MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION BY COMMITTEE ON LEGAL AFFAIRS II
New and improved?: The last decade was marked by the rise of giant tech companies with innovative business models and large customer bases, which have often taken advantage of legal loopholes and lobbying to implement non-ethical practices. How can the EU hold these corporations to a higher level of social responsibility, thus tackling issues like market competitiveness and workers’ rights?
Submitted by: Cameron Berg, Marleen de Gorter, Kik Maassen, Petra Miladinović, Dan Nguyen, Esther Nijboer, Jahan Omari, Célestine van Swieten, Tudor Vlahu, Muco de Vries, Raphael Gross-Chartuni (Chairperson, NL)
The European Youth Parliament aims to alleviate the democratic deficit caused by corporate lobbying in the EU, improve workers’ rights and conditions in the gig economy, and reduce tax evasion across the European Union. Through this, we also aim to strengthen the existing legislation in place against such misconduct and renew trust in the integrity of European legislative bodies.
The European Youth Parliament,
Fully alarmed by the number of ex-politicians receiving corporate-lobbyist positions after leaving their post in the EU,
Urges Member States to enforce minimum-wage laws concerning gig-platform employers and corporations;
Strongly appeals to the European Commission to expand the criteria for attaining worker status in the legislative draft of the Directive on Platform Work;
Invites the European Commission to develop legislation precisely defining the boundaries of artificial intelligence use in the labour market.
Democratic deficit: The inability of democratic institutions and organisations to uphold democratic values.
Base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS): Tax evasion through the manipulation of corporate tax brackets and asset transfers to countries with favourable taxation systems.
Gig-economy: Labour markets which almost exclusively rely on temporary and part-time jobs provided by freelancers and independent contractors.
Lobbyism: the commercial practice of influencing legislation, regulation or other government decisions on behalf of private clients.
MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION BY COMMITTEE ON EMPLOYMENT AND SOCIAL AFFAIRS
Boomer Era: European countries are facing the effects of an ageing population on labour and social structures as the number of European citizens aged over 65 is increasing rapidly. What measures can Member States take to accommodate the economy and societal structures of the old-age population?
Submitted by: Asmita Anand, Bobby Blaauw, Fiona Blair, Andreas Carter, Isis Gorissen, Anna Herbert, Felix Jacobs, Mina Jovanovic, Crimson Mahoney, Michaïl Marécha, Madelief van Poelvoorde, Paul Gerring (Chairperson, DE)
The European Youth Parliament aims to support Member States in accommodating an ageing population and the increased pressure it places on economic and social structures. Furthermore, the European Youth Parliament aims to strengthen the labour force and encourage healthier family and career balances.
The European Youth Parliament,
Deeply concerned by the rapidly increasing difference between retirement age and life expectancy resulting in great pressure on the social security systems,
Pointing out the increasing stress being put on the healthcare system as a consequence of the ongoing healthcare worker shortage and the increased demand for medical care,
Noting with regret that discrimination negatively impacts the size of the labour force, with particular emphasis on parents, especially mothers, migrants, and older workers,
Concerned by the shrinking of the active labour force resulting in a higher dependency ratio,
Noting with deep concern that almost one-fourth of adults aged 65 and older are considered to be socially isolated, resulting in increased pressure on the mental healthcare system,
Recognizing that in some Member States there exists a disparity between the legal retirement ages of men and women, further worsening the dependency ratio,
Deeply alarmed by the impact of inaccessibility in infrastructure on the quality of elderly people’s lives, with an emphasis on housing, transportation and urban planning;
Urges Member States to increase the legal retirement age and make the retirement age equal for all genders;
Suggests Member States incentivise the extension of careers through income tax reductions for post-retirement age workers;
Asks Member States to encourage a better work-life balance for parents by:
improving flexibility of working conditions, such as remote or part-time working,
allowing parents to divide parental leave as they see fit for their circumstances;
Strongly suggests Member States prioritise making childcare more affordable and accessible through subsidisation;
Encourages Member States to make training programs for workers more affordable and broadly available, particularly in sectors experiencing low labour supply, thus reducing structural unemployment;
Further encourages Member States to tackle the barriers to employment that migrants face, such as increasing the accessibility of work visas;
Calls upon Member States to facilitate the social reconnection of the elderly population through the aid of volunteering organisations, NGOs, community centres, and other social organisations;
Proposes Member States to increase the accessibility of transportation by:
offering discounts to all those over 65 to improve mobility,
adjusting current transportation systems to be more inclusive through barrier-free designs,
passing legislation to ensure infrastructure is accessible for elderly people;
Appeals to Member States to improve the healthcare system in order to adapt it to the needs of an ageing population through:
focusing on preventative healthcare,
funding and implementing new healthcare technologies,
broadening healthcare workers’ abilities.
MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION BY COMMITTEE ON HUMAN RIGHTS
Born at risk: Transgender people are over four times more likely than cisgender people to be the victims of violent crime and 2021 registered a record number of 50 violent fatal incidents. What actions can the EU take to protect the fundamental rights and physical integrity of its targeted Citizens?
Submitted by: Isthea Amoilafoe, Tayma El Yalte, Jente Goossens, Leah Israël, Evy Minnaar, Leo Pettersson, Alice Rapp, Tuur van Berge Henegouwen, Benjamin Stephenson (Chairperson, CH/NL)
The European Youth Parliament aims to protect transgender people in the EU against transphobic violence at its source by curbing microaggressions, fetishisation, and non-inclusive legislation while promoting positive representation of trans people in the media and providing education on the topic. Ultimately, we strive to change societal perspectives and extend the legal protection of trans people.
Observing that the lack of statutory law protections for non-transitioned transgender and gender non-conforming people prevents the prosecution of hate crimes carried out against them;
Calls upon ILGA-Europe’s trans-oriented subsidiaries to facilitate intersectional trans-focused awareness in their respective locations;
Invites the Directorate-General for Budget (DG BUDG) to encourage fund distribution to intersectional trans-inclusive cultural media projects;
Suggests Member States establish the role of a trans-specialised counsellor at police stations nationwide responsible for facilitating communication with transgender victims;
Directs DG BUDG to allocate further funding to Trans United Europe to establish genderqueer-exclusive shelters and genderqueer-friendly shelters;
Asks Member States to establish a national helpline for trans people;
Directs the Court of Justice of the European Union to make amendments to existing hate crime legislation in order to include non-binary trans people and trans people who have not transitioned medically;
Encourages Member States to communicate best practices and existing statutory law regarding hate crimes against transgender people to aid further development of statutory law throughout the EU.
Transgender: An umbrella term for people whose gender identity does not conform to the sex they were assigned at birth.
Intersectionality: How discrimination can combine, overlap and intersect in the experiences of marginalised individuals.
Microaggression: An action that subtly (and typically unconsciously) expresses a prejudice towards a member of a marginalised group.Fetishisation: An unreasonable amount of importance given to an object or person.
MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION BY THE COMMITTEE ON CIVIL LIBERTIES, JUSTICE AND HOME AFFAIRS
On the move: According to the international think tank IEP, 1.2 billion people are predicted to be displaced globally by 2050 due to climate change. Taking into account the effect of climate displacement on (inter)national security and life, how can the EU tackle the effects of environmental migration?
Submitted by: Sophia Biermann, Belle Boswijk, Anouk Bus, Claudia Caisley, Job van der Duijn, Anna Huitema, Madelief Oosterveld, Tin van der Voort, Marjolijn Webb, Kaitlyn van der Weerd, Elsa Nautsch (Chairperson, CH)
The European Youth Parliament aims to affirm the legal rights and protection of ‘environmental refugees’. It seeks to ensure the protection of refugees while relieving pressure on southern EU Member States disproportionately affected by the increase in migration flows due to climate change. Simultaneously, it intends to tackle the effects of climate change on the population.
