Academic Preparation Kit
Dear Delegates of the 83rd International Session of the EYP in Laax, Weâ€™ll admit it, preparing for a committee topic is difficult. They are complex, with many issues, historical developments, and stakeholders involved. Seeing through all of that in order to reach the end of the topic rainbow, where a pot of golden understanding awaits, sure may seem a lot of work. But, we promise, it is work that will be worthwhile. This document is central to where you go from here. It is central to how far you will look beyond your horizon, central to how many things you will discover here that genuinely excite you, and central to the difference you will make at this International Session. View this document as your invitation to start making a difference. Each of you has been selected to join this session for your ability and skill, because someone knew the impact you would make here to be valuable. Do put those abilities and skills to good use. This session is about hearing what you have to say. With a bit of preparation, you can ensure that what you have to say has the greatest possible effect. In Laax, you will receive the opportunity to not just affect your own committeeâ€™s discussions, but also those of others (view the Academic Concept for more information.) It is up to you to make Laax a place for exciting ideas, an eye-opening exchange of viewpoints, and solutions that impress real-life politicians. The topic overviews we present here have been made with the ambition to provide a solid, understandable, and brief overview. Graphics and links will provide access to genuinely engaging topic information. We emphasise that not just the EU, but also other stakeholders like the Council of Europe or United Nations have a stake in your topic. Your Chairperson will soon get in touch with specific tasks and questions to pursue, which will help you approach the topic step by step. As you prepare, know that it is fine not to comprehend everything fully. Get an overview, but do pursue what intrigues you most. This is an opportunity to learn what it is that you want to learn.
As Douglas Adams wrote: “There is a moment in every dawn when light floats, there is the possibility of magic. Creation holds its breath.” Up in the beautiful mountains of Laax, we think this session holds the possibility of magic. Here, this is the moment where creation holds its breath for you to come on board with us, and start making this experience all it could be. Join the magic! Yours, Anastasia, Anna, Arman, Bram, Dana, David, Can, Franzi, Halyna, Hugo, Irida, João, Juan, Laure, Lena, Lukas, Nicklas, Onur and Rebecca The Laax Chairs team
Table of Contents
Tips and Tricks for doing topic research
Committee Topics and Rationales
Committee on Constitutional Affairs
Committee on Foreign Affairs
Committee on Agriculture
Committee on Development
Committee on Economic and Monetary affairs I
Committee on Economic and Monetary affairs II
Committee on Economic and Monetary affairs III
Committee on Employment and social affairs
Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety I
Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety II
Committee on Womenâ€™s Rights and Gender Equality
Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs I
Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs II
Civil Liberties, Justice, and Home Affairs III
Committee on Fisheries
Table of Contents
Academic Concept Introduction to the Academic Concept The concept for this International Session of the EYP in Laax is built on three principles: interactivity, flexibility, and empowerment. The entire Laax resolution booklet will be a product of our collective efforts, which takes into account a broad array of stakeholders and paths for resolve. The aspects introduced here should serve to make Laax 2016 a rich educational experience for every participant through broadening horizons, in-depth understanding, and active participation throughout the entire session. Please read this chapter carefully in order to gain insight into how this will be implemented. Several aspects will be relevant for your session preparation.
Interactivity EYP sessions usually succeed at allowing participants to take a deep look into one specific topic, whilst granting only a superficial insight into other issues discussed at the session. This often leads to debates in General Assembly not living up to the high standards delegates set in Committee Work. Additionally, there is no mechanism that allows for the integration of suggestions to improve resolutions during the GA. In Laax however, all participants will be engaged with several topics, allowing them to make a meaningful contribution to resolutions in addition to their own. This will allow for the critical review of other results, a process of developing constructive ideas, improvements and alternatives during the session, as well as truly well-considered, invested, and opinion-driven debates.
Interactive Modules Each delegate will be assigned a committee topic (your home committee), and two additional committee topics (your focus groups). As a focus group member, you have the chance to contribute to the work of the respective committee at two times during the so-called Interactive Modules. The role of focus group members will be to provide critical reflection and debate, point out missing or controversial points, and improve the work of the committee. In the first Interactive Module, the focus group will be able to give input on the general scope and holistic aims of the resolution. In the second, the focus group will make specific Academic Concept
and targeted suggestions for improvement on the resolution. In order to be able to make a meaningful contribution to your focus group modules, it is essential that you also prepare for the two additional topics you have been assigned. Please read their topic overviews carefully, as well as the links provided.
Amendment debates in General Assembly An amendment debate will be a fixed part of each resolutionâ€™s debate in the Laax General Assembly. This will allow for an in-depth reflection on the more controversial points of the resolution, open the floor to an opinion-driven debate, and facilitate constructive criticism in the General Assembly to have a tangible impact on the sessionâ€™s resolution booklet. The inclusion of the amendment debate will also make the General Assembly more dynamic and interactive. This means that the procedure per debate will change from what most of us are used to. The draft procedure is as follows: 1. Defense speech by the proposing committee 2. Reading of the amendment proposal 3. Speech by the amendment sponsor 4. Open debate on the amendment 5. Statement on the amendment by the proposing Committee 6. Vote on the amendment 7. Attack Speech 8. Open Debate 9. Summation Speech 10. Vote on the resolution
Amendment Event Any delegate can submit amendments for all resolutions other than their own. The deadline for submitting amendments will be on the evening before the first day of the General Assembly. In order to allow delegates to discuss possible amendments with the proposing commit-
tee, and to cooperate on sponsoring amendments, an amendment event will be held in the framework of General Assembly preparation.
Broad stakeholder involvement The EYP at large tackles issues that are yet to be solved by experienced politicians, scientists, and civil society activists. To propose coherent, innovative, and effective solutions to committee topics, it is necessary to carefully assess a topicsâ€™ stakeholders and seek a broad involvement of different actors. In addition, an International Session includes participants from all over Europe, and thus beyond the EU. Proposed solutions should be relevant, and hold the potential of making a change for all session participants. It is therefore encouraged to address not just EU institutions in the resolutions, but specifically other intergovernmental institutions, governments, and non-governmental organisations beyond the EU-scope. As a youth organisation, we constantly seek for the voice of young people in Europe to be heard. To pursue this even more effectively, inviting stakeholders beyond the EU institutions to become active will also increase the number of platforms where young people claim political action.
Laax as an educational experience In many aspects, participating in a session of the European Youth Parliament is about learning. It is about broadening oneâ€™s horizon on issues in the world, practicing problem solving, and developing countless useful skills. The Officials team will make a collective effort to create sustainable learning experiences and foster education in all aspects of the session. This section will give some examples of elements to look forward to. Topic preparation for delegates will be interactive, exciting and thought-provoking. It is fundamental to participate fully in topic preparation to grasp the full scope of your topic, and learn more about the specific aspects in order to contribute to your committee work. The Media team will provide additional materials and insight into the committee topics before the session. At the session, the media teamâ€™s daily impact projects will provide opportunities to learn
about the session theme, debate and reflect upon current issues, and get in even better shape for the intense work in Committee Work. Two of the sessionâ€™s evening events are tailored to broadening your horizon on committee topics, learning about the session theme, and thinking about solutions beyond the session. At the Forum Event, participants will meet academics, entrepreneurs and pioneers from a number of fields related to our session concept, both on the sessionâ€™s committee topics and on other relevant current debates. This will be an opportunity to reflect on the session theme, and find your own committee topic in the holistic thematic context. At the Ideas, Opportunity and Impact Fair (IOIF), people active in the field of sustainability will visit the session. Participants will be able to discuss the real-life consequences of their suggested solutions with organisations or companies who actively work towards a more sustainable world. In addition, participants can develop project ideas to implement in cooperation with the practitioners at the fair after the session. Next to this, many small contributions will be made to drive more in-depth understanding, provide materials that make and change opinions, and inspiring debate in Laax 2016. Stay tuned, and get excited!
Tips and Tricks for doing topic research This text provides some reliable portals you can use for research beyond the links in your Topic Overviews. Make sure to consult the Guide on the EU for further information.
1. Explained: European Union Institutions Many of the committee topics in Laax 2016 can be resolved by asking institutions of the European Union to take action. The main policy makers on an EU level are four institutions, which are explained in the first video. For information on agencies that carry out more specialised work, consult the second link. • A first overview: The EU institutions explained by their (former) presidents https:// www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0diZ48_q7U • All EU institutions and bodies summarised http://europa.eu/about-eu/institutions-bodies/
2. Explained: Motivations for EU integration Why the EU was formed in the first place, and in how far its overarching ideas changed with time is explained in these links. They also make understandable how the EU tends to react to crisis or enlargement. • Overview of the history of the EU http://europa.eu/about-eu/eu-history/index_en.htm • New Statesman: A summary of EU history for the easily bored http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2015/02/eu-explainer-easily-bored-institutions
3. Explained: EU competences and decision-making The European Union can only take policy actions in fields which all Member States have transferred to it. In some policy fields, the EU institutions make specific policy. In other policy fields, the EU may set broad guidelines or provide funding, whilst leaving specific implemen-
Tips and Tricks for doing topic research
tation up to Member States. Other policy fields are not subject to EU legislation. Find out more about which policy fields relevant to your topic fall under which area, and what this means for decision-making within them. • Division of competences between the EU and Member States http://eur-lex.europa.eu/ legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=URISERV:ai0020 • Video explaining law-making in the EU https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypMvDKW5qm0 • Legislative powers of the European Parliament http://www.europarl.europa.eu/aboutparliament/en/20150201PVL00004/Legislative-powers • Visualisation of the oridnary legislative procedure http://www.europarl.europa.eu/external/html/legislativeprocedure/default_en.htm
4. Where to begin further research? While the above sources provide solid basic knowledge of the policy area where most topics will be resolved, it is important to find out more about interesting background stories, recent developments, and proposals for solutions to your topic. Do take note of the institution, agenda or interest behind each source you read. For example, official sources represent the work of an institution, and are likely to display aims and achievements rather than criticism or problems. Newspapers and think tanks also often represent a certain political ideology, for example they might be more liberal, more conservative, or more in favour of European integration. Because of this, different sources will put different problems at the core of their articles, display situations differently, and present different arguments. To fully grasp the scope of your topic, it is important to read up on several sources. A good place to start research is on quality news media from your country, or recognised international news platforms (for example the BBC or the CNN). The following sources will also provide reliable and up to date information:
EU-oriented news sites: • Euractiv provides news on EU politics; browsing through policy areas is possible http:// www.euractiv.com/
Tips and Tricks for doing topic research
• EUObserver provides news on EU politics https://euobserver.com/ • Euronews provides news on EU politics http://www.euronews.com/ • European Voice provides news on EU politics http://www.politico.eu/
Sources for Data & Statistics • Eurostat provides data on several measurable indicators in several policy fields from EU
home/ • The World Bank provides data base on economic and social indicators for countries around the world http://databank.worldbank.org/data/home.aspx • The OECD database provides a wide range of indictaors from the 34 Member States of the OECD http://stats.oecd.org/ • The EU’s Eurobarometer surveys regularly survey European citizens from all Member States on their opinions on recent issues http://ec.europa.eu/public_opinion/
Official Sources: • Searching from the European Commission Homepage will give you good summaries, Q&As, and motivations behind legislation and programmes http://ec.europa.eu/ index_en.htm • The European Parliament Homepage will help you to check whether your topic is currently debated http://www.europarl.europa.eu/portal/en • Europa Newsroom shows you press publications by EU institutions, to get an idea of current plans and discussions http://europa.eu/newsroom/index_en.htm
Think Tanks: Note: You will find well-researched, academic content here if you would like to go deeper into a topic, and think of it from a more theoretical perspective. Often opinions or news articles on these pages can give a more concise insight. • European Policy Centre http://www.epc.eu/ • Carnegie Europe http://carnegieeurope.eu/ • European Council on Foreign Relations http://www.ecfr.eu/ • Notre Europe – Jacques Delors Institute http://www.delorsinstitute.eu/ Tips and Tricks for doing topic research
Committee Topics and Rationales 1. Committee on Constitutional Affairs (AFCO) Facing crises of democracy: Given the decline in general election in all developed democracies, to what extent should national governments make use of direct or deliberative democracy in order to boost the public interest in policy decisions? This topic dwells on the overarching question of whether more participative ways of democratic decision-making are to be supported. It should evaluate different models of participative democracies, and make proposals as to the policy and political decisions these are most suitable for. Recent years have seen several attempts at more participative democracies, for example through the referenda in Greece and the United Kingdom, or on regional construction initiatives. At the same time, some countries regularly invite citizens to participate in policy-making through deliberative formats, e.g. in the Austrian state Voralberg. Should the committee decide to stick to representative democracies only, it should find other means to deal with the crisis of modern democracies. Video Link: Growing participative and deliberative democracy
2. Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET) From frozen conflict to lasting peace: After the restoration of the ceasefire in the conflict region Nagorno-Karabakh in April 2016, how should peace in the region and a long-term perspective for cooperation between Armenia and Azerbaijan be secured? The Armenian enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh (NK), located within the territory of Azerbaijan, is one of Europeâ€™s most delicate frozen conflict regions. After a ceasefire brokered by Russia in 1994, issues have remained between ethnic groups, and the region remains largely self-administrative and outside government control. UN resolutions have demanded withdrawal of Armenian forces from the region. However, fighting erupted again in April 2016 between Armenian and Azerbaijani sides, leaving the subsequent ceasefire unstable.
