European Democrat Students EDS is the official student organisation of the European People’s Party (EPP). Thu, 02 Jun 2022 18:25:40 +0000 en-GB hourly 1łu-1-150x150.png European Democrat Students 32 32 The Strongest EDS Presence at EPP Congress Thu, 02 Jun 2022 18:23:07 +0000 Read more]]>

EDS took part in the EPP Congress with a large, active and committed delegation which brought energy, enthusiasm and new ideas to the event. The strong presence of so many young people from EDS was noticed by delegates and guests, received great feedback and uplifted the spirit of the event.

The programme started with the EPP Political Assembly on 30 May, where Chairman Beppe Galea spoke on behalf of EDS and presented our activities over the past 6 months. Chairman Galea also discussed our extensive support for Ukraine and introduced Iryna Shatohina who presented the latest situation in the country and praised EDS’s ongoing support.

The Assembly was followed by a dinner hosted by Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA), which featured Dutch musical performances and modern dance. The dinner and drinks reception gave EDS delegates opportunities to network with EPP leaders in a more informal setting.

On the 1st of June the delegation checked in to the Congress at Rotterdam Ahoy (which hosted Eurovision last year). The programme started with an event on the Western Balkans hosted by the Robert Schuman Institute where Secretary General Ivan Botoucharov spoke about the current situation, perspectives for the region and the importance of coordinated action between Western countries to counter the challenge of Russian and Chinese influence in the region.

EDS also hosted our own dedicated event which was prominently featured in the EPP programme. The event was opened by Chairman Beppe Galea who introduced our organisation, our proud history, our strong unity and our ambitions for the future. During the event participants heard from high-profile speakers including Antonio Lopez-Isturiz, Sir David Lidington (Deputy Prime Minster of the UK, 2016-19), Daniel Mitov MP (Bulgarian Foreign Minister 2014-17), and Stephen Hammond MP (UK Minister for Health 2018-19).

The Plenary session of the EPP Congress started in the afternoon with an opening speech by the CDA and by Donald Tusk.

We were honoured that Chairman Beppe Galea gave a powerful speech which received several ovations. In his rousing words Chairman Galea spoke about the importance of our family, which needs to stand united to make the most of the green and digital transformations, while at the same time tackling the challenges of the economic crisis and ongoing war. Chairman Galea also spoke about the vision, values and capabilities of the young generation to meet the challenges ahead and ensure stability, dignity and opportunities for all. His moving speech finished with these inspiring words: “My dear friends, the youth are tired of being defined as the “future leaders”. These last few years have been trying for young people. We saw our dreams shattered by the economic crisis, the virus, and now by the war. Yet, we will never surrender, we will never stop fighting for our values and we will prevail, because, my dear friends, WE are the EPP students.” Please see a video of the speech here.

During the afternoon and the morning of the next day EDS delegates voted in the elections for EPP President, Secretary General, Vice-Presidents and Treasurer. We would like to send our heartfelt gratitude to the outgoing leadership, as well as our warm congratulations to the new leadership team.

The EDS delegation also held talks with all EPP leaders including President Manfred Weber, European Parliament President Robert Metsola (who was Secretary General of EDS 2002-3), European Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen, EPP Vice-President Esther de Lange MEP and Commissioner Mariya Gabriel, among many others.

We look forward to bringing new energy and ideas from our united and increasingly strong and active EDS Family and to present a new generation to the EPP so that we can take the centre-right into a prosperous future.

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European Solidarity in Times of Crisis Sat, 28 May 2022 21:09:37 +0000 Read more]]>

European Democrat Students held a unique Council Meeting and Study Mission in Krakow and Przemyśl, 19-22 May, hosted by SMD Poland and supported by KAS, TikTok and Alliance4Europe.

This was possibly the most emotional event we’ve had, visiting the border of a country at war, which has been mercilessly attacked by Putin’s regime.

EDS delegates witnessed the bravery and dignity of Ukrainian refugees – at this stage many more returning to Ukraine than leaving, despite the ongoing war. As well as the solidarity of the Polish people, the European community and the volunteers from all over the world.

The Study Mission to the Ukraine border included a visit to the key reception point where over 2 million people have walked through in the past couple of months.

The EDS delegation also visited the city of Przemyśl, a small town, but huge in heart, hosting refugees, support points and volunteers – an icon of freedom and solidarity.

We also visited the Ukrainian House Narodnyj Dim – Dom Ukraiński, which for the first time serves as a home for hundreds of displaced people and a centre for collecting donations and supplies.

