No. 70 | December 2017 | 55th Year | ISSN 2033-7809
The magazine of European Democrat Students
DIGITAL WORLD - FUTURE PRIORITIES FOR EDUCATION AND TRAINING MALTA 4 FREE TRADE 5 CATALONIA 6 DIGITAL CLASSROOM 8 DIGITAL ILLITERACY 9
INTERNET 10 BRAZIL 12 SOUTH AMERICA 14 RAPE-MARRIAGE LAW 16 POPULISM 17
IYDU 18 EU SINGLE SEAT 19 GIRLS IN STEM 20 LISBON STRATEGY 22 EDUCATIONâ€™S FUTURE 24
It is a real pleasure to welcome you on the page of the seventieth issue of BullsEye, the second of this working year. As you may have noticed, we have operated some changes to the magazine, some of them had been expected for sometimes, while others fell on us, testing our ability to adapt to circumstances. The first change relates to the form of our magazine. We had been thinking for sometimes on how to refresh the image of BullsEye. We wanted to keep the best of the former layout, which was already five years old while proposing something new that could attract potential readers’ attention. Providing a sneak peak of the magazine’s content while stressing that BullsEye is intimately tied to the European Democrat Students. After several drafts proposed by our Graphic Designer, Markus Konow and lengthy amendments and review process involving the EDS Executive Bureau and our Editorial Team, we finally came up with this new layout. I hope you will appreciate it as much as we do. I want to thank Markus for his patience and his excellent creative work, which synthesises the desiderata expressed by a dozen of people. The second change concerns the Issue’s theme. Our team had been working on articles on this theme for a long time, and we were already in the final stage of the redaction process when the Skopje Council Meeting’s theme was changed. Out of respect for our editors’ work, we agreed to keep the previous theme, “Digital World - future priorities for education and training”. Our sentiment was reinforced by the fact that, during the EDS Baltic Trip from 8 to 12 November, we had the opportunity to raise the issue of the digitalisation of education. This is why our editors, Kristina Olausson and Sarah Wolpers, and our Vice-Chairman Tommi Pyykkö covered this topic. Besides, our series Europe and the World continues as Teodoras Žukas and Elie Obeid will make us travel to South America. Finally, there has been a lot of news since our last issue as many events shook the European Union and its principles. We felt, therefore, the need to cover these issues. Neil Smart Costantino will cover the infamous attack against freedom of speech in Malta, after the horrendous murder of blogger Daphne Caruana Galizia. Carlo Giacomo Angrisano Girauta will come back to the genesis of the Catalan crisis in Spain. I hope that you will appreciate the magazine, in its new content and its new form, and take as much pleasure in reading it that we took in preparing. I wish you an excellent reading.
CONTENTS: CURRENT AFFAIRS 4 5 6
MALTA PAPERS – AN ATTACK ON FREEDOM OF SPEECH NAFTA, TPP, TTIP – FREE TRADE IN RETREAT? THE TRUTH OF THE CATALAN CONFLICT: A 21ST CENTURY COUP D’ETAT
THEME 8 9 10
DIGITALIZED CLASSROOM – HOW CAN DIGITAL TOOLS HELP EDUCATION? LEAVING NO ONE BEHIND – CONTRASTING DIGITAL ILLITERACY THE LIFE SUSTAINING CORD
SERIES: EUROPE AND THE WORLD 12 14
THE ERA OF BRAZIL’S POLITICAL OBSCURITY A PIN TO THE HEART: THE FIGHT AGAINST TERRORISM FUNDING IN SOUTH AMERICA
BE ON 16 17 18 19
‘MARRY-YOUR-RAPIST’ LAWS, WHERE NEXT? DECONSTRUCTING POPULISM – THE POSTMODERN PHILOSOPHY BEHIND THE NEW RIGHT DEAR FRIENDS THE ONE TRUE CAPITAL – FOR A SINGLE SEAT EU
UNIVERSITIES 20 22 24
WHO RUNS THE STEM-BUSINESS? APPARENTLY NOT GIRLS EUROPE OF THE UNKNOWLEDGEABLE? THE FUTURE OF HIGHER EDUCATION IN THE EU – VENI, VIDI, DIGI(TALIZATION)
Julien Sassel BullsEye Editor-in-Chief
ISSN: Print: 2033-7809 Online: 2033-7817 EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Julien Sassel EDITORIAL TEAM: Mattia Caniglia, Sabine Hanger, Ramy Jabbour, Vladimir Kljajić, Maciej Kmita, Kristina Olausson, Neil Smart Costantino, Sarah Wolpers, Teodoras Žukas CONTRIBUTIONS: Carlo Giacomo Angrisano Girauta, Karlo Kolesar, Gloria Müller, Elie Obeid, Bachir Wardini PHOTOS: Àkos Kaiser, Shutterstock, Pixabay, Unsplash.com
DESIGN: Markus Konow PUBLISHER: European Democrat Students, B-1000 Brussels, Rue du Commerce 10 TEL: +(32) 228 541 50 FAX: +(32) 228 541 41 EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org WEBSITE: www.edsnet.eu Articles and opinions published in the magazine do not necessarily reflecting the positions of EDS, the EDS Bureau or the Editorial team.
Publication supported by the Erasmus + Programme of the European Union and European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe. The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
Dear friends, Welcome to the second edition of BullsEye, the official debating magazine of the European Democrat Students, the largest student organization of the centre-right for the working year 2017/2018. The newsmagazine originates from the Taurus magazine of the seventies and in the mid-nineties changes its name in BullsEye, since when it has been regularly published. The aim of BullsEye is to provide news and reflections on European and global politics, giving a voice to those who fight to defend the values of freedom, democracy, human rights and rule of law. As a student organization news magazine BullsEye always had a particular focus on the topic of education and universities, as well as international organizations in which EDS takes part, such as the European Peopleâ€™s Party, the Council of Europe, the European Youth Forum, IYDU and the Robert Schuman Institute. In this issue of BullsEye that we will present during our second Council Meeting of this working year we discuss about the topic of the Digital World - future priorities for education and training.
In addition to this, our Editorial Team has worked on topics such as the Malta Papers, the discussion on NAFTA, TPP, TTIP. We will also analyze the evolution of the political situation in Brazil, the phenomenon of the domestic violence, and the spread of populism in our contemporary era. Furthermore Bashir Wardini will take the floor explaining the recent developments in the life of IYDU. Vice Chairman Carlo Angrisano will explain the chaotic events occurred in Catalonia, and our Editor-in-Chief Julien Sassel will focus his attention on the need of One True Capital for the EU. Obviously we will give ample space to the theme of education and university, as for any of our issues. For now, please enjoy reading the new issue of BullsEye and keep in mind that the EDS Bureau is always interested in receiving feedback, hearing your ideas, and discovering more ways to proudly serve students across Europe. With my best regards,
Virgilio Falco Chairman of European Democrat Students
MALTA PAPERS – AN ATTACK ON FREEDOM OF SPEECH The afternoon of 16 October 2017 will live long in Maltese History, as Daphne Caruana Galizia, a Maltese investigative journalist and blogger who lifted the lid on Maltese Officials’ direct involvement in the global Panama Papers scandal, was brutally murdered in a car bomb. Not only has this been perceived as an attack on a Wife, and Mother, but also an attack on the Journalism Profession. In her last update to her website, just hours before the murder, she said the following: “There are crooks everywhere you look now. The situation is desperate.” THE PLOT 16 October is being labelled as ‘Black Monday’ on the Maltese Media, and rightly so. Malta lost one of the most thorough investigative journalists in recent history. Her work may have been out of line sometimes but her contribution in major situations, cannot be disputed. Caruana Galizia, along with her son, Matthew1, played a fundamental role in uncovering one of the biggest scandals to shake the world in recent years, the Panama Papers. When the scandal broke, she was the first to announce the involvement of the Prime Ministers closest personnel, with 3 Companies being linked to Malta. Two of which were linked to then-Energy Minister, Konrad Mizzi, who was then given the portfolio to a ‘Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister’, and the other company was linked to the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff, Keith Schembri. Caruana Galizia fought tooth and nail to bring these two to justice, so much so that during the run-up of the 2017 General Election in June, she claimed that the Third Company linked to Malta, was in fact owned by the Wife of the Prime Minister. She also played a major role to speak about kickbacks that government officials were allegedly receiving from deals with top Azeri Officials amongst many others.
SILENCING THE MEDIA Sadly enough, this is not the first instance whereby the Media has been silenced. Most notably, in Turkey2, where in July 2017, reporters were put to trial for their work being labelled as aiding the Coup Attempt in the country. This is indeed one of the
most worrying features of a collapsing democracy. The media, be it through Social Media or Reporting, is a fundamental link between citizens and reality. The second that you attempt to demean the work of the media, you are indirectly attacking the Freedom of Expression, and worse than that, you are showing that you may have something to hide. This can be noted in the US Elections, whereby now President Donald Trump used to call out members of well-respected media outlets during his rallies, calling them liars and the popular, ‘Fake News’. The Political Giants in Europe all expressed their deepest condolences to the Galizia Family and gave their views on the worrying situation. Guy Verhofstadt, Antonio Tajani and even Julian Assange were amongst the most notable people to call for justice to be done in honour of Galizia.
THE AFTERMATH The day after the assassination, saw the first comments on Social Media by Daphne’s son, Matthew. The Pulitzer Prize winner, in an emotional tribute to his late mother started strongly by saying; “My mother was assassinated because she stood between the rule of law and those who sought to violate it, like many strong journalists. But she was also targeted because she was the only person doing so. This is what happens when the institutions of the state are incapacitated: the last person left standing is often a journalist. Which makes her the first person left dead.” He concluded by shifting the responsibility onto the shoulder of the Prime Minister, along with the Police Commissioner amongst others, for taking no action whenever the Journalist was being threatened or demeaned. This led to the
Maltese Civil Society Network to organize Two Different Protests, both calling for the resignation of the Police Commissioner.
WHAT HAPPENS NOW? In the meantime, a new group called ‘Occupy Justice’ formed, and camped outside the Office of the Prime Minister until he accepts responsibility for the murder. In a European State, fresh from chairing the Presidency of the Council of the EU, this is nothing short of worrying. The culture of impunity that exists is putting the safety of Journalists and other Investigative media outlets in a state where they do not feel safe. Members of the European Parliament have called upon the European Commission to embark on an investigation of the murder. Daphne may have left the world, but the strong impact that her murder has made, both on the Freedom of Expression, and the situation in Malta, will definitely live on for very long. Quoting a Maltese Politician, Mark Anthony Sammut3, “Daphne was not killed by a bomb, but from a state that failed, and from each and every one of us that was willing to close an eye because the economic situation is strong, because we’re comfortable. Whether we like it or not, we have regressed, rather than progressed. We are in a situation where we are willing to let a Nation deteriorate, just because our financial situation is better than what it used to be, to the extent that we are ready to see one of us, be killed.” In addition to this, several Vigils have taken place over a couple of days, even in Brussels. These have attracted the attention of many International Media Outlets. must be said, that for a country aspiring to become one of Europe’s Finest, the situation, really is desperate.
