GHENT 2019 | REGIONAL CONFERENCE
TABLE OF CONTENTS General Assembly Procedure.............................................................................................2 Motion for a Resolution by the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) .............................................................................................................3 Motion for a Resolution by the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development (AGRI) .5 Motion for a Resolution by the Committee on Human Rights (DROI) ..................................7 Motion for a Resolution by the Committee on the Environment, Public Health, and Food Safety I (ENVI I).................................................................................................................9 Motion for a Resolution by the Committee on the Environment, Public Health, and Food Safety II (ENVI II)............................................................................................................. 12 Motion for a Resolution by the Committee on Industry, Research, and Industry (ITRE) ..... 14
GENERAL ASSEMBLY PROCEDURE General rules: The wish to speak is indicated by raising the committee placard. The authority of the Board is absolute. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.
Procedure and time settings Reading out the topic by the Board 1 minute of reading the resolution Proposition speech (3 minutes) 2 Position speeches (3 minutes) from the podium Response to position speeches (2 minutes) 1 person, from the floor Open Debate, 3 to 4 rounds, 3 to 4 people to respond from the floor Summation speech, 1 person responds to last round of debate, one sums up the whole debate 9. Voting on the resolution Underlined elements require prior allocation of roles during the preparation for the General Assembly. Placards used: Committee placard: Raise this placard any time your Committee wishes to be recognised to speak or to make a point. Direct Response: Raise this placard during the open debate to be recognised by the Board as soon as the current point is concluded. A Direct Response can only be used to refer to and discuss the point being made immediately beforehand. A committee can use up to 2 Direct Responses per round of debate. Point of Order: Raise this placard if the Board have failed to follow the General Assemblyâ€™s procedure as outlined above. Point of Personal Privilege: Raise this placard to request the previous speaker to repeat a point that was inaudible. Failure to understand the person speaking, or being distracted by nearby chatter, does not constitute a Point of Personal Privilege.
MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION BY THE COMMITTEE ON THE INTERNAL MARKET AND CONSUMER PROTECTION (IMCO)
Changing democracy: given growing apathy amongst citizens how can the EU make use of digitalised democracy and e-voting to encourage participation by the population in the democratic system?
Emma Abrahams (BE), Guy Bertran (BE), Rose Charlotte Bracke (BE), Marvan Dzeitov (BE), Adrian Koetsenruijter (BE), Elena Nahapetyan (BE), Louis Ronsse (BE), Alexine Simon (BE), Alf Marius FlorvĂĽg (Chairperson, NO)
The European Youth Parliament, A) Concerned by the decrease in voter turnout across Europe, B) Further regretting rising levels of political apathy in the European population, despite a slight recent increase in voter turnout, C) Recognising the possibility for easier communication between the population and their governments that digitalisation might bring, D) Aware of the security risks surrounding digitalising democracy, E) Keeping in mind the necessity of transparency and public trust in order to legitimise election results, F) Regretting the spread of misinformation and the effect that it has had on election results, G) Appreciating the existence of programmes like the European Citizens Initiative (ECI)1 and the Consultations2, H) Noting with concern that such initiatives have not consistently been able to achieve the required number of statements of support to be presented to the European Commission,
The European Citizensâ€™ Initiative (ECI) is an online collaborative platform where EU citizens can make legislative proposals to the European Commission. 2 The European Commission regularly sets up online public consultation and feedback mechanisms in order for the citizens to make a contribution to EU law-making. 1
Further noting the differing levels in the digitalisation of the democratic process among Member States;
1. Calls upon the European Commission to gradually introduce e-voting systems in European elections while maintaining some traditional voting to ensure a smooth transition towards a more digitalised democracy; 2. Further suggests that Member States also slowly introduce e-voting systems in national elections; 3. Encourages Member States to implement mandatory voting similar to that seen in Belgium; 4. Recommends Member States to keep a physical backup of all votes cast electronically; 5. Calls upon the European Commission to subsidise e-voting machines manufactured in Europe; 6. Urges the European Commission to create a fact-checking tool for citizens to prevent the spread of online misinformation; 7. Requests that the European Commission researches the wider implementation of i-voting3 to assess the security and feasibility of its public use; 8. Asks that Member States emphasise critical thinking and political awareness as key skills in schools; 9. Invites Member States to improve direct communication between the government and its citizens by implementing programs similar to the ECI; 10. Directs the European Commission to research the ECIâ€™s methods to re-evaluate the initiatives process and further its effectiveness.
I-voting, or electronical voting, is a system that allows citizens to cast their votes via the internet.
MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION BY THE COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT (AGRI)
Meeting demands: with Europe becoming more densely populated every year how can urban farming be used to cope with the food demands of Member States, whilst using land as economically as possible?
Maxence Hardy (BE), Nicolas Heurion (BE), Dominic Olimid (BE), Elena Marinakis (BE), Emma Moonen (BE), Nabid Syed (BE), Mehri Aliyeva (Chairperson, AZ)
The European Youth Parliament, A) Taking into consideration the projection that 50 per cent more agricultural goods, animal feed and biofuel will be needed to meet future food demands in comparison with 2012â€™s production levels, B) Noting with deep concern unsustainable water consumption in the agricultural industry, currently accounting for 70 per cent of total water use in the world, C) Noting further the adverse natural outcomes of this water usage, such as depletion of aquifers, reduce in river flows, and the deteriorating quality of commercial freshwater, D) Seriously concerned by the limited availability of new arable land in Europe, and the poor state of this land, due to soil degradation, salinization, compaction, and chemical pollution, E) Alarmed by the significant impact of agriculture on climate change and deforestation, with an estimated 25 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions resulting from crop production and animal farming, F) Deeply conscious by the adverse impact climate change in turn has on agriculture, including water shortages, a lack of biodiversity and extreme weather conditions, G) Profoundly concerned by annual food waste and food loss of 1.3 billion tons across the globe, H) Considering the challenges faced by urban farming, such as: i. high levels of soil contamination in urban areas, ii. high initial investment required to make the soil suitable for farming, iii. governmental regulations on where urban farms can be located, iv. high demand for professionals and experts in this field to ensure efficient and safe labour practices in urban farms;
1. Invites the European Commission to support NGOs such as Water Reuse Europe 4 in their effort to raise public awareness concerning the use of recycled water; 2. Calls upon Member States to address the shortage of arable land by: a) using idle spaces such as shipping containers, former factories and empty warehouses for vertical farming, b) employing horizontal or vertical farming methods for appropriate crops; 3. Recommends that Member States create local food banks to ensure food security; 4. Ask the European Commission to redirect subsidies provided within the framework of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)5 from industrial farming practices to alternative and greener forms of agriculture; 5. Encourages the European Commission to promote local food production, distribution, and consumption to reduce food chain inefficiency and minimise ecological footprints; 6. Recommends the European Commission to further support current research and development in innovative sustainable farming methods such as hydroponics and floating farms6; 7. Invites the European Commission to reiterate the Agri-environment policy7, extending it to funding for private companies to incentivise them to adopt sustainable farming practices; 8. Suggests that Member States and their municipal bodies create more compost sites in public places; 9. Further suggests that the output of these compost sites be used to aid natural methods of urban farming.
Water Reuse Europe is a UK-based not-for-profit association with the mission of promoting the safe and effective usage of recycled water across Europe through knowledge and practice sharing. 5 The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) supports European farmers and aims to safeguard food security. 6 Hydroponics and floating farms are mechanisms for cultivating crops in a water and nutrient solution instead of a soil base. 7 The Agri-environment policy entails payments provided to farmers who voluntarily commit to preserving and enhancing the environment on their farmland, by adopting environmentally friendly and sustainable farming practices. 4
MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION BY THE COMMITTEE ON HUMAN RIGHTS (DROI)
Rights for everyone: 54 per cent of transgender individuals report having faced discrimination for their gender identity, how should the EU combat discrimination against transgender people?
Selena Iannuzo (BE), Ines Kanfaoui (BE), Charles Romain (BE), Marie Rousseau (BE), Amanda Szalega (BE), Anna Yuan (BE), Marion Ziemons (BE), Savanah Nzalli (Chairperson, BE)
The European Youth Parliament, A) Concerned by the lack of uniformity regarding legislation on transgender rights between Member States, B) Regretting the insufficient amount of reliable data concerning hate crime against transgender people, C) Acknowledges that as of January 1st, 2022 transsexuality will not be recognised as a mental health disorder anymore, D) Alarmed by the fact that in Europe transgender people still face a high level of discrimination, with 22 per cent of the transgender population feeling discriminated against while accessing healthcare services in 2013, E) Regretting the fact that suicide rates amongst transgender people are still exceptionally high, F) Deploring the fact that the transgender community are the only group in the EU subject to legally prescribed state-enforced sterilisation in order to be able to change their gender, G) Alarmed that the majority of transgender individuals have faced discrimination in their workplace, H) Further alarmed that discriminatory hiring practices are often employed against transgender individuals trying to access the labour market;
1. Recommends Member States to recognise discrimination against transgender individuals through EU campaigns to raise transgender awareness; 2. Recommends Member States to recognise the definition of gender reassignment discrimination8; 3. Asks Member States to recognise the European Court of Human Rightsâ€™ (ECHR) ruling that gender recognition should not require sterilisation; 4. Calls upon Member States to organise anonymous surveys for transgender individuals assessing the level of discrimination they face; 5. Suggests that Member States set strict financial sanctions in place against institutions who show or practice any kind of discrimination against transgenders; 6. Encourages Member States to conduct psychological as well as medical follow-up sessions and studies such as the Trevor Project for transgenders that have undergone surgery or taken a hormonal treatment; 7. Recommends Member States to have elective courses focused on transgender-related issues in universities for new psychiatrists, psychologists, and therapists; 8. Urges companies to organise soft skill focused trainings for CEOs and employees aimed at raising awareness about the LGBTQI+ community; 9. Recommends Member States to incentivise companies to reach transgender employment quotas by offering tax rebates9 and cuts.
