Young local and regional elected representatives
Local and regional governments are at the heart of an issue central to the future of local democracy: repairing the broken link of trust between citizens and politics. These last years have seen growing disaffection towards political institutions, a trend which has worsened with the consequences of the global COVID pandemic, an instable economic context and the fears regarding climate change.
While these trends affect the European population as a whole, they particularly resonate with young people - who make up a large proportion of the European population given that a third are under 30 - for whom the links with institutions and elected officials have grown lax. Many young people consider that the measures that have been taken are insufficient to respond to social challenges and to restore positive prospects on education and employability, the environmental and digital transitions, as well as social equality.
In this context, the engagement of a new generation of young elected officials is essential in order to reflect and implement visible public policies taylored to these realities, to the challenges of daily life and to EU priorities. The emergence of new European political figures will contribute to recreating spaces for dialogue among citizens, notably the youngest, and thus reinvigorate local democratic life.
This is why the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR), through its Young Elected Officials Committee, is committed to helping young leaders take on European issues important to their citizens' concerns and the future of their territories.
From the YELAC project to the Young Elected Officials Committee
In 2014 CEMR helped create, alongside seven partner organisations, a network of young European elected officials as part of the YELAC project (Young Elected Leaders for Active Citizenship), which ended in 2016.
This network was maintained in order to pursue CEMR and our partners' work on youth, a transversal topic warranting particular attention, notably with the 2022 European Year of Youth announced by EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
1. To create a platform for exchange between elected European officials under 40 in order to create new synergies and encourage good practices at the local and regional levels on youth issues, as well as more generally on European topics related sustainable territorial development and improving populations' quality of life.
2. To make the voice of local and regional governments heard during international events organised by CEMR, the pan-European coalition PLATFORM and/or their partners.
3. To support young European elected officials, notably by shedding light on the policies and opportunities affered by European institutions and other international organisations, and equipping these officials to contribute to European debates.
Participate in and work with the Committee of Young European Elected Officials
The Committee brings together elected officials from CEMR's member associations and PLATFORMA partners who are below 40 and whose local or regional mandate is ongoing. Each CEMR member can nominate up to two members – one man and one women in order to respect gender balance.
Any organisation can contact CEMR in order to propose a topic, a project or an event in which members of the Committee of Young Elected Officials can participate.
Officer - Young Elected Officials, Policy Dialogues and Decentralised Cooperation