1 Matthew is a winner of the Pulitzer Prize and a member of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. 2 https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jul/24/turkish-activists-decry-attack-press-freedom-journalists-stand-trial 3 Mark Anthony is an Engineer and a Candidate on behalf of the Maltese Nationalist Party (PN).
Neil Smart Costantino
NAFTA, TPP, TTIP – FREE TRADE IN RETREAT? Washington has guided the world's economies toward freer trade and higher levels of development, but now Trump’s mercantilist trade policy could threaten the world economy. His main objective is fairer trade, but will the price be isolation? It remains to be seen who could potentially fill the void. Free trade between countries has always been a subject of interest for important players in the global economy. Without a doubt, the modern world has gained more from it, rather than lost, however, there is still the concept of balance. Questions like how much, how far and how deep should free trade go, result in a wide array of responses from political parties, especially during times of crises; and we all know that populists love to claim that we are constantly in a crisis. If there is one thing that can be said about the success of postwar American foreign policy, then it is definitely its trade policy. The stimulation of free trade agreements was intensified in the late 1980’s. The break-up of the Soviet Union led the European Community to form trade agreements with some Central and Eastern European nations, followed by bilateral trade agreements with Middle Eastern countries. On the other hand, the US pursued its own trade negotiations, firstly with Israel in 1985, as well as the trilateral North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Mexico and Canada in 1994. There were also some significant regional agreements in South America, Asia, and Africa. One of the most important ones is the Uruguay Round Agreements that created the World Trade Organization, which succeeded the GATT as the global supervisor of world trade liberalization. It was followed by China’s 2001 Protocol of Accession to the WTO. The WTO currently has 164 members and 22 observer governments who are committed to regulating international trade. Domestic politics usually shape international relations; therefore, trade is also under revision. As a result, it comes as no surprise that there are some shifts and consequences of the ‘’America first’’ policies that proved victorious in the USA Presidential elections in 2016. Throughout his campaign, President Trump put blame on free trade agreements for causing economic suffering and unem-
ployment in America, a practice which has continued throughout his first year in office. During the 1990s, Professor Ethan B. Kapstein wrote that growing income inequality, job insecurity, and unemployment are widely seen as the flip side of globalization - a narrative that has accused foreign trade for the loss of jobs, pressure on the middle class, and the reduction of wages. According to its Trade Policy Agenda, the Trump Administration has stated that ‘’the status quo is unsustainable’’. One of the main arguments for re-negotiating and withdrawing from some agreements is the large trade deficit. The trade deficit in goods and services with China has soared from $81.9 billion in 2000 to almost $334 billion in 2015. When it comes to NAFTA, in 2016 alone, the US’ combined trade deficit in goods with Canada and Mexico were over $74 billion. The President, by Section 301 of the US Trade Act of 1974, is authorized to take all ‘’appropriate action, including retaliation‘’, where US trade interests are damaged and this can easily affect world trade. Most recently, in November, the U.S. placed punitive tariffs on Canadian lumber amid an impasse. On the other hand, the US benefits from NAFTA, especially from Mexico, which is partially responsible for the success of the American car industry, as it provides cheaper parts. As a result, It is more likely that the US will not retreat from NAFTA but rather, re-negotiate it. As the strongest economic power, the United States now sees national sovereignty as a greater priority than trade policies such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership and TTIP. In spite of the general skepticism towards free trade agreements, the TPP’s future signatories, the remaining 11 members, reached an agreement on the “core elements” of a deal to proceed without the US. Furthermore, according to the FT, officials say the plan is to sign a final agreement early next year, in a deal that would eliminate
tariffs on 95 per cent of goods traded in a bloc covering some 500 million people and more than $10 trillion in economic output. It also leaves the door open to the US rejoining the agreement someday. While China is excluded from the TPP, it plans to be a part of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). The RCEP could potentially transform the region of Central-South Asia and Oceania into the world’s largest trading bloc, comprising of over 3.5 billion people and covering nearly one third of the global economy. If everything goes to plan, it should be launched early next year. Having in mind the historic and territorial disputes between some of the signatories, such as between China and Japan, as well as between China and India, its implementation remains uncertain. When it comes to strengthening the US-European bond through the TTIP agreement, the situation remains silent. The largest bilateral trade initiative ever negotiated doesn’t have a large following in Washington. Having in mind that the EU has strongly emphasized safety and environmental standards and that the Trump Administrations isn’t a huge fan of it, it remains to be seen what the outcome will be. The anti-trade rhetoric based primarily on the fear of losing manufacturing jobs will still be part of our public discourse and studies have shown that technology is the main reason for putting some people out of work. A lot of countries depend on free trade and certainly Donald Trump’s mercantilist trade policy will cause a lot of shocks. One of the questions that remain to be answered is whether other big players such as China, after being marginalized in the TTIP/TPP context, takes the chance and offers itself as a reliable economic partner.
The official magazine of European Democrat Students
THE TRUTH OF THE CATALAN CONFLICT: A 21ST CENTURY COUP D’ETAT Many questions have been asked throughout Europe regarding a place best known for its hospitality, culture, beauty, and its welfare, Catalonia. Dozens of international reporters have flooded Barcelona’s main streets, its countryside and institutional buildings. This was unprecedented and not seen since the 1992 Olympic Games, but unfortunately, most of the news has been focused more on the form rather than the essence of the issue. This article will try to answer three fundamental questions that may have never been asked, and whose answers will shed a light on the 35-year-old conflict of the Catalan society. WHEN DID IT ALL BEGIN? The public opinion, not only the European, but also the Spanish, will possibly consider this the fruit of the 2007 economic crisis and the rise of populism around Europe, on the contrary, the accelerator pedal of nationalism was pressed further. Jordi Pujol, father of modern Catalan nationalism proudly asserted in 1990 that by the year 2000 nationalists would be solely in control of the pillars of the Catalan society. The “Agenda 2000” was drafted to give nationalists full control over the political planning, primary education, universities, mass media, cultural activities, business developments, international relations and the administration. This agenda succeeded and was even implemented by other parties that ruled after Jordi Pujol. The separation had to happen first within its people and its main goal was to Catalanize the society and go through a slow and tedious process that would create a common enemy, Spain. The perfect storm was caused with the onset of the 2007 crisis, when the nationalists started blaming the Spanish government for the costs of the crisis, igniting the conflicts we are faced with to this day. This was
not coincidental, Josep Tarradellas, first Regional President of Catalonia during the Spanish constitutional democracy, had in 1981 warned that this would inevitably happen unless someone stopped Jordi Pujol.
IS SPAIN A DEMOCRACY? Instead of going through every characteristic of a democracy, like The Economist Democracy Index (which ranked Spain as 17th best democracy in 2016), we will go through and tackle the arguments of the separatists. They often say that they are persecuted and oppressed, they consider themselves a minority while they rule the Regional Government, hundreds of town halls and have dozens of seats at the National Parliament. Having the presidency of the region means managing an annual budget of 30 billion Euros, which allows the separatists to exercise powers over security, education, healthcare, mass media, taxation and even the probation system. Furthermore, if someone says that there is a lack of democracy we have to honestly recognize that the separatists have weakened democracy in Cat-
alonia. A recent example, on 25 September, was of cases of indoctrination which were denounced at Catalan public schools. Also, the public media, managed by the Catalan Government, mostly reflects the policies and ideals of the separatist parties in power. Moreover, former ETA (and other terrorist groups) leaders and executioners have been welcome in the separatist ranks. The celebration of violence against Spain is a regular guideline in some factions of the separatists’ movements. Despite the amount of power and resources they have gathered, the separatists do not consider following the democratic route to achieve a constitutional reform. Let us analyze this path going through three key articles. Article 2 of the Spanish Constitution grants the territorial sovereignty; article 1.2 establishes that the Spanish people are the sovereign people (which means that a region cannot impose its ruling to the rest of the Nation). And article 168 establishes the channels to amend articles 1.2 and 2. If separatists achieve a qualified majority at the Spanish Parliament, the secession of Catalonia would oc-
“In politics, the meanings of words do matter.”
cur legally. Since a parliamentary commission for the reform of the Constitution was created, it would be the perfect arena to introduce a draft for the reform and initiate a debate on the matter. Unfortunately, the separatist members of Parliament are not attending the commission sessions under the pretext that the rest of the parties are Francoist militants (referring to Franco, who passed away in 1975).
HAVE THE CATALAN SEPARATISTS CHOSEN THE COUP D’ETAT PATH? Words may have different meanings depending on the pursued goal. For instance, a scientist would not use the term “chaos” in the same way a group of friends would in an atmosphere of laughter and confidence. In politics, the meanings of words do matter. When Catalan separatists use the word democracy, what are they talking about? Former President of the Regional Government, Artur Mas, the politician that pulled the trigger of unilateralism, affirmed several times: “first democracy, then rule of law” and that “juridical norms must adapt to democracy”. These are misleading affirmations; it frames the debate and separates people into two blocks. If someone defends the rule of law, separatists will call this person a fascist or undemocratic. At this point, the attentive readers will wonder: is there a democracy without the rule of law? There is not. The ones who still think about
democracy as John Locke did, must insist on the rule of law or we shall end up creating Carl Schmidt ́ s statements. In other words, the dictatorship of the majority would become legitimate. In 2013, Artur Mas established the “Advisory Council for the National Transition” and for the first time in history plans started being drafted through a unilateral path. Since 2013, Spanish taxpayers have been funding the payroll of those who plan to occupy the infrastructure of the Spanish Government and to establish guerilla, or other “democratic activities” like blacklisting the people that oppose their separatist agenda. Luckily it has never been anything other than expensive drafts. In the meantime, from 2013 to 2017 a giant network of civil servants has been established for the purpose of overthrowing the Spanish civil servants working in Catalonia. The network cost has been estimated at around 800 million Euros per year. If we analyze what happened during September and October 2018 in Catalonia we may be very surprised. Public opinion would say that the separatists were oppressed, that they were not allowed to have a referendum and were jailed among others. There is no shame in expressing the faith that is expected for the separatist leaders.
lowed to vote, and neither was it informed of the laws that were to be voted upon. These laws established the framework for the “referendum”. Afterwards, on October 1st the “referendum” was held, with no legal guarantee, allowing people to vote several times, even with ballot boxes filled before the voting period. The judges intervened and ordered a stop the so-called “referendum” at the risk that in the following hours the Catalan Parliament could issue a unilateral declaration of independence. On the night of October 1st, the Catalan Government announced the results of the referendum, which added more than 100% of the votes. Finally, on 27 October the culmination of the separatist agenda happened; independence was declared and the last bullet of the coup d’Etat was shot, but totally missed the target. People almost did not react, not even when the liable people were jailed. The coup had been stopped. The upcoming election on 21 December will be a unique opportunity: the first in 40 years, to change Catalonia and to finally re-establish the constitutional order of this beautiful Spanish region. Europe’s future is at stake too, does anyone really believe that the EU can exist if the 174 regions of the member states declare the independence?
