CONTENT Meet the president
What your topic is all about?
Get to know Lisbon
Editorial Crisis. Deep crisis. Financial, political, social and moral. Is there any hope? Are there any alternatives left? Well, sure there are. And this is what EYP is all about. During the hard times we are getting through, this organisation makes a difference. Why? Itâ€™s simple. It proves that young people, like you and me, can still think. And judge. Even compromise for the sake of the common good. But we never forget to laugh, run, sing and even (fall in) love. To conclude, in order to get the most out of this experience, make sure to meet as many people as possible. Speak your mind, raise your voice but keep your ears open and be ready to learn as well. Before you realise it, four of your most spectacular days in your life will be gone. Do not worry though. This is why we are here. Do not hesitate to have a bite from the Lisbonne and we promise to keep your memories alive. Bon Voyage!
Alex and David
sebastian hosu An interview with the President of the session...
by Marilena Saraidari and Francisco Santos If we say he was born in Romania, how is it that he is not really Romanian? Well, in fact, Sebastian is Hungarian. He can dribble problems with the swiftness of Ferenc Puskás and solve problems the more complicated than the ones invented by Erno Rubik. This is why he is the President of the 27th King National Selection Conference of the EYP Portugal. The scenery fits perfectly his air trumpet and singing skills. But Sebastian came to this city to sing another “fado” to the delegates. Albeit being his 33rd session, he still wholeheartedly congratulates you on choosing to be part of this event. While saying that the president is “sort of the mascot”, I can only say that he does cause an impact. Mariachi, Bossa Nova or Opera, expect loads of fun from this healthy bohemian at all times. The life of this man is not only filled with the fine arts and good living though. While serving high political figures at the restaurant he works for in Vienna, Sebastian studies Political science and economics. He hopes that serving tables is just his ticket into the world of diplomacy. Well, it doesn’t come as a surprise for such a diplomatic person to have this kind of job. D. Sebastião, as he sometimes calls himself, has a very high notion of history: “It is where we come from. It`s needed to know the next logical step.” The expectations are really high after making such a comparison, but he doesn`t come short in experience. Being the third time presiding a session, he has come a long way since 2007 and despite his king-like stand and revolutionary mind, he is eager to do his best to make this an unforgettable experience for everyone. After his first EYP session, the he now thanks the people that made it possible: man “Thanks to Madalina and Maria! I might have been behind in a very different place right now if it wasn’t for that weekend.” Sebastian could just be the next person the to change someone’s life entirely.
RANDOM INFO OF THE DAY: In greek Sebastian Hosu means “Respected man, go for it!”
The LGBT community and Europe by Solonas Karoullas The LGBT community of Europe has been flourishing and with it, so has the support for this group of people. On the other hand, another proportion of the young and predominantly past generations of Europe is strongly opposing same-sex marriage and adoption. Preconceived notions, especially from older generations, have left this issue to a standstill thus not moving towards the diversification of the European Union. These ideas basically consist of the fact that same sex relationships, not to even mention marriage and adoption, are unnatural and most of the times are influenced by prejudice concepts of homosexual people being untrustworthy and inferior to heterosexuals. Because of this, today when quite a big number of young people discover that they are different from the rest of the crowd in their schools, families and communities, they most of the times hide these newly found emotions just because they do not want to be plastered with words such as “anomalous” and “homosexual”. In fact, a EU survey conducted in 2008, portrayed how 3-4% of the population of Europe was openly a member of the LGBT community but at the same time, that 17% of Europe’s population
is closeted homosexual. Well, this is what exactly the EU wants to counteract by promoting that the LGBT community is nothing different from ordinary people and thus encouraging the closeted population to show their true colours to the world. There are some leading European countries like Portugal, Spain and The Netherlands which are bolstering samesex marriage with their legislations that allow this kind of marriages to take place. This is something that needs to be followed by all other countries so as to keep up with the diversification of Europe. Additionally, same-sex parental adoption poses a bigger dilemma in today's Europe as many of the adoptions agencies are not allowed and even if they are, they restrict the number of adoptions by same sex parents. However, countries like Sweden and Denmark are supporting and promoting the adoption by homosexual parents and such states are examples to be followed for the expansion of the EU. What is also worth mentioning is that other states situated primarily in the eastern part of the EU have more strict and conservative views of what a couple and family should be comprised of. This indicates that there is not a straightforward solution
for this issue since it has multiple sides to it. To conclude, marriage and adoption for same-sex couples is vital for the EU to complete its diversification. To do this, there are numerous obstacles to be faced. Nevertheless, the youth of the
European Union, you, with your strong voices and presence, can surely overcome these challenges and positively advocate same-sex marriage and adoption.
