The Content Editorial Media Team Concept The Threat of the Domino Effect (AFCO) Estinguishing the Flame of Conflict (AFET I) Outsmarting Terrorism (AFET II) Poverty and Mental Health (ENVI) Home Is Where the Heart Is (LIBE I) Good Person vs. Bad Deed (LIBE II) Two Steps Forward to 2050 (ITRE I) Smart Cities: Changing a Way of Living (ITRE II) Welcome to the Machine (JURI)
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Dear participants, We have the pleasure to introduce you to the work of three of our Media Team Members — Cian, Nikita and Rusa — who have been working hard for the last several weeks to present you these articles, all of them related to one of the Session's committees.
Cian, Rusa and Nikita have done an incredible amount of work in a short period of time and therefore we also want to congratulate them! This issue is something that you have created and thanks to the three of you, we will take this home — to all parts of Europe.
The idea behind this magazine is simple: refreshing the memory of your own topic, diving into controversies of others and preparing yourselves for productive Committee Work.
Please enjoy the magazine and make sure to follow our other teams as well — like the Facebook page to stay up to date and enjoy the Session to its fullest!
Jannis & Yulia 3
The Structure of Our Media Team At this Forum you will encounter a structure of the Media Team that is not very common in our network. The concept itself has been around for years, yet very few Sessions use it.
By doing this, we allow them to take on responsibilities far beyond the level of a common Media Teams structure. Self-development is omnipresent in our team, which we value a lot.
As you may have noticed already, our Media Team Members are not allocated to your Committees. We are split into three focus areas within our team: Photography, Videography and Academics.
We hope that you see the output of our amazing team as a contribution to your experience at this Session and enjoy their photos, videos, newsletters and all the creative moments they bring to Batumi!
We, as the Editors of the Batumi IF 2016, have decided to use this concept as a way of giving each Media Team Member the opportunity to improve their skills in one specific field.
The Threat of the Domino Effect Committee on Constitutional Affairs (AFCO) by Nikita Salukvadze
Great Britain leaving the European Union, or more commonly referred to as Brexit, took the world by storm and had everyone talking about it. Some do not understand how or why the Brexit is happening and others are split between celebrating and grieving because of the event. The United Kingdom being the first state to leave the European Union may cause a completely new problem which is a domino effect: other countries could leave, following the example of the United Kingdom. Once the United Kingdom officially leaves the EU which can take a couple of years paying annual membership fees to the EU will no longer be necessary, and, as a result, each member state would have to pay an additional 0.06% of its Gross Na-
tional Income (GNI) to compensate for the UK payment. Germany will be expected to pay an extra 2.72 billion Euro a year to the budget. Expectedly, this has not been well received in Germany, prompting German government officials to propose that Britain is offered “constructive exit negotiations”. So far, it is rumored that Member States such as Finland, Hungary, Austria and even France and the Netherlands could potentially leave the European Union in upcoming years. It is also believed that the Brexit vote has encouraged politicians to push for their nation’s independence. Another controversy that surrounds the Brexit is that the majority of voters in
Scotland and Northern Ireland have voted to remain in the European Union, and as a result, leaders of respective countries are demanding the right to vote on the terms of the Brexit. The Scottish National Party's manifesto for Scottish Parliament elections, in which the proEU party won a successive term in government, declared that there should be a second referendum regarding Scotland's independence from the United Kingdom, if there was a "significant and material change of circumstances". A majority vote to remain in the European Union counts
as significant change of circumstances, making the possibility of a second referendum more likely. This is where the European Union comes in. Acknowledging everything mentioned so far, the EU cannot ignore the United Kingdom like someone you used to be friends with in high school. It needs to develop a strategy to continue negotiations with the UK while ensuring that other Member States will not start withdrawal movements in the future.
