Page 1

The Owlery.


Sometimes, you stumble upon people you have no idea you needed in your life, but as soon as you meet them, you have no idea how you could ever live without. That happened to me recently. The story starts in April 2013, at the Ghent International Youth Forum of EYP Europolis Belgium. I was an International Organiser, and I had to pick Delegates up at the bus station. Luckily for me, I got the Irish Delegation. I thought I would have fun, since I’m half Irish and I usually get along with my people quite well. That was unfortunately not the case here. They were walking very slow, and even though I walked at least 30 meters in front of them, I could hear every word of what one girl - who by the way was the slowest of them all - was saying, and to my misfortune, she would not stop talking at all. Her name is Catherine Noonan. We did not speak much during the Session, but when I was selected to be the Editor of the Intenational Youth Forum of EYP Poland in Wrocław and saw that she applied as a Journo, I knew I needed her to be on my team, so I selected her, and that turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life. In many other peoples opinions, the worst.

Editorial

Catherine and I have been told, we are exactly like sisters. We talk equally loud/fast/Irish, have an obnoxious yet profound love for KFC and laugh at the exact same things. Owls being one of them. At one point in Wrocław, we were unable to work for over an hour, because we were in stitches over this picture of one owl. My love for owls (and Catherine!) have been growing ever since. I cannot guarantee you that you will love owls as much as me, but I will guarantee you this: You will meet people like Catherine in EYP. You will be in stitches for several hours over something as platonic as an owl. You will one day have a story like mine to tell, because this is what EYP is about. Meeting people, creating friendships, creating stories like mine, and maybe one day, you will get to find an animal you love as much as I love owls. It is my great pleasure - together with my Journo team THE OWLS., to welcome you to the European Youth Parliament. Hopefully, the National Selection Conference of EYP Norway in Lillehammer will be your first the of many EYP expereinces. You see, EYP is so much more than just politics, discussing interesting topics, internet polics and so forth - but that is simply up for you to discover. On behalf of the team, welcome. We cannot wait to get to know you, take pictures of you, play silly games with you and last but not least, produce a newspaper you will save in many years to come. With lots of love from your Editor, Christina Daubjerg Newman (DK/IE)

(PS. The funny owl is on the back covers) 1


The Owlery is brought to you by

2

Alex Guzenko (Editorial Assistant) Christiane Hansen Kahrs Anniken Knutsen Mari Frostad Marie Storli Harry Heath Clemence Rerolle Leonard Bagiu Riikka Nieminen


AFCO The agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA) has been a topic of debate since its incubation in 1994. Originally designed as an agreement made for multiple countries it now grants only three countries special rights and access to the European Internal Market. Is there still a place for the agreement in our current Europe? Should the agreement continue as it is, with modifications or should the EU present an ultimatum to the three nations to be in or out? By Anniken Knutsen

3

The European Economic Area (EEA) is an agreement between the 27 EU member states and three EFTA (The European Free Trade Association) states; Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. Switzerland is a part of the EFTA, but voted no to an EEA membership. They still cooperate with the EEA. These states have accepted a close trade relation with EU, as reflected in the EEA Agreement (1994). This agreement extends the Union’s internal market to the EEA EFTA states. 
 EFTA was originally founded on the premise of free trade and a means of achieving growth and prosperity amongst its Member States. Another goal is promoting closer economic cooperation between the Western European countries. EFTA was established in 1990 as a third-country policy to mirror the European Union's external economic relations approach after the end of the Cold War. 


The origin of the EEA began in the late 1980’s when EFTA (European Free Trade Association) led by Sweden started to look for options to join the European Communities. Meanwhile, Jacques Delors (who was president of the European Commission at the time did not like the idea of the EEC (European Economic Community) enlarging with more member states, as he feared that it would impede the ability of the Community to complete the internal market reform and establish the monetary union. Delors proposed a European Economic Space (EES) in January 1989, which was later renamed to European Economic Area. 


EFTA-EEA states are allowed to participate in the EU's Internal Market (sometimes known as the single marked) without being members of the EU. The three EFTA countries adopt almost all EU legislation related to the single market,


except laws on agriculture and fisheries. However they also contribute to and influence the formation of new EEA relevant policies and legislation at an early stage as part of a formal decision-shaping process. 


Even though Norway is not a part of the EU, in the period 2009-14, the Norway Grants support 61 programmes in 12 countries in Europe. The Norway Grants are available to the 12 EU member countries that joined in 2004 and 2007. Under the Norway Grants, Norway has set aside €800 million for the current funding period. The decision-making body for the grant scheme is the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Norway also provides 95% of the funding to the EEA Grants. This is an example on how the EFTA countries are contributing to the EU economy.

