Young activists ready to rock in Rota
Nearly a thousand young progressive activists are gathering in Spain for their annual Young European Socialists summer camp ahead of the 2019 European election campaign.
Delegations from more than 40 socialist and social democratic youth organisations from around Europe are meeting for a week of campaign training, rallies and social events.
The camp is hosted by Juventudes Socialistas de España (Young Spanish Socialists) in the coastal town of Rota, supported by the Young Socialists of Catalonia.
The main focus of the event is to prepare for the European election campaign by delivering a comprehensive training programme designed to mobilise activists, energise supporters and spread best practice throughout the progressive political family.
Campaign training sessions during the summer camp include a series of seminars hosted by the Party of European Socialists, including:
- Fighting right-wing extremism
- Writing the PES Youth Manifesto
- Social media and campaign strategies, led by experts from UK Labour
- Mobilising voters and realising vote potential, led by Professor Andre Krouwel from the University of Amsterdam
- Fighting sexism in politics, led by PES Women
Dozens of policy workshops running all week include debates on democratising the economy, the economic consequences of gender inequality (hosted by PES Women), immigration policy, disability and universal design, mental health, fighting discrimination, and many others.
PES president Sergei Stanishev, S&D group president Udo Bullmann, and FEPS president Maria João Rodrigues will all speak at the opening ceremony of the camp. Other guests throughout the week include political leaders, MEPs, young activists and academic experts.
Mr Stanishev said:
"It's entirely appropriate that the 2018 YES summer camp — which comes at a crucial time in the run-up to the 2019 elections — should take place in Spain, where Pedro Sánchez's new socialist team is already changing things for the better after years of an austerity-led, right-wing government.
"Mr Sánchez and his fellow socialist prime minister António Costa next door are showing what genuine progressive policies can achieve. That’s why the hundreds of young people gathered here are so determined to win the European elections next year: because they know that this is the only way to change Europe for the benefit of its citizens.
"I commend the hard work of YES, and their partners around Europe, in preparing this spectacular event -- the first of many major campaign events between now and the elections next June!"