Committee Topics and Rationales
The solutions to this issue should aim to resolve who should administer the territory, which stakeholders need to be included to bring this about, and propose incentives for maintaining peace on a longer term. The resolution should also show an understanding if why the conflict has been so difficult to solve thus far. Interactive Link: Interactive Conflict Tracker of the Region
3. Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development (AGRI) Farming for the future: As four out of five Europeans are expected to live in urban areas by 2020, how should Europeâ€™s food supply be secured, given rising standards for sustainable food production and climate smart agriculture? Urban sprawl is progressing in Europe, creating a downward spiral of decreasing attractiveness of living in rural areas. Particularly in Eastern Europe and some Southern European states, this comes with problems of land abandonment and an under-supply of locally produced food. Solutions should cover achieving access to high-quality and climate friendly agricultural production for those in urban areas. It should also be a consideration how Europeâ€™s rural areas can be prevented from growing poorer and leaving behind a vulnerable population with few opportunities. Video Link: Urbanisation and the future of cities
4. Committee on Development (DEVE) Beyond economic poverty: After the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, what approach should Europe promote and which stakeholders should it prioritise collaborating with, in order to effectively end poverty in all its forms in Africa? In 2015, the United Nations drafted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which were meant to provide a leap forward in development cooperation. The first goal is to eradicate poverty in all its forms, which sets higher targets than previous goals of halving the world population at risk of extreme poverty. The aim of ending poverty refers only to eradicating extreme poverty, meaning living
Committee Topics and Rationales
on $1.25 or below per day. Criticisms of the measure of extreme poverty are that it does not account for inequality, social context or family structures. Within this topic, it should be re- evaluated what the target behind poverty eradication should be. In addition, Europe could decide on a multilateral approach by cooperating with international organisations (e.g. the World Bank), target private investments through cooperation with companies, or work only with partners in the target regions. Developed solutions could tackle issues surrounding education, accountability and social care, and gender equality. Video link: A new look at Africa
5. Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs I (ECON I) From Tobin tax to vertical equity: As inequalities between rich and poor increase in most developed economies, how should fiscal measures be used to contribute to fair societies? In OECD countries, the richest 10% of the population earns 9.6 times more than the poorest 10 %. But is inequality actually a problem? This topic fundamentally aims to firstly define what a “fair society” is and subsequently suggest solutions for the implementation of such conception of fairness within the EU’s financial policy framework. To determine these solutions, it will be necessary to assess the EU’s current distribution of monetary and fiscal competences and the budgetary stability mechanisms. In deciding upon a stance, moral and economic interests will have to be considered. Article Link: Increasing inequality plunging millions more Europeans into poverty
Committee Topics and Rationales
6. Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs II (ECON II) Investing for society: How should Europe’s banking regulations balance the goals of non-financial returns on investment with economic growth? The financial, economic and debt crisis in Europe has triggered a debate on banks that are too big to fail, meaning that so many public entities and companies, not least other banks, rely on them that they had to be saved by national governments to sustain the economy. This topic looks towards the shortcomings of current financial systems – in economic, social as well as environmental terms – and builds on the EU’s Banking Union in order to balance economic growth with financial stability and other non-financial aspects of banking and investment. It should address matters such as keeping deposits safe, dividing regulatory and supervisory responsibilities between the EU and its Member States, and not least how banks can contribute to communities locally as well as on a European scale through for example sustainable banking and impact investing, without impairing their ability to support economic growth. Article Link: Impact Investing at an inflection point
7. Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs III (ECON III) Assessing the growth paradigm: As GDP growth is currently a primary policy objective in Europe, how should the economies of the future define and measure the pursuit of economic success in happy, sustainable, and prosperous societies? Economic success is almost everywhere only measured by GDP growth, which slows in more developed economies. This indicator is criticized for holding a narrow focus on economic success. Factors like equality, environmental sustainability or happiness and standards of living do not enter the equation. While the European Commission has initiated the Beyond GDP initiative, and the World Economic Forum has worked on questioning the growth paradigm, few of these abstract debates have thus far been implemented into economic governance. Solutions to this topic should propose measures for economic success beyond GDP, and suggest where and how these could be implemented. Video Link: An Economic Reality Check Committee Topics and Rationales
8. Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL) Sustainability in a modernised economy: With 87% of workers worldwide unhappy in their jobs, how should more modern, healthy and sustainable workplaces be made available throughout Europe? A recent poll by Gallup has found that workers in most advanced economies find themselves dissatisfied in the workplaces, and results specifically in European states fall behind many some South American countries and as well as the US. Unhappy employees are often less likely to be productive, less likely to be company shareholders, and hold higher absent times. The topic should tackle issues of increasing employee satisfaction, whilst also addressing important health issues that go hand-in-hand with advanced economies. For example, whilst technology may be able to offer more flexible work schemes and help the inclusiveness of vulnerable target groups, its development has been much criticised as it is accompanied by an expectation of high-skilled competences and the risk of being constantly â€œplugged inâ€?. The topic should approach sustainable employment creatively, and covering all the above aspects whilst ensuring the collaboration of employers, employees, states and organisations. Video Link: How to make employees happy
9. Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety I (ENVI I) Health for an ageing society: As Europe faces rapid demographic changes, how should medical care, prevention, and research tackle ageing and the development of sustainable health care schemes? Demographics are quickly changing in Europe and other developed economies, as the average population ages. This major turn comes with several health care challenges, such as the spread of chronic diseases, a shifted focus towards preventative measures as people grow older on average, as well as retaining dynamic and active civil society despite demographic change. It is necessary to define dignified ageing and healthy living to address this issue. Fundamentally, the topic asks how the burdens of demographic change are to be distributed
Committee Topics and Rationales
across societal groups, and which creative approaches can be taken to aligning health care schemes accordingly. Video Link: A roadmap to end ageing.
10. Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety II (ENVI II) The two-sided coin of nuclear energy: How should the cross-border risks posed by nuclear power plants be regulated within and on Europeâ€™s borders whilst ensuring energy security? Nuclear energy splits Europe, as ten European countries are building or planning to build new nuclear reactors, while others either struggle to maintain safety in ageing nuclear power plants, or are stepping back from nuclear energy to seek out alternatives. Drawbacks, and to some extent benefits of nuclear energy have consequences across national borders, which makes a broader agreement urgently necessary. The topic asks whether or not nuclear power generation with its burden of nuclear waste is still future worthy. Approving nuclear energy comes with designing solutions for reactor safety, and health and environmental protection. At the same time, the topic will need to balance practical concerns: Some countries have retracted subsidies for solar power as these led to losses. Declining nuclear power will require a strategy for the phasing out phase, including a proposal on secure alternatives. Video Link: The World Energy Outlook
11. Committee on Womenâ€™s Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM) Equal pay for equal work: With women receiving on average 16% lower wages than men, how should progress be made towards income equality for women? The Gender Pay Gap has long been in the EU agenda. It is a complex issue with interrelated causes such as sectoral segregation in the market, pay secrecy and under representation of women in decision making positions. In accordance to that, approaches and measures towards closing the gap also vary. The commit-
Committee Topics and Rationales
tee on Womenâ€™s Rights and Gender Equality will discuss how to achieve equal income, taking policy tools, distribution of burdens attached to family planning and opinions of civil society into account. Video Link: A Short Story About the Gender Pay Gap
12. Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs I (LIBE I) Building new opportunities: After the arrival of approximately one million refugees in Europe in 2015, how should European states and civil society cooperate to provide adequate education, training and integration for asylum holders? An estimated 1 million refugees arrived in Europe this past year. In many places, civil society reacted quickly by setting up language courses, donation schemes, and buddy systems. This topic looks at long-term solutions for language learning, education, and employment. It should also tackle housing solutions and integration as a whole. The aim of this topic is not to discuss the overall distribution policy or asylum criteria, but to think about what comes after arrival. Video Link: Our refugee system is failing
13. Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs II (LIBE II) Leaving no one behind: Leaving no one behind: Building on the Council of the EUâ€™s first agreement on LGBTI equality in 2016, how should LGBTI rights be protected in Europe whilst acknowledging and addressing public hostility and reservations of individual states? European states have different views on LGBTI rights, ranging from equal marriage and adoption rights to high levels of stigma and discrimination. The Council of the EU passed its first agreement on condemning LGBTI discrimination. Overall, a strong East-West divide on the issue remains. The topic should tackle issues surrounding the right to form a family, and fair access to employment and housing opportunities. Additionally, LGBTI specific health care can be difficult to access. Solutions should also expand to cover particularly vulnerable LGBTI such
Committee Topics and Rationales
as minorities, the prison population or the mentally ill. In addition, discrimination and hate crimes against LGBTI people remain widespread, allowing the topic to cover underlying social factors and stereotypes. Interactive Link: An interactive rainbow map of Europe
14. Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs III (LIBE III) A contribution to transparency or a threat to security: Following the Snowden, WikiLeaks and Panama Papers cases, what approach should European states have towards whistleblowers’ disclosures of sensitive information? The Snowden and WikiLeaks disclosures made important contributions to initiating a debate on privacy protection and the right to be forgotten of citizens. Similarly, the recent publication of the Panama Papers has drawn attention to questions of accountability or corruption of public officials across the globe. Meanwhile, most European states do not have encompassing legislation regulating the circumstances for whistleblowers’ prosecution. Similarly, hardly any European states regulate under which circumstances whistleblowers should receive protection for disclosing information of public interest. The recent EU directive on protecting trade secrets sets high standards for the protection of enterprises’ planning and lobbying activities. There have been concerns that the directive no longer offers sufficient protection to the freedom of speech, and potential whistleblowing activities. Video Link: What is a whistleblower?
15. Committee on Fisheries (PECH) Awareness, resilience, and innovation at sea: How should fair access to economic activity on European waters be ensured, whilst also protecting and preserving marine ecosystems? Fisheries and the overall aquaculture is a very important source of food, trade, employment, economic well-being and recreation for people worldwide. It is one of the areas which requires responsible and sustainable attitude in order to preserve it as an economic resource for present and future generations. Unfortu-
Committee Topics and Rationales
nately, fisheries are facing tough times: around 60% of the worldâ€™s fisheries are overexploited, depleted or recovering from depletion. Relevant issues to ensure a more sustainable fisheries scheme could target tackling the open access vs. restricted access dilemma, overfishing, fishing non-target animals often thrown back into the sea injured or dead, as well as the destruction of maritime habitats like corals or seagrass. Within the scope of EU regulations, a recent problem has been illegal or unregistered fishing, which contributes to unobserved overfishing, and poses a threat especially to small commercial fishers. There is a necessity to find a way to ensure sustainable, long-term use of fisheries and thus, define a roadmap for the effective growth of the fishing industry. Video Link: An introduction to Fisheries Management
Committee Topics and Rationales
COMMITTEE ON CONSTITUTIONAL AFFAIRS Facing crises of democracy: Given the decline in general election in all developed democracies, to what extent should national governments make use of direct or deliberative democracy in order to boost the public interest in policy decisions? Chaired by: Arman Gasparian (AM)
AFCO 1. Key Terms Democratic Deficit is a perceived deficiency in the way a particular political arrangement works in practice against a benchmark as to how it is supposed to work in theory1. Deliberative democracy is a school of thought in political theory that claims that political decisions should be the product of fair and reasonable discussion and debate among citizens2. Direct democracy is one in which the power to govern lies directly in the hands of the people rather than being exercised through their representatives3. A micronation is an entity, mostly existing either on the internet or within the private property of its members, that lays claim to sovereign status as an independent nation, but which is unrecognised by real nations4.