During the sessions of September 6th and 7th in the Catalan Parliament, the opposition was not al-
Carlo Giacomo Angrisano Girauta
The official magazine of European Democrat Students
DIGITALIZED CLASSROOM â€“ HOW CAN DIGITAL TOOLS HELP EDUCATION? The digital revolution affects economic, social as well as political life. It presents us with new challenges, but at the same time, it offers us opportunities, even for us, as students. In 2010 Bill Gates said that five years later the worldâ€™s best lectures would be offered for free on the Internet, but first of all, what kinds of digital tools can help students? And how does it help to improve performance at university? In general, there are three digital tools which can help students improve their academic performance. These are Learning Management Systems, blended learning concept, and learning analytics. Over the last years, most European universities have already established Learning Management Systems (LMS), like Blackboard, ILIAS or Moodle. This digital platform offers the possibility for lecturers and students to upload teaching material like scientific essays, while professors can also provide additional material, while also allowing students to submit their homework electronically. The LMS is an additional teaching room where pre-tests and examinations can be completed. Students are allowed to connect with their lecturer, offering them a better coordination of their studies and a closer relationship between a professor and his class. Furthermore, students can get a deeper inside look at the academic dialogue. The reason behind this, is to give young academics the possibility of sharing their research results and getting in touch with students. Another digital tool is the blended learning concept. It is a teaching concept that links digital structures more closely to classical teaching. This model integrates e-learning elements into the traditional lectures and classes. To prepare himself, the student uses LMS in the form of tutorials or a short online lecture on
the study content of the lecture. On the other hand, the students are able to repeat the learning content on the LMS after the lecture and conduct individual online tests on the basis of which the lecturer can evaluate whether the study content was understood. The blended learning concept is particularly suited to natural sciences and engineering sciences because it allows complex topics to be dealt with more effectively. Due to the increased participation of students, lecturers also receive feedback, which allows them to improve their lectures. In the humanities, the concept of blended learning is less widespread. Also, Learning Analytics is a feature of e-learning, which will become part of European universities in the coming five years and it is already used in the United States and Australia. According to the NMC Horizon Report 2016, Learning analytics is the measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of data about learners and their contexts, for purposes of understanding and optimizing learning and the environments in which it occurs. The students receive a real-time feedback of their current performance in class and can recognize their knowledge gaps. Nevertheless, it is important to maintain personal data security. All the e-teaching concepts digitize the entire teaching system, lectures, exercises, homework, etc. will be held as an online course. The lecturer can provide their course to the students on an LMS, however, if the state of the arts changes, the content of the lecture must be
adapted. Any questions about the content can be asked and answered on the LMS forums. E-Teaching is rather less common and is not suitable for firstyear students, since they usually do not cope with independent learning and reworking and the interaction between teacher and listeners also suffers a lot. Apart from homework or examinations, the lecturer does not receive any feedback on the extent to which the content was understood. Therefore, e-teaching is only suitable for purely application-oriented courses (for example, programming, digital humanities) in higher semesters. After explaining all the digital tools and concepts, there is still the open question on how these can be of help to students. Studies show that learning analytics lower the quota of student dropouts. Although it helps achieve better study results of about 30 percent, it is crucial that universities invest in new digital tools to promote studentsâ€™ learning. Another example is that 90 percent of the students passed a class while using digital tools. Digitization must be an interdisciplinary research into all disciplines. Three core areas play a key role here: digital studies, interaction between teaching and research, and online courses in domestic and European countries. We should see Digitalization as a Chance for us students, and take advantage of it, so that Europe does not lose touch with the future. Nevertheless, the basic pillars of academic knowledge transfer will still be the lecture and seminar, multiple choice test and final thesis.
LEAVING NO ONE BEHIND – CONTRASTING DIGITAL ILLITERACY A growing number of areas in life are influenced by digital development and the rise of new technologies. Whether you are a bee keeper in Skåne, or a PHD student in Split, digital literacy and digital skills are becoming more and more crucial to all kinds of people. When societies are facing such a development, it is vital to tackle the challenges rising from digital illiteracy. First of all, to understand the problem, one must comprehend what is meant by the term digital literacy. It should not be treated as a synonym to terms such as digital or ICT skills. Digital literacy, as a term, includes a wide range of competencies which are required to fully participate in modern societies in the digital era. Compared to digital skills, digital literacy is a much more comprehensive term. Digital skills refer more to the actual ability and knowhow needed to use the actual digital devices. Digital literacy includes those skills, but it goes much further. The focus with digital literacy is more on the ability to act in a digital environment: how to search, understand, interpret and evaluate information on the internet, or how to act in different kinds of online communities etc. These skills should be highly valued in these times when societies are facing growing challenges posed by fake news, trolls and online radicalization. While these skills are becoming more vital and the pace of change is high, there is a risk of having a growing number of people who cannot keep up. This kind of development can be described as a part of a digital divide. This term can be defined in various ways, whether it is the division between those who have the access to modern technologies and those who do not, or those who possess sufficient skills to participate modern day’s information society and those who do not. One factor can also be individual’s English skills, as most of the material on the web is in English. Or then, the digital divide can include all these things together.
Sometimes, people tend to think that this divide is mainly between different generations, but the reality is not so simplistic. Younger generations may have a better set of digital skills in general, but that alone does not make you digitally literate. Making assumptions that young people, or digital natives, would even have sufficient digital skills, solely based on their age, is highly problematic. In contrast to the general belief, in some countries there has been worrying news that part of the younger generations cannot even handle doing some of the most basic tasks with computers. Despite the digital natives being more likely to acquire such skills, there are many other factors which affects a persons’ likelihood of becoming digitally literate other than age. For example, geographical differences can have a great influence on that as well. Those differences exist not only between different countries, but also inside a country. Internal differences are more likely to exist in larger countries where, for example, the broadband coverage may be much weaker in some of the most rural areas. Similarly, some countries are more developed than others. A good example of a digitally well developed country is Estonia, with the prime example of the E-residency program that was launched in 2014. The European Union is promoting digital inclusion in various ways. One major problem faced is the digital infrastructure. The EU set up a broadband target in 2010 in its Digital Agenda for Europe, stating that by 2020 there should be universal broadband coverage of speeds above 30 Mbps and that 50% of the broadband coverage should have
speeds above 100 MBps. Additionally, for example, all major roads and railways should have uninterrupted 5G wireless broadband coverage in the future. The EU has invested heavily in 5G research and infrastructure, and to boost its efforts for the deployment of 5G infrastructure and services across the EU, the Commission launched a special 5G Action Plan in 2016. Another relatively new concrete measure to improve citizen’s connectivity is also the Wifi4EU initiative which aims to promote free Wi-Fi connectivity in public spaces across the Member States. Besides infrastructure, one major concern about digital inclusion is the digital skill deficit in Europe. According to some estimates, there will be half a million unfilled vacancies due to the lack of sufficient digital skills in the labor market. To tackle this issue, the European Commission adopted the New Skills Agenda for Europe in June 2016 where 10 action plans have been outlined in order to improve the quality and relevance of training and making these skills more visible and more comparable. To avoid the risk of digital exclusion in the EU, decisive and strong actions and their implementation are called for. While different actors may have different motives behind the promotion of digital skills and literacy throughout the continent, having digitally literate citizens and leaving no one behind is beneficial to societies, to the labor market and most crucially to the individuals themselves.
The official magazine of European Democrat Students
THE LIFE SUSTAINING CORD Nearly two decades after the inception of the Internet, about 3.5 billion people in the world are connected. For many, the Internet is now something we take for granted as a natural part of our everyday lives. We use it to connect with friends and family, pay our bills and keep ourselves informed about what goes on in the world. However, according to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), 3.9 billion people remain without an Internet connection. With the increasing importance of the Internet to manage our lives, this gap between the connected and non-connected has started to cause concern. Some even claim that the Internet should be seen as a fundamental right, as is access to clean water and food. Looking at the current situation in Europe, we seem far from being able to ensure such a fundamental right. But is this really a problem and how can we solve it? TWO PERSPECTIVES ON INTERNET AS A FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT Even if discussions about the Internet and fundamental rights have a multitude of dimensions, one way of simplifying them is to make two basic distinctions. This first one is the line which discusses the Internet from an “equivalence” perspective, arguing that we should be able to exercise the same fundamental rights online as we have offline. An example of this is freedom of expression. However, here the focus will be the right to Internet from an “access” perspective of having the right to an Internet connection. The “equivalence” perspective focuses more on upholding fundamental rights in an online environment. THE “ACCESS” PERSPECTIVE Peter Altmaier, Germany´s acting finance minister, recently said in an interview “An uninterrupted, good mobile network and fast internet are part of public welfare, they are a fundamental right”. While the Internet is not formally recognised by many countries as a fundamental right, its importance
has been formalised among others by the United Nation´s Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs). One of the goals aims to ‘significantly increase access to ICT and strive to provide universal and affordable access to the Internet in least developed countries by 2020’. The Internet will also be essential for the implementation and monitoring of the other SDGs. A vast majority of the people who have an Internet connection are from developing countries (2.5 billion users), when compared to one billion in developed countries. However, Internet penetration rates (which correspond to the percentage of the total population of a given country or region that uses the Internet) show a different story. While the rate is 81 percent in developed countries, it is only about half or 40 percent in developing countries and 15 percent in the Least Developed Countries. Also, measurements for individual regions show big gaps in connectivity. The Digital Economy and Soci-
ety Index (DESI), an annual report by the European Commission, shows Europe’s digital performance and competitiveness. It combines a range of indicators (connectivity, human capital, use of Internet, Integration of Digital Technology, Digital Public Services, etc.). The 2016 Scoreboard showed that Denmark, Finland, Sweden and the Netherlands have the most advanced digital economies in the EU, whereas, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece and Italy have the lowest scores on the index. The scores range from 0.32 (Romania) to 0.70 (Denmark). Thus, the world is more or less divided into two: those with an Internet connection and those who are not connected. Could you imagine living in modern society without access to the Internet? At least in most Western countries, a basic Internet connection has become fundamental to be able to register for courses at University, pay bills, register for public services etc. The cost of not having an Internet connection becomes bigger with the increasing number of
“Internet is thus becoming more of a necessity, rather than a luxury.” people who have it. Internet is thus becoming more of a necessity, rather than a luxury. WHAT IS REQUIRED TO REACH A DIGITALLY MATURE SOCIETY IN EUROPE? The differences in connectivity between different regions and countries also show the complexity in ensuring full connectivity for everyone, no matter where they live. The DESI 2017 report shows three major challenges in order to providing Internet for all in Europe. Digital skills: More and more people use online public services if they have access to the Internet. However, one group is left behind (except for those without an Internet connection). These are middle-aged people with low education. For example, the DESI shows that they have one of the lowest uses of eGovernment services (39%) and also shows the least progress between 2011 and 2016. The connectivity gap cannot only be solved by providing more access. People also have to know how to use the Internet. As most young people are already digitally literate, the private and public sector employers play a crucial role in providing education and skills-development. Urban -rural divide: A substantial gap can be seen between rural and national penetration rates, even if it has decreased over the past years. While 66% of rural homes had a fixed broadband subscription across
the EU in 2016, the penetration rates varied greatly between the Member States (Bulgaria with about 40% up to Luxembourg with 95%). Ensuring connectivity is often harder in rural areas, as costs for building infrastructure is higher and the density of customers is lower than for urban areas. However, closing this gap becomes a question not only about competitiveness but also fairness among citizens. Fast-speed Internet: Other values in the DESI which are important are the statistics on the penetration of fast internet speeds. As we use more and more services, carrying huge amounts of data such as video-platforms, the need for a high-speed Internet connection increases. In many cases the value of the service and its functionality is dependent on the speed. In Europe however, only 27% of European homes subscribe to fast broadband access of at least 30 Mbps and only 11% of European homes currently subscribe to ultrafast broadband (at least 100 Mbps). While the European Commission co-funds the 5G-PPP public-private partnership with €700 million, private funding will be required to reach a total budget of €3.5 billion by 2025. At the same time, the DESI shows declining profits among European telecom companies compared to other regions such as the US for example. Ensuring an investment-friendly framework for European connectivity providers thus becomes essential.
