Category: WRC’23 Topic Overviews

  • FEMM


    Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality

    The story of Karlskoga

    In 2011 a small town in Sweden, Karlskoga decided to research if snow-clearing could be sexist. It started as a joke at first, but it quickly became clear that this joke had some truth to it. At that time Karlskoga, like many Swedish towns, began snow-clearing with major traffic arteries, and ended with pedestrian walkways and bicycle paths – a seemingly obvious choice. What they did not realise was that this actually affected men and women differently because men and women travel differently. The data shows that women are more likely to use public transport or walk than men, who tend to use cars more heavily. This means that women are more likely to be affected by snow on pedestrian walkways. This was also reflected in hospital admissions, which during the winter was made up of 69% of women slipping and seriously hurting themselves on icy pathways. Thus, when Karlskoga decided to switch the snow-clearing order, and start with pedestrian pathways instead of streets for cars, they noticed a significant drop in hospital admissions for injuries.


    From cars that are 71% less safe for women than men, as they were designed using a 50th-percentile male dummy, to 50% of women being misdiagnosed, the world seems to have forgotten women and have excluded them from data collection processes, creating the gender data gap. This gap can be defined as a product of thinking that has existed for millennia. The default “one size fits all” experience of gender has left gaps within our understanding of gendered experiences. It is important to note that this is not done with intention, as this process is deeply intertwined within our cultural and biological history. 

    The data gap is also reinforced by incomplete, flawed or lacking data.

    The consequences of this lack of data can be dire. The gender-data gap has led to less impactful social and economic policies, and impacts everyday aspects of women’s lives. This can be seen in examples such as transportation or urban planning. Furthermore, due to the data gap, inequalities in gendered social and economic spaces, like the workplace, are often ignored or forgotten. 

    The lack of gendered data becomes an even more pressing issue when we consider the ever-growing digitalisation of our society. It already is common practice that Artificial Intelligence (AI) helps doctors with diagnoses, scans through CVS, or conducts interviews with potential job applicants. These AI’s however, have been trained on the existing data sets therefore may be perpetuating the data bias. Nonetheless, closing this gap is not just as simple as the production of sex-disaggregation data in all sectors. It also needs to be written into the legislative framework in order to impact the obstacles women and girls are currently facing due to the lack of data. 


    • Gender: the characteristics of women, men, girls and boys that are socially constructed. Including norms, behaviours and roles associated with being a woman, man, girl or boy.
    • Gender Data Gap: the circumstance that the majority of data collected on which our organisational decisions are based upon, appear to be biased in favour of males.
    • Sex-disaggregation: data on males and females that is collected and analysed separately Data bias: an error that occurs when certain elements of a dataset are disproportionately emphasised or overrepresented. This leads to skewed outcomes, systematic prejudice and low accuracy.
    • Gender Mainstreaming: The action of implementing a perspective of gender equality at all levels of policies, initiatives, programmes and projects.

    Key Actors and Stakeholders

    • The European Commission: This stakeholder is the European Union’s (EU) political executive arm and has legislative power. It has a section on fundamental rights that has implemented the strategies to combat gender inequalities.
    • The World Bank: Is a global partnership with five central institutions that work towards sustainable solutions that reduce poverty and build shared prosperity specifically in developing countries. They have recently implemented the Strengthening Gender Statistics (SGS) project (see next section). 
    • The European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE): This is an autonomous body of the EU which works on strengthening gender equality in all EU policies and the resulting national policies of Member States. Working with all policies EIGE’s primary focus is to research, collect data and make statistics regarding gender equality in various sectors. 
    • The International Telecommunication Union (ITU): This is a specialised agency of the United Nations responsible for many affairs related to information and communication technologies. Therefore, this stakeholder also has dedicated a section to bridging the Artififcial Intelligence data gap. 
    • World Health Organisation (WHO): This stakeholder is another specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for international public health. It too has a section dedicated to addressing the gender data gap, now specifically in the health sector
    • Member States: These are the 27 countries that share both privileges and obligations imposed by the European Union. These are stakeholders within this topic, as they are impacted by any legislation, policies or political direction the EU wants to take. An example of a political direction is the Istanbul convention for example, which is a treaty that combats violence against women. The Member States may choose to not ratify these kinds of treaties but are encouraged to do so by the European Council. 

    What has already been done? 

    In 2020 the European Commission introduced the European Union Gender Equality Strategy which aims to present policy objectives and actions that will ensure significant progress by 2025 towards a gender-equal Europe. The main objectives of the strategy is to end gender-based violence; challenging gender stereotypes; closing gender gaps within the labour market and care; achieving equal participation across different sectors; addressing the gender pay gap and achieving gender balance in decision-making and in politics. This strategy is a strong start towards more equality within the EU but is missing explicitly creating a pathway to combat the gender data gap. 

    The Strengthening gender statistics (SGS) project is an initiative driven by the world bank for a global engagement on gender statistics, with the focus mainly being within the economic domain. It specifically draws on expertise from the gender group, and the development data group’s Living Standards Measurement Study (LSMS) program, which provides technical assistance when improving gender data production and dissemination of sex-dissaggregated statistics. The project is mainly focused on IDA countries* and is currently supporting twelve of these with a statistical operation with results expected by 2023. Therefore, this project is currently not working directly within the borders of the EU, but is building a framework for gender specific data collection. 

    Lastly, the UN women count strategy is an initiative created by the United Nations that want to support the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which aim to achieve gender equality by 2030. However, to do this, more sex-dissagrated data needs to be collected, in order to monitor the implementation of the SDGs. Therefore this strategy seeks to create a radical shift in how gendered data is used, created and promoted. 

    What are the key challenges? 

    Throughout history, women have systemically been ignored when it comes to being represented within data. This has led to gaps in knowledge within various sectors ranging from government policy and medical research to technology and media. Currently 80% of indicators for gender equality of the SDGs have data gaps, which create problems and obstacles for the women. In addition to this, women only make up 22% of the representation in health trials globally. This means that medicines are exponentially less effective for women. Further obstacles for women can be found in urban planning infrastructures, making it harder for women to commute. The data gap affects the everyday life of women, for example the size of smartphones, which is often times too big for a woman’s hand. 

    Furthermore, with the growing use of Artificial Intelligence in many sectors across Europe, such as in health care, the gender data gap becomes even more prevalent and important. The data used within these AI systems is based on pre-existing data, and therefore, is ineffective in improving the quality of life for all citizens 

    All of these gaps are reinforced by lack of sex-diseggrated data, alongside lack of representation in research , policy making and media. Women only make up 37% in the media sector, which is not only a consequence of the gender data gap, but continues to reinforce it.