Southern European students evade from their countries by Gabriel Margarido Pais What do Portuguese, Greek and Spanish newly graduated students have in common? All of them are evading their home countries and looking for a new place to call home. They canâ€™t find jobs in their home countries and they have to try their luck somewhere else. Why is this happening? Are the successive European crises since 1834 behind these? Are the governments not doing what they should do and
letting this situation on pause? There are some numbers that can easily blow your mind in a negative way: one of every two Greek newly graduated is unemployed. In Spain, this number maintains. In Portugal, one in every three of them can't find a job. Knowing this, it isnâ€™t much of a surprise to know that every year one hundred thousand Portuguese people leave Portugal to look
for a new place to live in. About ninety per cent of them are graduated youngsters. In the short term, we cannot tell how bad this happening is going to be, but can we afford to let it happen? Every year, more and more students are leaving. The more capable are quitting. The entrepreneurs are giving up. The more energetic are evading. Whatâ€™s wrong? How can we tackle this? Please, do take a minute and think for yourselves.
After A Nobel prize,
a general strike by Isabel Vermelho
12th October 2012 – the world woke up with some unexpected news; the European Union won the Nobel Peace Prize for six decades of advancement of peace, reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe. It seems quite easy in times like these to forget about the reasons that brought us to this level of peace in European Union. Sixty years without hearing the sound of the fighter aircraft and bombs over your head almost makes us think that it has always been this way. But we know it hasn’t always been this peaceful and this easy. Certainly the European Union, all of us – citizens – deserve this prize and the congratulations that came from almost all around the world. It was such a long path, and the generations before us had to adapt themselves to new concepts
type of war – a classicist one? Should we restore the old concepts we used to hear – rich countries, poor countries, rich people, poor people… Is Europe getting divided? Although this duality is omnipresent nowadays, we could also point out that division between European people is not happening, actually it is disappearing. A European General Strike has been organized in many countries and people from different countries are discussing together mutual problems or, simply, the policymaking of the European Union and its political institutions. This General Strike, next 14th, will represent a huge historical and new ways of being and living moment because it has never been inside the EU territory. No borders, a European strike in the sense that it freedom of circulation, intercultural is a joint project by different national dialogue, etc., were the kind of things social movements and people. that we had the luck to be taught Hence, there is no war amongst about and to promote that within European citizens. The classic wars, our activities in European Youth if any, are coming from above, from Parliament. These were challenges the politicians. The European people for the previous generations which are fully aware of the responsibility had changed from a war scenario to of this Nobel Prize, after all the a prosperous one, where they were merit is all ours. the main builders of this so-called European way of life that combines e c o n o m i c prosperity and social public policies. But now we are facing different challenges and this question must be addressed: are we living in another
challenge by Francisco Santos It might not seem like it, but the AGRI committee might just have the biggest responsibility of them all! Agriculture is no easy thing, and if you think that their research was based on vegetables in Europe then you are terribly wrong! Even though agriculture was primarily a subsistent activity, it was the surplus that allowed the growth and development of all other activities. It is the very basis of human existence and to disregard it is to ignore the necessities of our global village. “It`s the economy, you silly!” Think of the world as a market where all of the countries have their stands. If country A pays its farmers to produce apples and is able to sell them very cheaply, then producer B will have to sell them at an even lower price. But what happens if producer B, who is dependent on the apples, he sells to survive and cannot lower the price? Well… if we notice that 70% of the world’s poorest people depend on it… they starve. Going against its own values, we can call producer A the EU. Starting as a way to implement a truly common market and to stop the states protection of its