The EDS event was also the culmination of the European tour for Solidarna Molod (SM Ukraine) who collected donations which were immediately taken into Ukraine at the conclusion of the event by their members.

During the Council Meeting we also discussed and adopted a conference resolution and motions submitted by the working groups, several of which were focusing on supporting Ukraine. We also presented the EDS Financial Report and updates to the EDS Budget, which were all unanimously adopted.

There were also several high-level sessions with senior speakers who came to Krakow for our event, including: Aleksandra Gajewska and Marek Rzasa – Members of Parliament (Civic Platform); Maia Mazurkiewicz (Alliance4Europe); Jan Olbrycht, Member of European Parliament; Jakub Oleg from TikTok Poland, and Katarzyna Król – representative of World Central Kitchen, which has been doing outstanding work to provide quality food for refugees.

The Council Meeting, Speaker Sessions and Study Mission, and the strong feelings of empathy, solidarity and support with our fellow Europeans at this historic moment, will remain as a life-long memory for the EDS delegation and will drive us forward to continue supporting Ukrainians and all those in need of solidarity.

Many thanks to SMD Poland, KAS, TikTok and Alliance4Europe for all their support.

Follow our work and activities via our social accounts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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A Historic EDS Winter University Mon, 28 Mar 2022 20:08:47 +0000 Read more]]>

Our annual Winter University which was held in Sofia, Bulgaria from 24 to 27 March and hosted by the Federation of Independent Student Societies (FISS Bulgaria). As the official student organisation of the European People’s Party (EPP) we were thrilled to host an event on the topic of “Prospects for European youth: centre-right unity for a secure and prosperous future.”

The conference was attended by over 50 participants from more than 30 EDS member organisations, who passed many motions and statutory amendments. The event was opened by Patrick Voller – Secretary for International Relations of the EPP, Dirk Hazell – Leader of the UK EPP and Vice-President of the Conservative European Forum and Rumen Hristov, President of the Union of Democratic Forces.

On March 24 the event began with an online session in which the keynote speaker was Massimo Ugolini – Acting Minister of Justice and Family Affairs of the Republic of San Marino. In addition, speakers included Alvaro de la Cruz – Communications and New Media officer at the Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies as well as Vassilis Kessidis – former EDS Vice-Chair, and it was moderated by Rodolfo Biancheri – EDS Vice-Chair.

On March 25, the conference began with working groups and discussions on the Action Plan in Support of Ukraine, where a resolution was finalised, and later unanimously adopted, calling for an increase of financial and political support for Ukraine, including for the refugees from the war. The resolution also called for strengthening restrictions on Russia by completely excluding it from the SWIFT system and minimising Russian gas supplies to Europe.

Especially for the EDS Winter University and with a 30-hour bus journey from Ukraine, we welcomed Dinara Habibulaeva – Municipal Councilor in Kyiv, President of Solidarna Molod and coordinator of humanitarian aid and provisions, as well as Iryna Shatohina – Secretary General of Solidarna Molod. They shared with the EDS conference first-hand views about the unfolding events and what help Ukraine needs most at the present time.

Numerous meetings were organised for them and financial and material donations were collected, which are already on the way to Ukraine, where Dinara and Iryna immediately returned after the conference. The arranged meetings included:

· The Head of GERB (Bulgaria’s largest political party), Boyko Borissov.

· The Head of the City Council of Sofia, Georgi Valentinov Georgiev – which included a discussion on support for refugees in the city.

· Meeting with the Quaestor of the European Parliament – Andrey Kovatchev MEP.

· Meeting with the erstwhile Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev (2012-17) – who was “Man of the Year” in Ukraine in 2016 – as he was the first to call for EU sanctions on Russian oligarchs.

After all the organised meetings and donations, the conference attendees described their stay in Sofia as the most emotional days in the history of EDS.

It was especially inspiring to hear from Patrick Voller that “The EPP is proud of you and looks up to you”.

We are honoured with the high-profile participations – especially that of our Ukrainian friends, and we are thrilled with the enormous political as well as practical support gathered for Ukraine.

Thanks to the achievements of the event, it was covered widely in Bulgaria’s largest national media and in all national media agencies.

