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 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 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 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 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 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 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 Constitutional Affairs
Chaired by Natia Ninoshvili (GE)
The gap between the representation of young people and their engagement in the development of European policy is expanding, partly due to the ongoing demographic transition1, potentially leading to systemic disadvantages for Europeans in the future. The Council of Europe declared its goal to “enable young people to be active citizens socially, as well as in the work-life”, thus joining other European institutions and organisations that frequently emphasise this issue. Youth involvement is crucial to promoting young people’s active citizenship2, improving their integration and inclusion, and strengthening their contribution to the operation and expansion of the democratic conversation.
The promotion of intergenerational discussion requires the involvement of young people. The younger generation tends to receive distrust and criticism from policymakers regarding their competency. However, from a legal perspective, they are entitled to engage in decision-making processes which further impact their future, considering that they will face the risks of outcomes. The reduction in political party membership that is visible across European democracies is further echoed by the declining participation of young people in institutions. Young people aged 15 to 24 are the youth cohort as defined by Eurobarometer surveys. Young individuals who do not (yet) have the right to vote or to take part in political activities are included in this age category. This impacts the attitudes and participation patterns of this generation, as they exhibit lower scores in nearly all examined areas of political participation (Figure 1).
The European Youth Forum (EYF) is 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. According to the EYF, young people tend to be ambassadors of a powerful change, noting the current uncertainty in political and social matters affecting them.
The Council of Europe supports political, legislative, and constitutional reform, additionally aiming to maintain democratic stability in Europe with its three core values: integrity, respect and professionalism. These objectives are to be reached through discussions regarding agreements and concerns in economic, social, legal or administrative matters, further cultivating human rights and freedom. The council also funds the EYF and other platforms for young active citizens.
EU40represents under-40-year-old members of the European Parliament, and their endeavours to improve their role. The network, nevertheless, includes key people from the European Commission and the Council. EU40 strives to create synergies between politicians and industries while emphasising most areas that are relevant to the current political climate. A partnership between EU40 and the European Youth Parliament of Italy for the 92nd International Session of Milan was also established in 2021, thus showcasing an example of its collaboration with non-governmental youth organisations.
The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) provides impartial, evidence-based assistance to EU and national decision-makers, assisting in the improvement of fundamental rights discussions, policies, and legislation. The recent FRA’s Fundamental Rights Survey gathered respondents’ experiences, attitudes, and opinions related to human rights. However, the survey indicates a lack of political participation3 among young people.
Legal Framework/Measures already in place
The FRA produced a report in 2017 which puts forward the requirements and age limits in Member States concerning citizens’ political participation. The majority of Member States require candidates to be at least 18 years old to stand for office. The report also points out inconsistencies, gaps in protection, and limitations resulting from various age thresholds. The issue of less youth activism is already acknowledged in the EU Youth Strategy 2019-2027. It supports the social and civic engagement of young people, while also fostering their participation in a democratic society.
The IPU Global Conference of Young Parliamentarians is a platform for young members representing their countries in the United Nations. The meetings are held annually, targeted at discussing, knowledge-sharing, and identifying ways and strategies towards youth empowerment. Furthermore, a delegation of four young MPs (under the age of 45) from each national parliament are invited to attend the conference. These conferences aim to promote solidarity, and intergenerational support, as well as mobilise parliamentarians of all ages for youth empowerment, by focusing on various themes. In line with the Paris Agreement, young parliamentarians from around the world gathered in the last meeting to discuss the climate crisis.
The Young Elected Politicians Programme (YEP)unites politicians in the EU who have been elected at the regional or municipal level and are under the age of 40. Each year, a call for applications to the programme is released. Through the programme, YEPs will have the chance to connect with other young politicians, take part in training regarding issues the EU is facing, and take part in activities run by the European Committee on Regions (CoR). Nevertheless, the YEP encourages local and regional politicians to share practices; assists those areas in grasping and embracing opportunities provided by the EU and gives young people the chance to be involved in the legislative process. With the creation of the YEPcommunity.eu, young elected EU lawmakers have the possibility to network with fellow politicians.
In 2021, the IPU launched a campaign called I Say Yes to Youth in Parliament!, which has been promoted in fifteen countries4 so far. It urges policymakers to take action so that there are more young people serving in parliaments. The campaign’s foundations are goals that young legislators recognised as the most effective means of bringing about dramatic change – supporting youth channels in parliament, empowering young members of parliament, mentoring young aspirants, and advocating for youth involvement, while also aligning the voting age[efn_note]Voting age is a legal minimum age that a person must reach in order to be able to vote in a public election.[/efn_note] with the qualifying age5.
One of the barriers to youth representation is the lack of trust in the younger generation. The adult-centric beliefthat the opinions or skills of younger people are underdeveloped and a bias that young people are uninterested are likely to be the two most prevalent factors. Therefore, this may result in an absence of access to structures that are already in place. Youth participation necessitates the creation of platforms for young people to voice their opinions as well as the commitment of decision-makers to hear them out and consider them. To ensure that their engagement in the process is meaningful, young people require focused help from youth workers, facilitators, or even their peers.
contradiction in the legal system
The majority of commonly used definitions are based on Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. That very convention acknowledges the right of young people to have their opinions taken into consideration when decisions are made that impact their life. Other definitions focus on the decision-making process that young people can participate in and affect. However, encouraging youth engagement should go beyond simply upholding their fundamental right to take part in and influence public decision-making. Young people often do not get a voice in politics. As the notion exists that they are too young or apathetic to participate, despite opportunities, it can quickly become a derogatory exercise. Additionally, it has significant positive effects on community democracy6, which may extend from the young people working on a particular project to the larger society.
the perspective of young people
Young people are prevented from participating effectively in the democratic process since they feel they lack the political skills necessary to take part in institutional politics. This leads to the second factor, which concerns the circumstances and resources considered crucial to politicisation. There is reason to assume that with digital media, the generational participation gap may be closed and that young people may get more involved in politics. Despite a sharp increase in young adults’ use of social media and the research showing that social media use encourages offline political participation, the gap in voter turnout between young adults and older generations has not narrowed.
Lack of knowledge or access to political resources
Schools ought to encourage students to engage in social, civic and political discussions in their classrooms, to express their opinions and listen to, or explore various perspectives. In return, students would be able to develop greater political interest, trust, and knowledge, increasing the likelihood of their political participation in the future. Such a curriculum would contribute to improving students’ values and critical thinking in addition to their knowledge and abilities, giving them the freedom to engage in civic and political matters. Moreover, the disconnect shows great numbers regarding understanding the EU: 41% of respondents in a survey believe they either understand nothing or very little about their national governments. Lastly, language and culture are important factors as well. As a result, many with the greatest potential to benefit from participation are excluded, such as migrants, young people, or people with disabilities. It is also difficult to determine the best communication methods and styles to spark their interest.
To target the given issue of this topic and further develop the plans, these must also be following suggestions that are specific to each Member State, and incorporate them into its response and recovery strategy. Therefore, these recommendations frequently include promises to young people and future generations that are governed by the EU Youth Guarantee. Moreover, a study of the policies adopted across 34 OECD nations accompanies those proposals for Member States in order to ensure a just, inclusive, and resilient recovery for young people through a variety of public governance approaches. Young people are being given a voice on issues related to sustainable development through the Future Mentors Programme. More than twenty European cities participate in the program, where young people take the role of mentors, leaders, and decision-makers. These aspiring mentors of the programme have the opportunity to attend the programme together with the delegation from their city as it also establishes a link between youth and local leaders. According to one of the participants, the programme aims to further empower and inspire other young people across Europe.