Stating that the Internet is a fundamental right would today be an empty promise in most of Europe. Yet, the gap between connected people and those without Internet becomes an increasing concern as society is digitised. Giving the Internet status as a fundamental right would demand more political responsibility, but politicians might find it hard to guarantee such a right. First of all, it would have to be decided what type of Internet is to be provided (speed etc.). It could be tempting to guarantee a minimum speed, while most services will demand high-speed Internet. It is thus better to look at what is provided privately to spur demand and supply. Secondly, even if a person had Internet access, without the knowledge of how to use online services would make this connection useless. It can be argued that both private and public efforts are needed to solve this issue, while keeping in mind that people will acquire digital skills in different settings and ages. Finally, the rural-urban gap also shows that key challenges are seen in ensuring coverage in all areas. Incentivising investment will be the key. Thus, what Europe needs is a combination of investment incentives and educational efforts.
The official magazine of European Democrat Students
SERIES: EUROPE AND THE WOLRD
THE ERA OF BRAZIL’S POLITICAL OBSCURITY The impeachment of former president Mrs. Rousseff symbolized a new political saga in Brazil, yet nobody is currently cheering in samba country. Brazil is going through a period of shabby politics, scandals and trials. Sadly, all of this reflects in the ordinary Brazilian’s wallet and creates a lack of possibilities. The measures which need to be implemented, are quite clear, but there is practically no one who will be able to lead the country from a stalemate. Every nation has something to be proud of, Italy has a splendid cuisine while Germany can brag about its work ethics, however, when it comes to Brazil, football and samba come to one’s mind. Unfortunately, such an impression can easily be misguided since today Brazil is more known for its notoriety and dirty politics. In recent years the political landscape has definitely strengthened this stereotype. The impeachment of president Dilma Rousseff, massive corruption by high officials and the perpetual political instability of Latin America’s biggest economy is what Brazil is now known for. Just a year ago it looked like Brazil might moving in the right direction, following the scandalous ousting of president Rousseff and the biggest ever anti-corruption campaign called ‘Operation Car Wash’, the general mood was rather positive. The country witnessed an unprecedented boom in civic activity, as throughout the series
of political scandals the largest city squares were crowded with people who were fed up with Brazil’s black box politics. It also looked like fundamental reforms were underway too as Brazil’s judiciary, police and governance levels experienced a shock therapy. Likewise, the new presidential successor Michel Temer seemed to bring a breath of fresh air in Brazil’s contaminated political environment. In spite of this, today, Brazil’s political system finds itself in catastrophic turmoil. President Temer faces charges in a bribery case based on testimony by an owner of the world’s largest meatpacker JBS SA. Prosecutors say that back in 2006, when Mr. Temer was still a congressman, he created a bribery scheme which remains to this day. The charges extend to Mr Temer’s closest colleagues and several cabinet ministers too. The whole political group allegedly funnelled over 587m reais (€153m) from state-run institutions such as Petrobras and
the Brazilian Lottery into the pockets of lawmakers. A couple of weeks ago Mr. Temer managed to get 251 votes against 233 in the lower house of Congress and stopped a corruption investigation which would have immediately forced him to step down for at least six months. Indeed, current situation is causing colossal civic discontent and even bigger political fragmentation and polarisation. The approval ratings of Mr. Temer and his government clearly reflect the Brazilian populations’ reaction to the endless corruption within the governing elite. In a recent poll the trust in Mr Temer’s government plunged to 3% while amongst under 24-years-olds, Mr. Temer’s approval ratings hit zero. Economic consequences in this time of instability are clearly visible. In 2015, at the height of political obscurity, the unemployment rate reached 10.2 percent, the GDP shrank by 3.8 percent and invest-
SERIES: EUROPE AND THE WOLRD
“Second in the polls is Jair Bolsonaro, a former army captain and a radical right-winger who makes Donald Trump look moderate and self-disciplined.” ments were leaving country. There were signs of economic recovery following the impeachment of Mrs. Rousseff, however, to this day investors express doubt. They are waiting to see, if Temer can deliver the public-sector reform needed to tackle the budget deficit, which is costing Brazil its investment grade credit rating. Indeed, the most significant economic reforms that Temer’s government must implement, consist firstly of opening up a relatively closed economy. The other aspect of necessary economic transformation relates to the public sector; a tax reform, labour market reform and bringing state spending under control. Doing all this would balance the current chaotic and erratic public sector and would liberate resources for other areas. It would be a big mistake to see the above-mentioned reforms as entirely technical. They are certainly highly political and even politically philosophical — in other words Brazil has to
answer the fundamental question on how its state, politicians and officials operate, and explain the role of the ordinary citizen in the state structure. The system needs to move from corruption to probity, from haziness to predictability and from being a semi-plutocracy to a country serving the people. These reforms will need tremendous leadership, political will and support by the vast majority of Brazilians. Mr Temer quite obviously does not have the proper leadership skills, nor the political will and a certain amount of support to carry out these reforms. In the autumn of 2018 Brazil will elect a new president whose main mission will be that of leading the country through these dark times., however, the outlook for the presidential election is not at all bright.
sentenced for corruption and so might be prevented from running. Second in the polls is Jair Bolsonaro, a former army captain and a radical right-winger who makes Donald Trump look moderate and self-disciplined. Neither of these candidates would provide the reforms Brazil now needs, Mr Lula has been discredited and comes from notorious circles of Brazil’s governing elite while Mr Bolsonaro is a populist leaning towards authoritarianism, who would definitely polarise the country further. As Martin Wolf from Financial Times correctly asks: “Where is Brazil’s Emmanuel Macron?” Following the political scandals in Brazil, the ‘House of Cards’ official Twitter page tweeted “Tá difícil competir", in Portuguese meaning “Hard to compete with”, certainly, Brazil has become the symbol of corrupt and appalling politics and it will require an enormous effort to change this image.
The current leader in the polls, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, held the presidential office from 2002 to 2010, and has been
The official magazine of European Democrat Students
SERIES: EUROPE AND THE WOLRD
A PIN TO THE HEART: THE FIGHT AGAINST TERRORISM FUNDING IN SOUTH AMERICA South America, a region so full of riches and capabilities, yet always so troubled. Perceptions about South America differ from one person to another, depending on the topic of discussion, interests, political opinions, knowledge among other things. Throughout the twentieth century, the region was dubbed with political instability and a growing environment of criminal activity making it the home of some of the worst criminals on the planet and the hub for narcotics and money laundering. Not only that, but the dangerous situation in some countries led to power some of the worst dictators. Either through a coup dâ€™ĂŠtat or a revolution based on empty promises and lies that they relinquished after they reached office and exerted their newly founded powers against civilians to consolidate their positions and crush any opposition. Over the course of the 20th century, the leadership of most of the countries in South America has fallen into the hands of leftist and populist governments; these latter used the rise of commodities prices to increase spending and enjoyed a period of economic prosperity. However, this time of success came to an end when commodities prices plummeted leaving behind them devastated economies and rendering once rich countries, poor. Only dictatorships and populist governments were not the only things that flourished in South America over the past decade. Kingpins, drug cartels, mafias managed to create a place for themselves within the system often relying on the corruption existing within the operations of these countries to ensure their security and to grow their business. In some cases like Venezuela, for example, it is said that even the army is involved in organised crime activities with their role has evolved over time from only facilitation of the transport of drugs. The newly found haven allowed the creation and growth of empires based on drug trafficking primarily which later grew too powerful mafias that were running more than just a narcotics trafficking business.
The massive demand for drugs back in the late 20th century and even nowadays, allowed the narcotics trade empire to proliferate both in size and in volume. This also paved the way for the drug trafficking organisations to develop in a hierarchical way allowing them to expand their business faster and smooth the flow of work. While it was beneficial from the business side, this hierarchical organisation allowed the state to be able to target these organisations better leading to their destruction, similar to what happened to Escobar empire and the Cali Cartel1. Nonetheless, the unfortunate fate of these former Colombian cartels led to the creation of more fragmented cartels, which are dispersed everywhere and rendered them stricter targets for the state actors who are fighting against organised crime and drug trafficking organisations across the various South American States. The fame of the South American drug cartels and organised crime organisations, quickly reached the ears of other players on the international crime arena who found in the activities carried out by these organisations an opportunity not to be missed for cooperation on different levels.