Gender reassignment discrimination is discrimination on grounds of gender reassignment has to be considered as equal to discrimination on grounds of sex. 9 A tax rebate is a payment to the taxpayer when the taxpayer pays more tax than he owes. 8
MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION BY THE COMMITTEE ON THE ENVIRONMENT, PUBLIC HEALTH, AND FOOD SAFETY I (ENVI I)
From runway to rubbish: with an increasing demand for low-cost clothing many fashion companies have opted to use cheap and often ecologically unsafe materials, what can the EU do to safeguard the environment from risks connected with fast fashion?
Pierette Biemor (BE), Isabel Carpintero (BE), Munya Kazadi (BE), Clara Lambert (BE), Rosaline Snoeys (BE), CĂŠline Taeymans (BE), Heleen Vanagt (Chairperson, BE)
The European Youth Parliament, A) Acknowledging the prevailing mentality of consumers, many of whom prioritise low-cost clothing over sustainable production methods, B) Concerned that the fashion industry releases 2.1 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) every year, which amounts to 10 per cent of all carbon pollution globally, C) Alarmed by the amounts of clean water getting polluted by textile dyeing, textile waste, and microplastic fibres, D) Further alarmed that conventional cotton10 producers are already facing water shortages and many other industries will face similar problems if the current rate of pollution continues, E) Noting that many items of clothing end up in landfill sites, producing methane, or get burned in incinerators after only being worn an average of seven times, F) Recognising that the fashion industry occupies a dominant position in the European economy, employing over 1.7 million European citizens with a turnover of 181 billion euros annually,
Conventional cotton is a genetically modified plant that requires high levels of water and pesticides to be able to grow. 10
G) Bearing in mind that the locations of production and the locations of sale are often a great distance from each other, resulting in the fashion industry producing 1.715 million tons of CO2 emissions through transportation, H) Deeply conscious that Member States have yet to implement measures to take care of discharged clothes, I)
Aware that a circular economy11 for the fashion industry is not considered as a solution by most companies;
1. Recommends that Member States promote the creation of media output visualising the effects of fast fashion on the environment to inform and educate their citizens; 2. Encourages Member States to implement the topic of sustainable fashion in their high school curricula; 3. Recommends that the United Nations Foundation (UNF) creates summits concerning sustainability and environmental issues in cooperation with influential media; 4. Invites the European Research Council (ERC) to further invest in scientific research to develop more sustainable methods of dying fabric; 5. Commends the European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD) for allocating grants to companies that either use innovative eco-friendly products or produce locally; 6. Expresses its belief in the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) to increase the price of water irrigation in the aim of promoting organic hemp as an alternative to cotton; 7. Suggests that Member States prohibit the use of incinerators for used and unsold clothes to decrease CO2 emissions; 8. Urges Member States to increase taxes on fabrics being imported from outside the EU to decrease the distance between production plants and the respective market; 9. Invites the European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD) to provide grants for second-hand clothing retailers to increase awareness and visibility; 10. Asks that Member States require clothing brands to sell unused stock from new collections in outlet stores rather than dispose it;
A circular economy is an economic system where the value of products is maintained for as long as possible and waste and resource use are minimised. 11
11. Proposes that the European Commission holds an open discussion with top fashion brands to create a plan of action for the future of circular and sustainable fashion.
MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION BY THE COMMITTEE ON THE ENVIRONMENT, PUBLIC HEALTH, AND FOOD SAFETY II (ENVI II)
Hidden sickness: according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) depression and anxiety disorders fall into the top five causes of overall disease burden among children and adolescents in Europe, how can the EU work to support its youth in both treating these illnesses, and alleviating the pressures that lead to them?