The EEA Agreement provides for the inclusion of EU legislation covering the four freedoms, i.e. the free movement of goods, services, persons and capital, as well as competition and state aid rules. In addition, the EEA Agreement covers the following horizontal policies: consumer protection, company law, environment, social policy, statistics, and provides for cooperation in several flanking policies such as research and technological development, education, training and youth, employment, tourism ,culture, civil protection, enterprise, entrepreneurship and small and medium-sized enterprises. The EEA Agreement guarantees equal rights and obligations within the Single Market for citizens and economic operators in the EEA through Article 6.

“The EEA Agreement provides for the inclusion of EU legislation covering the four !eedoms, i.e. the !ee movement of goods, services, persons and capital, as we" as competition and state aid rules.” 


4


 The EFTA States now benefit from virtually the same privileged relationship among themselves as they do with the EU. The EFTA Convention effectively applies to the relations between Switzerland and the EEA EFTA States, since the EEA Agreement applies to trade relations between Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. It is updated by the EFTA Council regularly to reflect developments under the EEA Agreement and the Swiss Bilateral Agreements. But is It right to grant these three countries these privileges without being part of the EU? And which privileges are we talking about? 



5


Run the world, girls.

FEMM Women's suffrage centenary: In 2013 it is 100 years since universal suffrage for women was introduced in Norway. Still women are underrepresented in National Assemblies and governments throughout Europe. To what extent does this represent a democratic problem and what should be done to ameliorate women's representation in European politics? By Christiane Kahrs

The year 2013 marks the 100-year anniversary of women’s suffrage in Norway. A lot has changed since then, and to be able to vote today is just a matter of course. All over Europe women are represented in governments, parliaments and other democratic arenas. But how much power do women actually have? Even though women make up for 52% of the European Nation, only 30% of people in the European Parliament are women. In Norway women make up 47 % of the employed, but in leadership positions women are only represented with 31 %. It is clear that the women are under-represented in many parts of Europe, although not equally much in every arena and parts of the continent. After the election in 2009, 40% of the parliament members in Norway were women. In Sweden, Denmark and Finland we will find the same levels, but when we look to France or Britain, these figures are far smaller, for instance 19 % in France and 20 % in Britain. The elected members of a parliament are supposed to represent the people and their opinions. When so little as about 20% of the elected are women, one can question if the population in general are represented. The problem is not that law is not protecting women’s rights, but that their views and prospective voices are not being heard. A 100 years ago, when women’s suffrage was implement in Norway, the men in authority was a big part of making it happen. Still, even though men are willing to put women’s interests on the agenda, we still strive for more women in decision-making positions. Several gender quota schemes have been implemented in the public sector in Norway for example, and have increased women’s decision-making power. This may be part of the reason why we see that the percentage of women in high positions are higher in Norway, than in many other European countries. Can Europe have something to learn from Norway in this area? This year, 2013, was the first year I was entitled to vote. I am proud to say that I voted on September 9th 2013, at the 100-year anniversary of women’s suffrage in Norway. I am glad I have this opportunity that so many women around the world are without. In Norway these days, three female and one male party leader are negotiating to form a coalition. Who would have thought that would be possible a 100years ago?

6


ITRE Who sets the research agenda? How best can European nations balance the need for independent scientific and medical research, with the needs for funding that are often satisfied with industry involvement? By Harry Heath

7

Although it may not initially seem so, the Committee on Industry and Research and Energy have one of the key problems facing Europe in their motion; we need to make sure our research industry thrives and remains competitive whilst making sure it best serves people and not solely large corporations. Currently, one of the largest problems in the area of research is the lack of cooperation between European countries; there isn’t any European state run institute or group to coordinate European research policy. It should also be noted that Europe is failing to meet its research spending target of 3% of GDP, with the majority of what is being spent mainly coming from the private sector. Looking at these issues, it is clear that one of the largest problems with this issue is an ideological one, whether we favour independent research that may struggle for investment or if we would prefer a research agenda driven by industry, which pressures the public pocket less but may not best serve the needs of individuals and society as a whole. Do we want more or less control of research in the hands of our governments? The EU already has some limbs that attempt to promote and fund research in the public interest; the European Research Council (ERC) for example provides funds for nearly 4,000 projects, many of which in places like universities that are almost entirely detached from big businesses. Another European institution that makes a major dierence in the field of research is the Horizon 2020 programme which between 2014 and 2020 will provide around ₏80 billion towards funding innovation, whilst consulting the public of Europe via the VOICES project using workshops and other measures. Any measure to remedy this issue would almost


certainly require the use of the ERC and other existing institutions, but, as hinted at before, this motion is also about the balance between public and private research, and many could argue that it would probably be unwise to put too much power in the hands of these institutions rather than businesses. We could risk falsely assuming that a privately led research agenda would not serve normal people, where in fact many private research initiatives have improved peoples’ quality of life and been of general benefit to many. An example of this would be the pioneering research by Bayer that gave us readily available, cheap aspirin. Although this aspirin is providing profit to