2. Relevance and explanation of the problem Over the last decades, the world has been witnessing a crisis of democracy. This is a phenomenon that can be observed worldwide but is especially vivid when it comes to the EU, where voter turnout in the European Parliament elections has been on steady decline between 1979, when first elections were held (61.99%) and 2014 (42.61%)5. This situation is usually a combination of different problems, which can be clustered into four main groups: voter apathy, disenfranchisement, parties not representing people and voter intimidation6. When it comes to the EU and some of its Member States, a major issue is that governing has gradually become more and more technical and complex. At the same
1 Oxford Reference (2016): Democratic Deficit (http://www.oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/oi/authority.20110803095709730) 2 Eagan, Jennifer L. (2016): Deliberative Democracy, in Encylopedia Brytannica (https://www.britannica. com/topic/deliberative-democracy) 3
The Free Dictionary by Farlex (2016): Direct Democracy (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Direct+democracy)
4 Oxford Dictionaries (2016): Micronation (http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/micronation) 5
European Parliament (2014): Results of 2014 Elections (http://www.europarl.europa.eu/elections2014-results/en/turnout.html)
Shah, Anuh (2012): Democracy - Global Issues (http://www.globalissues.org/article/761/democracy)
AFCO | Arman Gasparian (AM)
AFCO time ordinary citizens are uninformed about the business of the government7. This leads to three main outcomes: the EU (and national governments) becoming too distant from citizens; government becoming a matter for experts, who often govern as technocrats, disconnected from society; and citizens seeking other, less formal ways of political participation. During the last decade, wider social groups around the world but especially in the EU have become alienated from political parties and, instead, opted for advocacy groups as conduits of public opinion. This situation became even more evident after failed referendums on EU constitutional treaty ratification in France and the Netherlands in 20058. To overcome the gradual stagnation in citizens’ political participation, direct or deliberative democracy has been suggested both by academia and by the European Commission (EC) as a remedy for all difficulties. The most basic type of direct democracy is referenda, but these force voters to choose between yes and no and generate results that are hard to interpret since they offer responses to problems that are inherently complex and multidimensional and that they often do not fully comprehend. Brexit is a typical example of this9. At the same time, forcing citizens to choose between extreme poles in some cases has negative repercussions for their engagement. The evidence from Belgium suggests that when there is an obligation to vote, people often opt for protest voting10. The EC is not the sole political actor that has made significant actions towards ensuring deliberative democracy. For instance, it has also been endorsed by President Barack Obama according to whom the US constitution establishes a deliberative democracy and by Brazilian President Lula da Silva, under whom the Government invested most heavily in dialogic deliberative instruments11. 7
Warren, Mark E. (2009): Citizen Participation and Democratic Deficits: Cosiderations from the Perspective of Democratic Theory, in Activating the Citizen (http://apps.eui.eu/Personal/Researchers/pblokker/Warren.pdf)
Beehner, Lionel (2005): European Union: The French and Dutch Referendums, in Council on Foreign Relations (http://www.cfr.org/france/european-union-french-dutch-referendums/p8148)
Dearden, Lizzie(2016): Anger over ‘Bregret’ as Leave Voters Say They Thought UK would Stay in EU, in Independent (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/brexit-anger-bregret-leave-voters-protestvote-thought-uk-stay-in-eu-remain-win-a7102516.html)
10 Hooghe, Marc; Marien, Sofie; and Pauwels, Teun (2011): Where Do Distrusting Voters Turn to if there is no Visible Exit or Voice Option? The Impact of Political Trust or Electoral Behaviour in the Belgian Regional Elections in June, 2009 11 Brinker, David L. (2009): Investigating Predictors of Preferences for Deliberative Qualities of Political Conversations Using the Analytic Hierarchy Process (http://epublications.marquette.edu/cgi/viewcontent. cgi?article=1149&context=theses_open)
AFCO | Arman Gasparian (AM)
AFCO 3. Key actors The European Commission and its individual Commissioners have been promoting a wide range of Europe-wide groups or associations aimed at creating a systematic and transparent process of interaction with a range of civil society interests, among which the most significant ones are the European Citizens’ Initiative12 and the “pan-European Citizens’ Consultation”13 launched by EU Commissioner Margot Wallström. The European Citizens’ Initiative is a European Union (EU) mechanism aimed at increasing direct democracy by enabling „EU citizens to participate directly in the development of EU policies”. The “pan-European Citizens’ Consultation”, launched in 2008, was the first pan-European participatory project to involve citizens from (then) 27 Member States of the EU into the debate about the Future of Europe. National governments and local government bodies are the institutions that theoretically should be most interested in promoting deliberative democracy as a means towards gaining public support and engagement in decision-making process. This way they would enact policies with wider public support (and gain popularity). The consequences of local decisions are said to be more accessible and comprehensible for citizens. Civil society organisations (CSO)14, interest groups, protest groups and movements that are supposed to drive citizens into civic action play an important role of serving as a channel between state and society, while interest and protest groups act as a generator of public opinion and self-organisation. Tahrir square demonstrations15 confirmed that movements that are initiated by various types of civil society institutions (formal and non-formal) can gain resonance and bring about changes at the highest political level, while also inspiring similar movements in other countries.
12 European Commission (2016): Basic Facts - European Citizens’ Initiative (http://ec.europa.eu/citizens-initiative/public/basic-facts) 13 Karlsson, Martin (2010): A Panacea for Pan-European Citizen Participation? Analysis of the 2009 European Citizens Consultations, in New Forms of Citizen Participation: Normative Implication (https://www. researchgate.net/publication/236943839_A_Panacea_for_Pan-European_Citizen_Participation_Analysis_ of_the_2009_European_Citizens_Consultations) 14 Participedia (2016): Organizations (http://participedia.net/en/browse/organizations) 15 El-Naggar, Mona (2011): The Legacy of 18 Days in Tahrir Square (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/20/ weekinreview/20tahrir.html)
AFCO | Arman Gasparian (AM)
AFCO Different research agencies aimed at examining and assessing direct and deliberative democracy experiments and making policy suggestions have a crucial role in expanding the framework of direct/deliberative democracy by underlining new ways of citizen participation. Among these the most renowned centres are the European Think-Tank ‘Notre Europe’16, based in France, and the Center for Deliberative Democracy17 in Stanford University, U.S.
4. Key conflicts There are three main conflicts in this field: contradictions between legislature policymaking, the scope of decisions that should be left for public debate and problems associated with citizen participation itself. Several scholars argue that although the Lisbon Treaty provides the necessary bases18 for introducing deliberative methods, the EU’s modes of governance are largely inaccessible to citizens. Some examples of this are the Community Method, the Intergovernmental or Union Method, and the Open Method of Coordination. All these methods heavily rely on representative democracy and leave very little room for direct/deliberative processes, which means that there is a clash between EU legislature and ordinary policymaking. When it comes to leaving issues for public debate, there is a lack of consensus among different countries. For instance, the majority of democratic states opt for a referendum only when major issues are discussed, such as the Thirty-fourth Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland19 (on same-sex marriage) or the recent referenda in Greece20 and the United Kingdom21, while Switzerland, for example, holds several referenda annually, with four scheduled for 2016 only22. 16 Jacques Delors Institute (2016): Notre Europe - Home (http://www.delorsinstitute.eu) 17 Stanford University (2016): Center for Deliberaitve Democracy (http://cdd.stanford.edu) 18 Gromek-Broc, Katarzyna; and Van der Borght, Kim (2014) Citizens and Further Democratisation after the Lisbon Treaty, in Studia Europejskie (http://www.ce.uw.edu.pl/pliki/pw/k_gromok-broc.pdf) 19 RTE News (2015): Wording of same-sex marriage referendum published (http://www.rte.ie/ news/2015/0121/674602-marriage-equality/) 20 BBC News (2015): Greek Debt Crisis: Tsipras Announces Bailout Referendum (http://www.bbc.com/news/ world-europe-33296839) 21 UK Government (2015): European Union Referendum Act 2015 (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2015/36/section/5) 22 The Federal Council of Swiss Confederation (2015): Abstimmungsvorlagen für den 28. Februar
2016 (https://www.admin.ch/gov/de/start/dokumentation/medienmitteilungen.msg-id-58993. html)
AFCO | Arman Gasparian (AM)
5. Measures in place Regarding government-led initiatives, there have been numerous efforts coming from governments from all over the globe, but the most known examples are the various types of direct and deliberative democracy methods in Europe and especially Australia (Deliberative Polls23, Citizens’ Parliament24, Citizens’ Juries25, Consensus Conferences26, Planning Cells27) and the Big Society of the United Kingdom28. Many efforts have also been made by citizen groups. This sector can be divided in two
23 Center for Deliberative Democracy (2011): What is Deliberative Polling? (http://cdd.stanford.edu/ what-is-deliberative-polling) 24 Citizens Parliament (2009): How Can Australia’s Political System be Strengthened to serve us better? (http://www.citizensparliament.org.au) 25 Participedia (2010): Citizens’ Jury (http://www.participedia.net/en/methods/citizens-jury) 26 Participedia (2010): Participatory Consensus Conference (http://participedia.net/en/methods/participatory-consensus-conferences) 27 CIPAST - Citizens Participation in Sceince and Technology (2016): Planning Cell (http://www.cipast.org/ cipast.php?section=1018) 28 UK Government (2010): Building the Big Society (https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/78979/building-big-society_0.pdf)
AFCO | Arman Gasparian (AM)
AFCO smaller sub-groups: Tahrir square demonstrations and similar protest movements, such as the “Real Democracy Now” movement in Spain, and micronations that are governed through direct democracy. One of the most famous examples of micronations practicing direct democracy is the Freetown Christiania29. Finally, measures that are purely theoretical, but aimed at ensuring political changes in the future, such as ‘RECON’30 - a EU framework research program aimed at developing and assessing alternative models for reconstituting democracy in the EU - are also essential drivers of change and progress in democracy.
6. Outlook at Key Questions • Can there be one single solution to democratic deficit in different countries around the world or should an individual approach be taken towards solving these problems? • What should be the desired channel for deliberative democracy on a global scale? • Should it be launched and assessed by an supranational entity or should it be left for individual states’ consideration? • How can politicians be persuaded to take opinions generated within deliberative processes into account? • Can deliberative processes established by the government coexist with those founded by protest movements?
7. Essential Research Links Schmidt, Vivien A. (2015): The Eurozone’s Crisis of Democratic Legitimacy: Can the EU Rebuild Public Trust and Support for European Economic Integration? (http://ec.europa.eu/ economy_finance/publications/eedp/pdf/dp015_en.pdf) European Parliament - Committee on Constitutional Affairs (2012): Method for citizens’ direct participation in EU Member States – Model for a more democratic Europe (http://www. europarl.europa.eu/document/activities/cont/201210/20121011ATT53444/20121011AT29 Storm, Christian; and Gould, Skye (2015): 9 of the Most Interesting Micronations in the World (http:// uk.businessinsider.com/most-interesting-micronations-in-the-world-map-2015-6?r=US&IR=T) 30 RECON (2012): Reconstituting Democracy in Europe (http://www.reconproject.eu)
AFCO | Arman Gasparian (AM)
AFCO T53444EN.pdf) Irvin, Renee A.; and Stansbury, John (2004): Citizen Participation in Decision-Making: Is it Worth the Effort? In Public Administration Review (http://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.iap2.org/ resource/resmgr/imported/Journal_Issue1_Irving.pdf) Kahane, David; Weinstock, Daniel; Leydet, Dominique; and Williams, Melissa (2010): Deliberative Democracy in Practice (http://www.ubcpress.ca/books/pdf/chapters/2009/DeliberativeDemocracyInPractice.pdf) Saward, Michael (2000): Direct and Deliberative Democracy, in ECPR Joint Sessions, Copenhagen April 2000 Workshop on â€˜Democracy from Below (https://ecpr.eu/Filestore/PaperProposal/0fb32bfb-b53a-4e00-a86d-74ab1a0d4d3b.pdf) Salvi, Claudia (2011): EU Communication Policy 2007-2013 (http://www.huoj.hr/files/File/ Konferencije/EU_Communication_policy_Claudia_Salvi.pdf) International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (2008): Chapter 8 - Direct Democracy in Todayâ€™s World: a Comparative Overview, in Direct Democracy: The International IDEA Handbook (http://www.idea.int/publications/direct_democracy/upload/direct_democracy_handbook_chapter8.pdf) Democracy International: Direct Democracy in EU Countries at a Glance: Germany at the Bottom of the League (https://www.democracy-international.org/sites/default/files/PDF/ eu-memodd.pdf) Kaufmann, Bruno (2007): How Direct Democracy Makes Switzerland a Better Place, in The Telegraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/1435383/How-direct-democracy-makes-Switzerland-a-better-place.html) Flesher Fominaya, Cristina; and Cox, Laurence (2014): Protest and Social Movements: A Sine Qua Non for Democracy (https://www.opendemocracy.net/can-europe-make-it/cristina-flesher-fominaya-laurence-cox/protest-and-social-movements-sine-qua-non-) Phillips, Tom (2015): One Year On, Hong Kong Democracy Activists Ask What Protest Achieved (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/sep/27/hong-kong-democracy-activists-ask-what-protest-achieved-umbrella)
AFCO | Arman Gasparian (AM)
AFCO Making Good Society (2010): Growing participatory and deliberative democracy animation (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dl85BhsYAcQ) Organisation of the Swiss Abroad (2011): Switzerlandâ€˜s direct democracy (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5W45Va0cPE) Meerkat Media Collective (2011): Consensus: Direct Democracy at Occupy Wall Street (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6dtD8RnGaRQ)
AFCO | Arman Gasparian (AM)
COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS
From frozen conflict to lasting peace: After the restoration of the ceasefire in the conflict region Nagorno-Karabakh in April 2016, how should peace and a long-term perspective for cooperation between Armenia and Azerbaijan be secured? Chaired by: Anna Nichols (IE)
AFET 1. Key Terms Nagorno-Karabakh (NK) is a landlocked mountainous region in the southwest of Azerbaijan. It has long been the subject of an unresolved conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia. In its current state, NK is legally and internationally recognised on paper a part of Azerbaijan. In practice, it acts as a de facto independent government for its large ethnic Armenian population, backed militarily and financially by neighbouring Armenia. A frozen conflict is a situation where active armed conflict has ended, but no peace treaty or framework exists to resolve the conflict to the satisfaction of the combatants involved. This means that the conflict can legally begin again at any time, creating insecurity and instability.1 A ceasefire is a total cessation of armed hostilities between parties. This does not necessarily mean that war is over, as the groups involved are often not ready to begin discussing further steps such as peace treaties, which formally end the state of war between the two parties. Peacebuilding is an intervention that is designed to prevent the start or resumption of violent conflict by creating a sustainable peace. The right to self determination entails the freedom of a people to choose their own political status and their own form of economic, social and cultural development. The UN considers it to be a key international law principle enshrined in its founding Charter.2 The principle of territorial integrity forbids states from violating or using the threat of force on the territory of another state. Territorial integrity is enshrined in the Charter of the UN.3
Euractiv (2016): Post-Soviet â€œFrozen Conflictsâ€?. (https://www.euractiv.com/section/europe-s-east/linksdossier/post-soviet-frozen-conflicts/#ea-accordion-issues)
UNPO (2006): Self Determination. (http://www.unpo.org/article/4957)
3 Charter of the United Nations. (http://www.un.org/en/sections/un-charter/chapter-i/)
AFET | Anna Nichols (IE)
2. Relevance and Explanation of the Problem In April 2016, at least 50 people were killed in four days during the worst outbreak of violence between Armenia and Azerbaijan since a ceasefire was brokered in 1994. The outbreak followed a declining effectiveness of the ceasefire and intermittent fighting that had become increasingly frequent since the two sides had to be pulled back from the brink of war in 2014. The ceasefire was originally enacted to bring an end to an armed conflict that killed over 30,000 after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and was triggered by NKâ€™s attempt to secede from Azerbaijan in 1988. Violence stemming from the conflict has been concentrated along a 160 mile long de facto boundary between Armenian-controlled territory and Azerbaijan known as the Line of Contact (LoC).The LoC is heavily fortified and rarely crossed- there are no peacekeepers or international monitoring missions on the ground here, and maintaining a ceasefire has been left in the hands of the most conflicted parties, Armenia and Azerbaijan. The longer the conflict continues in its current state, the harder life becomes for the people within these areas - unemployment, emigration, poor health and living in fear have all become daily occurrences.4
Illgner, Amalia (2016): Life in a Frozen War Zone. (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/aug/02/living-in-one-of-europes-frozen-conflicts-movses-nagorno-karabakh)
AFET | Anna Nichols (IE)
AFET A total resolution of the dispute has never been reached, with positions remaining relatively deadlocked since 1994, and continuing to spark international security concerns for the region. Foreign investors fear that key oil routes to Europe, and a key source of income to Azerbaijan, such as the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline could be seriously damaged if fighting resumes. The closure of borders with Turkey and Azerbaijan has caused landlocked Armenia severe economic problems, while the complicated web of alliances attached to both sides could mean that one smaller conflict between two sides could quickly escalate into all out war involving actors such as Russia, Turkey and Iran.5
3. Key Actors Nagorno-Karabakh declared itself an independent republic in late 1991. That de facto status is not recognised anywhere else. Azerbaijan is internationally recognised as the sovereign to the territory of NK - 1 million people have left Azerbaijan since conflict began.6 It is often considered to be the most aggrieved and consequently rearmed party, and views front-line military aggression as its only means for influencing and countering the prolonged frozen conflict. Azerbaijan is also a key gas and oil exporter in the region- 98% of Azerbaijan’s imports to the EU are oil and gas7and traditionally holds Turkey as one of its strongest allies. 95% of NK’s population identify as ethnically Armenian. Although Armenia has never officially recognised NK’s independence, it has become its main financial and military backer, allowing ethnic Armenians to run NK as a region with de facto independence from Azerbaijan. Armenia is historically supported by Russia and its international diaspora, whose largest populations are concentrated in Russia, France and the US. It is estimated that approximately 600,000 Armenians left Azerbaijan in the late 1980s before conflict broke out due to events such as the Sumgait and Baku pogroms.
