Fabio Castaldo
"In launching this programme, the European Parliament wants to provide a positive and inclusive space whereby peaceful dialogue and trust can be fostered between our future world leaders."

- Fabio Massimo Castaldo
Lead Member of the Parliament for the Young Political Leaders Programme

Strong and lasting relations with future leaders

The European Parliament is committed to building strong and lasting relations with future leaders outside of the European Union.

The European Parliament Young Political Leaders Programme expands on existing activities conducted by the Parliament, such as the Annual Fora for Young Leaders from the European Neighbourhood (Maghreb, Middle East, Eastern Partnership), and the Young Political Leaders initiative for the Sudan, in order to develop a more coherent and harmonised approach to engaging in peaceful dialogue with young leaders from third countries.

It also aims to contribute to long-term confidence building and reconciliation in these countries.

This instrument for dialogue was endorsed by the European Parliament's Democracy Support and Election Coordination Group (DEG) in April 2015, with its primary objective to target young political activists, including political party representatives, civil society actors and young business leaders in the European Neighbourhood countries, priority countries agreed under the European Parliament's Comprehensive Democracy Support Approach (CDSA), and ad hoc countries requiring assistance in the area of parliamentary conflict prevention and democracy support.

This concept is implemented principally through the Annual Programme, under the guidance of a Lead Member of the European Parliament, Mr Fabio Castaldo.

Ways the European Parliament engages with Young Political Leaders:

  • Country-specific programmes
    These programmes are aimed at facilitating dialogue in selected individual countries. Target countries are namely the countries identified under the EP Comprehensive Democracy Support Approach (CDSA), and ad hoc initiatives such as Sudan.
  • Country-to-country programmes
    These programmes focus on supporting and developing country-to-country dialogue, for instance between Israel and Palestine and Sudan and South Sudan.
  • Regional programmes
    These programmes encompass a geographical area that goes beyond the borders of two neighbouring countries. Currently, there are three regional fora being developed, all of which are situated within the EU Neighbourhood:
     - Eastern Partnership
    Western Balkans
     - Maghreb.

Annual programming

Activities for the Young Political Leaders' Programme are planned on a yearly basis.


The third Annual Young Political Leaders Programme was adopted by the European Parliament's Democracy Support and Election Coordination Group (DEG) on 14 December 2017 in Strasbourg, and focuses on: 
  • implementation of UNSC Resolution 2250 on Youth, Peace and Security
  • cooperation with the Inter-Parliamentary Union and its young parliamentarians programme
  • support to EU regional Summits
  • follow up on the EU-Africa Summit
  • Israeli-Palestinian Young Political Leaders
  • enhanced cooperation with the EEAS on "Young Med Voices Plus Initiative"
  • Eastern Partnership region focussing on Nagorno-Karabakh
  • Western Balkans.



About the Democracy Support and Election Coordination Group

The European Parliament's Democracy Support and Election Coordination Group (DEG) is a political body in the European Parliament, co-chaired by the Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee (AFET) and the Development Committee (DEVE).

The DEG's role is to provide political guidance on initiatives related to:
  • election observation
  • support to parliamentary democracy
  • Sakharov Prize and Sakharov Prize Network
  • support to the Parliaments in EU pre-accession countries
  • European Parliament mediation, facilitation and dialogue.

A coherent approach

The European Parliament's Comprehensive Democracy Support Approach (CDSA) enhances the coordination, coherence and complementarity of different democracy support activities, including election observation, parliamentary support, human rights actions, and mediation around the electoral cycle of a third country. Each year the DEG selects priority countries for the CDSA to be applied.