8

Bayer, it is not at the great expense of the sick, showing that business and society can exist in harmony in the field of scientific research. There is a counter argument, where drugs like cancer drug abiraterone, manufactured by Johnson & Johnson, are prohibitively expensive for many. To conclude, the issues that face European research are great but not insurmountable, and this motion is one that, with the right measures, could help create a better Europe.


DROI “The Romani Holocaust and Contemporary Challenges”; The existence of a strong anti-Gypsyism toward the Roma people make them vulnerable to racist violence and discrimination directed towards their person, property and way of living. Which measures should be implemented to ensure the safety of the Roma people? And how to secure that all European states treat them according to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights By Clémence Rerólle

For over a thousand years, Roma people have been migrating to and establishing themselves throughout Europe, where they have become the biggest ethnic minority. Yet, a thousand years have not changed much to the way they are treated and looked upon by non-Roma populations. Today, although most Roma people have become EU citizens, they are considered by governments as stateless nomadic people and thus are being denied their fundamental human rights. Despite the horrifying memory of the Romani Holocaust during the Second World War, racism and discrimination directed against Roma people are still a very contemporary issue. This virulent anti-Gypsyism grew from a severe lack of understanding of the Romani culture. If Roma people possess their own culture and identity, as suggests the existence of a Romani flag and hymn, they do not belong to any political nation-state. As a non-territorial minority, Roma people cannot be easily classified, which triggers a feeling of insecurity and fosters their exclusion. While being marginalised and feared, no political entity can represent the Roma people at a national level. And without the right to vote they do not have the power to change their situation. Denied basic human rights such as housing, education, employment and health, and prone to racist violence in some countries, Roma people are therefore easily trapped in a poverty cycle fuelled by discrimination.

“While being marginalised and feared, no political entity can represent the Roma people at a national level” Promoting Roma inclusion thus means eradicating anti-Gypsyism first. Yet, how to convince society that “gypsies” are not necessarily a threat, when the media keeps associating Roma with social problems and crime? Some Romani indeed resort to illegal activities, such as stealing or children exploitation, which explain why they are so easily stigmatised as wrongdoers. Moreover, justice is often unfairly enforced and applied to them, especially since they are poorly represented when facing charges. Political discourse is also biased with racist language, which participates in encouraging violence towards Roma people. Although anger and disapproval are a legitimate reaction to unlawful behaviours from Roma people, the media and political elites heavily sways the public opinion against “gypsies”.

9


On the grounds of property and housing, Romani settlements are subject to police attacks or threatened of destruction because they are established on pieces of land that do not belong to them. Is evicting Roma families from their settlements the solution to the “Gypsy problem”? The dismantlement of illegal camps may be justified, but is it fair to leave families with no alternative home? Furthermore, because of their nomadic status, authorities have trouble sending them back to “where they belong”. In 2010, the French president Sarkozy indeed ordered the dismantlement of a Romani settlement and asked the authorities to send the families back to their “country of origin”, but they really had nowhere to go. This highlights another problem: how to integrate Roma populations to a country’s society while their culture is built on Nomadism? How to treat Roma people like citizens, while by definition, a citizen is a person that should abide to the rules of the “city”? Tackling such a controversial topic requires understanding its multidimensional aspects. The measures that ought to be implemented should ensure the safety of the Roma 10

people but also satisfy the rest of the population. Pushing the discrimination of Romani populations to the political front line also implies starting to communicate with Roma families and work along with them to promote their social inclusion and find a way to combine their way of living and the country’s social system. The Committee on Human Rights needs to cross local and national boundaries: building a common European policy is necessary in order to secure that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is applied to Roma people in all European states.