    What now? 

    Even with all of these factors, there is a lack of a systematic structure that combats these gaps in knowledge. This is mainly due to the fact that the problem has been such a long standing issue. Therefore it is important to both look for a future thinking solution, but also take into account already existing biases

    • How can we ensure more sex-disaggregated data is collected?
    • What measures towards gender specific data can be set at a local level to build a base for wider international research
    • How can we improve previously collected data in order to ensure that there is no gap in knowledge?
    • How can we reverse the data bias already existing within our societies today?

    Further Research

    Introductory Clauses to the resolution

    1. Stressing that the data gap is creating gender-based obstacles in various sectors such as health, technology and industry, which can lead to dire circumstances,
    2. Recognising that on a European Level, no clear policy has been created to combat the gender data gap,
    3. Emphasising that the rise in Artifical Intelligence (AI) Technology will increase data bias, 
    4. Noting with regret that only 15% of countries worldwide have legislations in place that order specialised gender-based data,
    5. Deeply concerned that currently 80% of the indicators for gender equality of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have data gaps,
    6. Alarmed by the fact that women only make up 22% of representation in health trials globally,
    7. Deeply conscious that lack of representation in research, policy and in the media further perpetuates the gender data gap,
    8. Bearing in mind that Member States’ governments are free to develop their own data regulations;
  • DEVE


    Committee on Development

    Chaired by Linus Schmidt (DE)

    The story of Phillip and Lindiwe

    Phillip Muranda is a local business-owner in Zimbabwe who runs a small welding shop. However, in Zimbabwe, most of the energy supply comes from hydropower plants, which have become unreliable because of climate change and extreme droughts. The country struggles with massive electricity shortages. Phillip says: “For big and heavy welding jobs I have to wait for the electricity and this is forcing me to work in the middle of the night”. The same is true for local vegetable vendor Lindiwe Matambo. For years, she has cooked her vegetables with the help of electricity. Not only because it is easier, but also because cooking with firewood is bad for human health and the environment. However, because of the electricity outages, she has to choose between cooking with firewood she needs to gather in the nearby mountains, and cooking in the middle of the night, when electricity is available. In this electricity shortage crisis, Zimbabwe has embraced up to $5 billion from China to invest in highly polluting coal-fuelled power plants. Such Chinese investment has enormous allure throughout Africa. The EU must take a more active approach if it wants investment that is sustainable and climate-friendly, while also improving the quality of life for citizens.


    In 2021, the European Commission announcedThe Global Gateway”, promising to invest EUR 300 billion into less economically developed countries (LEDCs) by 2027, EUR 150 billion of which into Africa. The goal is to establish a sustainable, digitised infrastructure with functioning health care systems and to provide quality education for future generations. The concept emerges in times of international competition for influence spheres in LEDCs with both the United States with its “Build Back Better World” project and especially China with its “Belt and Road Initiative” already displaying endeavours to establish far-reaching economic relations with LEDCs. It is therefore only natural for African countries to be sceptical: The distinction between relations for influence’s sake and relations for good-will’s sake is difficult. In addition to that, European countries have historically utterly failed to show respect for African countries and their people: Both colonialism and vehement repatriation debates are not forgotten. Prior investments into African countries have mainly aimed to ensure the supply of natural resources from Africa to Europe and China with little regard for human rights or working conditions in the mines, not resulting in any benefit for the people. European policy-makers often fail to display knowledge of the reality of life in Africa and how financial aid ends up being used. Cooperation in the context of the Global Gateway will only be possible if said problems can be eliminated. It seems obvious that the EU will need to act truthfully and develop projects which will actually be for the good of the people, but in addition to that, trust both within the governments and within the population needs to be established: The EU has to demonstrate that they are the partner countries will want to cooperate with. Only then will the Global Gateway have the chance to become a successful project. 


    • Hard and soft infrastructure: Hard infrastructure is anything physically tangible, e.g. roads, schools, hospitals etc. Soft infrastructure are the services related to hard infrastructure, e.g. education or health care. 
    • Private investors (also referred to as the private sector): Investors from the private sector are any non-governmental entity that wishes to invest into projects. In the context of the Global Gateway these investments are incentivised by European public players
    • Team Europe Approach: The Global Gateway is operating via the “Team Europe Approach”. This essentially means that EU institutions, Member States, banks and the private sector will work jointly together. In order to ensure a successful project, collaboration will be key. 

    Key Actors and Stakeholders 

    The European Commission acting via the European Fund for Sustainable Development Plus (EFSD+) is the main actor coordinating efforts on a European level. The fund will finance both direct investments by the European Union and give incentives to private sector investors to do so accordingly. 

    A large portion of the investments will be driven by Member States. It is therefore imperative to include them into any decision-making process and to ensure good diplomatic relations between Member States and LEDCs as well. 

    Another major group of stakeholders are private investors. One goal of The Global Gateway is the upscaling of private investments into infrastructure in LEDCs with incentives by the EFSD+.

    All of these European Stakeholders need to work together with actors in Africa. The country’s governments are naturally the first stakeholders which need to be involved. However, as more regional demands may occur as well, local players and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) need to have a seat at the table too. 

    What has already been done? 

    In 2007 the Joint Africa-EU Strategy with the aim to improve dialogue and cooperation was launched. However, in many ways African countries have deemed this partnership unequal, as interests clashed during e.g. the Libyan crisis 2011. More recently, African countries have felt let down in the context of the covid vaccine’s rollout: Donations only came scarcely and a large controversy over patents arose. 

    In order to combat these problems, the EU launched the Global Gateway in 2021, with African countries generally welcoming the initiative at the European Union-African Union summit (EU-AU summit) 2021. One year later, the summit in 2022 saw the agreement on several more areas of partnership in order to promote security, peace and economic development, passing measures including but not limited to a provision of 450 million vaccine doses by mid-2022 and enhanced peace and security cooperation. Additionally, the EU has also implemented strategies for the development of specific individual regions in the past, mostly in order to combat crimes such as violent extremism, piracy or forced displacement. 

    Overall, the EU-AU summit has so far been the central means of communication. It allows for multilateral discourse on pressing issues affecting several countries at once. Regional action plans have been implemented in the past, but so far these have not been solely for development aid. 

    What are the key challenges?


