Young Leaders Programme, 7-8 June 2017, Brussels, Belgium

Calling young people all over the world

Welcome to the online application process for the Young Leaders Programme at European Development Days 2017 (EDD 2017)!

The European Commission is looking for 16 extraordinary young people (aged 21-26) from across the world, with proven commitment and community engagement, to represent the work and impact on development achieved by youth. Young people are ‘movers and shakers’ in their communities and countries, and are key to solving the universal challenges outlined in the EDD 2017 programme.

The 16 selected Young Leaders will be invited to Brussels, Belgium, and all expenses (Visa, travel, accommodation) will be covered by the European Commission.

Debate with global development leaders, actors and stakeholders

As a Young Leader, you will be invited to come to EDD 2017 in Brussels, to speak in the Auditorium panel discussions of the forum, along with key political leaders. You will have the opportunity to present your story and challenging ideas to the audience, and to engage with key global actors, including governments and international organisations delegations.

Each Auditorium panel addresses one of the EDD 2017 topics, which you can read about here. You will be chosen to speak on one of these topics. You must therefore apply to be considered under at least one of the topics: you can choose up to 3 topics, and according to your expertise and experience, you might be considered for one of them.

In addition to speaking in the forum’s highest-level debates, you will have the opportunity to participate in other sessions to help shape the development policies and practices of the 2030 Agenda.

The Young Leaders Programme lasts for 10 days in total: prior and during the forum, you will have the opportunity to visit the European Union institutions, meet relevant development policy-makers, participate in inspiring workshops and present practices from your region.

How to apply

In order to apply for the Young Leaders Programme, please submit your application before Thursday 9 March 2017 at 1pm CET (Central European Time). You can follow these easy steps:

  • Go to our website on the Young Leaders page and click on the button APPLY NOW;
  • If you don’t have a profile, create one on our website, inserting your information, including your email address;
  • Don’t forget to tick the box “I want to apply for the Young Leaders Programme” when you create your profile!
  • You will receive in your inbox a confirmation of the creation of your profile;
  • Click on the activation link, and you will reach your profile page;
  • Once you have completed these steps, you will be able to create your application – please note that, in order to be evaluated, your application has to be complete and submitted before the deadline. Late applications will not be accepted.

You will be applying to speak at one of the EDD 2017 Auditorium sessions, according to the topic of the panel. To complete the form, you must select at least one EDD topic that you wish to speak about. You must feel comfortable and knowledgeable about the topics of your choice and they must relate closely to your interests and expertise.

Please explore the 16 EDD 2017 topics in the ‘About EDD 2017’ page of the website.

The application process will involve three key stages.

  1. A “profile” stage, where you will be asked to fill in personal details and send a Curriculum Vitae detailing your skills, with special emphasis on leadership and public speaking skills. You will also be required to present yourself and your engagement, in a short 2-min video and explain why you want to participate in EDD 2017 and why you would be a good representative for your chosen topic.
  2. A “leadership” stage, where you will be asked to state which group or organisation you might be representing during EDD 2017. It is important, although not mandatory, to demonstrate that you will be representing other youth or civil society organisations. This can include representing a formal organisation, a social movement, an academic institution, club, representing the conclusions of a consultation, manifesto, conference or debate process, or having been selected by other children or youth in some way. This section will require the name and full contact information of the organisation you might be representing, a brief description of your role in this organisation. You will be asked for a reference letter from someone who can testify that you are a qualified leader, including contact details.
  3. An “involvement” stage, where you will be asked to give examples of your active commitment to a cause related to one of your topics of choice. Your involvement can include a variety of different activities, such as building a project, conducting research, or volunteering for a cause related to your topic. You will be required to include key achievements, a project background description and a description of your role in the project. You should outline leadership skills, commitment to the relevant topic, and future plans or ambitions in the field of the chosen topic. You will also be able to upload up to 3 supporting files for each project.


  • Applicants must be between 21 and 26 at the time of the forum (7-8 June 2017).
  • Applications are open to young adults from all around the world, without restriction of nationality.
  • Applications must be submitted in one of the following official European Commission languages: English / French / Spanish. The candidate must be able to speak clearly and comprehensively in one of these languages, as well as have a mandatory intermediate level of English.
  • Applicants must be able to travel to and participate in EDD 2017 in Brussels (Belgium) from 31 May to 10 June 2017. Evaluation criteria

    We will evaluate your application based on three criteria:

  • 40% Your knowledge of your chosen topic and the relevance of your active engagement. We encourage candidates to show how their activities have had an impact on the community.
  • 30% Your role as a representative of an organisation, other youth or community, and your leadership experience or potential.
  • 30% Your public speaking skills and ability to speak at a high-level panel.

Get started!

You will find the application form on your personal dashboard of the European Development Days website.
Note that you will be required to create a profile on the website before starting the application. Don’t forget to tick the box “I

want to apply for the Young Leaders Programme” when you create your profile.
Don’t forget that you should submit a completed form before Thursday 9 March 2017 at 1pm (Central European Time)! Should you require any additional information or assistance, please contact
We wish you the best of luck in the application, and we look forward to reviewing your proposal!

For more information click “Further official information” below.

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