farmers, CAP – the Common Agriculture Policy went a long way to build the “European fortress” that through subsidies stretches in its own “butter mountains” and “wine lakes” surpluses. The European Union has created its agricultures a haven and while selling these extra products to producer B, developing countries cannot do this basic activity anymore. Thanks to the existing tariffs, insiders cannot do much but stand waiting for some charity to live since they have stopped producing. This is the common market… for outsiders. The CAP paradox extends to its own objectives. While standing for small and local producers, what in fact does is to support big productions with a deficient undifferentiating rewarding system. The schizophrenic tendency of economies of scale with this friendly speech “cripples” the undirected machine and prevents it from moving forward towards efficiency. But the changing of the CAP is something that has been tried for decades now. Strong opposition from the beneficiated agricultural sector has prevented it from
happening. There are not yet any positions on the environmental problems the expansion and intensive production has brought. No thoughts yet on the European public health that could be endorsed by supporting the production of healthy products. There is the need for macro policies for the mini problems. While showing good will, the EU partnership with the United Nations FAO- Food and Agriculture Agency support 125 million farmers in difficulties, it still faces the task of changing its own field. Using FAO`s programmes and knowledge, and facing directly the highly organized farmers unions and the private sector, the EU must reach a consensus on some possible and effective policies for a better future for everyone. So, this is why AGRI faces such a herculean task. Hopefully, the committee will come up with bold, challenging and innovative ways to transform this system. Sustainability surely will be a key-word in their economic and environmentally friendly policies. The change can start now!
discussing the death penalty by Marilena Saraidari
Based on Machiavelli’s principle that “ the effective governance is the one based on fear “, the death penalty is undoubtedly the strictest punishment ever. During antiquity it was even implied for unimportant “offenses” such as the stealing of vegetables! In the Middle ages even more awful ways of execution were invented: dismemberment, fire. It was only until 1764, when Cesare Bekaria placed himself against the death penalty in his book “Crimes and punishments”. As you have probably figured out by now, this article aims to highlight the negative, disappointing and tragic consequences of the death penalty and urge everyone to place themselves against it. To start with, the death penalty violates the fundamental human right to life and because of its brutality, it is contrary to the humanitarian philosophy that underpins our civilization. Since it is characterized by vindictiveness, it’s unacceptable for contemporary concepts of punishment. Moving on, the criminals that should be discouraged by the force of that penalty, either have no spiritual clarity to reasonably balance
while the truth is that it’s mandatory to contribute to the decrease of the criminality and violence in the society. But what measures need to be taken in order to tackle this important issue? I guess most of them should focus on the idea of establishing a strong legislation along with a fair method of giving justice. In conclusion, as I have slightly approached the world limit for this article, I would like to add that all European countries but Belarus have their actions or the profit they get from their crimes is so abolished the death penalty. enormous that the punishment Most of the states in the USA becomes less important, or have also abolished it, while even worse, pointless for them. it is still maintained mostly in In any case, the death penalty African countries, especially has failed to achieve its goal; the least developed ones. The rates show that hideous crimes continue to happen, no matter if a country maintains the death penalty or not. Moreover, it can be used in a racist way to punish, for example, lower- social class criminals, immigrants, coloured people etc. It can also be exploited in totalitarian regimes for the purpose of killing dissidents. Finally, it is an alibi that the state or the government society uses in order to cover its weaknesses, giving itself “indulgence”
On the thinNest edge by David Teruel and Isabel Vermelho
Fear takes hold of the Middle East as the confrontation between Turks and Syrians continues. Turkish fighter jets buzzing the skies, a Syrian mortar killing Turkish civilians… However, the biggest issue now is the potential exposure of a general regional war which could ignite again the unstable situation in the Middle East. Both countries are looking secure better their borders, ensuring safety for their citizens. As Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi said “In case of border incidents that occur between any two neighboring countries, countries and governments must act wisely, rationally and responsibly”. Even the Turkish government has raised its voice affirming this. International opinions soon came to the headlines of the press. The North Atlantic Council said that they demanded the immediate cessation of such aggressive acts