    The projects undertaken in the Global Gateway must adhere to certain sustainability standards. While this may seem natural in light of climate change and the knowledge that fossil resources will be depleted in the near future, many African countries still wish to utilise the many resources they still possess in order to develop their economy. In all industrialised nations, use of fossil fuels has paved the way to booming economies and prospering societies in many cases. African countries deem it unfair that they should be denied use of their natural resources when more economically developed countries (MEDCs) have profited from them  for decades. Still, the EUs endeavours to fund sustainable projects are in accordance with international agreements such as the Sustainable Development Goals and will also be key to ensure long-term economic development in LEDCs. It is therefore imperative to find a sustainable path forward, without hurting the development and growth of poorer countries.

    Perception issues

    In Africa the EU faces a plethora of reputational challenges from the get-go:

    Firstly,  European bureaucratic procedures are considered slow and ineffective. It often takes a long time for money to be granted and then used. In addition to that, the EU doubles down on its efforts to promote democratic values. This is perceived as interference with domestic affairs, many countries favour the Chinese approach which is only economical. Overall, African countries feel like European infrastructure investment has barely, if at all, changed the situation in the past and thus scepticism about its effectiveness arises for the future. 

    Team Europe Approach

    The Team Europe Approach allows for a broad range of investments from different actors and constitutes a cohesive European approach. However, it naturally also means that different players act distinctly, still the issue at hand will be the same for everyone. Each player is facing perception issues, each player will have to listen to local demand. While the EU has established the EU-AU summit and is expected to strengthen ties with African countries, little to no initiatives have been undertaken for e.g. the private sector. Even Member States individually will have to establish new diplomatic relations and improve on the existing. 

    What now? 

    The measures the European Union can undertake in order to advance the Global Gateway are manifold. The success of the project boils down to a successful Team Europe Approach. Apart from acting on its own, the EU has to be a competent coordinator of individual actors.  

    Via the EU-AU summit close diplomatic ties were established between the two international organisations and the EU has even developed regional development strategies for e.g. the Sahel zone. It could further expand on these efforts and make sure regional actors like NGOs, local governments or citizen’s initiatives are heard. 

    Furthermore, the EU needs to work on its reputation. After intentionally selecting projects, their quick and efficient implementation needs to be ensured. It also has to demonstrate that sustainable development in line with the Global Gateway’s goals will benefit the African countries in the long run. 

    As a coordinator it can for example act as a mediator between Member States and and LEDCs. Those partnerships will be vital for the Global Gateway and the measures the EU will further take in this regard have to be discussed. 

    Further Research

    Introductory Clauses to the resolution

    1. Pointing out that the EUR 150 billion will not only be provided by the European Fund for Sustainable Development Plus (EFSD+), but Member States and private investors are included as well,
    2. Acknowledging that the European Union will have to play a key role in mediating between Member States and African countries,
    3. Noting that the EU faces a plethora of reputational issues including the notions that past partnerships have been unequal and development aid is mainly distributed in pursuit of the EU’s own interests,
    4. Affirming the importance of sustainable development but acknowledging the injustice experienced by African countries being denied use of their natural resources,
    5. Reiterating that hard and soft infrastructure are both imperative for long-term development and require coordinated, but entirely different approaches,
    6. Reminding that the EU has developed individual regional security strategies in the past,
    7. Convinced that investments can only be lead by local demand if local players and NGOs are included in the process;
  • AFET


    Committee on Foreign Affairs

    Once bitten, twice shy: now that the war in Ukraine has made Europe painfully aware of its reliance on Russia for energy, the EU is keen not to fall into the same trap twice. With the continent still depending on third states such as China for raw materials and technologies, how can the EU increase its strategic autonomy and stay true to its values?

    By Felix Crawford (NL)

    The story of Jonathan

    Imagine a fantasy world. In this world, there is a guy named Jonathan. Jonathan is a prisoner of the state, though he has not been charged with anything as of yet. Jonathan is awaiting trial. Whilst awaiting trial, Jonathan is forced to work for his government. He has to work long shifts peeling garlic, day in and day out. This garlic is sold for a huge profit, and Jonathan gets paid exactly nothing. The garlic burns his skin and weakens his fingernails. He gets sores all over his hands. There is nothing he can do but wait for the trial to commence.

    Unfortunately this fantasy world is very similar to a real-world issue the EU is facing right now. Select countries take advantage of the prison system they have put in place, and force their prisoners to work long and demanding jobs for free. One of the more notorious cases of prison labour is found in China. Not only Jonathan, but thousands of others like him are forced to work, with big industries depending on, and demanding, their free labour. 


    Situations such as Jonathan’s are not uncommon in today’s day and age. Many of the EU’s trading partners have different policies than those of the EU. This can be in regards to, amongst others, the treatment of their civilians and their stance on international conflicts. The EU has legislation protecting foreign worker’s rights, but cannot curb other nations’ beliefs regarding international conflict. When global relations shift, the EU can be left stranded without vital resources. This has happened with Russian oil because of the Ukraine war. The EU is now forced to look for oil and gas elsewhere. Rapid increases of gas and oil prices are a valuable reminder of the EU’s dependence on external nations.

    It is not possible for the EU to become entirely self-sufficient, nor would that be favourable for its international relations. Trade is one of the primary ways to foster international cooperation and understanding, and therefore invaluable to the EU. Furthermore, the EU does not have the raw materials to make it completely self-sufficient. Because of this, it is not a viable solution to stop trading completely; though raw materials are definitely available, and technology can be made, this does not account for all EU needs. Trading deals are however quite complex. The EU has no say in the foreign policy of external nations. Direct hostility has historically not worked out well, yet nations can easily ignore purely diplomatic agreements. A connected concept that has gained popularity amongst EU politicians is the idea of strategic autonomy, or being able to act independently regardless of circumstances.

    It has been established that the EU relies heavily on imports from other nations. EU demand even seems to be rising. Unfortunately, not all nations the EU trades with hold the same humanitarian, ecological and political values as the EU. This can lead to trade conflicts or even trade wars. Disagreements between the EU and other international traders such as the US stress the EU’s economy and have large consequences for its civilians. Given the volatility of international relations, how can the EU safeguard its trade whilst protecting the workers involved?