The European Youth Parliament,
Recognising the increase in the likelihood of extreme weather events as the leading cause for ‘environmental refugees’ by 83% over the past 20 years,
Deeply concerned that the number of people projected to be displaced due to sea level rise alone by 2050 is 150 million globally,
Conscious of the fact that climate change disproportionately affects countries relying on agriculture which causes internal migration from rural to urban areas resulting in food insecurity, overcrowded cities, and potential enhancement of internal existing conflict,
Deeply regretting that the EU has 920,700 pending asylum applications as of October 2022 as a result of a long application process,
Deeply disturbed by the unequal distribution of refugees in European countries due to:
larger flows into countries in closer proximity to Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) States,
the lack of willingness of governments and the public to accept refugees,
Deeply disturbed by the 50.000 deaths since 2014 as a result of the lack of protection for unprecedented numbers of refugees and the absence of safe migration routes,
Expressing our satisfaction with the European Climate Law binding Member States to follow the Green Deal;
Invites Member States to share research into carbon emissions and climate mitigation technology such as early warning systems and response methods globally;
Recommends the European Commission to allocate funds to NGOs such as Climate Refugee to:
distribute resources in MENA states,
facilitate knowledge sharing on resource management, infrastructure, and agriculture;
Asks the European Union Agency for Asylum (EUAA) to appoint a Fundamental Rights Officer to ensure Member States reach the common standard of accommodations for asylum centres;
Encourages Member States to establish new refugee camps and asylum accommodations in or near urban areas;
Urges the European Commission to amend the definition of ‘refugee’ in the Recast Qualification Directive to encompass individuals who have left their countries due to environmental factors;
Advises the European Commission to include ‘environmental refugee’ in the implementation of projects such as the Refugee Awareness Project across all Member States;
Calls upon the EUAA to ensure an EU-wide consistent approach to implementing the CEAS in Member States by:
clarifying aspects of the CEAS frequently interpreted differently amongst Member States,
establishing a EUAA sub-body with the task of keeping track of the implementation of the CEAS;
Requests the European Commission to strictly enforce the EUAA set time limit of 6 months to make a decision on an asylum application and decrease the number of exceptions regarding this time limit granted;
Calls upon the EUAA to facilitate the equal distribution of refugees and their integration in their host countries by:
monitoring the numbers of expected refugees to reach EU territory;
assessing Member States’ capacity to handle migration flows;
Encourages the European Commission to cooperate with Member States and humanitarian organisations to ensure the safety of refugees by increasing the provision of first aid and basic necessities along popular migration routes within EU territory.
Migration: Migration is the movement of a person either across an international border or within a state, voluntarily or involuntarily for more than one year.
Refugee: A refugee is a person who is outside of the country of nationality because of a well-founded fear of prosecution because of their race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership of a particular social group and thus is unwilling to or cannot return to said country.
Asylum: Asylum is a form of protection given by a state or territory to an internationally or nationally recognised refugee.
Principle of Non-Refoulment: The principle means that countries have an obligation to protect and welcome an individual if their life is in danger in their country of origin. In late 2019, the United Nations Human Rights Committee accepted that climate change does impose such a serious threat on people’s lives and that the principle of non-refoulment is applicable.
Motion for a resolution by the Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection
All Along the Algorithm: With social media platforms’ business models based on algorithmic content curation, the phenomenon of disinformation echo chambers has become a mainstay in political discourse. Considering its implications for the security of European citizens and for the democratic processes within the Member States, what steps can the EU take to mitigate this threat?
Submitted by: Wessel Adelaar, Lieke van Driel, Elise Fanoy, Anouschka de Graaf, Ananya Sharma, Selim Urfalı, Youri van der Worp, Wobbe van der Woude, Mihaela Chiujdea (Chairperson, FI)
The European Youth Parliament aims to combat the spread of disinformation echo chambers and their negative impact on the security of European citizens and democratic processes. It further seeks to protect the fundamental right to freedom of speech of all European citizens. It also aims to combat the far-right propaganda facilitated by disinformation.
Deeply alarmed by the utilisation of sentiments of doubt and uncertainty towards democracy in generating disinformation spread with the goal of enlarging the political presence of extremist ideologies,
Suggests the European External Action Service collaborates with Algorithm Watch to detect disinformation through artificial intelligence;
Invites the Directorate-General of Democracy and Human Dignity (DGII) to:
publish a proposal of anti-disinformation guidelines for online newspapers aligned with the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union;
encourage social media platforms to ban or punish accounts that violate agreed-upon values of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union;
Requests the High-Level Expert Group on Fake News and Online Disinformation to cooperate with the European Digital Media Observatory to discuss the implementation of EU certification labels that prove the validity or invalidity of information on a website;
Asks Member States to implement educational awareness campaigns about sensationalist media and the possible disinformation it might include;
Further asks Member States to urge public companies to:
sign the Code of Practice (2022);
promote the execution of a yearly audit done by the Ministries of Internal Affairs to ensure adherence to the Code of Practice (2022) application;
Calls upon the Radicalisation Awareness Network to decrease the influence of political disinformation through deradicalisation programs in the most affected Member States;
Advises the Reboot Foundation to broaden the education on media literacy and disinformation to the general public, specifically educational institutions, elderly citizens and government officials by:
offering teaching resources directed at children and their parents,
setting up community outreach programs about the impact of disinformation,
providing courses on disinformation throughout their careers;
Requests social media companies to link established and reputable sources to existing sensationalist media posts from informal sources.