5 Altsatdt and Menon (2016): Unfrozen Conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh. (https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/armenia/2016-04-12/unfrozen-conflict-nagorno-karabakh) 6
The UNCHR and European Commission (2009): Azerbaijan: Analysis of Gaps in the Protection of Internally Displaced Persons. (http://www.unhcr.org/protection/convention/4bd7edbd9/azerbaijan-analysis-gaps-protection-internally-displaced-persons-idps.html).
European Union External Action (2016): EU-Azerbajan Fact Sheet. (http://eeas.europa.eu/factsheets/ docs/eu-azerbaijan_factsheet_en.pdf)
AFET | Anna Nichols (IE)
AFET Russia is generally considered the most active broker of the peace deal. Though traditionally an ally of Christian Armenia, Russiaâ€™s stance on its Armenian support has become more unclear since it began to actively sell arms to Baku nearly six years ago. Russian relations with Turkey have been deteriorating since a Russian fighter jet was shot down on the Turkish-Syrian border in November 2015. Below are the key international organisations involved in the conflict:
4. Key Conflicts Political discussions surrounding land, identity and ownership often come loaded with tension, emotional attachment and entrenched preconceptions. In the case of NK, these differences have been particularly difficult to resolve. Historical perspectives of the region are diametrically opposed, while both sides project conflicting personal ideas on their perceptions of injustice and victimisation from the fighting. Significant current animosity exists between both sides, and the media propaganda generated as a result makes it harder for unbiased discussions and settlements to be reached at all levels.
AFET | Anna Nichols (IE)
AFET 4.1 Theoretical Conflict The question of who should control the land comes down to a clash between the principles of self-determination and territorial integrity. Ethnic Armenian authorities in NK claim they are defending their right to self-determination by governing the region with a de facto independence. However, international law enshrines territorial integrity when it states that NK belongs to sovereign Azerbaijan, and demands Armenian withdrawal.
4.2 National Conflict The question of who should govern NK has been a source of conflict between Christian Armenian and Muslim Turkic sides for over a century. Both sides see NK as a significant historical cradle for their culture and heritage, making each side resent the other for a loss of control over land they regard as rightfully theirs. While Azerbaijan has promised a degree of autonomy for NK within Azerbaijan upon the withdrawal of Armenian forces, the Armenian authorities have stated on several occasions that nothing but complete independence for NK will do, given historical human rights abuses of Armenians.8
4.3 Conflict of Approach Azerbaijan’s distrust of the Group’s co-chairs- it believes that it is impossible for France to be unbiased, that America is too alienated from the Islamic world, and that prolonging the conflict is in Russia’s interests - has provoked it to act in a combative manner towards the Group, threatening to unilaterally seek out new approaches. Armenia also feels that recent Russia-Azerbaijan arms deals undermine Russia’s ability to be a constructive co-chair to the conflict, and that Russian arming of both sides is deliberately preventing a settlement of conflict.9
8 Hakobyan and Huseynov (2012): Displacement and Status in the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict. (https:// www.chathamhouse.org/sites/files/chathamhouse/public/Research/Russia%20and%20Eurasia/ 211112summary.pdf) 9 Kucera (2014): More Russian Arms Deals With Azerbaijan Add Insult to Armenia’s Injury. (http://www. eurasianet.org/node/68407)
AFET | Anna Nichols (IE)
AFET Both Armenia and Azerbaijan have criticised the EU’s lack of a stance on the issue,10 given the number of European countries it represents, its agreements under the European Neighbourhood Policy with Armenia and Azerbaijan, and its track record for successful peacebuilding. There are also fears that Armenia actively recognising Nagorno-Karabakh as independent would escalate tensions rather than dissipate them.11
5. Measures in Place The OSCE created the Minsk Process in 1992 to encourage a peaceful and negotiated resolution to the conflict over NK. The Minsk Process can be considered completed when an appropriate framework for conflict resolution has been provided, and Armenia and Azerbaijan have agreed on a cessation of armed conflict and for OSCE multinational peacekeeping forces to be deployed to promote the peace process. Resolutions from the UN, EU and Armenia firmly advocate continuing to resolve the conflict within the framework of the Process. A commonly voiced solution for facilitating a greater success of the Process includes replacing or adding certain co-chairs to the Process, in order to balance Armenian and Azerbaijani concerns and the national interests of the current co-chairs. Suggestions have included Turkey, the EU, Germany and Kazakhstan as potential new co-chairs.12 The Group’s co-chairs have also proposed establishing an investigative mechanism for the OSCE.13 The move was supported at the most recent meeting of the co-chairs with official representatives from Armenia and Azerbaijan in Vienna in May 2016. The participants also
10 European Parliament (2016): Motion for a Resolution on violation of the ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh. (http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//TEXT+MOTION+B8-2016-0507+0+DOC+XML+V0//EN) 11 Mustayeva, Najiba (2016): Armenia’s Recognition of Nagorno-Karabakh could Trigger a War.(http:// www.euractiv.com/section/europe-s-east/opinion/armenias-recognition-of-nagorno-karabakh-could-trigger-a-war/) 12 Huseynov, Rusif (2015): Time to Reform the Minsk Group. (http://thepoliticon.net/Time-to-Reform-theMinsk-Group.htm) 13 Statement by the Co-Chairs of the Minsk Group (24 June 2016). (http://www.osce.org/mg/248616)
AFET | Anna Nichols (IE)
AFET agreed to maintain key data exchanges regarding those affected by the conflict.14 All five UN Security Council Resolutions issued since April 1993 support Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity, and demand the withdrawal of Armenian forces from the region. Violations of these resolutions can give the UN the right to impose sanctions on Armenia. The EU’s Single Support Frameworks 2014-17 states that the EU continues to offer its support including through regular high-level meetings of the EU Special Representative in Baku and Yerevan and through the funding of confidence building activities implemented by non-governmental organisations.
6. Outlook and Key Questions Armenia and Azerbaijan’s relations currently exist in a security vacuum that requires filling in order to stem the rise of conflict. The view of many critics is that the success of any peace plan depends on international multilateral action and external pressures for peace in order to overcome local resistance. However, before such approaches can be addressed, a number of key questions need to be answered. Why have existing measures decayed to the point where outbreaks of violence and regular and growing in scale? Do the people of NK want to join with Armenia, remain within Azerbaijan, or be an independent nation? What other interests and issues are at stake? And finally, what measures can be taken to ensure those objectives can be maintained long term?
7. Essential Research Links 7.1 Explanatory Material BBC (2016): Nagorno-Karabakh Profile. (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-18270325) De Waal, Thomas (2016): Nagorno-Karabakh’s Cocktail of Conflict Explodes Again. (http:// www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-35954969).
14 Joint Statement by Representatives of the co-chair countries of the Minsk Group (16 May 2016). (http:// www.osce.org/mg/240316)
AFET | Anna Nichols (IE)
AFET The Economist (2016): The Economist explains the NK conflict. (http://www.economist.com/ blogs/economist-explains/2016/04/economist-explains-9) Broers, Laurence (2016): The Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict - Defaulting to War. (https:// www.chathamhouse.org/sites/files/chathamhouse/publications/research/2016-07-11-nagorny-karabakh-broers.pdf) OSCE Minsk Group Home Page (2016). (http://www.osce.org/mg) US Council of Foreign Relations (2016): Global Conflict Tracker.(http://www.cfr.org/global/ global-conflict-tracker/p32137#!/conflict/nagorno-karabakh-conflict) European Integration (2013): Recommendations for Confidence Building Measures in the Region of the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict.(http://www.europeanintegration.am/en/8645. html).
7.2 Theoretical Background Brilmayer, Lea (1991): Secession and Self-Determination: A Territorial Interpretation. (https:// www.jstor.org/stable/20671779?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents)
7.3 Azerbaijani Perspectives Shahbazov, Fuhad (2016): The New Trends of the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict.(http://thepoliticon.net/The-new-trends-of-Nagorno-Karabakh-conflict.htm) Huseynov, Rusif (2016): Russian Peacekeepers in Nagorno-Karabakh: An Unlikely and Unwanted
7.4 Armenian Perspectives Hakobyan, Tutal (2016): Now is not the best time to Recognise Artsakh. (http://www.armradio.am/en/2016/05/05/now-is-not-the-best-time-to-recognize-artsakh-tatul-hakobyan/) Khojoyan, Sara (2016): Armenian analysts do not rule out Azerbaijani aggression in Karabakh. (https://www.armenianow.com/en/karabakh/2016/05/04/armenia-karabakh-war-hostilities-azerbaijan-likelihood/2548/)
AFET | Anna Nichols (IE)
COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE Farming for the future: As four out of five Europeans are expected to live in urban areas by 2020, how should Europeâ€™s food supply be secured, given rising standards for sustainable food production and climate-smart agriculture? Chaired by: Lena Strehmann (AT)
AGRI 1. Key Terms Rural areas are open swaths of land with low population density and agriculture as their primary industry. Urban areas are regions that include and surround a town or city, with high population and building density, and with the vast majority of its inhabitants having nonagricultural jobs. Peri-urban areas are found between rural and urban areas and encompass the characteristics of both. Rural to urban migration is the movement of people from rural to urban areas, generally in order to find better jobs, living conditions, education and safety. Land abandonment1 is often a consequence of rural to urban migration, consisting of the abandonment of land that has been used for agricultural purposes until recent times but is no longer cultivated. According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), food security is â€œa situation that exists when all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.â€? Sustainable food production2 is the process of producing food without harming the environment. Sustainable intensification3 aims at increasing the food production on existing and already explored farmland while reducing the pressure on the environment. Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA)4 is an approach that aims at adapting farming systems to the challenges of climate change by sustainably increasing productivity and farmer incomes, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions where possible.