    • Strategic Autonomy is defined by the European External Action Service (EEAS) as the capacity to act autonomously in any circumstance and with partners necessary wherever possible1. In other words: to count in the world and be able to make its own choices. Strategic autonomy is not about self-sufficiency but about reducing external dependencies.
    • The International Trade Law of the United Nations, detailing various agreements Member States have come to as well as various ways economic growth can be stimulated through fair, environmentally friendly and globally applicable measures.
    • The Human Rights Clause of the EU is a clause that has been added to nearly all bilateral trade agreements the EU has made since the 1980s, stating that the EU can terminate any agreements when there is sufficient proof of the violation of human rights. 
    • Raw Materials are those materials that can be taken directly from the land or water. Since 2001 the EU has had a large trade deficit in raw materials, with a net loss of €35.5 billion in 2021.  

     1Definition originally used by the European Council in their November 2016 conclusions

    Key Actors and Stakeholders 

    • In Europe, the most highly affected non-governmental group is that of small, medium and large businesses. These businesses rely strongly on the stability of the market, and might have to shift their entire business model if trade with a specific country is reduced or terminated.
    • The World Trade Organisation (WTO), being one of the largest international platforms for global trade arrangements, has many treaties that the EU (or individual Member States) have signed. Various arrangements made here are very relevant towards what the EU can and cannot do to control their global trade networks.
    • The Directorate-General on Trade (TRADE) of the EU is the main body in charge of the EU’s trade policy. Alongside the EU’s own trading policies, this body is also strongly involved in international cooperation; they hold seats in the WTO and have many individualised trade agreements with non-EU countries.
    • The European External Action Service (EEAS) is the EU’s diplomatic service. It works under the European Commission as the primary organ responsible for international diplomatic action, and is also involved in military endeavours. The EEAS has many tasks related to foreign policy and affairs, and is an invaluable tool in negotiations with partners.
    • The Group of Twenty (G20) comprises the 20 most relevant countries in global economics. These include amongst others China, The US, India, Canada, Russia and Germany. One of their main focusses is their Finance Track, in which the finance ministers of each country convene to make international agreements on trade. 

    What has already been done? 

    The EU is very aware of its position in international trade. There are many examples where the EU has implemented safeguards regarding its trade in their relatively new Trade Policy. These safeguards fall into two primary categories: the protection of human rights, and the protection of EU interests. Regarding human rights, the EU (and especially the European Parliament) have consistently included the human rights clause in their legislation and trade agreements. Whenever a trade partner violates the human rights of its workers, the EU can abandon the agreement. This is very rarely done, but rather serves as a tool to promote better working conditions and international dialogue. 

    Regarding the protection of EU values and interests, the European Commission has heightened their vigilance regarding who they trade with, and what their agreements state. They are aware of the fact that trade is increasingly being instrumentalized by certain third countries as a way to influence the political decisions of the European Union and its Member States, and have responded through various different measures. Amongst others they are focussing more on the functioning of the European Single Market, and the evaluation of supply chains. Though these endeavours are helpful, it is quite difficult to balance this protectionism with the economic impact of trade; about 15 percent of the EU’s economy is reliant on international trade

    Third-party countries’ trade policies heavily influence EU trade as well. China for example collaborates closely with the EU regarding  mutual trade policies. The Chinese government has released many policies on EU cooperation, generally proclaiming their willingness to further EU-China relations. In response to EU concerns about Chinese investments, China has indicated plans to reciprocate businesses in the future. It has however been consistently growing its international trade, limiting European trade opportunities. Furthermore, Chinese workplaces often do not adhere to EU policies on human rights. The EU furthermore has concerns about certain Chinese policies and business customs such as, but not limited to: 

    • a lack of transparency, 
    • Industrial policies and non-tariff measures that discriminate against foreign companies, 
    • strong government intervention in the economy and no meaningful distinction between public and private enterprise,
    • poor enforcement of intellectual property rights.

    What are the key challenges? 

    Execution of the Human Rights Clause (HRC)

    Though the EU has implemented the HRC in virtually all recent trade agreements, it has never fully used the mechanisms described in the clause. The EU has the right to terminate an agreement when there is enough evidence of the violation of human rights, but refrains from using this mechanism. It prefers to use the clause as leverage in international political debate. Many parties however, believe that this negates the role of the HRC. There have been efforts to reinforce worker protection in treaties further, but this has met resistance from Member States.

    Dissonance Between Member States and the EU as a Whole

    The EU as a whole has a clearly defined policy towards international trade. Individual Member States however, do not always completely agree with, or adhere to, EU guidelines. This can be due to high national protectionism or different values.  EU Member States have different views on strategic autonomy and differences in national policies, which weakens the EU’s political force. Alignment could be improved considerably. Though there are ways to penalise Member States, they are often difficult to implement or unsuited for the circumstance. 

    EU Trade Deficit and Consequent Leverage from Third Countries

    Because of the steep trade deficit the EU faces, as well as the fact that the EU lacks the raw materials to sustain itself completely, it relies on third countries for raw materials, as well as for important technology, such as 5G and microchips. The EU can choose which countries it wants to trade with, but is ultimately bound by supply constraints and the rising demand of its citizens. This means that trade partners hold a certain amount of leverage over the EU, as their materials are vital to support the EU. Sometimes countries use this economic power to coerce the EU and influence EU decisions.

    Shifting Values and Policies of Trade Partners

    Another challenge when managing global trade is the political shifts of trade partners. Policies, values and governments are ever changing, and it can be difficult to respond quickly to changes from partners. With EU decision making being relatively slow, reacting to these shifts is often up to individual Member States before the EU changes its policy. This means that stances towards partners can be fractured amongst Member States, challenging the authority and guidelines of the EU.

    What now? 

    Trade is always a complex matter. The EU is committed to promoting human rights and protecting its citizens and interests, but has to work with a trade deficit of billions of euros. It relies heavily on import from non-EU countries, giving those countries leverage over the EU. Though the EU has legislation and treaties in place, as well as various platforms that allow for discussion with third-party states, there is no way to force other countries to adhere to EU guidelines or policies. There is a need for further policy, as well as a response to third countries shifting values or policies. 

    Furthermore, it is vital that trade remains stable between the EU and externally affected countries. Business owners and national economies should be prioritised, as these are at risk when changing trade policy. The balance between market protectionism and economic benefits is complicated to maintain, and should be carefully considered when making policy. The complexity of this situation raises a few primary questions:

    • How should the EU approach the implementation of human rights in their policies and treaties, and should these be prioritised over international relations or economic benefits?
    • What can the EU do to ensure its safety and protection on the international market?
    • Should the EU establish further treaties or shared policies with countries that do not completely adhere to EU policy?
    • Which regions or countries should the EU focus its trade policy on?
    • How can the EU ensure that businesses and national trading endeavours are minimally disturbed by new policies?