Algorithmic content curation: Social media selection and ranking algorithms that help consumers experience better content.
Disinformation: False information intentionally and frequently spread covertly in order to influence public opinion or obscure the truth.
Echo chamber: A setting in which a person only encounters information or opinions that mirror and reinforce their own.
Freedom of speech: According to Article 11 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights “Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers. The freedom and pluralism of the media shall be respected.”Code of Practice: A first-of-its-kind technology that allowed industry players to agree on self-regulatory rules to combat disinformation for the first time in 2018.
MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION BY COMMITTEE ON CULTURE AND EDUCATION
Spreek je Nederlands?: In recent years, there has been a large increase of refugees on European soil, thus highlighting the challenges that a new language imposes on them. Considering that, what measures should be taken in order to make education available and accessible, thus abolishing some of the barriers refugees face when integrating into a new society?
Submitted by: Israe El Boudaidi Chikhi, Famke van den Dugen, Tova Fritzon, Pieke Jongejan, Selen Nur Kaçmaz, Feline Mac Donald, Evie Nicholls, Olivia Stjernstörm, Soija Tutulić, Sebastiaan Vanseuningen, Nyah Willems, Bianca Zancan (Chairperson, IT)
The European Youth Parliament aims to help refugees integrate into Member State societies by tackling the language barrier separating them from native speakers. We strive to develop comprehensive tools to ease language acquisition, that shall be available and accessible to all refugees fleeing to, and arriving on European soil. Through promoting the teaching of national languages of host countries, the European Youth Parliament hopes to achieve mutual acceptance between native citizens and refugees and successful integration of the latter with the first.
Understanding that language barriers in the medical field often lead to a misdiagnosis, and to an overall decrease in the quality of provided healthcare, testified by 37% of doctors believing non-native speaking patients hold information from them due to an inability to communicate,
Calls upon the European Council on Refugees and Exiles to conduct a census of refugees living in each Member State and register their biometrics to facilitate better acknowledgement and understanding of their different needs;
Seeks NGOs such as Open Arms and SOS Mediterranee to develop and enhance education-centred infrastructure in refugee camps;
Asks private organisations and (inter)governmental organisations, such as Taalunie, to research the financial and social benefits that come from refugees learning their host country’s language;
Invites Member States to provide healthcare facilities with trained interpreters to improve the doctor-patient relationship and prevent misdiagnosis;
Implores the Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture (DG EAC) to facilitate the development of online language education platforms aimed at providing all foreigners tools to learn the host country’s language;
Further implores DG EAC to provide language courses focused on specialised professions’ terminologies on these education platforms;
Calls upon Member States to introduce modules within teacher training courses that help teachers to make language education more suitable for refugees;
Invites Member States to support the establishment of talking groups for refugees to help them learn the national language in an informal setting;
Requests the Council of Europe to expand the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages to establish guidelines for the acquisition of qualifications in language teaching of refugees;
Urges Member States to increase the accessibility and quality of educational tools and resources by encouraging citizens to partake in educational projects voluntarily;
Encourages Member States to develop courses on language learning for refugees in line with the Linguistic Integration of Adult Migrants (LIAM);
Trusts that Member States will promote inclusion within schools by ensuring that teachers are instructed on each child’s personal needs;
Calls upon Member States to provide support for parents tackling the language barrier in daily life to ease the living conditions of their private lives and promote better societal integration.
Refugee: a person who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, conflict, persecution, or natural disaster.
Language barrier: the difficulty or impossibility to communicate between individuals who do not speak a common language.
Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: an instrument used by the Council of Europe to promote quality education of multiple languages and stimulate reflection and exchange between language experts to improve language education.
Linguistic Integration of Adult Migrants (LIAM): project developed by the Council of Europe in 2006, with a focus on language policy and its development, language learning programmes for adult migrants, and the assessment of learning outcomes.
Taalunie: an organisation which develops and promotes a policy on Dutch teaching and learning in the Netherlands, Flanders, and Suriname.
MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION BY THE COMMITTEE ON CONSTITUTIONAL AFFAIRS
Are you listening?: According to the United Nations, less than 2% of parliamentarians worldwide are under 30 years old, while half of the world’s population falls into this age category. Considering the current popularity of alternative forms of political participation, how can the EU combat the underrepresentation of its young people in decision-making processes?
Submitted by: Basmala Abdelwahab, Sarrah Aulman, Anna Bachem, Saffan Dollart, Senno Evers, Yara Charlotte den Haan, Fayrouz El Hamus, Nikkie Hollander, Aleksei Kupa, Laurence Verbree, Natia Ninoshvili (Chairperson, GE)
The European Youth Parliament aims to create a diverse political field where people of all ages are equally represented and their opinions are acknowledged. Reducing ageism and stereotypes in politics to a minimum is crucial. We strive to create a functional education system where everyone receives the knowledge needed to be an active citizen. We also aim to make participation in politics more accessible to youth by inflicting changes in the legal system, as young people deserve agency to determine their future.
The European Youth Parliament,
Concerned that young people do not feel drawn to traditional political participation due to:
the lack of presence of people under 30 years of age, aggravated by the average age of European parliamentarians being 50,
Aware of the fact that the entry requirements for traineeships at the European Parliament, such as minority language and education, are inordinate for people with less financial, geographical or cultural opportunities,
Bearing in mind that the voting age and age to running for candidacy for the European Parliament differ amongst Member States, leading to an unequal representation of the youth from different states,
Reconfirming that governments do not take into account the opinions expressed by the youth in decision-making concerning young citizens,
Alarmed by the lack of knowledge regarding politics and the late education on the subject within schools leading to potentially reduced involvement in traditional politics,
Noting with regret that platforms for political youth participation are not sufficiently promoted or used to their fullest extent;
Calling upon the Directorate-General for Communications to publicly promote more representation of the youth in politics to eliminate mistrust of older politicians;
Encouraging the legislative bodies of Member States to increase sentences or introduce community service as an additional sentence against threatening politicians in any way shape or form;
Suggesting Member States to adjust the voting age and the age to run for candidacy for the European Parliament to be equal throughout Europe;
Strongly urging politicians to take into account the opinions of the young people by listening to Youth Councils, such as the European Youth Forum, with a minimum of one hearing every three months being dedicated to this purpose;
Further urging the EU to reserve 7% of the European Commission seats for people under 30 with an eventual goal of achieving 15% representation;
Asking the European Commission to provide further financial support for educational programmes associated with political youth participation;
Recommending the EU to make social studies a mandatory subject at schools for at least a year and make it available for those who want to continue studying it;
Advising Member States to provide workshops at schools to teach students about politics in the form of field trips to political institutions, mock elections, and political school activities;
Requesting the Directorate-General for Education and Culture to support the implementation of political education from an earlier age of 12 to familiarise youth with such topics;
Directs the EU to provide traineeships for high school graduates with a willingness to join the European Parliament;
Instructing that the number of required languages is lowered for the already-existing traineeship for bachelor’s degree graduates.
Traditional politics: Direct political participation in parliaments, political parties, and (inter)national governments.
Current entry requirements for the Schuman Traineeship with the European Parliament: The applicants must:
Be aged 18 or over,
Be citizens of either an EU member state or an accession/candidate nation,
Hold a university diploma,
Have a strong knowledge of one of the EU’s official languages and excellent knowledge of a second,
Provide an eligible criminal record,
Not have worked for any other type of traineeship in an EU institution for more than two consecutive months, or
Not have completed a study visit to the European Parliament Secretariat six months previous to the start of the traineeship.
Voting age: A legal minimum age that a person must reach in order to be able to vote in a public election.
Age for running for candidacy: The national law determines the qualifying age to run for office in the European elections. The minimum age required to run for office in the European elections varies significantly, ranging from 18 to 25 years old.
The European Youth Forum (EYF): A platform for youth-led organisations in Europe which is funded by Erasmus + and the Council of Europe. The goal of the EYF is to represent young people, where they will be treated equally as citizens, and empowered to realise their full potential as global citizens.Social studies: Deals with human behaviour, resources, relationships and institutions. Specific topics include history, geography, sociology, politics, economics and anthropology.
MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION BY THE COMMITTEE ON LEGAL AFFAIRS I
Are we going the right way?: With Hungary being declared as an autocracy and the rise of far-right ideologies in several Member States, democratic and EU values are at risk. What measures can the EU take to ensure the perseverance of rule of law and democracy in the European political sphere?
Submitted by: Lina Assalhi, Sofia Boll, Astrid Bråtman, Damnjana Dimitrijević, Ella Hagberg, Hashim Khalid, Mirte van Oorschot, Iva Pavlovic, Ester Pernsjö, Marek Jankovský (Chairperson, CZ)
The European Youth Parliament aims to ensure that the EU values, including the rule of law and democracy, are being upheld and respected across all Member States. It further seeks to re-stabilise the adherence to fundamental EU values through the restructuring of control and sanctioning mechanisms. Finally, it also aims to provide aid to individuals who suffered upon a breach of fundamental EU values and seeks to further support the development of critical theory.
The European Youth Parliament,
Alarmed by the threat posed by discriminatory narratives, such as racism, xenophobia, or homophobia, to the citizens of the European Union by far-right movements,
Aware of the risks represented by far-right ideologies that promote protectionism and welfare chauvinism, an anti-immigrant discourse based on fear and hatred, or traditional family and religious values,
the factual inapplicability of the sanctioning proceedings under Article 7 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU),
Concerned by the actions of several Member States’ governments threatening media independence including:
Member States’ or state-associated bodies obtaining ownership of extensive numbers of media outlets,
control of media content presented to the general public,
strict enforcement of a single party’s political stance or insufficient representation of minority opinions,
extensive presentation of ethnocentric content in media,
Taking into account the negative consequences of significant limitations to fundamental freedoms occurring in several Member States such as restrictions of academic freedom of educational institutions, freedom of association, freedom of assembly, and freedom of expression of specific groups and organisations,
Proposes an amendment of the sanctioning mechanism under Article 7(2) of the Treaty on European Union to change the voting requirements from unanimity to a four-fifths majority of the European Council to determine the existence of a serious and persistent breach of EU values;
Seeks the Fundamental Rights Agency to further the EU’s understanding of the causes of far-right populism by appointing a research group on far-right populism;
Recommends that EU institutions promote and monitor the independence of the judiciary in Member States via means of regular dialogues with Member States’ governments;
Calls upon the European Commission to build upon the rule of law conditionality regulation by introducing further financial sanctions for Member States’ violation of EU values by September 2023;
Appeals to the European Commission to protect the freedom of association and assembly by acting upon the European Parliament resolution of 8 March 2022, on the shrinking space for civil society in Europe;
Further calls upon the Directorate-General for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union (DG FISMA) to minimise the risk of misuse of EU funds by:
MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION BY THE COMMITTEE ON INDUSTRY, RESEARCH AND ENERGY
Itsy Bitsy Robots: Despite the positive impact nanomedicine has had on the innovation ofhealthcare and health research, its potential remains hindered as EU still struggles withnanotechnology regulation. How can the EU foster the development of nanomedicine whileensuring the safety of patients?
Submitted by: Alice Bould, Nout Faber, Yara van Hoek, Fenne Huizer, Evy Jiang, Lisa Lubberman, Beth Marriott, Natasha Martinez Challapa, Julia van der Schaar, Moon Wennink, Arthur Westerman, Teodor-Cristian Borcan (Chairperson, RO)
The European Youth Parliament aims to increase the quantity, and efficiency of research conducted in the field of nanomedicine. Furthermore, it seeks to reform the current regulatory system surrounding nanomedicine, while striving to improve stakeholders’ access to knowledge about nanomedicine. It also aims to maximise the potential of nanomedicine in a safe, efficient and cohesive way, leading to accessible, and high-quality treatments.