Eduardo Corbelle Rico (2011): How to define, monitor and deal with land abandonment. (http://www.fao. org/fileadmin/user_upload/Europe/documents/Events_2011/LCLB_2011/Spain_Corbelle_Rico.pdf)
European Commission: Environment - Sustainable Food. (http://ec.europa.eu/environment/eussd/food. htm)
The Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Food: Sustainable Intensification. (http://www.futureoffood.ox.ac.uk/sustainable-intensification)
Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO): Climate-smart agriculture. (http://www. fao.org/climate-smart-agriculture/overview)
AGRI | Lena Strehmann (AT)
AGRI 2. Relevance and explanation of the problem
Food demand over time5
With the global population continuously on the rise, living up to the population’s demand for healthy and nutritious food is one of the world’s biggest challenges, as food demand is expected to increase by 70% by 20506. However, the world’s population is not only expected to grow but also to accumulate in urban areas. In Europe, four out of five Europeans are expected to live in urban areas s by 2020.7 As farmers fear financial struggles due to a Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)8 that does not meet their needs9, they are attracted by urban areas and leave their farmland on the countryside behind, often uncultivated and unattended. A total decline of agriculture, grasslands and semi-natural habitats of more than 30 million hectares is estimated.10
Farming first (2015): Food demand. (http://www.farmingfirst.org/Post2015-Food#Slide2) European Parliament (2016): Report on technological solutions for sustainable agriculture in the EU. (http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//TEXT+REPORT+A8-2016-0174+0+DOC+XML+V0//EN#title2)
Rewilding Europe: Urbanisation and land abandonment. (https://www.rewildingeurope.com/about/background-and-goals/urbanisation-and-land-abandonment/)
Albert Massot (2016): Factsheets on the European Union. The Common Agricultural Policy and the Treaty. (http://www.europarl.europa.eu/atyourservice/en/displayFtu.html?ftuId=FTU_5.2.1.html)
EurActiv (2016): NGOs urge Commission to review EU’s Common Agricultural Policy. (http://www.euractiv. com/section/agriculture-food/news/ngos-urge-commission-to-review-eus-common-agricultural-policy/)
10 Rewilding Europe: Urbanisation and land abandonment. (https://www.rewildingeurope.com/about/background-and-goals/urbanisation-and-land-abandonment/)
AGRI | Lena Strehmann (AT)
AGRI In the United Nationsâ€™ 17 Sustainable Development Goals to tackle contemporary global challenges by 2030, the 11th goal is about making cities â€œinclusive, safe, resilient and sustainableâ€?. The steadily growing population in the cities combined with the aim for climate-smart agriculture gives European cities an important but also complex role. Not only waste management, the right to a healthy nutrition and food security for all, but also food distribution through sustainable low environmental impact logistics systems will pose challenges for our cities in the future.11
11 Michalopoulos, Sarantis (2016): Milan mayor energises urban food sustainability movement (www.euractiv.com/section/agriculture-food/news/milan-mayor-energises-urban-food-sustainability-movement/)
AGRI | Lena Strehmann (AT)
AGRI 3. Key actors , , , ,
12 13 14 15 16
12 DG AGRI (2016): Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development. (http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/ agriculture/index_en.htm) 13 DG RTD (2015): Directorate-General for Research and Innovation. (http://ec.europa.eu/research/index. cfm?pg=dg) 14 FAO (2013): Video on the FAO Strategic Objectives (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-pFi23tFJ6s) 15 Result booklet of the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (2016): (http://www.gffa-berlin.de/en/ergebnisbroschuere/) 16 Arc2020 agricultural & rural convention (2016): Who we are (http://www.arc2020.eu/who-we-are/)
AGRI | Lena Strehmann (AT)
AGRI 4. Key conflicts While considering sustainable food security, part of the focus lies on rural areas, with approaches that aim at providing more funding and at investing in research for farming innovation, to be able to make the most out of the less fertile soil in the countryside. However, the trend shows that Europe’s population will consistently be moving to urban areas, as more jobs and better cultural and social opportunities are available there. As a different approach, there has been a lot of research17 done on trying to bring agriculture closer to where the majority of Europe’s population is expected to live - the cities. There, professional farms in peri- and intraurban areas could not only produce food for the cities but also profit from the helping hands of hobby gardeners and farmers, who live in the city and would add a unique social aspect to the concept of urban agriculture. In addition, urban agriculture would be able to directly supply the city with food without any need for transportation and its associated environmental concerns. However, land in and around cities is very expensive and could also be used for infrastructure, housing or industry. Additionally, the soil in the cities is often not very fertile and the their air quality might as well affect the food growing there. Furthermore, focusing on urban agriculture for Europe’s future might cause even higher land abandonment in rural areas. An alternative approach to the problem has also been thought to be the intensification of the farming already in place with the help of new technologies, such as Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) that could provide higher yields and tailor production to the specific nutritional needs of populations. It is, however, debatable, whether GMOs are a healthy, moral, sustainable and climate-friendly approach to meeting our world’s future food demand. A growing world population, the increasing urbanisation, the unsustainability of some of our farming processes and a rising food demand are all issues that feel very distant to our everyday routines - the way we consume and throw away food reflects this lack of awareness and is not sustainable. Therefore, consumer education might also play an increasingly important role on the path to a sustainable food supply for Europe.
17 Lohrberg, Frank; Scazzosi, Lionella et al. (ed., 2015): Urban Agriculture Europe.
AGRI | Lena Strehmann (AT)
AGRI 5. Measures in place For the policy field of agriculture, the European Union and its Member States have a shared competence18, which means that Member States cannot exercise competence in areas where the EU has done so. The EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) has played an important role in shaping Europe’s agricultural landscape ever since it has been established in 1958. Initially, the five key objectives of the CAP were to increase agricultural productivity by promoting technical progress and ensuring the optimal use of the factors of production - particularly labour - to ensure a fair standard of living for farmers, to stabilise markets, and to ensure the availability of supplies and reasonable prices for consumers.19 However, farmers on the most fertile soils have since then profited the most from it, unlike farmers in marginalised, less fertile areas.20 This trend continues even after the reform of the CAP in 2013. Even though not specifically mentioned, measures in the CAP are generally applicable to all farmers, and therefore also to those in urban areas.21 Under Horizon 2020, the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme that has ever been established, nearly 80 billion Euros have been made available over a period of seven years (2014 - 2020). It promises more technological and innovative breakthroughs and discoveries by taking promising ideas from the lab to the market - including the agriculture and food sector. Initiatives such as the COST project, have profited from Horizon 2020’s support. In Europe’s growing cities, there are many bottom-up urban agriculture initiatives, as well as institutionalised urban farms, that try to bring agriculture closer to the cities. Examples for innovative farming initiatives in urban areas are vertical farming, such as the Plantagon in Sweden, or urban gardening initiatives, that grow food on very small spaces in cities.
18 European Commission FAQ on EU competences and the EC powers: (http://ec.europa.eu/citizens-initiative/public/competences/faqhttp://ec.europa.eu/citizens-initiative/public/competences/faq) 19 Albert Massot (2016): Factsheets on the European Union. The Common Agricultural Policy and the Treaty. (http://www.europarl.europa.eu/atyourservice/en/displayFtu.html?ftuId=FTU_5.2.1.html) 20 Rewilding Europe: Urbanisation and land abandonment. (https://www.rewildingeurope.com/about/background-and-goals/urbanisation-and-land-abandonment/) 21 Callau, Sonia, Lohrberg, Frank: The CAP Reform as a Chance for Urban Agriculture. In: Berg, Frank, ScazzIn: Lohrosi, Lionella et al. (ed., 2015): Urban Agriculture Europe, p. 204.
AGRI | Lena Strehmann (AT)
AGRI 6. Outlook and Key Questions To tackle the complex issue of food security in light of rising urbanisation, a continuously growing world population and the urge to be more sustainable and climate-friendly, innovative tools and approaches for agriculture - may they be rural or urban - need to be identified, to orchestrate creative new strategies for managing the food demands of our growing cities. Should the EU invest in making rural areas more attractive and sustainably intensify the agricultural production on the countryside? Does the key to the future of our food lie in urban areas and its inhabitants? Will sustainable farming and climate-smart agriculture develop quickly enough to face the rapidly growing food demand? What is the role of new technologies in transforming agriculture as we know it today?
7. Essential Research links Berg, Frank, ScazzI; Lohrosi, Lionella et al. (ed., 2015): Urban Agriculture Europe - the book. (http://www.urbanagricultureeurope.la.rwth-aachen.de/) Boztas, Senay (2016): Greenhouse in the sky: inside Europeâ€˜s biggest urban farm (https:// www.theguardian.com/cities/2016/apr/27/inside-europes-biggest-urban-farm) European Commission: Environment - Sustainable Food. (http://ec.europa.eu/environment/ eussd/food.htm) Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations: Climate-Smart Agriculture (http:// www.fao.org/climate-smart-agriculture/overview/en/) Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Naitons: Sustainable Food and Agriculture (http://www.fao.org/sustainability/background/en/) Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (2016): GFFA CommuniquĂŠ
bmel.de/SharedDocs/Downloads/Landwirtschaft/Welternaehrung/GFFA_Kommuniqu%C3%A9_2016_EN.pdf;jsessionid=6716697C47490502AA70CA2D979729CE.2_ cid376?__blob=publicationFile) Michalopoulos, Sarantis (2016): Milan mayor energises urban food sustainability movement
AGRI | Lena Strehmann (AT)
AGRI ban-food-sustainability-movement/) Piorr, Annette; Ravetz, Joe; Tosics, Ivan (2011): Peri-urbanisation in Europe: Towards a European Policy to Sustain Urban-Rural Futures. Food and Farming, p. 65 - 71 (http://www.plurel. net/images/peri_urbanisation_in_europe_printversion.pdf) Rewilding Europe: Urbanisation and land abandonment (https://www.rewildingeurope.com/ about/background-and-goals/urbanisation-and-land-abandonment/) Sherrard, Justin (2015): To feed the world, food and agriculture industry must embrace innovation (https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2015/jan/15/feed-world-food-agriculture-industry-embrace-innovation) United Nations (2014): Worldâ€™s population increasingly urban with more than half living in urban areas (http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/news/population/world-urbanization-prospects-2014.html)
AGRI | Lena Strehmann (AT)
COMMITTEE ON DEVELOPMENT
Beyond economic poverty: After the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, what approach should Europe promote and which stakeholders should it prioritise collaborating with in order to effectively end poverty in all its forms in Africa? Chaired by: Lukas Rosenkranz (DE)
DEVE 1. Key Terms Poverty describes deprivation from economic and social resources. When defined as income poverty, it refers to having a disposable income below a certain threshold, in case of extreme poverty less than US$ 1.25 per day. There are also multidimensional poverty indexes that include additional aspects, such as health, education or standard of living. Development aid refers to resources that are donated with the expectation of supporting economic or social development in the receiving entity. Given by states, Official Development Assistance (ODA) can be bilateral (from one government to another), or multilateral (from a group of governments cooperating in institutions such as the European Union (EU) or the World Bank, to other governments.) Conditionalising means tying ODA to requirements that recipients need to fulfil, such as anti-corruption measures or economic reforms. Green and inclusive growth refers to economic growth that is sustainable and benefits all members of society.
2. Relevance and explanation of the problem Eradicating poverty is a pivotal step to end all different kinds of woes that have plagued humankind for centuries, such as hunger, conflict and inequality. And indeed, there is justified optimism: The first of the UNâ€™s Millennium Development Goals (MDG) was to half the number of people living in extreme poverty, which was achieved five years ahead of schedule. However, by the UNâ€™s own estimates, 836 million people remain in extreme poverty. In sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), half the population is still trapped in extreme poverty, four times the global average. The successors of the MDGs, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), express a more multidimensional understanding of poverty beyond a mere economic situation. The challenge lying ahead of the global community is to find more inclusive strategies that implement a more holistic understanding of development than simple economic growth, namely the promotion of social, economic and environmental wellbeing. Europe, having provided around 60% of all ODA flowing into Africa between 2010-2013, will play a crucial role in determining whether the SDGs will be a success or remembered as empty promises. DEVE | Lukas Rosenkranz (DE)
DEVE 3. Key actors The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is the UN’s principal body for coordinating and conducting efforts to fulfill the SDGs. It closely cooperates with other specialised agencies of the UN, such as the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) or the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Other relevant multilateral donors include the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which tailors its Extended Credit Facility to the specific needs of individual low-income countries, as well as the World Bank Group (WB), which provides funds and advice to less developed countries. Besides supporting development efforts in this way, the WB and IMF also work towards a better integration of SSA countries into the global economy by encouraging liberal economic reforms. Within the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), European states, including non-EU members, share best practices, collect data, and draft common policies for “improving the wellbeing of people around the world.” The European Commission and its Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (DG DEVCO) are responsible for drafting, managing and implementing EU development policies. They aim to universally promote green and inclusive growth, mainly through projects financed by the European Development Fund (EDF). Most sub-Saharan states are part of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP), which joined together to bolster their agenda of poverty reduction, sustainable development and integration into the world economy. However, given their diverse economic and social traditions, ACP members follow different strategies, with some prioritising integration into global trade schemes and others laying the focus on acquiring funds for local capacity building. The SDGs also recognise the importance of civil society for development. Private charities like the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation often cooperate with government agencies in partnerships such as the Vaccine Alliance or the Global Fund. They have written considerable success stories, for example in the field of vaccination. Still, calling these organisations part of the “development industry”, critics have pointed out that such private charities at times follow their own agendas, constantly looking to enhance their own influence.