    Further Research 

    Introductory Clauses to the resolution

    1. Alarmed by the increased instrumentalization of trade by certain third countries as a way to influence the political decisions of the European Union and its Member States,
    2. Realising that the EU’s reluctance to implement the Human Rights Clause is linked to promoting political dialogue,
    3. Affirming the need for consistency between trade partners regarding the implementation of the Human Rights Clause,
    4. Aware the EU faces a large trade deficit and many external dependencies,
    5. Recognising that business owners and national economies are put at risk when drastically and immediately shifting trade policies,
    6. Reaffirming the previously established trade policy of the European Council;
  • LIBE I

    LIBE I

    Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs I

    Chaired by Alice Maffoni (IT)

    The story of… 

    Sara was born in Spain to a lesbian couple. Her parents were of Bulgarian and Gibraltarian origins. Their dream was to live a normal family life, but they had to fight for it. Once Sara was born, her parents, to not leave their child stateless, decided to move back to Bulgaria since Spain doesn’t grant citizenship to those who don’t come from Spanish descendants and because Gibraltar doesn’t allow the transfer of citizenship. They couldn’t have imagined what was waiting for them. Bulgarian authorities didn’t acknowledge Sara’s birth certificate because the state doesn’t recognize same-sex legal parenthood. A child was almost left stateless, with no identity documents recognised. 

    An opposite-sex couple wouldn’t have needed the intervention of the Court of Justice, whose judgment was in favour of same-sex parenthood, to be parents of their child, but the widespread sex-based discrimination among some Member States still requires the intervention of a superior body to make civil rights be respected. 


    The European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) safeguard the right to marry and to found a family for all EU citizens. However, the lack of legal recognition of same-sex parenthood in the EU Member States, other than being a discriminatory absence itself, lead same-sex couples to face great difficulties concerning the legal representation of their children in fields such as healthcare, education or travelling abroad. 

    The EU lacks authority to recognise someone’s marital or family status therefore national laws in this area may differ: only 21 out of 27 EU countries provide a legal framework for same-sex couples. Some Member States permit same-sex couples to get married, some allow alternative forms of registration, such as civil unions, and others don’t give same-sex couples any kind of legal status. Even if there have been great steps forward since the Netherlands for the first time in 2001, legalized same-sex marriages, rainbow families are still struggling to get the recognition they deserve. The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) recognises the civil rights of same-sex couples and the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) rules that marriages performed in one EU country must be recognised by another EU country. However, same-sex parenthood hasn’t been acknowledged. Methods to achieve parenthood for same-sex couples, such as medical-assisted procreation (MAP) and adoption, are bound to the Member States’ legislation. 

    The EU has been tackling said issues for a long time now and the fight still isn’t over: on Wednesday 23 November 2022, the proposal to recognize common laws for same-sex parenthood has been one of the main topics discussed by the Members of the European Parliament1 and the European Commission presented a proposal on this matter a few days later. 

    As Mario Furore, member of the European Parliament, said: “we cannot allow for citizens to be discriminated against”

    1Members of the European Parliament pushed the European Commission to craft a proposal to enshrine the cross-border rights of ‘rainbow families” in to EU law.


    • The EU laws that impact the personal status of EU citizens are the ones that include all the  policies that affect the individual’s recognition of their partnerships with others, as well as the individual in their role as a parent.
    • Same-sex couples seeking to become parent might turn to assisted reproduction treatments (ART) which include all medical procedures that can help with an inability to conceive children. 
    • Where same-sex marriages are still illegal, there might be the possibility for the couple to be recognised in a civil union which differs from marriage for the lack of recognition of some federal benefits such as social security and immigration benefits. 
    • Spouse is a gender-neutral term used in the EU legislation which refers to a person bound to another in marriage, therefore it includes every same-sex spouse in the EU. 

    [Image 1]

    Key Actors and Stakeholders

    The European Commission along with the European Parliament  and the Court of Justice have both affirmed their will to align opposite-sex and same-sex couples in terms of civil rights. However, the EU’s scope on this matter is narrower considering that EU Member States are in charge of the civil rights granted to their citizens. Furthermore, each country organises access to MAP and adoption: parenthood is bound to the Member States’ legislation. This can be different from country to country.  

    Moreover, the European Parliament, as the legislative body of the EU, can call upon the European Commission, the executive body of the EU, to ensure the rights established by the EU are respected among its members.  

    Multiple activist organisations that promote same-sex couples’ rights, such as the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) and the European Network of Equality Bodies (Equinet). This network was established to encourage a consistent application of EU law in the areas of non-discrimination and equal treatment, 46 organisations from 34 different European nations, including all EU members, are part of the network.

    What has already been done? 

    There have been various steps forward for same-sex marriages and parenthood possibilities in the EU. Today marriage equality is safeguarded in 14 Member States. The Free Movement Directive of 2004, established by the European Commission, allows all spouses, including the ones of rainbow families, to freely move between the EU Member States, even if the new host country doesn’t recognize same-sex marriages. Furthermore, multiple rulings of the CJEU represent landmarks regarding this area. For instance, in 2008 the CJEU during the Camon and Hamilton Case2 in Romania, stated that each part in a same-sex marriage must enjoy the same freedom as a spouse of heterosexual marriage, defining the word spouse for the first time as gender neutral and making it clear that same-sex spouses must be granted residence rights within the EU Member States. After this case and the ECtHR ruling, the European Parliament in 2021 passed a resolution to ensure that the sentence established by the Court of Justice is respected among the Member States, however, this goal still hasn’t been achieved. 

    Moreover, when adoption is available to single parents, the ECtHR determined that LGBTI people cannot be discriminated against

    For what concerns the recognition of birth certificates of same-sex couples’ children, the CJEU rules that birth certificates issued in a Member State must be recognised throughout the EU and, moreover, the European Commision proposed, on Wednesday 7 December 2022, a new rule with the aim of ensuring that rainbow parents recognised in one country, are recognised as parents in all the EU Member States protecting their movements throughout the EU. 

    [Image 2]

    2Clai Hamilton, spouse of Romanian citizen Adrian Coman, has not been granted residency even after the CJEU recognised the freedom of movement of spouses.

    What are the key challenges? 

    The EU does have its own position regarding same-sex couples’ rights to marry and parenthood, however, there are multiple challenges that have to be overcome.

    The European Court on Human Rights (ECtHR) doesn’t require the Member States to be open to same-sex couples marriage but only to provide them with legal recognition if they have been married in another Member State. However, this ruling isn’t always respected in practice3 and the diverse legislation within the European Union regarding the matter of same-sex couples’ rights makes it hard for those involved to freely move across the Member States. 

