Young European leaders share their thoughts following Secretary Clinton's remarks with European Parliament President Hans-Gert Pöttering in Brussels.Related Entry:"Secretary Clinton Engages Young Europeans in Town Hall Meeting" by Dana Francis, the Political and Refugee Affairs Officer at the U.S. Mission to the European Union.PARTICIPANT: My name is Michael Geary. I’m from Ireland. I’m working in the European Council. And as a (inaudible), it’s probably – will be the highlight of our five months here in Brussels. And so, yes, we’re looking forward to it. She has this megawatt star quality. And hopefully, we’ll, you know, experience some of that here today.
PARTICIPANT: And I expect the performance, as always, strong statements and a clear view of where the U.S. is going.
PARTICIPANT: I thought it was a wonderful event today. I believe it was the highest – one of the highest officials to visit the European parliament since 1985, since Ronald Reagan, so it’s wonderful to see her here today.
PARTICIPANT: The main thing that I got from it was just to see the strengthening of the EU-U.S. relationship. I mean, just the fact that she was here full stop shows that.
PARTICIPANT: I can describe with one word: inspirational. It was really incredible to see her and also to feel the spirit of dialogue, the openness that she was here to listen and to have ideas, and to get reaction from the young people. And also it was a recognition for the role the European parliament plays as a democratic institution in Europe.
PARTICIPANT: Well, it’s very encouraging today what she said on the environment and climate change, the fact that that’s still top of her agenda, even though there’s the economic crisis going on.
PARTICIPANT: This kind of event should be – happen often, more often, also in the States and also in Europe – young people and politicians talking about problems. I think this is the best option to try to approach politicians and young people.
PARTICIPANT: I think the world is a safer place with Hillary Clinton as the Secretary of State. That’s one positive aspect. And I think the town hall-style events, while they work great in America, are also working quite well here because people want to get engaged.
PARTICIPANT: Well, there was opportunity for interaction. This is a American type of doing politics that the European politicians could learn from. I think she was particularly articulate on democracy, as well as the issue that is very important and dear to Europeans, especially ahead of the parliamentary elections in June and with the new commission and all of the struggles we have in Europe.
PARTICIPANT: I was really surprised by the one – I didn’t expect too much of an answer to the question that I posed, because most people would say, yes, the EU is complex, you know, we try and deal with it and move on. But actually, she brought it right to the point that we need not to get caught up in the process. She really reengaged and reconfirmed the kind of transatlantic link that I thought which was very, very important at this time.
PARTICIPANT: I think she’s an excellent Secretary of State and will do great things for our country and for the rest of the world.