against an ally and urged the Syrian regime to put an end to flagrant violations of international law. The EU has the obligation to take a position and not just sit back. It may sound rather easy to say and difficult to accomplish, and it could be true, but the Middle East seeks for help as never before and we should be the ones answering this call, not only promoting peace but being the objective perspective that will boost cooperation among nations. What makes the situation even worse is the fact that Syrian refugees live in Turkey and vice versa which clearly endangers and risks the daily routine of those who are inside “enemies’” territory. It looks like both sides want to show their power and their efficiency in providing security but they don’t see that they actually pose a threat to citizens’ security and a “global” negative impact, not only because the whole thing turns into a war but
also because it damages the image the world has for the Middle East. We should not forget the importance of two key-players – Israel and Iran. They are most likely to decide the fate of the Middle East. If the Syrian regime falls, the Iranian regime is more likely to fall as well, with great benefit for Israel. This would increase the power of Israel in the region with negative consequences for Palestine and countries supporting Palestine. Although geopolitics may seem like a game, it is important to keep in mind that we are talking about people, people trying to make their living there. The EU, while intervening, must take this into account – the most important thing is to assure that people are safe from a war, a war that isn’t theirs but of the great elites in this chessboard world.
tHE PENSION SYSTEM OF THE OLD CONTINENT by Marilena Saraidari and Solonas Karoullas
The problematic pension system is one of the major problems the committee of employment is trying to tackle. Due to the demographic changes, we are now facing a situation of having many older people working and, at the same time, a huge number of younger people being unemployed. Is there actually a way out? The spark to this issue is mostly the economic meltdown in addition to the increased number of retirees. This results in the degradation of the federal budgets and regulatory hold ups and inefficiency, which forces the decrease in pensions and other benefits that the elder population once received. Additionally, Member States of the EU should definitely brace themselves for trouble if reforms to their socioeconomic structures do not occur soon. The current systems set up in quite a big majority of countries are not handling and are not ready to handle the incoming wave of retirees. Note that in France, Nicolas Sarcozy lost a huge amount of his popularity, when during the debate before the elections, a year ago, he announced he was going to raise the retirement age. And why? Because the life expectancy rate has risen lot within the last ten years. Since people live longer, they have to work. On the other hand, his competent, Francois Oland established the sympathy and the respect of the French citizens’ mainly by promising to lower that
limit. According to him, it is not all about keeping the balances in the pension system. It is about providing the citizens of a good quality of life as elders. Moreover, he pointed out that it is physically tiring for the people to work after a certain age. Furthermore, he underlined that reducing the retirement age limit could contribute to the decrease of the unemployment of youngsters, as they will get the elder peoples’ jobs. As the debate continued, Mr .Sarkozy slowly started to realize that the French citizens were really disappointed by him. He made great announcements about different sectors in politics in order to gain the citizens’ votes. However, he didn’t manage to reverse their opinion. His competent, Francois Oland won the elections. But what happens when a country cannot afford to cover the needs of so many people that are not working? Especially nowadays, because of the
financial crises, this is one of the main reasons hundreds of strikes have occurred within the last two years. Several new measures have been proposed, especially by revolutionary parties. The most important of them are focusing on the idea of inviting the younger people to work for the older ones for a certain period of time in order to gain experience. Once this happens, the older ones can retire while the younger ones can take their position. Although this might sound as an ideal solution, it is not actually always obvious that an older and experienced employee can also teach his job to a newcomer. And apart from that, who and with what criteria will decide how long will the training last? As you have probably figured out by now, all possible solutions have either proved to be completely ineffective or are just opposed to the public opinion. EMPL II, we need your ideas!