SEDE In March 2013, The UN Security Council unanimously approved the first-ever "”offensive"” UN peacekeeping brigade to battle rebels groups in the Democratic Republic of Congo. How should European states react to this shift from passive to active peacekeeping by UN soldiers? By Marie Storli

The first offensive UN peacekeeping mission was launched in June to battle rebel groups in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). To understand what led to the extension of the United Nations Organisation Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo's (MONUSCO) mandate in DRC, we need to take a look at the situation in the DRC and who these rebels are. The DRC lays in the heart of Sub-Saharan Africa, and covers an area larger than the France, Spain, Germany, the United Kingdom, Poland and Romania put together. It is home to 67 million people of approximately 250 different ethnic groups. The country has a long history of violence, war and conflict. The economic development is at a standstill, the nominal GDP per capita is 236 USD (third lowest in the world) and is at the very bottom of the Human Development Index. It is an ex-colony meltdown into complete chaos. The number of parties involved complicates the situation further; The DRC has nine neighboring countries, all of which have intervened militarily in the country in the past, directly by sending national armies or indirectly by sponsoring armed rebel groups (of which there are plenty in the bush of the DRC). The conflict in the DRC is currently focused in the bush in eastern Congo, in the area that boarders to South-Sudan, Uganda and Rwanda, where more than 40 different rebel groups have been counted, all of which have tried to gain control over the area's natural resources. So who is the MONUSCO working alongside? The answer is, The Congolese Government Army, although they have been accused of human rights abuses, systematic rape, plundering of villages and such. But that is another story. Most influential of the rebels is the The M23 that was founded in March 2012 when 300 soldiers broke out of the Congolese Army because of claims that the government failed to adhere to the peace treaty of 23

11


March 2009. By estimates, they gathered more than 1500 men and have displaced hundreds of thousands of people. It is assumed that they are supported by the government of Rwanda, as is The Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), which was formed by Hutu military after the genocide of 1994. The FDLR is on the U.S. state department list of terrorist organizations. Today they have approximately 2000 men. Then we have what used to be a warring party but now is a political one, The National Congress for the Defense of the People (CNDP). They claim to protect Tutsi minorities in eastern Congo (the ethnic group targeted in the 1994 genocide). Enough with Rwandans, The allied Democratic Forces (ADF) is a Ugandan Muslim group. They frequently visit the DRC, where they displaced about 100'000 civilians in 2010 alone. The Mai Mai groups are varied, but have in common that they oppose Rwandophone communities (Hutu and Tutsi alike). Despite their patriotism they target Congolese civilians and UN peacekeepers. It is often hard to detect any reason when dealing with rebel groups. But you have not seen all yet. The Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) is the most puzzling of all rebel groups. It was formed in Uganda Alice Lakwena, ex-prostitute communicating with sprits, dreaming of a Christian state. She promised her followers immunity from bullets and lead 7000 hymn-singing, armed rebels towards the capital of Uganda to oust the government. They were, however, defeated by bullets, Lakwena flew to Kenya and her cousin, Joseph Kony, took control of the LRA. They have specialized in violence towards civilians, but are especially well known for kidnapping children to recruit soldiers and sex slaves. Exactly how many wives and children Kony has is hard to say, but there is no doubt they are numerous and his family tree complicated. Equally complicated as the MONUSCO's task of restoring peace and order in the DRC?

12


Behind the Curtains You have probably seen them during the session, carrying cameras, notebooks, looking important and maybe a tiny bit stressed. Who are these people and what do they do? By Christiane Kahrs

It takes a lot of hard work to make a session come together; the Chairs, Journos, Organisers and the Jury are all part of it. These are the people in charge of everything concerning the Session, and work day and night so that you can have the best Session possible. Here is an overview over the different groups and what they do during the Session. The Journos: The Editor along with his/her Journos are the ones in charge of the session’s newspaper. The article you are reading right now is in fact written by a Journo. Along with writing articles they are taking pictures of the session, so if you want experiences here at EYP preserved these are the ones to talk to. They work all day and night to finish the different issues in time, with short deadlines and little sleep. They are present during all parts of the sessions, and you will probably see them quite often. The Chairs: The Chairs are probably the ones you will see the most during the session. They are there to guide the Delegates and help them with problems along the way. The Chairs have done lots of research on the topic, and have written a Topic Overview for the delegates. During teambuilding their job is to help the group become a team, able to work together. They will work as guides during committee work, but it is the Delegates job to lead the group. The Chairs will allocate points during GA and make sure everyone has equal opportunities to be evaluated in front of the judges. The Organisers: These are the people organising the session. The Organisers are probably the ones that do the most work and that you will see the least during the session. They are in charge of everything you might take for granted, for example that there’s coffee in your coffee break, that you have a place to sleep and that to get from the hotel to the committee work. They are often those who are often given the least recognition, despite their hard work. “Have you ever tried cutting a cucumber with a pizza slicer?”. The Jury: These are the ones assessing your performances and are determining who will be selected for the international sessions. They will visit during committee work and observe how you are working. In GA the Jury will play an important part in observing 13 and evaluating the delegates.