    LGBTQ+ support is still uneven among the EU Member States: 9 countries prohibit adoption for same-sex couples claiming that growing up with two parents of the same sex can expose children to a difficult life despite studies showing that said children grow up just as well as children with opposite-sex parents. The countries where same-sex partnerships, not marriages, are recognised allow second child adoption4 but not the adoption of a child de novo5. Moreover, when this last adoption practice is allowed, it’s mainly an international process which requires two conditions that are hardly ever found combined: firstly the applicant’s country has to allow same-sex couples to adopt as well as the country of the child that’s going to be adopted. And as stated before, many Member States allow only one partner to adopt6, making the whole process really fragile considering the child would be legally bound to only one parent. 

    Finally, despite the existing regulations of the European Union itself and the Court of Justice, there have been some struggles to get the Member States to behave following such directives. The EU doesn’t hold the power to actively change legislation regarding civil rights in its Member States and this lack of authority has already led to sex-based discrimination events where countries such as Romania weren’t following the general anti-discrimination EU legal framework.  

     3 Case of Romania
    4 Adopting the partner’s child
    5 A child who has never had any legal paternal connection to neither of the members of the couple
    6  The ECtHR ruled that when the country allows a one parent to adopt, same-sex couples must not be discriminated

    What now? 

    Equality is one of the main values of the European Union. The LGBTQ+ community has been safeguarded from multiple aspects, but the work done is not enough. Despite Member States such as Sweden providing rainbow families with the same rights as opposite-sex couples, in countries such as Italy or Bulgaria same-sex parents are barely recognised.  Many questions and issues are still to be answered. 

    Noting that same-sex couples are still being denied certain civil rights in the Member States, how can the EU make progress in this area? 

    In which way should the EU make its rulings be respected by every Member State?

    Which actor could facilitate the adoption process for same-sex couples?

    How should the EU and the involved actors counteract sex-based discrimination?

    Further Research

    Introductory Clauses to the resolution

    1. Emphasising Article 12 and Article 14 of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) which protect the right to marry and found family for all EU citizens without discrimination, 
    2. Noting with deep concern that only 21 out of 27 EU Member States provide a legal framework for same-sex couples,
    3. Alarmed by the difference of the LGBTQ+  family rights’ recognition between the Member States, 
    4. Keeping in mind that the Member States have jurisdiction over the civil rights granted to their citizens such as the right to adoption and the use of assisted reproductive treatments, 
    5. Deeply concerned that 9 EU Member States prohibit adoption for same-sex couples,
    6. Recognising the work done by the European Court of Justice which recognised
      1. the gender-neutral recognition of the word “spouse” in the EU legislation,
      2. the freedom of movement for same-sex couples throughout the EU,
      3. the legal validity of birth certificates of same-sex couples’ children in each Member State, 
    7. Aware that the ECHR ruled that where adoption is available for single parents, same-sex parents cannot be discriminated against
    8. Having examined the fragile process for same-sex couples adoption which shows multiple discrepancies between the states’ requirements for parenthood and international adoption;


    Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs II

    Chaired by Giada Chiassi (IT)

    The story of…

    Have you ever run away from your country, escaping war and persecution, with the awareness you will probably never go back? Have you ever experienced the feeling of finally reaching a new country where to start a new life just to be placed in an overcrowded building with no help? It may sound like a horror story, but thousands of people experienced it. Motaz Mohammed did. 

    He ran away from Yemen, his home, to arrive in the Netherlands looking for a better future. He was placed in the asylum seekers’ centre of Ter Apel. He was promised he would find a safe and welcoming environment. Instead, Motaz Mohammed spent eleven nights sleeping outside of the centre, through heat-waves and thunderstorms, with poor hygienic conditions and nearly no help. He is just one of the thousand of people who experience these conditions where they should have found a safe place. One of those failed by the system. 


    On 26 August 2022, hundreds of migrants were forced to leave the asylum seekers’ centre of Ter Apel after camping outside the building for several nights. This latest case is just the tip of the iceberg of growing problems for all Member States. The reception crisis started to worsen in 2015 when the asylum applications increased by 150% compared to the previous year, mainly due to wars in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. The number of migrants started to increase again this February after the Russian war against Ukraine, with the European Union (EU) already welcoming 11.3 million refugees since the beginning of the conflict. 

    The right to seek refuge from persecution in other countries is granted by Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as well as by the 1951 Refugee Convention.

    Although the EU has established a Common European Asylum System (CEAS), the asylum procedures in all Member States are still not harmonised to the European legal framework. Especially in countries such as Spain, Italy and Greece, which are the countries where most of the refugees first arrive, living conditions in reception facilities are usually inhumane. The EU instituted in the 2015 European Agenda on Migration the opening of new facilities called hotspots to relieve the burden of immediate assistance to refugees from Member States. However, the measures taken by the EU are not enough to contain the reception crisis and guarantee dignity to the asylum seekers living there.

    Moreover, the negative consequences of this migration emergency also affect the EU citizens living in proximity of the centres who are witnesses to the undignified living conditions. The result is a stigmatisation of the figure of the refugee which will lead to the increase of support for far-right parties and groups and in anti-migrant racism and discrimination.  


    • Refugee: someone who, due to human rights violations and persecution in their own country, has been forced to seek safety in a different country.
    • Asylum seeker: someone whose request for asylum (protection by the host country) is still being processed by the relevant national authorities.
    • Common European Asylum System (CEAS):  a set of common migration policies  and standards to be followed by all Member States in receiving migrants. 

    Key Actors and Stakeholders 

    National level:

    •  Vluchtelingen Werk Nederland: the Dutch Refugees Council, an independent and non-governmental organisation with the aim of helping refugees during their asylum procedure and integration into society according to the European legal framework.
    • Member States: they have shared competencies with the EU in the area of migration and home affairs but they hold the actual executive power to enforce regulations according to the European common legal framework.  

    European level:

    • European Union Agency for Asylum (EUAA ): an organisation of the EU with the mandate of supporting Member States in the process of harmonising its asylum procedure to the CEAS. 
    • European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE): an affiliation of 110 Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs) working on the EU territory to protect the refugees’ legal rights in all Member States and support their process of integration into European society. 

    Global level:

    • UNHCR: an organisation active in 140 countries working on short term projects for refugees as well as long term solutions. It works side by side with National Governments and Supranational Institutions to ensure human living conditions, education and housing for displaced people. 