Several reports throughout the years have linked South American drug traffickers and infamous terrorist organizations such as the FARC, Hezbollah, and even ISIS in money laundry activities to finance their terrorist operations across the globe2. The reports have indicated how these organizations have reverted to drug trafficking in order to provide financial support for their criminal activities. Also, certain countries like Iran, for example, seem to have found their way into the money laundry business through South America to support their military operations carried out by their military or by proxy fighters i.e. Hezbollah around the globe. Money laundry hasnâ€™t only been limited to countries and militias, but some corporations seem to have been playing their part in that as well. Although the terrorist threat in South America is perceived to be very low, however, the region continues to suffer from insufficient intelligence gathering, inadequate information sharing, lax screening of travellers, inadequate laws for prosecuting terrorists and foreign terrorist fighters, and weak border controls. Links between organised crime and terrorists have strengthened, and terrorist sympathisers are thought to have
1 https://spp.revues.org/1010 2 https://fas.org/sgp/crs/terror/RS21049.pdf
SERIES: EUROPE AND THE WOLRD
“It’ll be a pin that goes straight to the heart.” provided financial support to terrorist groups in other regions3. According to the US State Department’s 2015 Annual Country Report on Terrorism issued in June 2016 stated that South America and the Caribbean served as areas of financial and ideological support for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and other terrorist groups in the Middle East and South Asia. It touched on the issue of individuals from South America and the Caribbean leaving the region to fight with the Islamic State4. The 2015 report also asserted that Hezbollah “continued to maintain a presence in the region, with members, facilitators, and supporters engaging in activity in support of the organisation,” including efforts to build the organisation’s “infrastructure in South America and fundraising, both through licit and illicit means.” It noted that Hezbollah has been carrying fundraising activities in the tri-border area (TBA) of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay and highlighted the presence of Hezbollah supporters and sympathisers in Venezuela. In March 2016, SOUTCHOM Commander Admiral Tidd estimated that some 100-150 foreign fighters had travelled from the region to Syria and Iraq5. In 20166, following an investigation that started back in February 2015 after European law enforcement agencies began targeting networks in 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
the Latin region, the United States DEA arrested on a group of Hezbollah members who were involved in a global cocaine trafficking scheme. Law enforcement agencies from seven countries took part in the yearlong investigation known as “Project Cassandra,” which they say highlighted how a network founded years earlier7. The most significant arrest was that of Mohamad Noureddine, a Lebanese national the DEA said laundered money for Hezbollah who has been classified as a “specially designated global terrorist” by the US government. The money was then sent to Colombia to pay drug traffickers using the “Hawala” method of transferring money with a large portion of the drug process transiting through Lebanon and a significant amount going to terrorist groups including Hezbollah according to the DEA. The network was also said to have laundered the funds through the “Black Market Peso Exchange,” the system used by Colombia drug cartels to clean drug money by “selling” dollars to South Americans with pesos they want to convert so they can purchase goods in the United States. Corruption, weak government institutions, insufficient interagency cooperation, weak or non-existent legislation, and a lack of resources remained the primary causes for the lack of significant progress on countering terrorism in some countries in South America. However, serious action is
being taken to combat drug trafficking and money laundry in financing terrorism like the creation of the Financial Action Task Force of Latin America (GAFILAT), a Financial Action Task Force (FATF)-style regional body and the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission Anti-Money Laundering Group8. Also the establishment of COPOLAD9 (Cooperation Programme on Drugs Policies), a partnership cooperation programme between the European Union, Latin America and the Caribbean countries aiming at improving the coherence, balance and impact of drugs policies, through the exchange of mutual experiences, bi-regional coordination and the promotion of multisectoral, comprehensive and coordinated responses. Today, terrorism acts worldwide have seen a considerable surge and the need for adequate policies, against drug trafficking and money laundry has become a necessity. Also the support of governments and institutions who are working against such criminal activities while sanctioning individuals and organisations that are facilitating is a must. The fight against terrorism is long and should be fought on multiple levels, drying the sources of funding may be described as sticking one pin but it’ll be a pin that goes straight to the heart.
https://www.un.org/sc/ctc/focus-areas/regional/ https://fas.org/sgp/crs/terror/RS21049.pdf https://fas.org/sgp/crs/terror/RS21049.pdf http://freebeacon.com/national-security/u-s-busts-massive-hezbollah-drug-money-laundering-scheme/ http://uk.businessinsider.com/hezbollah-links-money-laundering-miami-united-states-banks-2016-10?r=US&IR=T https://www.state.gov/j/ct/rls/crt/2015/257519.htm https://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/tags/latin-america-regional-cooperation_en
The official magazine of European Democrat Students
‘MARRY-YOUR-RAPIST’ LAWS, WHERE NEXT? One by One, Marry-Your-Rapist Laws Are Falling in the Middle East! During the past few years, many Middle Eastern states are revoking laws that allow convicted rapists to evade punishment by marrying their victims. Will this trend end the discrimination against women and the protection of rapists from justice? In Beirut, billboards of a woman in a bloody and torn bridal gown appeared around during summer, captioned in Arabic by the words: “A white dress does not cover up rape.” This spring, a women’s rights group, Abaad, hung similarly defiled gowns along the city’s famous seaside promenade. Such provocative public awareness campaigns are part of a new push in Lebanon and across the Middle East to repeal longstanding laws that allow rapists to avoid criminal prosecution if they marry their victims (SENGUPTA,
the victim’s family from “the scandal”. In August, the Lebanese parliament succeeded in repealing Law 522 that allowed convicted rapists to evade punishment by marrying their victims. Before Lebanon, Morocco in 2014 repealed a provision that allowed convicted rapists to evade punishment by marrying their victims. This came after a widely publicized case of a teenager who killed herself after she was forced to wed the man whom she accused of raping her.
groups and parliamentarians to legislate new laws protecting women rights and ban other discriminatory laws. Tunisia followed the same path and also erased the law during this year. Changing the law is a success, but is it enough to end the discrimination? Many human rights activists in the MENA region said that unfortunately, in practice, law enforcement or authorities are not going to implement the law if they see that the fam-
“This came after a widely publicized case of a teenager who killed herself after she was forced to wed the man whom she accused of raping her.” 2017). Parallel to the awareness campaign initiated by the women’s right group, the Lebanese Forces’ parliamentarian member Elie Keyrouz, presented the new draft law. “I have asked for the law to be taken away because I consider that it aims directly [at] the Lebanese woman, as in her human value, pride and the safety of her physical, mental and emotional state,” Keyrouz told Al-Monitor (Massena, 2016). These laws were inherited by the French mandate in Lebanon and framed around patriarchal attitudes. In most of the Middle Eastern regional societies, a familys’ honor is directly linked to a woman’s chastity. Moreover, marriage is an option aimed at shielding
The domino effect did not only reach Lebanon after Morocco, Jordan also followed Lebanon taking the same steps and repealing the law. Before erasing the law, Wafa Bani Mustafa, a Member of Parliament in Jordan and a leading proponent of the repeal, said only a change in the law could drive change in social norms. Without the repeal, she argued, “the state of impunity will continue, and the interest of the family will be put ahead of the victim’s right to justice.” Jordan succeeded in July to annul the law known as Article 308 of the country’s penal code (Massena, 2016). Jordan and Lebanon are now setting a very good example for other countries in the region that still have these discriminatory legal provisions. The success in revoking this discriminatory law may encourage human rights
ily wants the girl and the rapist to be married. For example, an average of 147 rape cases are reported in Jordan annually, however experts say the real numbers are much higher. This is because many victims do not report the crime, fearing that society or their family will kill her in a so-called ‘honor killing’. In conclusion, raising awareness and changing those social norms that say that a woman or a girl is not as valuable as a man is the main longterm goal that the non-governmental groups, political parties, and religious leaders should work towards. The recent trend of countries abolishing the “marry-the rapist law” is a good step towards at least motivating the discussion on this issue.
DECONSTRUCTING POPULISM – THE POSTMODERN PHILOSOPHY BEHIND THE NEW RIGHT Right-wing populist parties in Europe reached their temporary peak during the 1980s and 1990s, when they first made their entrance into national parliaments and became bigger and more influential. Around the turn of the millennium they experienced a new and sudden boom all over Europe, meanwhile, right-wing populist parties established themselves almost everywhere in Europe and exerted their influence at a national and at European levels. They all have one thing in common: they polarize, they portray themselves as taboo breakers, and they develop enemy images. But what exactly are the characteristics of populism and how can we react to it? WHAT IS POPULISM? It seems like everyone these days is talking about populism, but hardly anyone knows what it really means. Populism is a political concept which is obviously difficult to frame and nowadays commonly used as a curse-word in day-today political business and the media. Due to the accumulation of this term it first needs to be defined and its characteristics pointed out before even trying to find ways of handling it. Populism can be determined by specific electoral groups, by a social psychological profile and a particular ‘political style’. Populists tend to describe society as being divided into two homogenous groups: the people and a ruling elite, the so-called ‘establishment’. A second characteristic is the phenomenon that populists often portray negative images and reinforce stigmas and fears; also the creating of enemy images is part of that strategy. The negative effects of globalization are being overemphasized, as well as the rejection of immigration, the EU and its institutions and the system of checks and balances which are key topics. Populists offer simple strategies and simple answers to deal with complex problems. In most cases, those movements offer an eloquent and charismatic leader, who portraits himself or herself as some kind of ‘Robin Hood’, who tries to dominate the mass media by using social media platforms and questioning the integrity of the press. Populism can therefore be defined by different dimensions: a technical, a
content-related, a personal and a medial dimension. “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better” – Samuel Beckett, Worstward Ho
Another challenge arising from the flourishing populism is the question on how to deal with it in a democratic way, an especially important aspect is how young students should face populist tendencies at their university. It seems that the ‘established parties’ sometimes forget to deal with the real political questions, when busy reacting to populists. It would be far better if the ‘established parties’ discussed their solutions for the relevant issues facing a country. The game of attention seeking can only be won by the populists and is not what helps us to face them properly, more attention only ends in a stronger ‘us against them’ movement, which ultimately only helps the wrong side. The better strategy therefore would be to face them analytically as even for young students it is rather easy to disenchant their postmodern and fear-fomenting ideology. Another form of misjudgment is the over-hasty reflex to mark any populist statement as some form of extremism. Indisputably, we need to confront and address any form of extremism and hatred, however, denouncing anything as such only drives more and more protest voters into the
arms of populists. Exaggerations and fake news is what determines the debate, but it is now on us to unmask the populists and turn away from politics that are only lead by feelings and fantasies. European students, especially, need to stand up for their beliefs and never hesitate or dread a discussion.
AN OUTLOOK The latest events, such as the parliamentary elections in Germany and Austria, showed that right-wing populist parties still enjoy a high level of consent, not only do these elections emphasize this specific trend, but also the ongoing medial discussions and debates show that we still need to overthink our handling with these tendencies. From a student perspective, it is easy to say that we need to focus on the substantive debate. Being afraid of debates and calling out every ‘populist’ statement only shoves the attention to those who use it for their purposes. The same approach applies to other political parties as well. We are therefore confronted with an ongoing process of learning how to properly handle the rise of the new right, even if we fail to react in a correct way, we need to learn from such setbacks and use these experiences for future debates and confrontations.