How to Survive an EYP Session It exist many tips and tricks on how to survive an EYP session. Some of them are more efficient than others. You may already have some tricks up your sleeves but here are some wise words “from one EYPer to another” By Anniken Knutsen

As you may already have noticed, you are not grouped together with the students from your school, i.e. your Delegation. But no need to frown that pretty face of yours! This is all part of the fun! This brings us to;

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 14

Tip number one: why not take this opportunity to make some new friends? The best way to get through a session is accompanied with good friends. Intellectual minds whom encourage independency and make Committee work fun. This takes us to; Tip number two: be joyful and stay positive. No one likes a grumpy face. Sometimes it will be really hard not to slap the person next to you. But do not do that. It will cause a really bad mood in your committee. So now that the mentality is no longer a problem; you may sometimes encounter the blackening of your sight caused by descending eyelids. But again, do not worry! We have a solution for that too; Tip number three: coffee! Lots of coffee! Drink it like it is a vital medicine. It will be served during the breaks and at breakfast, dinner, supper etc. so take these opportunities and cherish them for what it is worth. If you do not like coffee, this is a great time to start. But if the unlikely event accrues, and you still cannot force it down, red bull is a good number two solution. Tip number four: You will get hungry during this session, so eat some snack whenever the opportunity presents itself. Tip number five: It is really tough to get through a session by referring to each other as “you, ey, him and ehm…”. Make an effort learning the names in your committee or at least make up some fun nicknames for them. Tip number six: Bring a water bottle wherever you go. Tip number seven: This is your time to shine and you should enjoy this experience to the fullest! Have fun while working because that is the only way this session will become a success. 
 My last tip for you may also be the most important one. It is something I want you to carry in mind this entire session. Three simple words; Love thy neighbour


Combine your forces! I am standing in a circle formed by people I have never met before. One girl is standing in the middle of this circle, holding a rolled newspaper. I can definitely feel the thrill in the room. I am trying to remember all these names. Somebody says my name but I cannot react quickly enough and I get hit by the girl in the middle. Slowly I start to befriend these people. By Riikka Nieminen

The first minutes of the Teambuilding are always full of excitement. Just when you thought you were coming to this session to discuss women’s rights or environmental issues, you find yourself playing silly games with people you did not know beforehand. Sometimes these tasks given by the Chair of the Committee may sound totally insane. What is the point of Teambuilding? Where do all these games come from and what is the actual meaning of them? Now that we know each other’s names our Chair tells us to solve a so called “human knot”. One boy suggests how to tackle this issue but I think we should do it a bit differently. I just do not have the courage to say it out loud. After the name games comes a more difficult activity. You still might feel a bit insecure because you are still getting to know these people around you. But that is why you are solving these problems together. At some point you realize that you can actually say out loud what you think. Then somebody else agrees with you. Someone may disagree and you start to discuss

15


different options. In the end you find a solution you are happy with as a group and share it to your Chair. The only way to participate and give your contribution is to actively take part in problem solving. Though we sometimes disagree we also agree on many things. We can find the solutions and especially the best solutions because we are simply the greatest team ever! Not only do we have our own Committee shout but also an inspiring Chair. I am having such a good time with these people. You go to the Committee room as an individual but you leave as a part of a group. “I” becomes “We”. Completely random people form a bonded team. Because that is also what Committee Work will be all about - working together as a team. The context of you acting as a group might seem quite different in the Teambuilding and in the Committee Work at first. But if you start to think about the Teambuilding as a journey you will probably realise where you are heading at. The work for a resolution of your topic will not start when you open your notebooks at the beginning of the Committee work. It has already begun today. If you want to produce a high-quality resolution, you have to be a high-quality team. The only way to reach the top is to start from the bottom. Sometimes that means hitting people with a newspaper. But in the end you have built a team. And then you will be ready to rumble!