DEVE | Lukas Rosenkranz (DE)
DEVE Private companies are also treated as important partners for development assistance as they contribute to growth in ACP states by bringing foreign direct investment (FDI) and generating economic activity.
4. Key Conflicts Historically, European development assistance has been criticised for taking a one-sizefits-all approach, imposing a Western perception of economic progress by neglecting local traditions in receiving regions. Additionally, some have argued that despite having positive short-term effects, traditional ODA simply replaces domestic investment and growth with foreign capital, which ultimately prevents the emergence of an autonomous and sustainable economy. Pointing towards success stories, such as Botswana, they insist that what is needed is a mix of â€œgood governance, good policies, and good luckâ€?. Thus, Europe needs to find a strategy that balances traditional development aid and development cooperation, which means empowering recipients of ODA. Nevertheless, long-term local capacity building requires costly investments. In order to leverage its funds, the EU increasingly blends its own ODA with private loans and investments. However, this form of public-private partnership has been labelled neo-colonial by some, expressing fears that instead of serving public interest it is a way for private business to exploit new markets and make quick profit. Additionally, difficulties on the ground mean that funds are not always used efficiently. Firstly, Member States maintain their own ODA programmes parallel to the EU, leading to a wasteful fragmentation of development aid and a lack of policy coherence. Secondly, corruption, political instability, and insufficient infrastructure in receiving countries can prevent aid from reaching its intended goal. But combating this by conditionalising aid fails to empower local governments, which play a paramount role in distributing aid according to local needs.
DEVE | Lukas Rosenkranz (DE)
DEVE 5. Measures in Place The UNâ€™s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development specifies 17 SDGs that inform global development efforts. For the EU, the Commission specified policies for implementing the SDGs in its Global Partnership for Poverty Eradication and Sustainable Development, which is guided by the European Consensus on Development. This communication advanced the shift from traditional budgetary aid to receiving countries to a more diverse approach aimed at stimulating green and inclusive growth, for example through blending or microfinance. As the EU works alongside its Member States and multilateral institutions, Joint Programming helps reduce redundancy and increase the vigour of collective efforts. EU-ACP relations are formalised through the Contonou Agreement, of which Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA) form a key part. These are designed to stimulate economic development through EU-ACP trade as well as regional economic integration. However, the increasing reliance on bilateral and multilateral EPAs reveal an increasing fragmentation of EU-ACP relations.
6. Outlook and Key Questions Drafting an efficient development strategy that could end poverty is a highly complex task. Measures that have welcomed short-term effects may turn out to have thwarting long-term consequences. Individual or multilateral, private or public agents working towards the completion of the SDG have diverse priorities and working methods. How can these stakeholders cooperate in order to design a coherent global strategy that produces lasting success, both in the short and long-term, and what is Europeâ€™s role in it?
7. Essential Research Links 7.1 Text Collier, Paul (2007): Poverty Reduction in Africa, in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (http://www.pnas.org/content/104/43/16763.full.pdf) poverties.org (2015): Causes of Poverty in Africa: Lost Continent or Land of Opportunitites? (http://www.poverties.org/blog/poverty-in-africa)
DEVE | Lukas Rosenkranz (DE)
DEVE Handley, Higgins, Sharma (2009): Poverty and Poverty Reduction in Sub-Saharan Africa: An overview of Key Issues, in: Overseas Development Institute working papers (https://www.odi. org/sites/odi.org.uk/files/odi-assets/publications-opinion-files/860.pdf) Lewin, Michael (2016): Botswanaâ€™s Success: Good governance, good policies, and good luck. (http://siteresources.worldbank.org/AFRICAEXT/Resources/258643-1271798012256/Botswana-success.pdf) Ncube, Brixiova, Bicaba (2014): Can Dreams come true? Eliminating Extreme Poverty in Africa by 2030, in: IZA Discussion Papers (http://www.worldbank.org/content/dam/Worldbank/ Feature%20Story/Africa/afr-zorobabel-bicaba.pdf) The Economist (2013): Towards the end of poverty. (http://www.economist.com/news/ leaders/21578665-nearly-1-billion-people-have-been-taken-out-extreme-poverty-20-yearsworld-should-aim) Byanyima, Winnie (2015): How can we eradicate poverty by 2030?. (https://www.weforum. org/agenda/2015/09/how-can-we-eradicate-poverty-by-2030/) Acemoglu and Robinson (2014): Why foreign aid fails - and how to really help Africa, in: The Spectator (http://www.spectator.co.uk/2014/01/why-aid-fails/) Bandow, Doug (2013): Sorry U.N., Countries are poor thanks to bad policy, not a lack of cash, in: Forbes Magazine (http://www.forbes.com/sites/dougbandow/2013/08/26/sorry-un-countries-are-poor-thanks-to-bad-policy-not-a-lack-of-cash/#7b8da1f627dd) The Economist (2016): Misplaced charity (http://www.economist.com/news/international/21700323-development-aid-best-spent-poor-well-governed-countries-isnt-where-it) Plan of Implementation of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (paragraphs 7-13 on poverty eradication): http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/documents/WSSD_POI_PD/English/WSSD_PlanImpl.pdf OECD (2014): What do we know about multilateral aid? (http://www.oecd.org/development/ financing-sustainable-development/13_03_18%20Policy%20Briefing%20on%20Multilateral%20Aid.pdf) European Commission (2016): Africa-EU continental cooperation. (http://ec.europa.eu/euro-
DEVE | Lukas Rosenkranz (DE)
DEVE peaid/regions/africa/africa-eu-continental-cooperation_en) Milner, Morrissey, Zgovu: EU-ACP Economic Partnership Agreements and ACP integration (sections 1, 4 and 5), in: Credit research papers (https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/credit/documents/papers/09-05.pdf) Tindale, Stephen (2013): Priorities for EU development aid, (https://www.cer.org.uk/sites/ default/files/publications/attachments/pdf/2013/pbrief_sct_development_14june13-7556. pdf)
7.2 Videos Aid for Africa? No thanks, a TED Talk by Andrew Mwenda: https://www.ted.com/talks/andrew_mwenda_takes_a_new_look_at_africa?language=en How to eradicate Poverty: It can be done, a video by The Economist: http://www.economist. com/blogs/feastandfamine/2013/06/how-eradicate-extreme-poverty
DEVE | Lukas Rosenkranz (DE)
COMMITTEE ON ECONOMIC AND MONETARY AFFAIRS I From Tobin tax to vertical equity: As inequalities between rich and poor increase in most developed economies, how should fiscal measures be used to contribute to fair societies? Chaired by: Juan Estheiman Amaya (ES)
ECON I 1. Key Terms Fiscal policy is the usage of government spending, transfers and taxation to influence the economy. Fiscal policy measures are commonly used to finance public services and redistribute wealth. Vertical equity is the idea that the wealthier should pay higher taxes. There are two types of taxes through which this principle can be applied: progressive taxes increase their average rate as income increases, while proportional taxes average rates remain the same, regardless of the size of income. A fiscal union may imply a spectrum of different institutional designs trending towards increasing fiscal integration. These may range from sharing a common budget, to the establishment of common taxation, or the control and decision power regarding fiscal policy by a central fiscal authority. Fiscal transfers or equalisation payments are transfers made from one fiscal authority or contributor to another, in order to correct fiscal imbalances within a fiscal union. Monetary policy1 entails the regulation of interest rates and money supply by a central bank, in order to achieve macroeconomic stability. Together with fiscal policy, it is one of the two mechanisms for a government to influence the economy. Monetary policy has a direct influence on the money market and an indirect influence on goods markets. Economic competitiveness2 is the ability of a country to successfully sell its products and services in markets at home and abroad, as well as to attract foreign investment and economic activity.
The European Union explained: Economic and monetary union and the euro (2014). European Commision. http://europa.eu/pol/pdf/flipbook/en/economic_and_monetary_union_and_the_euro_en.pdf p.18
The European Union explained: Economic and monetary union and the euro (2014). European Commision. http://europa.eu/pol/pdf/flipbook/en/economic_and_monetary_union_and_the_euro_en.pdf p.18
ECON I | Juan Estheiman Amaya (ES)
ECON I 2. Relevance and explanation of the problem In 2015, 123 million people in the EU were at risk of poverty3 –roughly a quarter of the total EU population. According to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the gap between rich and poor is at its highest level in 30 years4. But is inequality actually a problem? OECD research5 shows that growing inequality is harmful for long‑term economic growth, given the accumulated loss of potential economic growth that occurs when people from poorer economic backgrounds do not have the resources to develop their education and skills6. Its impact on social cohesion also means that inequality can jeopardise poor collectives’ fundamental rights. Moreover, economic inequality can undermine the fairness of democracy when only a few have disproportionate influence over a country’s political institutions and decision-makers7. So how are fiscal policies relevant in reducing inequality? Tax policies can play a crucial role in two essential and complementary ways8: • By making the post-tax income distribution more equal. This is done when the tax system is designed such that those who have more contribute more; • By raising sufficient revenue to finance investments in public goods that contribute to equal opportunities for all (such as healthcare and education for all and social protection).
A Europe for the many, not the few (2015). Oxfam. https://www.oxfam.org/sites/www.oxfam.org/files/ file_attachments/bp206-europe-for-many-not-few-090915-summ-en.pdf
In It Together: Why Less Inequality Benefits All (2015). OECD. p.13
In It Together: Why Less Inequality Benefits All (2015). OECD.
Brian Keeley (2014): Is inequality good or bad for growth?. OECD Insights. http://oecdinsights. org/2014/12/09/is-inequality-good-or-bad-for-growth/
T.M. Scalon: The 4 biggest reasons why inequality is bad for society (2014). TED. http://ideas.ted.com/ the-4-biggest-reasons-why-inequality-is-bad-for-society/
Deborah Itriago (2011): Owning Development, Taxation to fight poverty. Oxfam. p.4 http://www. oxfamnovib.nl/Redactie/Downloads/English/publications/rr-owning-development-domestic-resources-tax-260911-en.pdf
ECON I | Juan Estheiman Amaya (ES)
ECON I 3. Key actors Member States have the competence to legislate over their fiscal policies within the limits established by the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP) and the Medium-Term Budgetary Objectives (MTOs). Member States also have competence to legislate over their national labour and social policies, amongst others. The European Commission assesses the economic situation within the EU and makes regular recommendations to the Council of Ministers, which is known the Economic and Financial Affairs Council (Ecofin Council) when dealing with economic and financial matters. Guided by the Commission’s proposals, the Ecofin Council ministers are responsible for coordinating and legislating on binding economic policies and taxation matters at an EU and national level. The European Central Bank (ECB)9 is in charge of the monetary policy for the Euro area. Its main objective is to maintain price stability within the Euro area. It has often been criticised for being too inflexible in its restrictive monetary policies10. Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) such as Oxfam or Inequality Watch tackle inequality and poverty through awareness campaigns, research and the elaboration of periodic reports. Their work is especially relevant in lobbying decision-makers to adopt policies in favour of the poor and socially excluded. Furthermore, international organisations such as the OECD or the International Monetary Fund (IMF) serve as platforms for the elaboration of binding formal agreements, such as international treaties, guidelines and recommendations.
4. Key conflicts The fundamental issue in defining a fair society, lies in determining what fairness is. For some, equality is intrinsically desirable and fair. This school of thought, called egalitarianism, is based on the underlying idea that all humans have an equal moral value, and therefore
The European Union explained: Economic and monetary union and the euro (2014). European Commision. https://europa.eu/european-union/file/265/download_en?token=rfviEuT3 p.5
10 Bénassy-Quéré, Gourinchas, Martin, Plantin: A looser monetary policy will favour a weaker euro and a stronger economy (2014). http://voxeu.org/article/why-looser-ecb-policy-would-make-stronger-economy
ECON I | Juan Estheiman Amaya (ES)
ECON I should be treated equally. On the other hand, schools of thought such as utilitarianism, advocate for a greater aggregate utility as being fair and desirable, despite the possibility of some individuals being worse off. Another set of conflicts arise when analysing the current institutional aim and design of the EU. Along with cultural and political reasons, the EU was also born as an economic union, and some experts hold that in many aspects it still remains predominantly so11. While this might be a problem for some, others believe that it is important that the EU further makes the economy its main target. These groups believe that it is necessary to prioritise the free-market principles established in the EU treaties12, price stability and the reduction of national budgetary deficits, as a means to achieve a greater general well-being. Others criticise this stance for requiring some Member States to take austerity measures, which often increase inequality13 by handicapping poorer citizenâ€™s access to health, education or other social services. These critiques often share the need for radical institutional changes in the EU, be it in favour of more integration or more autonomy for Member States. The central topics here are the distribution of fiscal and monetary competences, and the establishment of a potential fiscal union in the EU. Moreover, others believe in keeping the current institutional framework, but hold that the EU needs corrective mechanisms14, such as financial transfers, to fix the imbalances between different Member States and regions. Finally, in achieving fairness through fiscal measures, it is also necessary to assess which fiscal models are more aligned with our own conceptions of fairness. Current taxation models are often criticised for placing a proportionally bigger contribution burden over those
11 Arestis and Sawyer: the problems of the economic and monetary union: is there any escape? (2010). University of Cambrige and University of the Basque Country. http://users.ntua.gr/jea/tua/journl/jea_volume1_issue1_pp1_14.pdf 12 Judge-made public interest grounds. Public Interest. http://publicinterest.info/?q=eu-law/judge-madepublic-interest-grounds 13 Arestis and Sawyer: the problems of the economic and monetary union: is there any escape? (2010). University of Cambrige and University of the Basque Country. http://users.ntua.gr/jea/tua/journl/jea_volume1_issue1_pp1_14.pdf 14 Henry J. Aaron: Eurozone desperately needs a fiscal transfer mechanism to soften the effects of competitiveness imbalances (2015). Brookings. https://www.brookings.edu/opinions/eurozone-desperately-needs-a-fiscal-transfer-mechanism-to-soften-the-effects-of-competitiveness-imbalances/
ECON I | Juan Estheiman Amaya (ES)
ECON I who have less15. This is done by mainly taxing income, taxing consumption proportionately and providing incentives for economic activity in the form of deductions or lower tax rates. Proposed measures to achieve more egalitarian and redistributive tax systems, have ranged from the introduction of Financial Transaction Taxes (FTTs), to removing income taxes and certain tax deductions, or to progressively tax consumption or capital instead16. However, these have often been rejected17 on the basis of prioritising economic growth, competitiveness and efficiency.