    What has already been done? 

    In 2020, the European Commision improved the CEAS system to strengthen the relationships between the EU and third countries from which refugees come from and to advance the asylum procedure. It also proposed the new Pact on Migration and Asylum to improve the EU’s management of migration flows. 

    In 2021, following the rise of asylum requests by Afghans following the Taliban takeover of the nation, Member States had established several strategies to meet the needs of Afghan citizens. For example, Spain settled a military base as a first help centre for refugees coming from Afghanistan while the Netherlands initially set up emergency centres and then increased the number of reception facilities to welcome all new arrivals. A similar strategy has been used by the Netherlands to alleviate the reception crisis at the Ter Apel centre, with the Dutch government temporarily opening new facilities  both on land and on cruise ships to relocate refugees and offer them better living conditions. 

    The European Commission also approved the Cohesion’s Action for Refugees in Europe (CARE) to support Member States to provide immediate support to people leaving Ukraine after the Russian invasion of the nation. It will give Member States more funds to finance infrastructure equipment and staff needs in reception facilities as well as long-term integration projects of refugees into society. 

    To facilitate the reception of migrants, the EU decided to activate the Temporary Protection Directive in order to offer immediate assistance for people fleeing from Ukraine. This plan allows refugees to benefit from some basic rights such as medical help, social welfare, education and housing for a period of three years maximum.  

    What are the key challenges? 

    During the past years the EU has seen an increment of the asylum applications only comparable to the 2015 refugee crisis, with 98 000 applications only in September. This is the result of several international scenarios which took place during the 2020-2022 period. In September 2021, the EU countries saw an increase of 72% of asylum applications compared to the previous month, due to the Taliban take-over of Afghanistan resulting from the US and international forces withdrawal. Member States were not ready for such a significant increase of the migration flow and their facilities were not sufficiently equipped. Some of the centres were closed as a consequence of the decrease of the number of refugees arriving during the Covid-19 pandemic, which reduced by 33% in comparison to 2019.  After the revocation of the border control in the Schengen area which was reintroduced to contain the spread of the virus, migration flows increased by 58% compared to Covid period.  Most of the centres are now overcrowded and unable to provide medical help to new arrivals, who are for the moment supported by NGOs, such as Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) that helped migrants camped outside the centre of Ter Apel. Moreover, the inadequate living conditions also affect asylum seeker’s mental health. Overcrowded and undignified housing, along with unstable conditions, are proven to worsen people’s well-being. Although refugees are five times more likely to suffer from mental illnesses due to their personal background, they face more difficulties in finding psychological help due to language barriers and economic instability. 

    The aim of the 2020 new Pact on Migration and Asylum of more collaboration between all Member States to welcome asylum seekers has not been reached. The deterioration of the relationship between France and Italy is just the most recent of the several examples of the controversies between Member States for the relocation of migrants.  Moreover, EU and Member States have a shared competency on the area of migration and home affairs, with the Member States holding the executive power, making it impossible for the EU to work directly on the issue.

    The rise of extreme right parties that the EU is now facing can be a key challenge in the process of improving asylum seekers’ living conditions. Their xenophobic ideas can lead to a further stigmatization of the figure of refugees and to a consequent lack of integration and episodes of violence and hate  in European society along with a decrease of interest in asylum seekers’ conditions.  

    What now? 

    The EU has lately seen an unexpected rise of asylum procedures in all Member States. While the European Commission approved some advantageous short-term programs, we still lack efficient long term projects to advance conditions in asylum seekers’ centres.

    • How can the EU guarantee basic human rights and dignity to asylum seekers and refugees living in national centres?
    • How can the EU ensure that all Member States will have adequate support for the reception of asylum seekers?
    • How should the EU act in order to protect asylum seekers’ mental and physical health during the asylum procedure and to prevent a possible repeat of Ter Apel’s refugee centre case? 

    Further Research

    Introductory Clauses to the resolution

    1. Acknowledging that the right to seek refuge from serious threats to life or freedom in a foreign country is granted by article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,
    2. Deeply alarmed by the living conditions of asylum seekers in refugee centres across Member States,
    3. Pointing out that  life quality in refugee centres may worsen due to the rise of the migration flow as a result of events of various nature as:
      1. the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan,
      2. the revocation of Covid-19 prevention measures that had lowered the possibility of  cross the EU boards
      3. the ongoing war in Syria,
    4. Noting with regret the lack of international cooperation between Member States on the process of reception and resettlement of refugees in the European territory,
    5. Alarmed by the widespread of anti-migrant racism and discrimination linked to the rise of far-right parties and groups in Member States, 
    6. Disturbed that asylum seekers are more likely to experience serious mental distress due to their personal background and living conditions in the facilities, but less likely to receive psychological support, 
    7. Appreciating the activation of the Temporary Protection Directive to allow Ukrainians refugee to benefit the rights granted by the national social welfare,
    8. Appreciating the Cohesion’s Action for Refugees established by the European Commission to help Member States providing Ukrainian asylum seekers with emergency support;
  • TRAN


    Committee on Transport and Tourism

    Chaired by Berre Wiels (BE)

    The story of Junta

    Junta was born in a little village in Thailand till on a sudden day a flood destroyed her house. Junta is only one of millions of little kids whose lives are affected by climate change. 

    On the other side of the world you have Finn, a Danish boy living his best life. Finn has been an official member of EYP Denmark for years and thus has travelled a lot. Because trains are too expensive and time consuming, he always goes by plane. Every session, multiple sessions a year. What Finn does not know is that by doing this he was part of the destruction of Junta’s house. Because he did not know any better, he kept living his best life, not realising the impact he was having. This year Finn had to cancel the regional session in Wageningen as he wanted to change his way of travelling. His search for an alternative has not been easy since he does not own a car and train travel is too time-consuming and expensive.