16


Venturing on the EYP’s rollercoaster

First impressions are always the most challenging ones. Although they are never entirely accurate, they still bear a large part of truth. In fact, they are the most immediate and spontaneous response to your object of observation. Observation topic of the day: EYP. Congratulations! You have just survived your first EYP day. Filled with mixed feelings, you are wondering whether or not it was exactly what your were expecting. Back to the start: you arrived this morning, with your fellow school friends – your “delegation”, in EYP jargon. They are your anchors, the people with who you applied to the session and worked your way through to go to Lillehammer. But you have come to understand that EYP is about stepping out of your comfort zone. Separated from your dear companions, you have made friends with your fellow committee members in quite an unusual way. Abandoning the early sensation of uneasiness required going through the whole teambuilding process. A process that involves a huge variety of people playing some games that, for most, you have not played since primary school. Strange? Not so much, as the best part of it all is that you, too, took part to this incessant frenzy, fuelling all your will and energy into the activities proposed by the Chairs. Take some time to think. How does it feel? All right, your brain might be a bit shattered at the moment, which is perfectly normal. Even if nervousness has turned into excitement, you are still overwhelmed with chaotic thoughts and indescribable feelings. You have been asked to open up, provoke your prejudices and rethink your ideas and assumptions. You are trying to form a mental image of what you have been through, but all you get is a puzzle of names and faces, fragments of unclear images and a vague idea of what really is going on. But amidst your confusion, you are stirred by an intense impression of exhilaration. An impression that continually renews itself until the session’s rollercoaster ends. For now, only one thing is certain: by the end of the 11th Norwegian Selection Conference, you will leave with the powerful impression that you might do it all over again. Why? Because each session is a new start and brings back these thrilling first impressions you are experiencing right now.

17


A Guide to EYP Jargon Here you can find the most necessary terms; you will face during your EYP life. These are terms that are mentioned in every single discussion held within the European Youth Parliament. By Leonard Bagiu

What is a session, and who are the people attending it? Delegates = The main body of the session, grouped into committees in order to solve current issues of Europe. Chairs = the people leading the different committees; they keep the Delegates going in the right direction throughout the session. President = the leader of the Chair’s team; also the person leading the General Assembly along with two Vice Presidents. Head Organiser/Organisers = The Head Organiser is the person behind the planning of the entire session; Organisers are the people you won’t see throughout the session as they are working around the clock. Editor/Journalists = The Editor is the person behind the team of Journalists, he/she edits articles and helps the journalists plan their work. The Journalists write the session’s articles and accompany committees throughout the session, holding energisers for delegates at times. Teambuilding = Fun exercises and problem solving games led by the Chair to let Delegates get to know each other and “break the ice” between them. Committee Work = Working with the rest of your committee in order to produce a resolution, which is the solution to the problem of your committee. Your resolution will later be the base for the General Assembly. General Assembly = A stage at which you defend your resolution against the arguments of other committees. Why is your resolution the right solution to the problem? Post EYP depression = this is the most famous term used in the EYP world. It is a feeling that hits you once you come home from an EYP session, and you start processing everything that happened. It is the feeling of missing the session and the friends you made; this is a major driving force for EYP people to continue.

18


The Victorian Age Harry Heath sits down with our leader to get an insight into this session’s leadership.

Victoria, How should I address you? Madame President? Session High Chancellor perhaps? (Prolonged Laughter) Session High Chancellor! What do you think of Lillehammer as a a host city of this session? Better than Oslo? I shouldn’t say better than Oslo, since I am from Oslo, but its definitely hosted all big events that mean anything to this country; the Olympics in 1994, the Youth Olympics in 2016, so this is the place. It is quite an honour to be a session president, so congratulations, have you presided before? Yes, Yes I have, in Belgium and in the Netherlands. How does one become a president? How many sessions do you have under your belt? (Laughter) I can’t remember, is that a bad answer? Its a good deal, shall I count? I can;t count, I guess its around 15, maybe 15-20, maybe more. What do you remember of your first EYP session? 19


My first EYP session? That was freaking cold! We were living in small cabins with outside toilets, and no heat and it was raining the whole freaking time. So yeah, it was so cold and it went so quickly, like there are parts of it that are still missing (laughs) it all went so quickly. There are still people here that I met at my first EYP session, which is cool. What do you hope the delegates can get out of the session? Something new, a new experience, a new perspective. Is there any part of the session that you a particularly looking forward to? Can I say the bit when they turn the water on again! (laughs) I think it is to see when all the resolutions are done and see what they have done in one day which is impressive after such a short time and starting to fix them up for General Assembly. If you could give the delegates one piece of advice what would it be? Take the chance while it is there, and use it. As a Norwegian, how important do you feel it is for young Norwegians to engage in European Politics, despite being outside of the European Union? I think it is really important as even though we are outside of the EU, we are very much a part of Europe and the Council of Europe and it is very important for people to learn about the EU because it our politics too. Is there any one particular thing that pulls you back to EYP time and time again? It is the people, it really is the people! To end on a really cheesy question; if you could describe the Lillehammer NSC in three words, what would they be? Great people, great fun. That’s four words. As always, I am using them as one, this is hard, I cannot do this, um, challenging! Yes challenging. 20


