The Young Conservative Group for Europe was honored to host young leaders from all major Northern European (Nordic, Baltic and Irish) centre-right parties* for an International Policy Seminar in the United Kingdom.
During three intensive days of events the participants met with hundreds of young British Conservatives, visited the Houses of Parliament and heard from a number of high-profile speakers including Conservative MPs.
The event was proudly sponsored by the Conservative Group for Europe and organised in association with the Nordic Conservative Student Union.
We were also thrilled to co-organise the programme together with the Conservative Associations from all major London Universities (including KCL, UCL, LSE and Queen Mary). In addition the seminar was also supported by the pan-European NGO Aegee and by New Democracy - UK.
On the first evening of the seminar the participants took part in a reception with The Rt Hon Dominic Grieve QC MP which was attended by over 75 young Conservatives - a standout achievement for a young Conservative event. Dominic Grieve MP gave a detailed account of the recent political events which have led us to the present circumstances and elaborated on the most likely future outcomes. Cllr. Gerard Fox then moderated a Q&A which lasted for over 90 mins.
The participants also had the opportunity to visit The Houses of Parliament and view chamber proceedings from the gallery. They were given an exclusive tour by Antoinette Sandbach MP. In a discussion with the attendees Antoinette articulated the details of the options currently being discussed in regards to Brexit, namely ‘Theresa May’s Deal’, ‘No Deal’, ‘Canada +/EFTA solution’ and a ‘People’s Vote’.
During a number of other sessions the participants also heard from Dr Charles Tannock MEP (Foreign Affairs and Human Rights Spokesman for the European Parliament), Tim Skeet (renowned banker in The City and CGE Executive) and Tim Durrant (Senior Research on the Brexit programme at the Institute for Government).
The YCGE International Policy Seminar concluded with a panel discussion by Edward Bickham (Chairman of the Institute for Business Ethics and CGE Vice Chair) and Orestis Kriempardis (Executive at New Democracy - UK). They too received many questions which summarised the learnings gained during the three-day seminar.
There was fantastic feedback all around with international participants saying it's the best conference they've attended. The speakers were thrilled to talk to large and international audiences and YCGE is delighted to have further developed strong and lasting relationships with both international and British Conservative organisations.
We are looking forward to organising further events in collaboration with our partners in the UK and to hosting more more centre-right partners from across Europe.
In addition to the above mentioned organisations YCGE would also like to extend many thanks for their promotion and support to the Oxford University Conservative Association and to the UK sections of the Spanish People's Party and the Christian Democratic Union of Germany.
*The participating international organisations included the student wings of:
Hoyres - Norway's ruling Conservative party
Kokoomus - Finland's ruling Coalition party
Konservatoriu - Lithuania's ruling Conservative party
Moderata - Sweden's largest centre-right party
Konservative - Denmark's Conservative party
Fine Gael - Ireland's ruling centre-right party