The Transatlantic Youth Alliance 2015-25
“Alliance of Young Leaders from America & Europe”
IntroductionNovember 9th, 2014 marked the twenty-fifth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall; this event saw the end of geographical, ideological and cultural division in Europe, giving way to a prolonged period of peace and prosperity. Characterized by the formation of the European Union, this has been achieved by the erosion of borders, and significant intercultural exchange and dialogue between European nations.
As a result of these developments, young people in Europe today are fortunate to have grown up in a time of peace and security, with good health, education, and other numerous opportunities not afforded to those just a generation before. Drawing strength from their predecessors who created the framework for the freedoms, which they currently enjoy, it is now the responsibility of the post-Cold War generation to take advantage of the opportunities that they have, and work together to find concrete solutions for the issues which affect the whole world.
Alongside Europe, young people in the United States enjoy the same high standard of living, and as a result, bear the same responsibilities. In line with the shared European-American values of peace, democracy, human rights and the rule of law, the young people of America therefore represent a key partner in working to solve global issues through intercultural dialogue. Just as young people were central to the fall of the Berlin wall and creating peace in Europe, young people can now too act as a driving force for creating positive social and political change worldwide. Unburdened by preconceptions, and more open to change than older generations, the energy and creativity of young people is vital to creating social and political change. As a result, through intercultural exchange and dialogue, young people today can not only foster greater mutual trust and understanding between nations and cultures, but also find creative and innovative solutions for solving those issues crucial to universal prosperity, be it the global economy, trade, environment, health, human rights, sustainable development or global security.
The Transatlantic YouthThere are many parallels to be drawn between the young people of Europe and the US. Due to the European heritage of many Americans, and the influence of American culture in Europe, in recent history, the values, traditions and cultures of these respective peoples have become in many ways mutually-reinforcing and thus significantly intertwined.
In this respect, these similarities can provide a sound basis for intercultural dialogue between European and American youth. Already existing mutual trust and understanding can therefore be harnessed in order to discuss global issues, and develop solutions to problems which exist as barriers to global stability and prosperity. In creating a forum for European-American intercultural dialogue, and by facilitating engagement with key international decision makers, we can build a platform for young people to influence global policy, and have a positive impact upon the wider world.
Aim & GoalAt a time of global uncertainty arising from crises in Ukraine and the Middle East, tensions between superpowers, growing citizen protest movements, the spread of fatal diseases, worldwide human rights violations and economic inequality, positive international partnerships are of vital importance to creating conditions more conducive to worldwide peace and prosperity. The partnership between Europe and the US, in being one of the most significant and enduring bilateral relationships, can therefore play a key role in finding sustainable solutions to contemporary global issues. Building upon the shared experiences of the First and Second World and Cold Wars, effective transatlantic relations have already achieved unparalleled results in the twentieth century. Thus, it is therefore crucial that these relations be maintained, developed, and enhanced throughout the next decade and beyond.
To this end, the main goal of “The Transatlantic Youth Alliance 2015-25” is to strengthen transatlantic relations by formulating initiatives which encourage cooperation between European and American youth and young leader’s.
StructureThe young leaders recruited to the Transatlantic Youth Alliance 2015-25 will be young people who already have significant professional experience in the fields of politics, economics, and culture. These individuals will also have successfully developed projects and initiatives in their local communities that have achieved positive results. The core aim is to enlist the knowledge and expertise of young people who can demonstrate the ability to gain consensus among people and communities in order to find sustainable solutions to problems.
The Transatlantic Youth Alliance will initially select 200 highly qualified young leaders who together, will conduct activities and formulate initiatives throughout the first twelve months of the project. Each year thereafter, another 100 young leaders both from Europe and the USA will be added to the network, so that by 2025, the alliance will consist of 2,000 active members based on both sides of the Atlantic.
The duration of the program will be 10 years, and during this period, the young leaders will regularly engage with participant representatives from leading global governance organizations, national governments and leading academic institutions. Through this interaction, the young leaders will have the unique opportunity to work with world leaders on finding solutions to global problems and have a direct influence on the formulation of policies which affect the whole world.
The Transatlantic Youth Alliance is an initiative of the Organization for Youth Education and Development (www.oyed.org). Since 2004, the OYED has used its extensive knowledge and experience to develop and lead numerous Young Leaders’ Forums which engage thousands of young leaders and youth around the world.