What role can young people play in a post-COVID-19 world? What measures should local and regional governments take to tackle the risks COVID-19 poses to the fields of education, employment and mental health? These and other questions were addressed by more than ten young elected local and regional leaders (YELL) from six different countries as part of the “Youth and COVID-19” debate with our member Vincent Chauvet, Mayor of Autun, himself a former YELL, as chair. The Summit provided an opportunity for young liberal leaders to meet and share ideas and best practices among themselves.
While national governments received a lot of criticism in dealing with the pandemic, local and regional leaders remained remarkably popular. Janusz Linkowski, a municipal councilor from Waterloo, Belgium, explains this paradox as such:
The pandemic also affected many vulnerable youth, whether in education, in employment or in need of mental health.
Thinking about these young people, Angeline Eriksson from Sweden said:
It was clear from the discussion that young people will play a very important role in the post-COVID19 world, and our YELL participants relish this role and are ready for it.
The Fourth Young Elected Liberal Leaders Summit, held in collaboration with LYMEC and the Young Democrats took place online on Friday 25 September 2020. Participants were Yanis Khalifa, Quentin Legouy and Mickaël Rigault (France), Ander Larrinaga and Ander Anibarro Maestre (Spain), Marc Wuarin (Switzerland), Janusz Linkowski (Belgium), Jack Davies and Jake Short (United Kingdom), Angeline Eriksson (Sweden).