Estinguishing the Flame of Conflict Committee on Foreign Affairs I (AFET I) by Nikita Salukvadze
The Eastern Partnership (EaP) was created to strengthen political and economic relations between the European Union and its eastern neighbours, which are Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. However, both the inactive and active conflicts that remain among the listed countries, act as an obstacle which interferes with a useful partnership between the EU and the Eastern Partnership countries. The main question being asked is how the European Union should achieve a longterm cooperation within the post-Soviet region, while ensuring peace among the states and, by doing so, securing a deeper integration within the Eastern Partnership countries. The problems, which the EU must address, include Azerbaijan and
Armenia fighting over the Nagorno-Karabakh region, South Ossetia (a region in Georgia) being under Russian occupation, and many other existing conflicts which may or may not be on-going today but can easily be rekindled in the future. The aforementioned conflicts remain as a threat mostly due to the absence of peace treaties between the countries involved. Even though the emergence of territorial disputes in the land of former Soviet states can be prevented with the aid of economically and politically stronger countries, unity is required between the European Union and the Eastern Partnership countries in order to carry out freedom and peace. The upholding of European values like democracy and human rights are essential for the post-So-
viet states. This leads us to an entirely different problem which are the people Of course, you cannot expect everyone living in the post-Soviet countries to support European mentality, however, there is an excessive amount of people who think that they are better off establishing connections with Russia, and even more, they believe that upholding European values may lead to their country's deterioration. Countries such as Ukraine and Georgia have been guided towards Russia more than once, although, with a change of government they continued the
pro-European path. However, for a country like Georgia (giving that there were pro-Russian parties in Georgiaâ€™s 2016 parliamentary elections) there is still a possibility of pro-Russian movements happening again in the future. So is it the European Union's responsibility to single-handedly figure out a solution or should they work together with the countries in need? Should the Eastern Partnership states figure out their way out of this by themselves, or should the EU act as a guideline and provide a helping hand?
Outsmarting Terrorism Committee on Foreign Affairs II (AFET II) by Nikita Salukvadze
2016 is a year where the word "terrorism" was heard more often compared to the previous decade and as the number of tragic events suggests, 2015 was not a safe and sound year either. Fear building up among citizens both in and outside the European Union makes you question your well-being and the effectiveness of our power to fight against it as the number of injuries and fatalities caused by terrorism is nowhere near to be reduced. Even though the attacks in France and Belgium made world news in a couple of hours, there is - unfortunately - an even clearer example of the severity of such attacks in a more terrorism-prone country: Turkey. ISIS and Kurdish groups opposing a huge threat to Turkey, causing over 300+ deaths in the span of one year, is a major obstacle for a country which is heading towards becoming a Member State of the European Union. The situation we are given today puts a giant question mark in how the EU should change its relations with Turkey, a country which has been a crucial economic partner for the EU for the past 50 years. 10
One of the most obvious and often mentioned strategies to fight terrorists is knowing how and when they are going to attack and setting up defence systems before they get a chance to harm anyone. Therefore, sharing information on potential attacks is currently being discussed, however, it is also worth mentioning that security agencies sharing intelligence runs the risk of sources being exposed. Understanding the main aim that drives terrorists (making the public meet their demands by spreading panic and bloodshed) and acknowledging all previous acts which were done in Turkey alone, the EU should have developed an efficient strategy long before these attacks persisted. So which one of the options seems more appropriate? Enhancing the already considered strategies in order to clear off the controversy behind it or thinking about a completely new possible way to outsmart the terrorists, finally achieving the proper safety required from both the EU and every country aiming towards a potential membership.