Noting with regret the possible exploitation of the decentralised authorisation procedure’s lack of uniformity in Member States by pharmaceutical companies,
Deeply alarmed by the premature abandonment of application procedures due to the fear of undesired outcomes;
Calls upon the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in cooperation with Member States to conduct workshops, seminars, and Massive Online Open Courses on nanotechnology;
Advises Member States to broaden the scope of the science education curriculum in faculties of medical sciences by incorporating information on the applications of nanotechnology;
Instructs EMA to put forward a separate classification system for nanomaterials and nanosimilar products;
Encourages the EMA to foster transparency and efficient knowledge and progress sharing within the international community by reaching out to other drug-approving agencies such as the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency in the United Kingdom;
Asks the REFINE Nanomed Project to organise events focused on knowledge sharing and cooperation between international stakeholders in the field of nanomedicine;
Further calls upon the European Commission to help allocate Horizon Europe grants to companies that choose to apply through the centralised procedure of authorisation;
Requests the EMA to develop a guidebook detailing the application for authorisation of nanomedicine procedure to prevent the premature abandonment thereof;
Strongly encourages the European Commission to introduce a Directive for a minimum safety requirement for nanomedicine authorisation to create a universal standard for the quality of nanomedicine.
Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection
Chaired by Mihaela Chiujdea (FI)
Online disinformation, created either for commercial or political gain, is disseminated through social media and fueled by an anti-establishment trend in European politics that creates a demand for alternative narratives. Its threat to democracy stems from its ability to sway public opinion through deception. It makes use of fear, insecurity, societal divisions, and ideological polarisation, and regardless of the empirical facts behind the story, it gives its readers the satisfaction of reading something that confirms their worldview. Bearing in mind that attempts to combat the spread of disinformation risk exacerbating the anti-establishment feeling that fuels disinformation in the first place, what could be done to improve them and protect democracy?
The French presidential elections in 2022 took place amid widespread worry about the impact of disinformation, misinformation, and societal polarisation on such a high-stakes vote. The presidential election comes after two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, during which the Institute for Strategic Dialogue has seen an increase in anti-establishment and anti-system sentiment in France, widespread dissemination of disinformation about the virus, use of the pandemic to spread anti-minority sentiment, and the rise of authoritarian narratives. For instance, during the 2017 French presidential election, a page-for-page copy of Le Soir appeared under the URL lesoir.info – the original is lesoir.be – it contained a single fake story regarding Macron’s campaign funding and was widely shared on social media. Certain political contenders promoted conspiratorial fringe beliefs in the early days of the election campaign, moreover a potential “Stop the Steal” movement in France and attempts to sabotage the election have been incited by the emergence and spread of disinformation that cast doubt on the fairness and equality of the electoral process, sometimes amplified by political figures with large followings on social media.
EDMO brings together fact-checkers, media literacy professionals, and academic scholars to better comprehend and analyse disinformation, in conjunction with media organisations, internet platforms, and media literacy practitioners. EDMO has set up a platform to aid the work of a diverse community with experience in the field of online deception and will contribute to a better knowledge of disinformation’s important actors, tools, tactics, dissemination dynamics, targets, and societal impact.
European External Action Service
EEAS has greatly increased its capacity to confront the disinformation crisis since 2015, when the issue first surfaced on the political agenda of the EU. It has been creating and enhancing the mechanisms against disinformation, all while developing more accurate knowledge and diagnoses of the issue. It has collaborated closely with other EU institutions, Member States, international organisations including the G7 and NATO, media outlets, journalists, and private sector companies.
The Directorate General of Democracy and Human Dignity
DGII supports the Council of Europe in areas that are crucial for the sustainability of democracy. These areas include ensuring that human dignity is respected without discrimination following human rights standards and improving democratic processes in Europe’s societies.
EUDL is a young, independent NGO that specialises in investigating and combating sophisticated disinformation tactics that are directed at the EU, its fundamental institutions, and its core principles. The EUDL aims to strengthen the information ecosystem by exposing disinformation operations, bringing attention to disinformation-related issues, and gathering and supporting civil society’s resilience to disinformation.
The Reboot Foundation is a Parisian non-profit organisation that provides a variety of materials to promote media literacy. Its website includes a Parents’ Guide to Critical Thinking as well as a Teachers’ Guide to Critical Thinking, used for teaching children media literacy at home and in school.
Legal Framework/Measures already in place
EUvsDisinfo is a flagship project formed in 2015 to better foresee, address, and respond to the Russian Federation’s continuous disinformation activities affecting the European Union, its Member States, and nations in the shared neighbourhood. Its primary goal is to raise public awareness and comprehension of the Kremlin’s disinformation activities, as well as to assist citizens in Europe and beyond in developing resistance against digital information and media manipulation.
A website called Learning Zone Against Disinformation was created to provide teachers in the Member States with a library of presentations outlining what disinformation is and how to handle it to instruct pupils. The toolkit consists of a teacher training manual and an editable presentation with real-world examples and group activities.
