Young European Leadership

YEL is an international nonprofit and nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering young leaders and future decision makers from Europe and beyond.


Through engaging activities, YEL aims to inspire and enable these leaders from all backgrounds to shape their own future and the future of Europe, fostering innovation solutions to local and global challenges.


We recruit and train youth delegations to international conferences including the Y7 and Y20, youth counterparts to the G7 and G20, and the UN’s annual COP climate conferences. We aim to give young people the opportunity not only to build their own expertise, but also to share ideas with experts and decision makers from think tanks, EU institutions, business, media, civil society and more. Our activities encompass a wide range of topics from foreign affairs and employment to climate and technology.


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.

Y7 & Y20

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European Health Parliament

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Paris Peace Forum

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European Business Summit

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We are made up of a great team who are all volunteers with us. From different countries and backgrounds for the same goals. Our organisation is only as much as our members.


Latest Blog Posts

Y7 Japan: The need for a Tech for Good

From April 7 to 13, 2023, 32 young leaders from all G7 countries and the European Union  gathered in Tokyo, Japan, to discuss pressing issues of global governance that affect[…]

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Youths to G7: Protect Our Generation

What if governments finally decided to act on climate change and environmental degradation? By Maxime van Hoeve Later this month world leaders will gather in Hiroshima, Japan for the 49th[…]

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Interview of Jakob Gomolka with Jacob Werksman, Principal Advisor at DG CLIMA, lead negotiator at COP

Jacob Werksman is Principal Adviser for international aspects of EU climate policy to the European Commission’s DG CLIMA and EU chief negotiator at the international climate conference COP 27. Having[…]

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