Poverty and Mental Health Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) by Cian Horgan
Mental health and disorders are one of the most complex societal issues to solve, because they are relatively poorly understood, and also interact so much with every other area of social development. Oneâ€™s likelihood of developing a mental illness, ability to cope with it and chances of recovery are a product of their entire lives, but a key influencing factor is their socio-economic class. Direct Effects People are defined as living in poverty if their income and resources are so inadequate as to preclude them from meeting their basic needs. This generally comes about from lacking the skills necessary to secure well paid employment, or any employment at all. In order to attempt to meet these basic needs, people in poverty tend to do what may seem logical and work as many hours are available to max-
imise income. Even in an enjoyable and fulfilling job, neglecting any leisure activities or leaving inadequate time for rest and exercise is a danger to physical and mental health. The reality of the situation, however, is that for a low paid worker have a much higher chance of more menial or repetitive work. Poverty and employment status are inextricably linked to each other but also to mental disorders. It almost quadrupled the probability of drug dependence, and approximately trebled the chances of phobia and functional psychosis. It more than doubled the odds of depressive episode, generalised anxiety disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder. Poverty is inherently distressing and isolating, but both of these can contribute to mental disorders and so to further isolation.
Indirect Effects The above section covers some of the multitude of reasons why those below the poverty line may be at risk of mental illhealth, but that is not to say that wealthier Europeans can never suffer a mental disorder. The real issue with poverty, then, is with treatment and societal views. While some countries such as Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands lead in the provision of mental health care, most citizens of Europe rely on being able to pay for their own treatment. Without the supports of community care to fall back on, outcomes for the poor become far worse, as being unable to work properly because of an obsessive compulsive disorder, or putting off social interactions due to anxiety makes it even harder to meet the tangible day to day challenges. Another less obvious issue at play here is that of education. Poor education makes it very difficult to self identify a mental
disorder, and even harder to cope with. A person is shown to be 15% more likely to see a psychologist for each additional level of education. Even if someone in poverty can identify that they need help, can afford to access these services and begin to face the road to recovery, they are in a minority. They themselves may not fully understand their condition, so it is very unlikely that their peers will. Common misconceptions about the mentally ill vary from stereotypes of â€˜violent psychopathsâ€™, to a religious fear of demonic possession, to dismissing these people as being overly dramatic, lazy or attention seeking. Each of these ideas is fundamentally tied to lack of education, which is itself both a cause and effect of poverty, and each promotes fear, stigmatisation and distrust of anyone struggling with their mental health.
Home Is Where the Heart Is The Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs I (LIBE I) by Cian Horgan
Many cultures, especially European ones, place a big importance on the concept of The Home that transcends material property. It generally encompasses community, some element of family life, and security. “Home is where the heart is” tells us that this abstract idea is not tied to a geographical location, but more a state of existence. “Mi casa es su casa” is a gesture of respect that the speaker values you enough to share this sacred place with them, and include you in the ranks of their family. “Níl aon tinteán mar do thinteán” (translating from Irish roughly as there’s no place like home, or no home
like one’s own) acknowledges that while a physical roof over one’s head is important and inherently valuable, there is a sense of identity attached to the idea of The Home. This is a key stumbling block for European Union integration policy. If a country decides to accept refugees, the next big decision tends to be how they will fit into the existing cultural identity. To what degree they can or should be homogenised. The issue here is that if a host country wants to see any level of successful integration, the incoming party needs to have a goal beyond meeting the minimum standard of compliance.
If a student rents an apartment for one semester, they will more than likely clean up every few weeks (not more, they are students after all). They will also probably keep the doors locked most of the time and pay their rent whenever possible. What they certainly will not do, is invest in new furniture. They will not renovate, or modernise, or do anything not required by the landlord for basic upkeep. Their residence is not what they think of as Home.
block. Each contributes to the stairwells and the green areas and the atmosphere. I dream of an apartment block where people care enough to plant flowers. In order for any of this to happen, refugees need to care about the state and need to be able to contribute to it. They need to be shown compassion, and efforts must be made to find common ground in order, or we will find ourselves surrounded by houses and not Homes.