freedom of expression by Francisco Santos and Gabriel Pais
Freedom of speech is a mandatory condition and a cultural characteristic of the Western world. Nevertheless, there are some countries that do not consider this a necessary value and a problem arises in the relationship between these different states and people. Now, thanks to the modern age, once a “hate speech” has been released its consequences become global and this uncontrolled friction endangers the life of people all over the world. This has happened several times. In 2005, a Danish newspaper published a cartoon depicting the Muslim prophet Muhammad which goes against the Al-Quran, led to protests across the Islamic world and resulted in the assault of several Western Embassies and the death of more than 100 people . More recently the movie “Innocence of Muslims” has sparkled rage across the middleeast and lead to the death of the American ambassador Christopher Stevens and three of his colleagues.
Such materials have also led minorities to rise in the West. Just at the door of Google`s headquarters in London 10,000 people demanded for the removal of the movie that started all the violence. The organiser Masoud Alam said: “This is not freedom of expression, there is a limit for that. This insult of the Prophet will not be allowed.” There is no limit to freedom of expression, or else it wouldn`t really be freedom. Still, the reaction of these communities cannot be fully understood in truly democratic countries. Is there any way to prevent such
events from happening again? My answer would be no, even though there are some things that could be done to lead to better communication. LIBE has the challenge to align these 2: Freedom of speech and good relationship with non-liberal countries. The committee will have to find a way to foster respect between such countries, not only for Europe but the Western world as well. Stability is something to aim at, yet the liberty of these people must not be taken away. Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs will juggle with these weights and certainly will be able to achieve mutual understanding and come up with a dignifying response for all that it can carry.
get to know lisbon! by Isabel Vermlho
Lisbon is the capital and it is also the largest city of Portugal, with a population of 547.631 (although it comes to millions when we consider its metropolitan area). Lisbon is recognised as a globalised city because of its importance in finance, commerce, media, entertainment, arts, international trade, education and tourism. It’s a cosmopolitan city, thriving with several cultures. Lisbon has many touristic attractions. The city centre (mainly Chiado and Bairro Alto) and Belém are visited by thousands of tourists. Several museums, theatres and other cultural spaces are at your disposal to get to know the Portuguese culture in depth. Lisbon is one of the oldest cities in the world, even older than other modern European capitals such as London, Paris and Rome by hundreds of years. Ruled by a series of Germanic tribes from the fifth century, it was captured by the Moors in the eighth century. In 1147, the Crusaders under our King D. Afonso Henriques’ leadership re-conquered the city and since then it has been a major political, economic and cultural centre in Portugal. The famous city centre was rebuilt after an earthquake in 1755 that completely destroyed the
whole downtown. Therefore, the prime-minister, Marquês de Pombal stated that the downtown should be rebuilt taking into account the modern architecture, with large streets and tall buildings with mansards in the roofs. The climate is Mediterranean, and that’s why the city has the warmest winters among all the metropolitans in Europe, with average temperatures that oscillate between 15ºC during the day and 8ºC at night from December to February. The typical summer season lasts about six months, from May to October, although also in November, March and April temperatures sometimes reach the 20 °C. It is nice to visit Lisbon but also to work here and it is important to refer to two European agencies that are headquartered in Lisbon: European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction and the European Maritime Safety Agency, both with new headquarters nearby the river. After a touristic visit to Lisbon or a business trip, don’t forget to relax listening to Fado in one of the many restaurants and bars that have special menus with live music included. You will not regret it. Enjoy your stay in Lisbon!