ENVI I 2013 is the United Nations year of water: population growth and climate changes increases the pressure on fresh water reservoirs, requiring a more technical, political and economic water management. What actions should European countries take to preserve the quality and quantity of European fresh water reservoirs? By Riikka Nieminen

21

“Water is the driving force in nature.” 
 ― Leonardo da Vinci We learn about the water cycle already in primary school. For ages we have been aware of the fact that in the areas like Africa the accessibility of freshwater is definitely not self-evident. While the politicians and different organizations do their best to help the third world countries with their almost unbearable situation, European farmers quietly let fertilizers from their fields flow to a lake nearby. An electric company builds a new hydroelectric power plant in the Alps because the demand for electricity grows all the time because of the population growth. Even just normal citizens consume every year more water than you can imagine. According to WWF “in the last 50 years, we have altered ecosystems more rapidly and extensively than in any other period in history”. The natural resources are not used in a way that the upcoming generations would also be able to utilize these sources. This leads for example to a situation where the use of water exceeds the amount of fresh water there is available. This so called “water stress” does not only concern people in the third world countries but also in the European region. The most important freshwater reservoir for Europeans is in the Alps. Our drinking water and hydroelectricity power are depending on these waters. They are also the biggest threat for the water reservoirs. “Only 10% of Alpine rivers are in natural or near-natural conditions.” (WWF) It is obvious that humans cannot live without water. Changing the agricultural methods can be very expensive and cause a lot of extra work. The core fact is that Europeans may not even be aware of the deteriorating conditions of their water reservoirs. Climate change and the state of our nature is an issue we have been talking about for a long time and people easily feel these problems do not concern


them. How the problem of water stress could be informed to a European in a way that they do not feel overwhelmed by all the information? Experts try to invent new ways to save fresh water but instead of coming up with new ideas should they try to improve tools that already exist? At the moment there is not nearly enough data to understand the ecosystems of these waters that need to be saved. In order to restore and to protect the species and the water itself it is crucial to understand the core of the problem and actual issues that need to be solved. After that it will be time to star to think about the best possible practices. The good thing is that the world will not run out of water. But sadly the water is not always there where it is needed.

22


ENVI II “Eating genes” – a danger or the solution to the food crisis? With an increased demand for food, genetically modified organisms (GMO) have been presented as a possible solution. To what extend should GMO be included in food production, and which measures should be implemented to secure safe (GMO-)products for the consumers? By Leo Bagiu

Since March 26, 2013, when Barack Obama signed the Farmer Assurance Provision, the company Monsanto, a world leader in selling genetically modified seeds, has been protected. This soon caused heavy protests all over the world. Although the Provision was signed in the USA, protests spread all the way to Europe, commencing in cities like Amsterdam and Stockholm. Not only did people disagree with the Farmer Assurance Provision, mainly spoken of as the “Monsanto Protection Act”, but they also go against GMO products not being labeled as non-organic in the USA. This form of labeling is required by law throughout the European Union and has been used as another argument by protestors, as they don’t know which food is which. This has become another reason for people to protest. The company Monsanto has a questionable history of ethics. They are known mainly for producing pesticides and “Agent Orange”, one of the herbicides and defoliants used by the U.S. military during the war in Vietnam. Despite this, Monsanto has survived for more than 100 years, and these events are small things considering this long period. There have been several arguments for and against Monsanto emerging from various sources. Those opposed to Monsanto are arguing that the company slipped the “Monsanto Protection Act” into the Farmer Assurance Provision, which was originally meant to protect organic seeds, whilst those in favor of Monsanto claim that they are only trying to feed a world with a constantly growing population. Tami Canal, who founded “March Against Monsanto” lived in California when “Proposition 37” was put forth; a proposition to have all GMO products labeled as such in order to separate the non-organic products from the organic ones. A total of $45 million was spent by different food manufacturers in order to prevent the passing of the proposition. Canal saw this through the Epoch Times, and created

23


the Facebook page for “March Against Monsanto”. It currently has over 200,000 “likes” and is still growing. Quoting Tami Canal.

“Companies like Ke"o#'s and General Mi"s are putting things like Fruit Loops on the market that are basica"y 100 percent genetica"y engineered ingredients. And that's marketed to our kids.” The following event, widely known as the World Food Day is planned on the 12th of October 2013. The arguments against GMOs are nearly endless, as they have reached the light of social media; but what about the positive parts of GMOs? If GMOs can be successfully planted and harvested to without causing harm to human beings at consumption, the lingering problem of world hunger would rapidly decrease. Furthermore, all protests have had the company Monsanto as an aim, but there are several other companies producing GMOs. According to “www.biofortified.org”, there are 6 large companies currently producing GMOs, and 3 of them situated in Europe. Hence, the question arises: if GMOs are that dangerous, how can these companies survive? Since they do survive, there has to be a balance between good and bad sides to GMOs

24


Meet the You have now had the chance to meet your Chair(s), but how well do you actually know them? Join Marie Storli as she asks them all “What whas the single most important lesson you learned as an EYP delegate?”