The landlord in this increasingly tenuous metaphor is the host state, with lots of other residents in lots of other apartments, living side by side in the same
Good Person vs. Bad Deed The Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs II (LIBE II) by Cian Horgan
Ask a child what a prison is, and they will almost always answer something along the lines of “it is where the bad guys go!”. This tie from a very young age to the idea that anyone who ends up in a prison is inherently a bad person can be very tricky to separate from the reality of the situation. This idea is strangely tenacious, given there are certainly those who publicly contest its validity when campaigning for prisoners’ rights. One theory is that creating an “us and them” mentality helps to safeguard us from our own fears. Very few people think of themselves as the bad guys they might tell their child about. Even fewer want to end up in prison. Prison, in its traditional and most prevalent form at least, is a terrifying concept. Being locked
away with someone else dictating your timetable, limited access to your friends and family and no independence or leeway for ambition. With the chilling similarities to our school systems aside, it is not an existence most people could come to terms with, and so we convince ourselves that it is only for bad people. This leaves us, as good people, forever shielded from it. But it also puts anyone who is not so lucky into this black and white world-view where they are an inherently evil person when there are many, many other explanations. Aside from a conscious unwillingness to recognise the humanity of released convicts, there is another explanation of why we seem unable to view someone in the same light once they have been behind
bars. We do not view them at all. Aside from the aforementioned campaigners, most Europeans (especially middle and upper class) have no interaction with people who have a criminal record. Employment figures for released offenders are very low, so one probably will not work with a reformed criminal. This problem is exasperated when examining the types of employment that prisoners are successful in gaining, with most succeeding only when they return to a previous employer or through a family member. New employers mainly consist of basic service sector and manual jobs, further creating
a class divide that stops large swathes of society from ever interacting on a meaningful level with released inmates. The main issue with this separation, is that if one cannot see the valuable traits of an individual it is all too easy to dismiss them as a one dimensional being defined only by their past transgressions. In order to keep “us” safe, to keep “them” from reoffending, we need to get rid of this idea that a person who commits a bad deed, is an inherently bad person.
Two Steps Forward to 2050 Committee on Industry, Research and Energy I (ITRE I) by Rusa Manveli
Thinking of the greater good, the European Commission keeps its attention on achieving energy sustainability and safety in Europe. As the quantity of hazardous emissions is rising, so far the best solution is to decrease it gradually. The 2020 and 2030 frameworks for Energy and Climate policy are aiming at repartition the task, making it possible to minimize unsustainable energy sources. Targets for 2020 and 2030 frameworks only differ in the portions. By 2020 the goal is to cut 20% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, while for 2030 the intention is to reduce 40% of it. The key points are the improvement of energy efficiency and increasing the share of renewable energy, along with shrinking greenhouse gas emissions.
The European Union Emission Trading System (EU ETS or ETS), the main pillar of EU climate policy that was created in 2005 to fight against the global warming, is leading to a considerable success in reducing pollution: all 28 member states of the European Union, Iceland, Norway, and Liechtenstein account for 40% of closed CO2 roots. To meets its targets by 2030, the European Commission proposed a reformed ETS. As a first step of the reform, the EU has adopted a decision to create a market stability reserve (MSR) aiming at the correction of the large surplus on emission allowance which has a built up in the EU ETS and making the system more successful again after instability of the greenhouse gas emission market.
Another proposal concerns the indicators, related to energy prices among the trading partners, supply diversification, and reliance on already existing energy sources, as well as the interconnection between the Member States. The next step to make the goals for 2030 possible is a new governance framework that will ensure stronger certainty and greater transparency and enhance coherence, EU coordination and surveillance. In 2020, all targets and policies of 2030 are going to be reconsidered. As for the
2020 framework, national emission reduction targets are GHG emissions in housing, agriculture, waste and transportation, except emissions caused by aviation which are considered to be tackled by using ETS along other large-scale facilities in the power and industry sectors. Keeping all this in mind, we have to remember that an individual can start big revolutions and we can save our part of the planet by living healthier life, using renewable energy sources and producing less GHG.