The official magazine of European Democrat Students
DEAR FRIENDS, We live in extraordinary times—times of change, advancement, progress and technology— today, wherever you live, you can hold in your hand access to information more than what the world’s greatest libraries could offer. It is a new world that promises impressive medical breakthroughs, that promises education for children in the most remote places, This might be the best time in hu-man history to be born. Times of grave challenges, new dangers, ideological clashes and conflicts lay ahead. Whether it is a political, economic conflict, youth employment or climate change. Each of these problems is a symptom of a more significant problem – the failure of our international system to cope with an interconnected and ever-changing modern world. Do not underestimate the importance of our work; foreign affairs equal power. A power that we can use—and we have in the past, to bring a change. Therefore it is a great honour to be writing you this message, as the re-elected Chairman of the International Young Democrat Union (IYDU). This term will be an iconic and historical one for our organisation, it already started by the Brussels joint Council Meeting, and I cannot begin to thank you enough for the support you have given us. We have made history together; for that, we will always be remembered as the people that brought back our Centre-right global coalition to-gether. The International Young Democrat Union is a global alliance of Centre-right political organisations united by a common desire for greater freedom. First established in 1981, the IYDU has grown from 14 members to 139, from more than 85 different nations. Our membership is diverse. We come
from a rich array of histories, cultures and political traditions, but we are united by a shared commitment to freedom. Approximately eight years ago, I became active in IYDU; I looked up for this organisation as a plat-form for democracy and honest politics, coming from a Middle Eastern country, a region that lacked both. However somewhere along the road, obstacles slowed down this organisation, back then I made it my political priority to bring back the IYDU to its full potentials. Today, I am genuinely honoured to announce that I was part of the negotiating team that made the joint Council Meeting successful, to be re-elected as IYDU Chairman and the first in our his-tory from a Middle Eastern member organisation. Being able to serve the IYDU is a great privilege, and I promise to do my best to meet the needs and interests of the IYDU Membership and build the IYDU brand. As head of the united coalition, I could tell you that we have come a long way and there is a lot to be proud of. Not only we have ended the division, but we have also produced the most diverse Board in our history. That is why I believe that IYDU will be more active, relevant and valuable for all of our members. I will make sure that this exceptional organisation offers unique and unparalleled opportunities to our Members regardless of where they come from, and that every-one is treated equally. I am especially excited about working with the newly elected board which is made up of repre-sentatives from 25 different countries, the most diverse in our history. All these members are committed to IYDU’s core values of human rights, democracy, the rule of law, free markets and free trade and with their own
unique political experience, knowledge and expertise. As the world becomes more global and issues continue to transcend national and regional bor-ders increasingly, it is becoming more critical than ever that we work together. As the youth, our voices are often not heard, however when we stand together united, our voice and ability to make an impact is much stronger. IYDU will be our platform to face injustice around the world, and I will need your help in building such a platform. The IYDU has sought to become more open, global and inclusive – a platform for connecting and collaboration between centre-right, Christian democratic and conservative youth. We have reached out and expanded into different regions and countries and sought to become more relevant and exciting to our Members across continents, in the last Council Meeting alone, we have welcomed 12 new Members. Much has been achieved but the IYDU is yet to reach its full potential. On behalf of this new board, I would like to thank our Member Organisation, the European Democrat Students (EDS), and its current Chairman Virgilio Falco and the whole bureau once again for their continuous support. I will also extend my gratitude to the young men and women who bravely stood up for the IYDU over the past years to keep it together, my predecessors, and to the newly-elected Secretary General of IDU, Mr Christian Kattner, for ensuring the success of the ne-gotiation process. I promise to work tirelessly towards making IYDU more active, relevant and val-uable for all of our Members. I am very encouraged to note that IYDU is as popular as ever.
Bachir Wardini IYDU Chairman
THE ONE TRUE CAPITAL – FOR A SINGLE SEAT EU 200 million euros. This is the estimated cost per year for maintaining two seats for the European Parliament. Whilst one must refrain from a simplistic display of populism, any reduction of avoidable costs should be sought, especially as a stagnant EU budget is put under stress by an increasing number of new policies. Even though Brussels now sounds as a synonym to the EU, it was not self-evident for decades and the ‘landing’ in the Belgian capital happened after a series of contradictory political decisions and U-turns. However, the ongoing political momentum for the EU should also be exploited in order to rationalise the Institutions’ seats, in a win-win solution. THE STRANGE ITINERARY TO BRUSSELS Soon after the signature of the Treaty of Paris establishing the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), the question of the location of the newly created institutions was raised. The six founding States (Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and West Germany) agreed that they should select a place in one of the Benelux countries. This would have prevented the association of the new organisation too closely to any of the large countries. All countries but one agreed that Belgium, and implicitly Brussels, would be the most suitable seat for the ECSC. The only opponent to Brussels was actually Belgium, which proposed in turn the city of Liège. Lying on the Meuse River, the bid for the city described it as the most French city in Belgium (its inhabitants indeed celebrate more on Bastille Day on the 14 July, than the Belgian national day on the 21 July) and the closest to Germany. Belgium’s partners were not convinced by the bid’s arguments and decided to settle the ECSC High Authority in Luxembourg instead. With the Treaty of Rome establishing the European Economic Community, the place needed for the institutions increased. This time, the Belgian government notified its partners that it had free room in Brussels to accommodate, provisionally, the staff of the Commission. The provisional became definitive as the old High Authority moved from Luxembourg.
European Parliamentary Assembly of the European Communities established its seat in the Rhenish city. Strasbourg, as a border city contended for centuries between France and Germany, and was the perfect symbol of the final French-German reconciliation within a European framework. Strasbourg was therefore chosen for the plenary sessions while most of the work would be done in Brussels, close to the other institutions. This settlement launched the perennial question of the Parliament’s seat.
In the case of the European Parliament, the European leaders searched for a practical solution and an already available site. As the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe was meeting in Strasbourg in a dedicated building, the then
One can argue that the ongoing political momentum at the European level is providing room to manoeuvre. Brexit may mean Brexit for the British Prime Minister but it certainly means that two EU agencies currently located in the United
SOLVING THE IMPOSSIBLE EQUATION? The arguments in favour of moving the seat of the European Parliament are well known: reducing the Parliament’s expenses, decrease its environmental impact, save time in the Parliament’s agenda, and bring the Parliament closer to the other institutions in Brussels. On the other side, the argument of keeping the Parliament in Strasbourg are numerous: next to the symbolic value of the city of Strasbourg, it is understandable that local economy is benefitting from the Parliament’s presence. As the move to Brussels needs consensus among the Member States, France is likely to keep blocking any solution that it will perceive as damageable to its interest. The only possible solution would be to trade off the seat of the Parliament for something that could compensate the French loss.
Kingdom will have to relocate to the continent. As the European Banking Authority (EBA) will find a new seat in the Hexagone, it could be seen as a bargaining chip. In addition, the recent relaunch of the European Defence through the activation of the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) provides some opportunities. In this case, Strasbourg holds an interesting position on the Rhine/Rhône corridor and closer to Central Europe than Belgium. Moreover, Strasbourg already hosts European military initiatives outside of the EU framework: the Eurocorps, whose members are Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg and Spain, and the French-German Brigade (attached to the Eurocorps). Strasbourg could then become some sort of EU military hub, hosting possible outputs created by the PESCO’s activation. This would provide to the city a much more enduring European presence in the city and its surroundings, with its staff and their families. A MATTER OF CREATIVITY? As we have seen, the seat of the Parliaments is one element among others contended by the Member States. What must be kept in mind is that the pie to divide between them can be enlarged by adding elements to it, increasing the likeliness of agreement which could satisfy all parties. When discussing the future seat of the European Parliament, which should be moved to Brussels, the place of any present or future EU agency or office could be discussed.
The official magazine of European Democrat Students
WHO RUNS THE STEM-BUSINESS? APPARENTLY NOT GIRLS Promoting women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) is progressively becoming a substantial topic in the EU. Taking a closer look at the topic reveals that the main problem is not that women are not accepted in the business, but rather women thinking that they are not accepted. But why is it, that young women still believe that you only can succeed in STEM if you are male? In 2015 1.4 million people were studying Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in the European Union. Only 17% of them were women. Some might say that this potency may have something to do with genetics, it does not. Assessments like “Pisa” (Programme for International Student Assessment) show us results that do not lead to a specific gender conclusion, instead, these show big differences in other EU member states. On average, at the age of 15, boys score significantly higher results than girls in sciences in ten EU countries: Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Luxembourg, Austria, Poland and Portugal. On the contrary, there are eight EU countries in which girls are significantly better than boys in sciences, which are: Bulgaria, Greece, Cyprus, Latvia, Malta,
Romania, Slovenia and Finland. In the remaining 10 countries, there is no significant gender difference. The PISA Survey also states that, at the age of 15, boys are more likely to envisage a career as ICT professionals, scientists or engineers, whereas girls see themselves as doctors, veterinarians or nurses. For instance, in Finland 6.2 % of boys and only 1.4 % of girls plan to become an engineer, scientist or architect, while 17 % of girls and 5 % of boys see themselves as health professionals. Gender and socio-economic backgrounds have an impact on career expectations, even among students of similar performances in science, who also reported the same level of enjoyment of science. Socio-economic backgrounds have tremendous impacts on youth, much more than what most may believe.
“YOU CANNOT BE WHAT YOU CANNOT SEE” We no longer live in a society where it is somehow impossible for a woman to become whatever she wants to be. Even statistics frequently mislead us to a conclude that women tend to not be accepted in these areas, which is definitely a disingenuous one. Although gender has nothing to do with the ability to become successful in STEM areas, the reason why the numbers of women participating in STEM is that low is clearer than it might seem. Ask yourself whether you can name one other female scientist besides Marie Curie. And if so, where did you hear about her? Or, where did you come across her? We grew up with a perception that occupations in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics are masculine ones. It is not surprising that young women do not feel empowered if all they heard while playing with a doll is,
“you would make a great nurse one day,” while her brother might one day hear, “you would be a great doctor”. At some point, we unintentionally start putting labels on individuals based on gender because that is what society still somehow requires us to do. Lately, however, while it has become more of a trend to put successful and independent women in the spotlight, we still make the mistake of seeing them as a rare illustration. Giving the impression, especially to young women, that behind every woman in STEM is an unbelievable journey, thus indicating how special it is for a woman to be successful in these areas will certainly not help to increase these numbers. “You can’t be what you can’t see” is often quoted in relation to the topic, meaning that as long as young girls do not grow up with realistic and empowering role models, it will be hard for them to believe in themselves and to become what they want to be.
THERE IS PROGRESS IN THE EUROPEAN UNION All over Europe, there are great programmes promoting women in STEM. Although you cannot tell how successful they might be, it is a great step in the right direction to promote these programmes. • Within the General Assembly of the United Nations, on 11 February 2016, the first International Day for Women and Girls in Sci-
ence was marked. The resolution was proposed by the Maltese Government and the aim was to further raise awareness on this topic and break the cultural, social and structural barriers that currently disadvantage women and girls; promote positive female role models; set up programmes to encourage girls to pursue careers in science; and, highlight the obstacles that prevent women from moving up the ladder in the field of science. • In Italy, the government established a “STEM month - Women want to count” in February 2016. This focuses on overcoming stereotypes and discrimination in schools.
courses by helping them develop the soft skills needed to work in a male-dominated environment. It is still not safe to say whether these programs will actually help increase the number of women in STEM as it will take more than just letting young girls know what possibilities they have. What is certain is, that with programmes like these, the upcoming generation will grow up with a better understanding of gender equality, and that everyone, no matter if male or female, can achieve a great career in Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics if they want to.
• The Federal Ministry for Family Affairs in Germany supports “Pinkstinks”, a campaign aimed at challenging gender stereotypes in products, media and marketing. In February 2016, a demonstration was held in Berlin against body hate and sexism and in autumn a YouTube Channel was launched to give girls advice, on, for example, how to find an identity that is more than being beautiful, sexy and stylish and what can be done against sexism in the media and internet.
WE SHOULD ALL KNOW MORE FEMALE SCIENTISTS THAN MARIE CURIE Concluding, one can say that the EU is on the right path when it comes to promoting women in STEM. Of course, there are bigger hindrances in society and education itself, but by slowly removing stereotypes, embracing the issue, and fostering programs and campaigns to reduce the stigma of women studying STEM topics, there can definitely be more girls in STEM twenty years from now.