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EDS Statement on Vladimir Putin’s “special military operation” in sovereign Ukraine Thu, 24 Feb 2022 17:34:22 +0000 Read more]]> Today Russia has launched a full scale attack on independent Ukraine invading with troops and striking with missiles and bombs virtually all regions of the country, a scenario of our worst fears which now is tragically true. President Putin unleashed war on our continent without any real provocation, credibly excuse and on a friendly country. Russia has also launched massive hybrid attacks against Ukrainian internet infrastructure including DDOS attacks taking down essential services as well as wiper attacks aiming to delete essential data to further build chaos, confusion, fear and to destabilise Ukraine.

The attack came after Putin recognised the two breakaway regions of Donetsk and Luhansk and months of military build-up near the Ukrainian border and has been developing all according to the plan published by western intelligence at the end of last year. These acts of aggression are a blatant and intentional violation of international law and a crime against the innocent Ukrainian people, their right to choose their own future and democracy, freedom in Europe.

On this day the world has changed radically and our actions must reflect that. A swift and robust response to the actions of the authoritarian regime of Putin must be taken. Strongest possible sanctions must be put in place in Russia. This includes economic sanctions such as disengaging Russia from SWIFT, freezing Russian assets in Europe and barring Russian oil and gas imports, targeting Putin’s personal circle and allies with extreme personal sanctions, isolating Russia politically and being firm in our support to sovereignty of independent Ukraine. If Putin succeeds in this campaign, the next test for NATO and European security infrastructure may be within our own borders in the Suwałki corridor.

We, the EDS are appalled at what a state of one of our member organisations is going through and in the strongest way possible condemn all aggressions against Ukraine.

Thus besides calling for denouncement of Russia by the international community and punishing the aggressor, we must make sure Ukraine receives all the support that they require. We call on the democratic West to provide humanitarian aid, economic, financial, political assistance as well as weapons, ammunition and other means of military support.

Dear Ukrainian friends, in the darkest hour for Europe since the second World War we stand with you, we are praying for you, and we will support you.

Слава Україні! Героям слава!

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Unique Campaign Opportunity with Partit Nazzjonalista Mon, 21 Feb 2022 14:27:53 +0000 Read more]]> EDS is launching a unique opportunity for 4 young people to take part in the General Election campaign of Malta with Partit Nazzjonalista.

The experience will involve living in Malta for 4 weeks, travelling around the country, learning about politics, communications and campaigning, meeting many young people and taking part in lots of exciting events, campaigns and initiatives.

EDS has been approached by Partit Nazzjonalista to seek young people who are interested in politics and who are keen to support the Party in its electoral campaign for the national parliamentary elections taking place on 26th March 2022.

Volunteering positions are available in a number of roles, depending on your passions and interests, including in communications, social media, logistics, events and door-to-door campaigning, together with the candidates who are seeking office for the Parliament of Malta.

All expenses in Malta will be paid by Partit Nazzjonalista. These include the accommodation, food, campaign activities and transport expenses for 4 weeks.

Flight expenses for these 4 young people will be covered by EDS.

BE PART OF IT and REGISTER until 28th February 2022 by emailing

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EDS statement on the political and language persecution in Catalan schools Sat, 11 Dec 2021 12:17:16 +0000 Read more]]> Acknowledging that:

1. The Catalan regional government has been attempting to establish a language-based identity, trying to forcefully make a distinction between those that speak Catalan and those that speak Spanish.

2. Public education in Catalonia has purposely prevented Spanish from being the working language, it is currently taught as a foreign language. The study of Spanish history and cultures is also omitted in the academic cursus with the political intention of preventing students  from developing their Spanish citizenship identity.

3. The fundamental right of using the mother tongue as working language in primary and secondary school is not granted to Spanish speaking families in Catalonia. According to the latest poll 45% of the people in Catalonia speak Spanish as their mother tongue[1].

4. The separatist regional government has openly defied the Spanish Supreme Court after it recognised the right to being educated in Spanish. After said motion, ruled after a family from Canet de Mar filed against their child’s school, at least 25% of the school hours must be taught in Spanish.

5. Following the Spanish Supreme Court’s decision, the Catalan separatist government has launched a campaign of harassment against the 5-year-old kid and his family. In the last hours, the family of the minor has been receiving a great amount of threats, such as encouraging an attack to the family home, to bully the 5-year-old boy and other behaviours to harm and reify the minor.

EDS strongly condemns the attempt of establishing a language apartheid by the government of Catalonia and the separatist movement.

EDS acknowledges the failure of the Spanish Ombudsman, Ángel Gabilondo, to protect the fundamental rights of students in Catalonia.

EDS demands prompt action, led by the European Union Ombudsman, Emily O’Reilly, to ensure proper legal protection of students in Catalonia.