Smart Cities: Changing a Way of Living Committee on Industry, Research and Energy II (ITRE II) by Rusa Manveli
Everything around us is connected. Affected by globalisation, the quality of connection between the civil infrastructure systems that are supporting human activities grew a great deal in the 21st century. With the population growth, the demand for natural resources and services is expanding. To support the needs of people, the vision of Smart City was created. There is no universal definition of Smart Cities, as suitable, livable and efficient areas are interpreted differently by individuals according to their priorities. The Smart City has the capability of supporting the needs of everyone without wasting time, energy and efforts. The concept of Smart Cities provides concrete examples of its functioning. The adequate water supply, assured electricity, sanitation (including a solid waste management), efficient urban mobility and transportation, affordable housing, 20
robust IT connectivity and digitalisation, good governance (e-Governance and citizen participation), sustainable environment, safety and security, health, and education for citizens are the core infrastructure elements. In 2007, the first European Smart City Model was developed which is a general platform to see what a Smart City really is. Today its fourth upgraded release is available. The four main strategic components of an area-based development of Smart Cities are city improvement (retrofitting), city renewal (redevelopment), city extension (Greenfield development) and Pan-City. Used in an area of more than 500 acres, identified as a city, Retrofitting is introducing planning in already existing built-up areas to make it more efficient and livable. Redevelopment is aiming at
a replacement of current built-up environments and creating new layouts with enhanced infrastructure using mixed land use, meaning residential, commercial, industrial, cultural, and institutional ventures in one area, promoting healthy lifestyle and enlarge the amount of pedestrians, and increased density. It is envisaged in an area of more than 50 acres, identified by Urban Local Bodies. The third strategy is Greenfield development which introduces the most of the smart solution to the previously vacant area of 250 acres. Its main target is affordable housing, especially for people with lower income. The last concept is Pan-City, a strategy which is used to fit the smart solutions to the existing city-wide infrastructure.
The way todayâ€™s cities will be selected to get smarter is called â€˜City Challengeâ€™. The process of selecting consists of two stages. On the first stage, a city competes inside the EU member state to get the highest scoring in accordance with the certain criteria. On the second phase, the top 100 potential smart cities are named and they choose one of the aforementioned four strategies. So far, there were three lists published, covering 60 out of 100 potential smart cities. This big Smart City Mission requires the involvement of the smart people who will learn to live with less and be careful while implementing the changes to make them sustainable and long-lasting.
Welcome to the Machine Committee on Legal Affairs ( JURI) by Rusa Manveli
Turns out Pink Floyd was singing it all right when they predicted the integration of technologies in our everyday lives about 40 years ago. Now, not even half a century away from that revolutionary song, we have driverless cars, our gadgets can independently share information and we no longer need to do all tasks ourselves we have drones for that. The use of technology in the customer services can be very beneficial to the businesses and for the global economy. One of the companies to plan the use of technology in their customer service field is Amazon with its future delivery system called Prime Air. Amazon Prime Air is designed to safely transport orders up to
the weight of five pounds in less than 30 minutes by using drones. This option of delivery will be added to Amazon as soon as the company has the permit to insure the safety with a technology called â€œsense and avoidâ€?, which is still in development. This technology has capacity of detecting possible threats in the air and on land and adequately respond to the environment. Another company to start thinking in a futuristic way is Google with its driverless vehicles. As the minds behind the idea say, the core idea of self-driving cars is to have safe rides and more time to spend with each other. A question that we have to ask ourselves is whether it is good for environment? Vehicles running on com-
bustion engines account for a huge part of the greenhouse emission, but as Dave McCreadie, Ford Motorâ€™s general manager of electric vehicle infrastructure and smart grid says, with the network of robotic cars that share information with each other and also get some instructions from the traffic signs installed in the streets, the driverless cars will drive more smoothly, beyond the elimination of inefficient human driving habits. This will significantly drop the fuel use and reduce the emissions.
As futurist Alvin Toffler says, technology is the great growling engine of change and with the increased technological powers, the side effects and potential hazards escalate. This means that the rapid development in the field can be scary and dangerous. What can we do in order to be safely coexisting with technology? We have to take challenges and work on how to create frameworks that protect our planet from the robotic invasion.
Published on Nov 3, 2016