Following the 2011 Y8 and Y20 Summits held in Paris, France, the initiative “Youth AEGIS” was founded by Radoslav Šoth. Its main goal was to recruit the delegates of the European Union for the next editions of the Y8 and Y20 Summits. After a change in leadership in 2012, the initiative was renamed Young European Leadership and developed into an organization. The new association was legally established in Brussels as an AISBL (international non-profit organization) the year after, in February 2013. The Co-Founders were Tillmann Heidelk (President), Flóra Rétvalvi as Vice President, Jeroen Stevens as Secretary General and Treasurer, and Radoslav Šoth as member. Diana Carter was also part of the organization from the beginning.
Since 2020, Young European Leadership has expanded its digital activities.
YEL aims to empower youth through providing them with high-level leadership development opportunities and to connect young people with decision-makers in the European Union and abroad. The organization trains young Europeans in leadership skills including public speaking and negotiation skills. YEL is also a platform for networking. Young adults participate in the Y7 and Y20 youth summits, as well as other European and international events.