? European Parliament election turnout has been in decline for decades. Although issues that top the charts in terms of citizen’s concerns are increasingly dealt with on the European level, such as the environment, migration and security, people still do not seem to find their way to the European ballot box. 

Trust is a big-ticket issue, both in politics and in politicians. The populist right wing is currently stealing the march with their narrative that seeks to undermine the value of the EU. 

This European Young Leaders & Alumni meeting will be the culmination of the young leaders’ year’s work on engaging citizens and making Europe matter in the lead up to the elections. During two seminars that were held this year, we’ve discussed political participation and civic empowerment directly with citizens and come up with practical ideas for a campaign that seeks to convince people to vote. This meeting will be an opportunity to discuss and align these campaign ideas with scientific, institutional and community leaders in a more intimate setting. 

How do we counter populist tendencies and make sure that people will let their voice be heard for the future of Europe? How do we galvanize social movements and group behaviour to increase turnout and improve voting behaviour around a campaign on #EuropeMatters? What are the slogans, campaign messages and branding? How do we reach and access groups not traditionally represented and pursue them to vote? How do we actually convince people that Europe matters and that their vote matters?

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What do a microbiologist, an entrepreneur, a journalist and a Member of Parliament have in common? They are all European Young Leaders who are engaged in making Europe a global champion for a better world.

Registration and welcome breakfast 



The out-of-the-box perspective: behavioural science applied to political behaviour with Iain Couzin, Chair of Biodiversity and Collective Behavior, University of Konstanz


The institutional perspective: progressing the existing ideas for a campaign that seeks to engage all Europeans with Vera Jourová, Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality at the European Commission


Coffee break



The two-fold campaign. Promoting a fact-based debate whilst convincing people to vote for the future of Europe with Mikko Salo, Founder and Director of fact-checking service, Faktabaari, and member of the EU’s High-Level Expert Group on Fake News and online disinformation and Colombe Cahen-Salvador,Co-founder and European Policy Lead of Volt - a new pan-European progressive movement that aims to radically reform Europe 




Whatever the question, the answer is always education. How can the European Young Leaders contribute to better education for all?

This session will follow up the education working group that was established in Malta during the You Decide session, in the presence of Xavier Prats Monné, the Special Advisor for Teach for All - a global network of organisations that aim to expand educational opportunities around the world 


Moderated by:
Dharmendra Kanani, Director of Insights at Friends of Europe






* To be confirmed

Colombe Cahen-Salvador
Co-Founder & Policy Lead of Volt
Colombe Cahen-Salvador is the co-founder and the Policy Lead at Volt Europa, where she is responsible for the creation of policies and the political direction of the movement. Volt Europa is a pan-European movement now present in 31 countries, that aims to revolutionise the way politics is done on the European level. She previously worked for Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, as a legal fellow in the International Strategic Litigation Unit. She has been awarded the inaugural Duke Law School’s International Law and Human Rights Fellowship, during which she worked at the OHCHR and at the Norwegian Refugee Council.
Iain Couzin
Chair of Biodiversity and Collective Behaviour at the University of Konstanz
Iain Couzin is the Chair of Biodiversity and Collective Behaviour at the University of Konstanz, Germany and Director of the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, Department of Collective Behaviour. Previously, he was a Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton University, and prior to that, a Royal Society University Research Fellow in the Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, and a Junior Research Fellow in the Sciences at Balliol College, Oxford. His work aims to reveal the fundamental principles that underlie evolved collective behavior, and consequently his research includes the study of a wide range of biological systems, from insect swarms to fish schools and primate groups. 
Věra Jourová
EU Commissioner on Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality
Věra Jourová is a Czech politician, businesswoman, and lawyer, who currently serves as European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality as part of the Juncker Commission. Jourová’s main responsibilities include fighting discrimination, promoting gender equality, judicial cooperation within the EU, and privacy concerns. She was previously Czech Minister for Regional Development, an international consultant on European Union funding, and was also involved in consultancy activities in the Western Balkans relating to EU Accession. She has worked in conjunction with Vice-President Ansip on aspects of consumer rules and online purchases as part of the General Data Protection Regulation.
Mikko Salo
Founder and Director of Faktabaari and member of the EU’s High-Level Expert Group (HLGE) on Fake News and online disinformation
Mikko Salo is the founder of Faktabaari (FactBar), chair of Finnish transparency NGO Avoin yhteiskunta ry and EU advisor. In 2014, he founded the fact-checking service Faktabaari, trying to bring accuracy to the European election debate. Faktabaari is a non-partisan journalistic service using social media for collecting and distributing factual information. Mikko joined the EU’s High-Level Expert Group on Fake News and online disinformation that contributes to the development of a EU-level strategy on how to tackle the spreading of fake news. His current fact-checking media and information literacy work links to forthcoming European elections and empowering especially fact-checkers, teachers and researchers.

With the support of:

John S Latsis Foundation Fondazione Cariplo eucom



This event is by invitation only.

Marthe Krijger, Programme Manager
t. +32 2 893 98 18

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