Nini Vidvei, Chair of ITRE To boost your confidence in General Assembly, imagine that the other delegates are naked.

Yegor Vlasenko, Chair of ITRE Ilias Oikonomou, Chair of DROI Breakfast is NOT that important, Working in a team of strangers is sometimes you just need 20 more hard, especially with a strict minutes of sleep. time-limit, try to get to know the other delegates.

Anja Elverum, Chair of ENVI2 There is no such thing as bad weather, there is only no shower. 25

Mathieu Lohr, Chair of SEDE Withdraw and wait for the right moment to speak.

Einar Stefànsson, Chair of DROI Don't expect to get more than two hours of sleep, that way you will always be happy with what you get.

Hugo Dürr, Chair of AFCO Always trust the Chairs.


Chairs Martin Ellingsen, Chair of FEMMEmilie Tilstam, Chair of FEMM Run to a supermarket during Bring a pocket mirror, so you can break and invest in a collection of do your hair on-the-go. chips and chocolate.

Victoria Wilkinson, Chair of AFCO Get up 20 minutes before your room-mates so you have time for a shower.

26

Marianne Munz, Chair of SEDE Remember to drink loads of coee.

Marit Huseby, Chair of ENVI1 Always make sure you have water and dry-shampoo available.

Zeynep Ekinsi, Chair of CRIM Always locate the closest place where you can buy food.

Marius Aure, Chair of ENVI1 Store some food and drinks in your room, just in case.

Karl-Jakob Kammler, Chair of CRIM Listen when others talk, because what they say is usually quite smart.


CRIM Keeping the Schengen Agreement in mind, and while observing an increased number of organised crime groups in Europe, including money laundering and robber-bands traveling free around; what measures can the European community take to combat this trend? By Mari Frostad

«Human trafficking, controlling prostitution - and severe violation of fundamental human rights» , These were the charges a Northern Irish gang faced earlier this year when arrested for exploiting humans. The police suspected the gang to have operated in several European countries: Both in Northern Ireland, Sweden and Romania. Human trafficking is a lucrative industry; and we hardly think of such gangs except when watching them on CSI. However, the worldwide industry earns an estimated $650 billion each year. Not only is human trafficking an increasing phenomenon across Europe, but also the scope of many other means of cross-border criminality is expanding every year. From trade in counterfeit luxury goods, such as Gucci handbags, to faking pharmaceuticals and aircraft engine parts, Europol - the EU’s crime-fighting agency - has noticed a boom in illegal trading all over the continent, as well as 3600 European gangs active at the moment. $ “[Organised criminals] are operating in multiple criminal sectors, they’re highly international in their nature,” says Rob Wainwright, director of Europol. “Some have 60 or more nationalities among their membership.” The Schengen agreement between a large number of European countries has created greater ease of trade and travel for EU citizens and non-EU citizens alike, and the area constitutes one of the major achievements of the European integration. However, The Schengen agreement also contributes greater gang mobility. For instance, the Northern Irish traffickers also profited from easy travel across boarders, as they exploited humans in several countries. Borderless thieves require borderless police investigations; and as governments note with concern growing criminal networks, the fight to tackle the trend

27


develops. Many have created cooperate investigative networks all over Europe, exchanging information and establishing joint multinational police operations. As individuals; are we going to have to sacrifice some of our privacy for the European communities to protect citizens from criminal assaults? In the Netherlands the video surveillance cameras were installed on borders with Belgium and Germany. The cameras, introduced in January 2012, are to help tackle organised crime. Many worry we are inevitably heading toward a community of surveillance in order to combat cross-border gangs. The existence of the increase in cross-border crimes is a fact. The potentially high profits that can be made by cross-border crime are tempting. The question is: Is the Schengen agreement a cause or a solution to the problem of increasing European crime? It enables criminals to travel freely around, but also facilitates the police’s and investigator’s hunt for thieves. CRIM delegates must take on the challenge of the topic: How to take care of one of the EU’s most fundamental rights - the freedom of movement - while protecting it’s citizens from the rapidly increasing flow of crime groups across the continent.

28


29

The Owlery - Issue 1  

National Selection Conference of the European Youth Parliament Norway in Lillehammer 2013

Advertisement