"Why are we organising this event? As the Foundation for the Development of the Education System, we have a long tradition of supporting young people through various European programmes. In terms of the organization of volunteering itself, we can boast 20 years of experience" - emphasized Dr Paweł Poszytek, CEO of FSRE in his opening speech.

 

Poszytek also mentioned the launch of the Programme for Cooperation with the Countries of Eastern Europe and the Caucasus (SALTO) in 2003, the Polish-Lithuanian Youth Exchange Fund initiated in 2007, and the Polish-Ukrainian Youth Exchange Council, which has been operating since 2016.

 

"I dare say there is currently a crisis of leadership around the world. Therefore, it seems to me that the initiative of the European Young Leaders' Forum is all the more justified. You are our future. We need new leaders and new ideas," the FSRE CEO concluded.

 

Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, mentioned the doubling of Erasmus+ funding, which now stands at €26 billion. The European Solidarity Corps is adding a further EUR 1 billion to this total.

 

"With these funds, we are ensuring the steady growth of these programs over the next seven years. We want to improve the accessibility of Erasmus+ and the European Solidarity Corps by offering more flexible forms of learning. We will also help organizations with project management. We will also make it greener," she said.

 

In the context of her commitment to the environment, the EU Commissioner pointed to the choice of low-carbon forms of transport in both programmes, which will also help to raise awareness of environmental responsibility and sustainable development. Both programs are also intended to support digital transformation.

 

Taking place in a hybrid format, the first European Young Leaders Forum was dominated by the themes of inclusion and diversity, green and digital priorities of the Erasmus Programme and the European Solidarity Corps, and active participation of young people in democratic and social life.

 

The agenda also includes discussions and workshops on new perspectives for European youth cooperation and thematic sessions. Participants included young male and female activists from the European Union, the Western Balkans, the Eastern Partnership and the Russian Federation.

 

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the first European Young Leaders Forum taking place on 7-8 October 2021 in Warsaw, Poland, is hybrid. In addition to dozens of on-site guests, more than 100 leaders from countries across Europe and beyond are participating online.