• Another program called “Mind the Gap!” is an organizational cooperation between the UK, Netherlands and Spain supported by the European Union itself. The intention is to help teachers in each partner country to recruit and retain more girls into their STEM
The goal for now is that everyone should manage to name more female scientist than just Marie Curie.
The official magazine of European Democrat Students
EUROPE OF THE UNKNOWLEDGEABLE? Europe is still changing, the idea of community is also evolving. New politicians take over the stakes in the city, the balance of power in the internal structure grows - everyone has a concept, a grand plan, a strategy that will allow the European Union to develop and survive the various historical turns. Seventeen years have passed since the very important, Lisbon Strategy was introduced. As students, we ask firstly: how has it changed European universities? The Lisbon Strategy adopted at the Lisbon European Council in March 2000 was designed to revolutionise Europe. The ambitious plan defined it as the most dynamic and competitive economic region in the world, growing faster than the United States. The key to implementing the strategy was to create so. “knowledge society”. It centres that colleges that shape the level of knowledge and open the minds of young people who are the future of a great community have an undoubtedly important task in this plan. What challenges have been identified? First and foremost, to guarantee growth in investment in human resources, to modernise training centres; to reduce the number of people with lower secondary education; to identify minimum skills acquired through compulsory education, to increase student and
teacher mobility, and to increase transparency in recognition of qualifications and diplomas. The target was also strictly economic: achieving 3% of GDP for research and development by all EU Member States. Increased training expenditure was expected to lead to a halving of the number of people aged 18-24 who completed primary education. Authors wanted higher education to gain a higher rank. During an important Lisbon meeting, the Council had called on the European Commission to work intensively on setting concrete European education objectives, while respecting the distinctiveness and independence of the Member States. Thus, three years later, the Commission created a significant document entitled “The Role of European Universities in Knowledge”. Emphasis was placed, among other things, on the close co-operation of
higher education institutions with industry based on the transfer and dissemination of knowledge. It was mentioned that “internalisation of knowledge” is extremely important. The authors of the publication used a clear comparison to the United States, which accepts many more international students than European universities. There are mainly Europeans - according to 2003 data, as many as 50% of European students remain in the US and assume families there. As the main goal, the authors also pointed out “an increase in the number of students”. What happened later? How have the objectives of the Lisbon Strategy been achieved? Around 2007, experts began to analyse the “Reasons for failure of the Lisbon Strategy”. Why? It is easiest to verify the economic aspect because we rely on hard numbers. Only a little over 2%
of GDP was spent on research and development across the continent. Only three countries succeed; Sweden, Finland and Denmark. Among the “losers” were, for example, Germany, and countries such as Poland, Latvia and Cyprus have achieved catastrophic results in this sphere. At the same time, for instance, Turkey’s indicators have risen above the countries mentioned above. This is probably the giggle of the Lisbon Strategy history. However, one moderate success of the Strategy should be demonstrated. An undoubted success was the increase in the share of society with higher education in the 3034 age group from 22% in 2000 to 33% in 2010. Among the EU countries, the leaders are Ireland (50% in 2010), Denmark (47%), Sweden and Finland (46% each), Belgium and France (44% each). But another fact immediately brings us to the ground. The goal was to reduce the number of people who finish school after 18 years of age from 17.6% to 8.8% in 10 years. It dropped only to 14.1%. The failure of the Strategy is best illustrated by the fact that by 2020 at least 35% of all jobs will require the highest qualifications, at this
point only 26% of employees have them. Expenditures on education at our economic competitors are continually growing. Europe stopped slightly. The unresolved problem is the inappropriate division of powers and the lack of essential prerogatives in the hands of the European community. While some Member States appreciate the importance of the problem and are constantly developing, others remain in the “tail of Europe”. This fact strengthens the inequality and lowers common speed. The voluntary participation of universities and the Member States in European-level action is a major weakness of European education. The Union can only provide some inspiration, suggest directions and act as mobilisation for change by publishing reports and compiling individual countries in many areas. Probably everyone agrees that the Lisbon Strategy has not worked, especially in the higher education sector. That is why we need a new concept. An entirely new idea is being consulted - Europe 2020, which contains some interesting conclusions about science. Innovative solutions include the “PhD Industrial Scheme” (supporting the develop-
ment of applied research, the mobilisation of doctoral candidates for industry and research for the doctoral degree), and the “Skills Panorama” concept - a specific monitoring of the demand for the European labour market for particular skills. The European Commission also gives priority to the development of education. Recently they have raised funds for education, training and youth (+ 73%) and research (+ 46%). We must admit that this is an impressive increase. Why did the Lisbon Strategy fail? First of all, by too general tone. Some say it was “about everything so about nothing”. It did not contain any concrete solutions and blurred the decision centres. As a result, we lost so many years. We wanted to catch up with the United States. Now we have to keep up with the young people. All we have to do is trust that “Europe 2020” will finally help us in the development of education. We will check it out in Bullseye for a dozen years.
The official magazine of European Democrat Students
THE FUTURE OF HIGHER EDUCATION IN THE EU â€“ VENI, VIDI, DIGI(TALIZATION) The higher education system in the world has drastically changed over the past 15 years. Current labour market requirements, which include various types of knowledge, skills, and competencies of students, are different than the ones required before. Also, the labour market needs in three years from now will be modified even more. If we say that every education system is the spine of the economy, then we must surely understand the importance and consequences of every reform or change within the higher education area in Europe. At this moment, the decision makers of the European education policies can be sure of one thing, that the higher education area will require a drastic implementation of digitalization and innovation within the education and teaching/learning framework. The old â€œChalk and Talkâ€? technology has been outdated for a long time. This article will cover the trends in the higher education system in Croatia and the EU, in relation to the labour market needs regarding the digitalization phenomenon which is ubiquitous all over the world. Croatia has a binary higher education system which offers two pillars of study programmes. The more traditional and science-oriented one is the classic University system, which performs university study programmes. Such programmes qualify students to work in science and higher education, both the private and public sector, and society in general, as well as to develop and apply scientific knowledge. The other pillar presents professional study programmes, which are concentrated in the Universities of applied sciences and polytechnics. Professional study programmes provide students with an appropriate level of knowledge and skills required to work in applied professions, as well as a direct integration in the working process. Statistics show
that one third of the student population in Croatia are studying at PHE institutions. Relating to the examples in other EU countries with a binary system, Croatian students currently have more interest in the classical type of higher education than the PHE type. But it is perceivable that with time both of the pillars will offer and cover a similar percentage in the higher education area. The mutual attributes of both higher education types in Croatia is proven fact that there is a vast potential in the context of aligning the study programmes and the learning outcomes with the current, or better to say, future labour market needs. Companies and enterprises find it important to develop and apply digital capabilities and knowledge
in order to survive. Meanwhile, higher education institutions (universities, colleges and polytechnics) still struggle to ensure wireless access, standardized and upgraded classroom technologies, and dealing with ageing enterprise applications. Strictly speaking, every Croatian stakeholder in the education-labour market relation is aware of the indispensable need to modify and improve the learning process and outcomes with digitalisation skills and competencies. Therefore, the potential education reforms have been the main topic of the current Croatian government for a long period now. Finally there is a communication channel between the institutions in the higher education area and the representatives of the labour market
in Croatia. In time, it will enable the financial, administrative and legal frameworks with the goal of implementing the digitalization elements in the educational process. The future of education rests on its ability to adapt to future disruptions in the labour market. As students, we hope to take part in the shaping of education in a positive and personal way. The best way to achieve and implement the obvious changes and innovations is to look up to the best practices of those countries which have successfully entered the digital era of education. We need to find examples where there is proof of organizing the available knowledge in a meaningful way, when given the digital resources. The Universities should provide an open learning environment and the opportunity to access the newest digital devices equipped with the latest learning software. Institutions in higher education must guide the students in their learning process, with tasks and activities designed to acquire key skills and competencies. Moreover, students should be provided with mentoring programmes, networks and online learning hubs. Digitalisation in education can only function when there is an opportunity to obtain experience from best practices through a social way. The combination of learning the world of digitalization and learning through digitalization, combined with problem-solving and problem-based skills, is priceless when entering the labour market for the first time. For example, “Internet of things” is a trend which should be implemented and offered at every University as a study programme as soon as possible. Digitalisation and technology are crucial to achieving many of higher educa-
tion’s highest priorities and challenges. It also implies that the next generation of the higher educated workforce should not graduate with plain information and leave the University hoping that they will succeed in their field of work without the correspondence skills. Some of the priorities of education in the digitalization era should be automation, analytics to measure and improve learning and student success, e-learning, culture of innovation, and student success technologies. Our society is in a transition period, and there is only one way which can keep us compatible. Otherwise upcoming trends will dispel us from the labour market. Changing the learning methods and furthering to the learning outcomes by using the opportunities that are given through new technologies is inevitable. We need to be aware that some more traditional stakeholders in the labour market also need to be “introduced” to the digitalization trends. This means that the implementation of new technologies and innovations also implies that we need to improve our lifelong learning concepts with the present and future content. In terms of a better employment rate of young people, we must educate and introduce digitalization to the labour market sector equally as to the higher education system and students. Only then can we achieve mutual benefits. This type of approach, in line with acquisition of digital knowledge and skills for young people during the process of their education (primary and secondary education included), should include entrepreneurs educating themselves through the lifelong learning system. This is particularly important if we want to achieve significant economic development in the single
EU market using digital tools. Countries which are more economically developed than the EU are a top priority mostly because of the effective use of digitalization opportunities. The cross-border e-commerce concept is not properly utilized considering the potential it has. The actual potential lies in the number of 21 million small and medium enterprises which also have a market of 500 million consumers. We believe that only a systematic approach at EU level, through the application of best practices, can create the necessary conditions for the development and effective functioning of a single digital market. To achieve this, both the education of young people and adults within institutions of higher education, as well as entrepreneurs in digital knowledge and skills, need to be targeted. It is therefore of particular importance to ensure the same level of digitalization in the technical sense in all member states, and to link the digitization goals in the education process. This is particularly necessary in the higher education system, with the goal of significantly increasing the use of digital tools in the daily business of European entrepreneurs. Perhaps the solution is to innovate, but to systematically link the institutions of higher education with the business sector. This will in turn encourage the openness of young people towards new technologies which are linked to the business experience of successful entrepreneurs, to ensure synergy and enable the potential for growth.
The official magazine of European Democrat Students
EDITORIAL TEAM 2017/18
JULIEN SASSEL (27) IS A BELGIAN AND ITALIAN DUAL CITIZEN AND HAS BEEN AN ACTIVE MEMBER IN EDS SINCE 2012. HE HAS A MASTER IN INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS FROM THE UNIVERSITÉ CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN AND IS CURRENTLY PURSUING THE MA IN EU INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND DIPLOMACY STUDIES AT THE COLLEGE OF EUROPE, IN BRUGES.