5. Measures in place The principle of supremacy establishes that national laws cannot contradict the rules and principles of EU Law. In fiscal matters, the most relevant EU laws are the Fiscal Compact (Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union (TSCG)), the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP) and the Medium-Term Budgetary Objectives (MTO). Non-compliance of the SGP and MTOs can result in economic sanctions imposed by the European Commission. Consolidated legislation aimed at reducing inequality within the Union include the European Regional Development Fund, the Cohesion Fund and the European Social Fund (ESF). In essence, these funds are essentially financial transfer mechanisms from the EU to Member States, regions, certain collectives and individuals. In September 2011, the European Commission proposed the introduction of a harmonised Financial Transaction Tax (FTT). However, given the lack of unanimous support required to legislate on tax measures, the original proposal has stalled. Other proposed measures at an EU level include the Anti-Tax Avoidance Package or the Tax Transparency Package. At a national level, Member States also have national wealth redistribution and social protection policies which aim to protect those who are most in need. These policies can vary
15 A Europe for the many, not the few (2015). Oxfam. p.5 https://www.oxfam.org/sites/www.oxfam.org/ files/file_attachments/bp206-europe-for-many-not-few-090915-summ-en.pdf 16 Theo Francis: Six policies economists love and politicians hate (2012). NPR. http://www.npr.org/sections/ money/2012/07/19/157047211/six-policies-economists-love-and-politicians-hate 17 Worstall, Tim: Why the fair tax will fail (2012). Forbes. http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2012/08/22/why-the-fair-tax-will-fail/#27e5572e64d0
ECON I | Juan Estheiman Amaya (ES)
ECON I radically from country to country given that they are often deeply imbedded in cultural, political and historical institutional processes.
6. Outlook and key questions • In OECD countries, the richest 10% of the population earn 9.6 times the income of the poorest 10 %18, but is inequality actually a problem? • The fundamental part of assessing this topic lies in defining what a “fair society” is. Is it based on an egalitarian distribution of resources or rather on the maximisation of aggregate utility? Why could equality be desirable? In regards to the effective fulfilment of which rights? • What are the problems that arise when using fiscal measures to achieve egalitarian or utilitarian fairness in society? • Can a “fair society” be achieved with the EU’s current institutional aims and structure or would the EU have to reshape itself from an economic union to a more political/social one? • Should the current distribution of financial and monetary competences change or should it remain the same? How about the EU’s budgetary stability laws? • Should this be done by achieving further integration or by reassigning competences back to member states? • And finally, is it possible to maximise economic utility while guaranteeing poorer collectives’ fundamental rights?
7. Essential research links 7.1 General outlines on the topic Oxfam (2015): Increasing inequality plunging millions more Europeans into poverty (https:// www.oxfam.org/en/pressroom/pressreleases/2015-09-09/increasing-inequality-plunging-millions-more-europeans-poverty) Arestis and Sawyer (2010): the problems of the economic and monetary union: is there any escape? (http://users.ntua.gr/jea/tua/journl/jea_volume1_issue1_pp1_14.pdf) OECD (2015): In It Together: Why Less Inequality Benefits All (http://s3.documentcloud.org/ 18 In It Together: Why Less Inequality Benefits All (2015). OECD. p.13
ECON I | Juan Estheiman Amaya (ES)
ECON I documents/2084674/in-it-together.pdf)
7.2 Fiscal policy and monetary policy in the EU European Commission (2016): EU institutional fiscal framework budget, economic monetary affairs (https://europa.eu/european-union/topics_en) and European Commission (2016): EU economic governance (http://ec.europa.eu/economy_finance/economic_governance/index_en.htm) Aaron, Henry J. (2015): Eurozone desperately needs a fiscal transfer mechanism to soften the effects of competitiveness imbalances (https://www.brookings.edu/opinions/eurozone-desperately-needs-a-fiscal-transfer-mechanism-to-soften-the-effects-of-competitiveness-imbalances/) Elliots, Larry (2015): Greeceâ€™s problems are the result of the eurozone having no fiscal policy
cal-policy-germany) Feyrer & Sacerdote (2013): The US may show the EU the way forward on fiscal integration (http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/europpblog/2013/08/26/the-us-may-show-the-eu-the-way-forwardon-fiscal-integration/)
7.3 Insight into taxes and different tax models Chu, Ben (2016): The difference between tax avoidance and tax evasion (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/what-difference-between-tax-avoidance-evasion-david-cameron-offshore-panama-papers-a6974791.html) Worstall, Tim (2014): Bill Gates Points To The Best Tax System, The Progressive Consumption Tax
7.4 FTTs BBC (2013): Q&A: What is the Tobin Tax on financial trading? (http://www.bbc.com/news/ business-15552412) Rogoff, Kenneth
(2011): The wrong tax for Europe (http://blogs.reuters.com/great-de-
ECON I | Juan Estheiman Amaya (ES)
ECON I 7.5 Articles on the impact of inequality The Equality Trust (https://www.equalitytrust.org.uk) Vegter, Ivo (2016): What Oxfam doesnâ€™t explain about its inequality stats (http://www.dailymaverick.co.za/opinionista/2016-01-19-what-oxfam-doesnt-explain-about-its-inequalitystats/#.V5i4hfyKTtQ) Bagchi & Svejnar (2013): Does Wealth Inequality Matter for Growth? The Effect of Billionaire Wealth, Income Distribution, and Poverty (http://ftp.iza.org/dp7733.pdf) Scalon, T.M. (2014): The 4 biggest reasons why inequality is bad for society (http://ideas.ted. com/the-4-biggest-reasons-why-inequality-is-bad-for-society/) Oxfam (2016): An economy for the 1% (https://www.oxfam.org/sites/www.oxfam.org/files/ file_attachments/bp210-economy-one-percent-tax-havens-180116-en_0.pdf)
ECON I | Juan Estheiman Amaya (ES)
COMMITTEE ON ECONOMIC AND MONETARY AFFAIRS II
Investing for society: How should Europe’s banking regulations balance the goals of non-financial returns on investment with economic growth? Chaired by: Nicklas Kövamees (SE)
ECON II 1. Key Terms A Bank is a financial institution licensed to take deposits and give loans. Banks contribute to effective economies by redistributing money from savers (who have a surplus of money) to borrowers (who need to use more money for investing). This video explains how banks work and their role in the overall economy. Banking supervision is carried out by national regulators - and for large EU-based banks by a number of EU agencies - in order to ensure that banks are managed safely and in line with demands set on them by banking regulation. Values-based banking is an approach to banking that strives for “positive financial innovation focused on meeting human needs in the real economy”1. Values-based banking focuses on economic, social and environmental performance using a triple bottom line approach. The Financial return is the profit that an investor experiences from an investment. If the outcome is a loss rather than a profit, it is referred to as a negative return. Non-financial returns, on the other hand, are consequences of investments apart from the investor’s financial returns. For example, this can be social impact, environmental impact, technological development, or even economic growth in society. Impact investing is an investment approach aiming to achieve not only financial returns but also measurable social or environmental impact. This video provides a brief explanation of impact investing. Glossaries on finance and financial regulation: • The European Central Bank: https://www.ecb.europa.eu/home/glossary/html/index. en.html • Investopedia: http://www.investopedia.com/dictionary/
The Global Alliance for Banking on Values (2015): New Fund with Ambition To Provide $1 Billion Capital for New Banking Paradigm. (http://www.gabv.org/our-news/sustainability-finance-real-economies)
ECON II | Nicklas Kövamees (SE)
ECON II 2. Relevance and explanation of the problem In the wake of the financial crisis of 2007 - 2009, little became more apparent than how interdependent the financial sector is with the real economy. In its aftermath followed a sizeable recession, substantially increased unemployment across Europe, and countries such as Greece, Cyprus and Spain were near sovereign bankruptcy. In response regulatory requirements on banks were toughened considerably, eventually leading to the creation of the banking union which transfers much influence over banking regulation and supervision from Member States to the EU. The financial crisis and the following euro crisis have been partly attributed by some2 to excessive short-term focus and risk taking in the financial sector, partly caused by undue focus on financial returns and lacking regard for societal consequences. Some of these critics believe that banks and the financial industry need to take into account non-financial consequences that affect their communities as a whole, rather than focusing only on consequences, primarily financial, for the decision maker itself. At the same time as the financial crisis has shown the social consequences of financial instability, philosophies such as impact investing have been on the rise, aiming to achieve social or environmental objectives besides financial returns.
3. Key Actors Financial institutions such as banks, brokerages, and investment and pension funds typically work to find lucrative investment opportunities in order to secure returns - primarily financial - on their investments. Some financial institutions that share the ambition of also achieving social or environmental impact have joined together, for example forming the Global Impact Investment Network. Citizens and enterprises in the real economy are both suppliers and end users of capital, meaning they wish to either lend out money or borrow it in order to carry out investments. They desire safe and stable financial returns, but can also be affected by the social and environmental consequences of investments.
The International Monetary fund (2014): Risk Taking, Liquidity, and Shadow Banking: Curbing Excess While Promoting Growth. (http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/gfsr/2014/02/pdf/text.pdf)
ECON II | Nicklas Kรถvamees (SE)
ECON II The European Commission proposes banking regulation on a European level. Banking regulation is a shared competence of the EU. Within the Commission, the Directorate-General for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union (DG-FISMA) is responsible for evaluating, initiating, and implementing EU policy in the field of banking and finance. Member States have interests in their overall economies and financial sectors, and are responsible for safeguarding their own and citizensâ€™ social and environmental interests. National differences between Member States - such as the size of their financial sectors - give rise to varying views amongst Member States on the extent of financial sector regulation. Additionally, some international organisations, such as the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and G20, are working to identify aims, objectives and best practice for fostering a responsible and sustainable financial sector.
4. Key conflicts An essential tradeoff is between economic growth, financial returns, and non-financial returns, although there is also much overlap where they can contribute to each other. Longterm financial returns typically go hand in hand with economic growth, whilst shortsightedness and short-term financial returns can often impair economic growth in the long run. Non-financial returns, on the other hand, are difficult to discuss on a general level, as there is no widely agreed-upon definition - and more importantly no widespread way of measuring it. Some examples, however, include producing clean energy, providing low-income-earners with housing, and land conservation. Financial returns can be aligned with non-financial returns, but they can also conflict. For example, investing in a company that produces solar panels may both increase the availability of clean energy and yield good profits if the company does well - and thereby also contribute to economic growth - but at the same time financing loans to low-income earners in order to increase their access to housing may yield poor financial returns as the borrowers have bad creditworthiness. As the investments perceived as most financially profitable are often not those with the best social or environmental impact, a prioritisation of either financial or non-financial returns is necessary. For the vast majority of todayâ€™s financial sector this means that financial returns are typically pursued as a primary aim, over long-term economic growth social and environmental returns. Social and environmental impact are externalities - that is they
ECON II | Nicklas KĂśvamees (SE)
ECON II do not directly affect the decision-maker and are thus often not taken into account. Such non-financial returns can also be of economic nature - for example employment, technological advancement, or even long-term economic growth. Social impact may however not necessarily stand in contrast to financial returns. Research has shown that managing relations to direct stakeholders – such as employees, customers, suppliers and communities – can improve companies’ financial returns. Meanwhile, participating in social issues without relation to stakeholders may decrease financial returns.3 On an investment portfolio level some studies4 also suggest that investment that social responsibility considerations have no negative effect on financial returns, indicating that the tradeoff between social returns and financial returns to some extent may be only perceived rather than actual. A second conflict lies in whose domain banking regulation ought to be: that of the EU or that of the Member States. The banking union having been a significant shift of influence from Member States to the EU, and the United Kingdom having voted to leave the EU, the matter of national sovereignty and addressing national differences is ever topical. Finally, one of the core dilemmas in banking regulation is the trade-off between financial stability and availability of credit. Good availability of credit and financing is of great importance for any modern economy’s health, but at the same time excessive availability of credit may give rise to bubbles and jeopardise financial stability.