    The European Commission set out the goal to cut 90% of its emissions by 2050 as a part of the Green deal, making the transition to rail traffic inevitable. With rail traffic only contributing to  1%  of transport-related pollution (compared to 71% for cars and 12% for planes), it is a valuable contribution to reaching this goal. A return journey from London to Paris via Eurostar would produce 22kg CO2 per passenger, 91% less than an equivalent flight’s 244kg of CO2. But to actually reach this goal, more people will  have to travel using trains, as they account for only 5,4% of all transportation, while cars account for 87.2%.
    With transport contributing around 5% to the European Union’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and employing more than 10 million people in Europe, the transport system is critical to European businesses and global supply chains.
    Multiple institutions operate cross-continental railway travel, such as the Gronau-Enschede line between Germany and the Netherlands, which operates on a local signalling system and other trains that have vehicles which are specifically equipped to run on multiple networks, such as the Saarbahn between Germany and France. However, rail networks across Europe remain underdeveloped. This emphasises the need of a clear integrated European railway network to avoid chaos between borders and to also reduce the general costs, developed by for example the constant change of electrification in each country. Due to the fact that different national networks have been designed with different voltages, this issue arises: international trains must be able to adjust to a wide range of currents, including 750 volts, 1.5 volts, 3 volts, 15 volts, and 25 volts, as well as the difference in gauges, which creates a tremendous problem when travelling across country. 
    Furthermore the amount of subsidisation varies in each member state as the local train companies are under control of the national government, which leads to a variation in railway quality throughout the whole Union.


    • Rail traffic is the vehicles, passengers, or freight that are moving from place to place by railway. 
    • Rail freight are all goods transported by train.
    • The European Green Deal is the EU’s main new growth strategy to transition the EU economy to a sustainable economic model.
    • Track gauge is the distance between the inside faces of the rails
    • The Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) policy addresses the implementation and development of a Europe-wide network of railway lines, roads, inland waterways, maritime shipping routes, ports, airports and railroad terminals.

    Key Actors and Stakeholders 

    • Consumers/travellers are the people that we need to convince to travel by train. It is they who select among the different options, prices, and travel times.
    • National:
      • Companies like Nationale Maatschappij der Belgische Spoorwegen (NMBS)/ Société Nationale des Chemins de fer Belges (SNCB), Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS) and Deutsche Bahn (DB) are private national railway companies who work under control of their local government.
      • Member States design policies to be implemented on the national level. They develop and maintain infrastructures such as roads, railways and ports; promote destinations to tourists, and ensure their safety.
    • International:
      • The European Railway Agency Database of Interoperability and Safety (ERADIS) ensures that the information relevant to the safety and interoperability of the railways in the Member States is accessible and transparent to all interested parties and stakeholders in the railway
      • The European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) is a single European signalling and speed control system that ensures coöperation of the national railway systems, reducing the general costs of the signalling systems, but also increasing the speed of trains, the capacity of infrastructure and the level of safety in rail transport.
      • The European Union Agency For Railways (ERA) divides the technical and legal framework for creating a railway area as mandated under European law.
      • The Directorate-General on Mobility and Transport, one of the offices of the European Commission, develops the EU-policy regarding transport and mobility and is responsible for the programmes that financially support trans-European networks, technological development and innovation

    What has already been done? 

    The European commission has already implemented an action plan on sustainable and smart rail transport, which builds upon the experience from the 2021 Year Of The Rail. The action plan itself focuses on two main pillars: 

    • The full and correct implementation of the existing European Union’s regulatory framework for railways, including the removal of any redundant national rules
    • The removal of obstacles to long-distance and cross-border passenger rail services.

    Regarding the  second pillar, the European Union has announced they will mandate a ticketing system that is accessible for everyone with the same app. Here the example made by Germany, implementing the Deutschlandticket, is crucial in reaching this goal. With the Trans-European Transport Network’s (TEN-T) primary objective to close gaps, remove technical barriers and strengthen social, economic, and territorial cohesion in the EU, their influence will be crucial.  Furthermore the European Union  Agency for Railways (ERA) has established a multi-annual programme, covering the period from 2022-2024. With the main focus being the creation of a single European railway area this is a program that will alter the future of the European railway industry.
    In the longer term, Poland’s Nevomo and Spain’s Zeleros are developing maglev rail systems and scalable Hyperloops. Despite Nevomo’s plans to develop a Hyperloop prototype in the future, they are currently developing a “magrail” system, which could be operational by 2025. With magnetic levitation technology, a train will be lifted off the track and propelled along by magnets.

    What are the key challenges? 

    The key challenges of transitioning to a community where rail traffic is a common medium of transportation will be the modification of the fragmented train network in Europe and the fight against road traffic, but also to raise awareness on the option of night trains as they often give a sustainable alternative for long flights.
    Since freight trains are specifically designed to carry high cargo volumes over a great distance, rail traffic is the preferred method of long distance transportation for businesses. For short distance transportation, road traffic is the preferred method. It also comes with the benefit of door-to-door services. But also the fight against aviation and more specifically passenger flights will be crucial.
    While it takes one and a half hours to fly from Brussels to Milan, it takes the full fourteen hours and a half  to take the train. But what most people don’t know is that the plane isn’t always the cheapest in terms of money. Classic families (two parents, two children) travel cheapest by car. But for someone who travels alone those costs may vary. Travelling from Amsterdam to Berlin by train will cost you between €50-€75, by car it will be around €75. But if you would travel to a closer destination, like from Amsterdam to Bruges, travelling by car (€37) will be cheaper than by train (€44). Even though the prices are almost the same, the time of travelling often determines this decision. Not to say that train travel is the most sustainable way of travelling, therefore we need to change people’s  behaviour.
    Aside from this, the liberalisation of rail companies allowed different private monopolies to emerge for cross-country railway connections. Those monopolies raised the price, which led to less frequent train travelling like back in the eighties. Although the liberalisation of the train companies had a lot of downsides, the liberalisation of the aviation sector made the tickets way cheaper than they were before, this because air tickets are not subjected to VAT or paraffin taxes.

    What now? 

    1. By 2025, how can the European Union (EU) achieve its goals regarding train travel, set out in the European Green Deal?
    2. How can national train companies work together to create an integrated, cross-country network?
    3. How should the European Union (EU) tackle the liberalisation of rail companies?
    4. How can the European Union (EU) take an example of Germany’s ‘Deutschlandticket’ and make train tickets affordable and attractive?

    Further Research



    Introductory Clauses to the resolution

    1. Noting with deep concern that only 5,4% of all transportation is done using railways,
    2. Stressing the problem of variety in railways throughout the European Union (EU), by:
      1. having three main types of track gauges,
      2. using different voltages for each member state,
    3. Referring to the difference of subsidisation in each member state,
    4. Aiming to reach a positive effect through alternative approaches to rail liberalisation as in the aviation sector,
    5. Taking into account that the European Commission on mobility and transport have already set out a step-by-step strategy in the European Green deal to cut its emissions,
    6. Further noting the action plan set out by the European Union  Agency for Railways (ERA) with the goal to make long-distance cross-border rail travel more attractive,
    7. Taking note of Germany’s successful implementation of the Deutschlandticket;