MATTIA CANIGLIA (30). A MASTER IN STRATEGIC STUDIES AND SEVERAL YEARS OF PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE IN INTERNATIONAL ORGANISATIONS GAVE HIM EXTENSIVE KNOWLEDGE OF GLOBAL GEOPOLITICAL AND ECONOMIC DYNAMICS. HE IS CURRENTLY COLLABORATING AS A POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC ANALYST WITH MEDIA LIKE FOREIGN POLICY, FORTUNE CHINA AND THE GUARDIAN FOR THE PRODUCTION OF COUNTRY REPORTS.
SABINE HANGER (22) STUDIES LAW IN VIENNA, AUSTRIA. SINCE 2016 SHE HAS BEEN MEMBER OF THE AKTIONSGEMEINSCHAFT AND IN JUNE 2017, SHE GOT ELECTED TO BE THE CHAIRWOMAN OF AG JUS, BRINGING HER IN A SITUATION IN WHICH SHE IS CONFRONTED WITH GREAT RESPONSIBILITY AND POLITICAL SENSITIVENESS, BUT ALSO IN WHICH SHE HAS THE CHANCE TO WORK WITH A LOT OF VARIOUS PEOPLE.
RAMY JABBOUR (24) WAS BORN IN BEIRUT, LEBANON. HE RECEIVED A DEGREE IN INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS AND DIPLOMACY AND CURRENTLY PURSUING A MASTER’S DEGREE IN POLITICAL SCIENCE AT NOTRE DAME DE LOUAIZE. RAMY IS CURRENTLY THE MEDIA AND COMMUNICATION OFFICER IN THE LEBANESE FORCES YOUTH ASSOCIATION (LFYA) AND EDITOR IN THE BULLSEYE MAGAZINE SINCE 2015.
VLADIMIR KLJAJIC (26) HAS A BA IN INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS. HE IS CURRENTLY THE DIRECTOR OF A SMALL LOCAL CULTURAL CENTRE IN BELGRADE, SERBIA. HE IS A SUPPORTER OF EU INTEGRATION, AND INTERESTED IN THE IMPACT OF DEVELOPMENT AID. HE LIKES TO READ BOOKS ABOUT POLITICS AND HISTORY.
MACIEJ KMITA (22) IS ALUMNUS OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS STUDY, 2ND YEAR STUDENT OF MASTER’S DEGREE IN PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION. COUNCILLOR OF POLISH TOWN PIŃCZÓW. ASSISTANT OF THE POLISH MP. VOCALIST AND POET. HIS MAIN INTERESTS ARE SOCIAL POLICY, EDUCATION AND PROBLEMS IN CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE.
KRISTINA OLAUSSON (27) HAS COMPLETED A DOUBLE-DEGREE IN EUROPEAN GOVERNANCE AND IS WORKING IN THE EU BUBBLE, AS SHE IS BEING ENGAGED IN THE DEBATE ON DIGITAL POLICY. SHE CONSIDERS EDS AS A CREATIVE PLATFORM ON WHICH TO DISCUSS ISSUES ON EUROPE’S FUTURE WITH LIKEMINDED, POLITICALLY ENGAGED AND CLEVER YOUNG PEOPLE.
NEIL SMART COSTANTINO (22) IS A MALTESE STUDENT, READING FOR A DEGREE IN EUROPEAN STUDIES WITH CONTEMPORARY MEDITERRANEAN STUDIES AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MALTA. HIS MAIN AREAS OF INTERESTS LIE IN THE FIELDS OF HUMAN RIGHTS, NATIONAL AND FOREIGN SECURITY AND POLITICAL STRATEGIES.
SARAH KATHARINA WOLPERS (23) IS STUDYING TOWARDS HER MASTER OF ARTS IN GOVERNANCE AND PUBLIC POLICY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF PASSAU. SINCE 2015 SHE IS AN ACTIVE MEMBER OF RCDS GERMANY. HER FOCUS OF INTEREST IS POLITICAL CAMPAIGNING, HIGHER EDUCATION, DIGITIZATION AND EUROPEAN INTEGRATION.
TEODORAS ŽUKAS (22) IS A 4TH YEAR STUDENT AT VILNIUS UNIVERSITY, INSTITUTE OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND POLITICAL SCIENCE; HE IS IN HIS SECOND YEAR AS EDITOR IN BULLSEYE MAGAZINE. HE’S ACADEMIC INTEREST LIES IN HISTORY OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, RUSSIA’S FOREIGN POLICY AND THE MIDDLE EAST.
EXECUTIVE BUREAU 2017/18
VIRGILIO FALCO (27) IS EDS CHAIRMAN. HE IS AN ITALIAN LAW STUDENT AND IS WRITING HIS THESIS ON INSTITUTIONAL COMMUNICATION IN THE AGE OF SOCIAL NETWORKS. AS PRESIDENT OF THE ITALIAN ASSOCIATION STUDICENTRO, HE WORKED ON WRITING THE REFORM OF THE SCHOOL SYSTEM IN ITALY AND HE WAS COORDINATOR OF THE EDUCATION COMMITTEE OF THE NATIONAL YOUTH COUNCIL OF ITALY. HE HAS WORKING EXPERIENCES AT THE ITALIAN PARLIAMENT AND IN PRIVATE UNIVERSITIES. HE WRITES FOR THE NEWSPAPER IL FOGLIO AND FOR THE WEBMAGAZINE FORMICHE.NET.
TOMASZ KANIECKI (23) IS A POLISH LAW STUDENT AND A SECRETARY GENERAL OF EDS. TOMASZ’S INTRODUCTION TO POLITICS CAME THROUGH SERVICE AS A FIELD ORGANISER FOR THE FORMER POLISH MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS RADOSŁAW SIKORSKI IN 2011 GENERAL ELECTION. HE HAS PREVIOUSLY SERVED AT THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AS CURRENTLY WORKS ON BOTH POLITICAL AND BUSINESS RESEARCHES. IN 2015 HE WAS HONOURABLY AWARDED BY THE BRITISH AND SWEDISH EMBASSIES FOR THE BEST STUDENT PAPER ON THE TTIP. HE WRITES FOR VARIOUS THINK TANKS.
SARA JURIKS (22) IS FROM OSLO, NORWAY. SHE HAS A BA IN MUSIC, AND IS FINISHING HER MASTERS DEGREE IN DEMOCRACY AND COMPARATIVE POLITICS AT UCL IN LONDON. SHE HAS BEEN ACTIVE IN YOUTH POLITICS SINCE 2011, AND WAS ELECTED TO THE NATIONAL BOARD OF HS IN 2016 WHERE SHE IS STILL AN INTERNATIONAL SECRETARY AND BOARD MEMBER. SARA HAS BEEN ACTIVE IN EDS SINCE 2014. THIS YEAR IN THE BUREAU HER MAIN RESPONSIBILITIES ARE THE CONFERENCE RESOLUTION AND FUNDRAISING.
TOMMI PYYKKÖ (28) LIVES IN HELSINKI, FINLAND, WHERE HE HAS STUDIED FRENCH, EUROPEAN STUDIES AND POLITICAL SCIENCE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF HELSINKI. HE IS THE INTERNATIONAL SECRETARY OF TK FINLAND NOW FOR THE SECOND TERM. HIS FIRST EDS EVENT WAS IN 2015 AND DURING THE LAST WORKING YEAR HE WAS PART OF THE SOCIAL MEDIA TEAM. CURRENTLY HE IS THE VICE-CHAIRMAN RESPONSIBLE FOR PUBLICATIONS. HE HAS ACQUIRED EXPERIENCE ALSO IN THE EPP GROUP IN THE PARLIAMENT AND WOULD WANT TO CREATE AN EU-RELATED CAREER.
BEPPE GALEA (21) IS A UNIVERSITY OF MALTA STUDENT AND IS CURRENTLY READING A BACHELOR (HONS.) IN EUROPEAN STUDIES. IN 2013 AND 2014, HE SERVED AS A YOUTH AMBASSADOR IN HIS REGION AND HE IS AN ACTIVE MEMBER OF STUDENTI DEMOKRISTJANI MALTIN AND THE MALTA SCOUT ASSOCIATION. HE HAS BEEN WORKING IN AN MEP OFFICE FOR THE PAST 2 YEARS IN BOTH BRUSSELS AND MALTA. EUROPE IS HIS PASSION AND HE LIKES TO TRAVEL AND SHARE HIS EUROPEAN EXPERIENCE.
PANTELIS A. POETIS (23), IS A GREEK-CYPRIOT AND HE IS VICE CHAIRMAN OF EDS. HE STUDIED LAW AND INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS - GLOBAL POLITICAL ECONOMY IN MIDDLESEX UNIVERSITY LONDON. PANTELIS IS INVOLVED BOTH IN NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL YOUTH POLITICS FOR MANY YEARS NOW. IN EDS, HE CURRENTLY RUNS THE PORTFOLIOS OF FUNDRAISING, STATUTORY AMENDMENTS AND MEMBER-ORGANISATIONS. MOREOVER, HE WORKS AS ASSOCIATE OF INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS IN DR ANDREAS P. POETIS LAW FIRM BASED IN LARNACA - CYPRUS.
CARLO GIACOMO ANGRISANO GIRAUTA (20) IS A LAW AND GLOBAL GOVERNANCE STUDENT AT ESADE, AND IS ACTIVE IN THE PARTIDO POPULAR SINCE 2012. HE IS THE CURRENT VICE SECRETARY GENERAL OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AT NNGG IN SPAIN, AND HAS BEEN ACTIVE IN THE EUROPEAN POLITICS FOR THE LAST THREE YEARS. AS VICE CHAIR OF EDS HE HAS ASSUMED RESPONSIBILITIES IN THE FUNDRASAING OF THE ORGANIZATION, IN THE SOCIAL MEDIA TEAM AS WELL AS REPRESENTATIVE IN THE WORKING GROUPS OF THE EPP.
ROBERT KISS (28) LIVES AND WORKS IN SFANTU GHEORGHE, ROMANIA. HE HOLDS A BACHELOR DEGREE IN BUSINESS & MANAGEMENT FROM CORVINUS UNIVERSITY OF BUDAPEST. ROBERT ALSO HOLDS A MASTERS DEGREE IN ECONOMY & TOURISM AND POLITICAL CAMPAIGN ANALYSIS FROM TRANSILVANIA UNIVERSITY BRASOV. CURRENTLY HE IS DOING HIS PHD IN ECONOMICS AT BUCHAREST UNIVERSITY OF ECONOMICS. ROBERT HAS BEEN ACTIVE IN YOUTH POLITICS SINCE 2011. CURRENTLY HE IS VICE-CHAIRMAN OF RMKDM. HE IS ACTIVE IN EDS SINCE 2014. AS VICE-CHAIRMAN HE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE PERMANENT WORKING GROUPS.
The official magazine of European Democrat Students
EUROPEAN DEMOCRAT STUDENTS IS THE OFFICIAL STUDENT ORGANISATION OF THE EUROPEAN PEOPLE’S PARTY
epp european people’s party