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VC Iacovou represents EDS at the European Youth Forum Wed, 24 Nov 2021 16:38:15 +0000 Read more]]>

Vice-Chairman Iacovos Iacovou represented European Democrat Students at the first ever hybrid Council of Members of the European Youth Forum that took place last week  in Belgium.  EYF is the largest Youth Organisation on the globe as it represents 40 million young people directly and 150 million young people indirectly.

European Democrat Students, which counts amongst the 61 International Youth Organisations of the Forum, and many National Youth Councils had a very productive Council as it managed to adopt the very first Policy Programme of the Organisation. The ambitious paper which addresses the current urgent needs of the youth, as regards inter alia Youth Rights, Sustainable Development, Democracy and Climate and Environmental Crises. The Policy Programme will be used as the charter of principles for which the European Youth Forum will stand for the years to come.

The Council of Members has also adopted the Budget for 2022 as well as the Progress report. A Governance Review session which leads the discussion between the Members and the Board of the Forum on the proposed statutory changes also took place.

Last but not least, 2021 marks the 25th Birthday anniversary of the European Youth Forum, in this regard, delegates had the chance to speak with the first President of the EYF, Paulina Parhiala and exchange views on the difference between the challenges back in the 90s and today.

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SecGen Ivan Botoucharov attends Conservative Party Conference (UK) Tue, 12 Oct 2021 18:50:00 +0000 Read more]]>

Secretary General Ivan Botoucharov attended the UK’s Conservative Party Conference where he took part in private meetings and a range of events to present the new leadership of EDS after this summer’s Annual Meeting, handout the latest BullsEye Magazine to UK leaders and commit to connecting young people from across Europe with the UK. 

The Conference presented the policies and vision of the Conservative Party including 

Extra funding for the NHS, with 50,000 more nurses and 50 million more GP surgery appointments a year.

20,000 more police and tougher sentencing for criminals.

Reaching Net Zero by 2050 with investment in clean energy solutions and green infrastructure to reduce carbon emissions and pollution.

Ivan met with Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab and Chancellor Rishi Sunak who spoke about the Conservative “Plan for Jobs” for young people. During the Conference they announced the creation of 2,000 elite AI scholarships for disadvantaged young people and a new £34 million fund which will create opportunities to learn new skills and help the UK become a high-skilled economy.

For more information on EDS and our activities get in touch with Ivan on

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EDS Skills Training 2021 Fri, 24 Sep 2021 18:37:00 +0000 Read more]]> Event Report:

EDS Skills Training 2021

Location:        San Marino

Date:               22-24 September

Organisation: EDS – GDS

“Skills Training”

Over the past years, the official debating magazine of the European Democrat StudentsBullsEye – has gone from strength to strength in providing a potent forum for centre-right students, politicians and figures from politics, academia, economy and society. To this end, the EDS Bureau invited the BullsEye Editorial Team to join them in San Marino, for a Skills Training alongside with the Co-Chairs of the Working Group and the Social Media Team. The programme, was divided into three parts: first, participants were offered an insight into the work of several representatives of the Republic of San Marino within international organisations such as the Council of Europe. On the 23rd , both Co Chairs and BullsEye Editors had the opportunity to follow two dedicated workshops: “How to write a good policy document”, “How to write an article”.

The Co-chairs were trained on all aspects of their work: from identifying policies to turning their ideas into motions and leading the working groups. They learnt to recognise relevant topics and stakeholders, and had a brainstorming session on ideas for motions. The Co-Chairs practised leading the working groups in a roleplay workshop and received tools to write background papers and motions as well as individual feedback. They also had a session with EPP International Secretary Patrik Voeller.

The editors also underwent a series of training sessions designed to improve their skills and equip them with useful knowledge for the tasks ahead

Furthermore, the Bureau also held its second Bureau Meeting of the working year 2021/2022.

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20 years ago: EDS sends letter to President Bush Sat, 11 Sep 2021 09:16:00 +0000 Read more]]> EDS has always worked in favour of the principles of Peace, Democracy, Liberty, Human Rights and International Co-operation.

20 years ago the world lost 3000 souls when hijacked planes rammed into the trade center, the Pentagon and a field near Shanksville on September 11, 2001.

Today we remember.

We are today publishing the letter our former Chairman Jacob Lund Nielsen had sent to the American President Geroge W. Bush when our organisation communicated its thoughts and sympaties towards the American people.

It’s our duty in the challenge for having a globalized population and a conscientious society. Lest we forget.

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