A government plan in Spain to combat disinformation has drawn criticism from the media and the opposition, who claim it restricts free speech and aims to create a “ministry of truth.” The National Security Council approved the strategy, which went into force in October 2020, and specifies how the foreign and defence ministries, as well as the intelligence agency CNI, should respond to disinformation. The strategy specifies four action steps, beginning with monitoring the internet to find disinformation efforts and concluding with a potential “political response” from the government if it is judged required.
Disinformation is appealing to illiberal politicians because it provides an easy way for extremist rhetoric to compete with and eventually stifle informed, rational discourse. As news agencies compete for readers in a media climate where revenue is heavily dependent on the number of interactions a story may produce, there is a desire for headlines that are ever more dramatic or spectacular. By creating doubt and ambiguity to such a degree that citizens become overwhelmed and unable to determine what is actually true, it can also cause political apathy – when separating fact from fiction demands too much effort or knowledge, a typical response is to completely avoid politics. Citizens who experience this kind of disillusionment may even start to doubt democracy itself. Therefore, one of the foundational pillars of democracy is challenged by the abundance of inaccurate information online.
The “echo chamber” effect might drastically limit the kinds of news people who primarily rely on social media for their news intake. Users are only provided with a small range of views on most social media platforms since they are shown content that is similar to what they have already liked. There are now many different individualised information spheres where there was once a single public place controlled by rival media. The clickbaiting strategies frequently conflate the categories of news and entertainment, blending in with the social media landscape where it is impossible to distinguish between updates from friends, lighthearted content, and important news. The only thing that matters is that every piece of material, whether it be a hilarious video, serious news story, or a friend’s holiday photos, elicits an emotional response. Outrage, terror, or jealousy are typically easier to arouse than more positive feelings, making them the most effective kind of “fake news” for a particular audience.
Foreign actors with malicious intent to plant and spread false information, manipulate online content, and discredit the debate with “alternative facts” could make use of an organised army of “paid trolls” – each controlling multiple online profiles – in order to confuse and confirm the public’s sense of doubt or influence the target audience on a particular issue. Today, for instance, Russia employs deceptive influence operations to further its geopolitical goals. These operations involve security services, TV stations, private and public corporations, think tanks, social and religious organisations, but mostly social media and internet trolls. Political, religious, and cultural organisations are employed as tools to undermine societal cohesion and infiltrate decision-making bodies, while disinformation operations are organised to attack public officials, independent media, and democratic institutions. The fact that Russia Today continues to draw viewers – 43 million in 15 different European nations – shows that there remains an undercurrent of unhappiness with conventional news that can be relied on.
The European Media Freedom Act proposed new measures to defend the EU’s media pluralism and independence. They will ensure that media, both public and private, can operate more effectively across borders in the EU internal market, without excessive pressure, while also taking into consideration the media’s digital development.
The Digital Services Act (DSA) considerably enhances the systems for removing illegal content and for effectively defending users’ fundamental online rights, including the right to free speech. Additionally, it strengthens government regulation of online platforms, especially those that reach more than 10% of EU citizens. By 17 February 2024, when the DSA is generally set to go into effect, EU Member States must designate their Digital Services Coordinators. Each Members State’s new DSC will serve as a crucial regulatory hub, ensuring coherence and digital competence.
Dutch to step up response to external threats: The Dutch government claims that collaboration with other countries increases opportunities as well as threats. The administration also stated that although additional steps are required to address China’s unwelcome influence, other nations must not be overlooked. There are four strategies to respond to dangers suggested by the reinforced approach: taking proactive measures when Dutch public interests are threatened, fostering and defending economic and information security, thwarting unauthorized foreign involvement, and defending democratic institutions.
Tech Corner: Echo chambers only provide one viewpoint on a topic, and that opinion is bolstered by rumours or inadequate information, while facts opposing it are suppressed. Wherever someone goes online, algorithms track what they prefer to click on. These algorithms will continue to show them content based on what they believe they’ll like until they’re only giving them content they’ll likely consume. A fake news story is prompting readers to post it on social media platforms without examination. Sharing the article exposes it to other people who may be offended by it and, in turn, share it without hesitation, and so on. This cycle will continue until a significant percentage of individuals believe this fabricated story is true.