Viktoria Arsanova (BE), Mahault Degezelle (BE), Elias Friso (BE), Andrea Ile (BE), Natia Ninoshvili (GE), Celine Noel (BE), Martina Salgado (BE), William Reynolds (Chairperson, IE)
The European Youth Parliament, A) Acknowledging that every year 1 in 4 European citizens suffer from depression or anxiety, B) Regretting the lack of mental health resources available to students in primary and secondary education in Member States, C) Supporting fully the work that NGOs who place an emphasis on mental health already do in Member States, D) Recognising the stigma attached to mental health disorders in Member States, E) Deeply alarmed by the strain on mental health services in the medical sectors of Member States, F) Concerned by inequity in access to mental health services by people from different socioeconomic backgrounds in Member States, G) Noting with regret the detrimental impact social media has on mental health, H) Bearing in mind that unrealistic standards of body image can cause mental health issues for young people; 1. Appeals to Member States to install telephones connected to suicide prevention lines in areas where suicide rates are higher;
2. Urges the European Commission to create and recommend the implementation of a course in the school curriculum about mental health which includes: a) a class about mental health illnesses at the age of 12 to help in the understanding of mental health illnesses, b) information to maintain good mental health through methods such as mindfulness, c) information about body image health, d) information about the negative effects of social media; 3. Encourages Member States to introduce an optional weekly course in schools to give students a space to discuss their feelings confidentially; 4. Calls upon Member States to create digital detox12 camps for young people like in South Korea; 5. Requests Member States to educate teachers about mental health through: a) the introduction of annual seminars which educate teachers on the signs of mental health illnesses, b) the integration of mental health as a module in teaching courses at third level education; 6. Recommends that Member States introduce guidelines which discourage the use of antidepressants and anti-anxiety medication for people under the age of 22; 7. Encourages Member States to introduce a system for people experiencing mental health illnesses to save money where: a) for people of a lower income class ⅔ of the doctor’s consultation fee is paid for, b) for people who do not fall into a lower income class ⅓ of the doctor’s consultation fee is paid for, c) the first consultation for all members of the public is free; 8. Asks the European Commission to encourage the removal of the option to view the number of likes on social media for example on Instagram; 9. Invites Member States to introduce a social media free day on the 9th of every month.
Digital detox refers to a period of time when a person voluntarily refrains from using digital devices such as smartphones, computers, and social media platforms. 12
MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION BY THE COMMITTEE ON INDUSTRY, RESEARCH, AND INDUSTRY (ITRE)
At the cutting-edge: over 90 per cent of start-ups fail even though they are often leaders in innovation in their field, what should the EU do to aid this innovation by helping European startups succeed in the early stages of their development?
Auriane Fabri (BE), Fathia Farah (BE), Victor Lamotte (BE), Yasmine Ouazouz (BE), Isabeau Vanhoof (BE), Andrea Nicole Vidaure (BE), Sveva Scherpereel (Chairperson, BE)
The European Youth Parliament, A) Deeply concerned that the vast majority of European start-ups fail to establish themselves in the business ecosystem due to a lack of funding, B) Aware that the high start-up failure rate might exacerbate risks the European economy is already facing, such as but not limited to Brexit, which could lead to a sudden change in economic conditions, C) Recognising that previous efforts by the European Commission to stimulate entrepreneurship and innovation have been insufficient in ensuring more start-ups succeed, D) Aware of the sceptical and cautionary nature of European investors by comparison to those from other markets such as America, E) Aware that it is difficult for many start-ups to spread beyond their country of origin due to differing linguistic and geopolitical conditions between Member States, F) Concerned that many European start-ups report a â€˜lack of talentâ€™ available to them in the search for skilled workers due to: i.
a growing number of freelancers,
skilled workers emigrating to work in more profitable markets,
educational imbalances between Member States,
G) Concerned that start-ups are often too slow to protect their intellectual property, often allowing competitors to enter their market too easily;
1. Encourages Member States to implement introductory economic courses in the curricula of students between the ages of twelve and eighteen; 2. Recommends that Member States also promote courses on international business management for recent graduates; 3. Urges Member States to encourage cooperation between start-ups and mature enterprises facilitating an exchange of feedback; 4. Encourages the European Commission to allocate more funding to initiatives already in place such as Start-up Europe, that connect entrepreneurs, investors, and start-ups; 5. Recommends that Member States further subsidise European start-ups, following the example of France who pledged a five billion euro rise in funding for start-ups in September 2019; 6. Asks that Member States reduce certain taxes on enterprises wanting to expand internationally in order for them to access new markets, and their benefits; 7. Invites Member States to work together to harmonise the legal process for start-ups across Europe in order to facilitate internationalisation.