5. Measures in place The banking union was initiated by the European Commission after the Eurozone crisis, in order to strengthen the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). It consists of the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM) and the Single Resolution Mechanism (SRM). The SSM comprises the ECB and eurozone countries’ national supervisory agencies, and is tasked with conducting financial supervision to ensure that all financial institutions operate safely and
3 Hillman, Amy; Keim, Gerald (2001): Shareholder value, stakeholder management, and social issues: what’s the bottom line? (http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.650.872&rep=rep1&type=pdf) 4
Reeder, Neil; Colantonio, Antrea (2013): Measuring Impact and Non-financial Returns in Impact Investing. (https://files.lsecities.net/files/2013/10/Measuring_Impact-full-length-Oct-20131.pdf)
ECON II | Nicklas Kövamees (SE)
ECON II in accordance with regulation. The SRM, on the other hand, aims to make banks safe to fail. The SSM and the SRM are both based upon the banking unionâ€™s single rulebook. The single rulebook, also lays down how much capital banks need to hold in relation to their assets, implementing the Basel III accord and aims to tackle the partly short-sighted and risk-prone culture within the financial sector. Although not part of the banking union, the EU also requires certain large companies to publicly disclose information on for example environmental, diversity and social matters.
Principal diagram of banking supervision within the banking union.5 Other than the aspect of financial stability, current banking regulation addresses non-financial aspects of finance to very little extent. However, some frameworks such as Impact Reporting and Investment Standards (IRIS), created by the Global Impact Investment Network, exist to help investors quantify and measure social and environmental impact. 5
Financial Times (2012): First step to banking union. (http://im.ft-static.com/content/images/14b9368e-45 b2-11e2-b7ba-00144feabdc0.img?width=853&height=891) (edited)
ECON II | Nicklas KĂśvamees (SE)
ECON II 6. Outlook and key questions • To what extent can, and should, investors and financial institutions be made or incentivised to take non-financial returns into account in investing, and to what extent should doing so be the investors’ own responsibility? • How compatible is the business model of today’s financial sector with the practice investing for non-financial returns? • Are impact and sustainable investment practices best supported at an investor level, or at an investee level? • How can a balance be struck between EU and Member State influence over banking regulation and supervision?
7. Essential Research Links 7.1 Videos Euronews (2013): What a European banking union could do for the future of Europe. (https:// www.youtube.com/watch?v=r7hgwsJy9l4) Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell (2015): Banking explained – money and credit. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fTTGALaRZoc) World Economic Forum (2014): Mainstreaming Impact Investing. (https://www.youtube. com/watch?v=_dBydk09L9s) Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta(2015): The Fed Explains Bank Supervision and Regulation (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=psahnlcr-C0)
7.2 Articles, publications and websites The Economist (2014): Impact Investing at an inflection point. (http://ubsphilanthropy.economist.com/impact-investing-at-an-inflection-point-2/) The UNEP inquiry into the design of a sustainable financial system (2015): Values based banking – bringing the voice of the citizen into finance. (http://unepinquiry.org/wp-content/ uploads/2015/04/Values_Based_Banking.pdf)
ECON II | Nicklas Kövamees (SE)
ECON II The UNEP inquiry into the design of a sustainable financial system (2015): The financial system we need - aligning the financial system with sustainable development - policy summary.
file=011830_summary_1) The Wall Street Journal (2016): Does socially responsible investing make financial sense?
cial-sense-1456715888) Reeder, Neil; Colantonio, Antrea (2013): Measuring Impact and Non-financial Returns in Impact
Oct-20131.pdf) Chamberlain, Michael (2013): Socially Responsible Investing: What You Need To Know. (http://www.forbes.com/sites/feeonlyplanner/2013/04/24/socially-responsible-investing-what-you-need-to-know/#5f9b0fa35863) Gelfand, Sarah (2012): Why IRIS? (http://ssir.org/articles/entry/why_iris) European Council/Council of the European Union (2016): Banking Union. (http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/policies/banking-union/)
ECON II | Nicklas Kรถvamees (SE)
COMMITTEE ON ECONOMIC AND MONETARY AFFAIRS III
Assessing the growth paradigm: As GDP growth is currently a primary policy objective in Europe, how should the economies of the future define and measure the pursuit of economic success in happy, sustainable, and prosperous societies? Chaired by: Rebecca Smith (FR)
ECON III 1. Key Terms The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is the monetary value of all goods and services produced within a country during a specific time period1. Prosperity is most conventionally defined as material success, but can also be viewed more broadly as flourishing of humans. Wellbeing can be defined simply as the state of being comfortable, healthy, or happy, and in policy is often equated with life satisfaction. It is increasingly being viewed as a policy objective, although it is hard to measure because there is no unique accepted definition. Growth is linear when it refers to a certain amount each year, and exponential when it refers to a certain rate each year. Policy often focuses on GDP growth rates2, thus favouring exponential growth in material output. The carrying capacity is the number of people, animals, or crops which can be supported in a region without environmental degradation3.
Investopedia (2016): “Definition of GDP” (http://www.investopedia.com/terms/g/gdp.asp)
St Gallen Symposium (2016): “Growth - the good, the bad, and the ugly” (http://www.symposium.org/topic)
Oxford Dictionaries (2016): “Definition of carrying capacity” (http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/carrying-capacity?q=carrying+capacity)
ECON III | Rebecca Smith (FR)
ECON III 2. Relevance and explanation of the problem “Anyone who believes that exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist.” - Kenneth Boulding, 1973, during a hearing of the US Congress.
Until 1934, there was no standardised way to measure economic activity. To fill this gap, the economist Simon Kuznets developed GDP4 as a measure of all goods and services produced during a given period, thus estimating the volume of an economy5. Since then, it has been developed into a powerful statistic to measure economic performance throughout the world, having a huge impact on politics and policy. GDP growth in particular “has become the universal reference point for measuring economic success”6. However, GDP is deeply criticised: from statistical debates on its measurements and common revisions, to a complete rejection of GDP and growth as a policy goal7. GDP growth in the developed world has plateaued since the beginning of the financial crisis, and some even argue that the financial crisis took many by surprise because GDP is a deeply flawed measure of economic performance8. One of the biggest critiques to GDP and growth was articulated in the 1972 book “Limits to Growth”, commissioned by the Club of Rome, which explores the effects of continuing GDP growth thanks to computer models. It develops 12 different scenarios, assuming various increases in GDP, population, and technological advancements. Although growth is in theory unlimited, it depends on physical 4
The Economist (2015): “Wrong number?”. (http://www.economist.com/blogs/buttonwood/2015/06/economics)
Widuto, Agnieszka (2016): Briefing Beyond GDP: Regional development indicators (http://www.europarl. europa.eu/RegData/etudes/BRIE/2016/577953/EPRS_BRI(2016)577953_EN.pdf)
St Gallen Symposium (2016): “Growth - the good, the bad, and the ugly” (http://www.symposium.org/topic)
Kliemann, Christiane (2014): “Can companies do better by doing less?” (https://www.theguardian.com/ sustainable-business/2014/aug/01/companies-degrowth-sustainable-business-doing-less)
Stiglitz, Joseph (2009): Report by the Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress (http://www.insee.fr/fr/publications-et-services/dossiers_web/stiglitz/doc-commission/ RAPPORT_anglais.pdf)
ECON III | Rebecca Smith (FR)
ECON III and finite resources, and this study tested their limits. The results were not encouraging: only four scenarios avoided overshoot of the Earth’s carrying capacity, that is, going beyond the limits, and the resulting collapse of output and population9. A 2016 review of the limits to growth debate shows that many of the results and analyses still hold true, 40 years later. However, the main update is large environmental degradation, which was underestimated in the original analysis. The “planetary boundaries” concept in particular highlights that we are endangering our capacity to sustain prosperous societies. The paradigm of GDP growth as a primary policy objective and economic target goes beyond concerns of sustainability alone. It entails a strong cultural and social impact, as some would argue people have come to identify as consumers rather than workers, putting consuming as their primary goal. This also means that policies tend to focus on increasing consumption rather than improving the quality of work10. Tim Jackson, an English economist, goes as far as to say that this systematically privileges „one narrow quadrant of the human soul and [leaves] the others unregarded“11. Deciding whether or not to use GDP growth as a policy objective does not only have to do with economic policy, but also how we view human nature and life in society.
3. Key actors All actors who define, measure and operate within the pursuit of economic success are key actors in this issue. The decision on what measure to use and how to use it depends on the surrounding political narrative, which goals leaders want their policies to fulfill, and which indicators they use to design, implement and assess policies. In this sense, the use of GDP growth as an objective is a political decision. For this reason, all those involved in setting economic policy objectives, particularly national governments via political leaders and policy-makers, are central pieces of the puzzle. 9
Jackon, Tim and Webster, Robin (2016): “Limits Revisited - a review of the limits to growth debate” (http://limits2growth.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Jackson-and-Webster-2016-Limits-Revisited. pdf)
10 Chang, H.J. (2013, 22 December): “There’s a new jobs crisis – we need to focus on the quality of life at work”. (http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/dec/22/jobs-crisis-quality-of-life-at-work) 11 Jackson, Tim (2010): An Economic Reality Check, in: TED Talks (http://www.ted.com/talks/tim_jackson_s_ economic_reality_check)
ECON III | Rebecca Smith (FR)
ECON III Prominent International organisations such as the World Bank, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) or the European Central Bank (ECB) also make the decision to use GDP or GDP growth in their assessments, acting as an influence in the furthering of the GDP paradigm. Citizens are another important actor, as their understanding and perspective on economic success and GDP growth will end up shaping policy objectives. It appears that many citizens do not seek GDP growth in itself, but rather good living conditions12. The academic community and civil society are big users and producers of statistics, as well as central in addressing the public and creating a narrative of what is a happy, sustainable and prosperous life. In particular, the Club of Rome is at the origin of “Limits of Growth”. The media also plays an important role in appropriately informing the public of these issues.
12 New Economics Foundation (2014): “Beyond GDP: From measurement to European economic governance”, pp. 9-10 (ec.europa.eu/social/BlobServlet?docId=12760&langId=en)
ECON III | Rebecca Smith (FR)
ECON III 4. Key conflicts How to define and measure the pursuit of economic success?
The value of GDP Growth to define and measure economic success is contested
There is no consensus on what the alternative should be, neither theoretically nor as a practical measurement
Measures of wellbeing or quality of life should be prioritised in economic policy
GDP growth is the best economic policy goal
Alternatives exist, but they differ in their measurement of human wellbeing, and tend to be complex indicators based on multiple dimensions
GDP is relatively easy to measure, has a long history, political narrative, statistical development, and is concrete
Economic success should be measured in a different way
There is institutional resistance to change, in particular the influence of established networks of advice and interest
Driving forces away from GDP Growth
Restraining forces of GDP Growth
Within alternatives to GDP, a few key conflicts remain: GDP Growth should be altogether discarded in favour of another indicator
We should strive towards degrowth, a downscaling of production and consumption that increases human well-being Driving forces away from Growth
GDP growth should be complemented by social and environmental measures We should strive towards sustainable growth: a decoupling of growth from environmental effects is possible and should be pursued Restraining forces of Growth
ECON III | Rebecca Smith (FR)
ECON III 5. Measures in place The Lisbon Treaty sets the fundamental values of the EU as pursing the wellbeing of its citizens13, thus setting the basis for an approach to policy “beyond GDP”. The European Commission’s DG Environment launched the “Beyond GDP” initiative in 2007 to develop clear indicators that better measure wellbeing and prosperity. It provides an extensive list of indicators that aim to complement or replace GDP. In 2009, feeling discontent with the economic state of affairs created by the 2008 financial crisis, Nicolas Sarkozy, then President of France, created a commission of leading economists to develop new measures of Economic Performance and Social Progress14. This is often referred to as the “Stiglitz commission”, from the name of its Nobel Prize winning chairperson. It critically analysed GDP as an indicator and presented a series of recommendations.
13 European Union, (2007): “Treaty of Lisbon, Articles 3, 9 and 11” (http:// http://europa.eu/lisbon_treaty/ full_text/) 14 Stiglitz, Joseph (2009): Report by the Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress (http://www.insee.fr/fr/publications-et-services/dossiers_web/stiglitz/doc-commission/ RAPPORT_anglais.pdf)
ECON III | Rebecca Smith (FR)
ECON III Several alternatives to GDP have been developed, of which some of the main ones are: Human Development Index (HDI)
Sustainable EcoSocial Progress nomic Development Index Assessment (SEDA)
World Happiness Report
Developed by the • Boston Consulting Group (BCG)
Developed by the NGO Social Progress Imperative
Complements GDP with measures of life expectancy and educa-
Evaluates how ef- • fectively countries convert wealth into well-being relative to other
Measures social progress inde- • pendent of economic development
Developed by the United Nations Development Programme
Measures wellbeing along ten dimensions, grouped in three elements: economics, investments and sustainability
Is an index composed of three • dimensions (basic human needs, foundations of wellbeing, opportunity), with four components each
Developed by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) Happiness is a subjective measure, the answer to a poll on life satisfaction Other indicators such as life expectancy, GDP, social support and freedom, are used to explain the reported happiness levels
These indicators are already being successfully implemented. For example, the Social Progress Index is being used in Paraguay to monitor its development goals15. The EU uses several social and environmental indicators to guide and monitor its policies and strategies, such as the Sustainable Development Indicators16.
15 Social Progress Imperative (2015): “#Progreso Social Paraguary; Reinventing the Future” (http://www. socialprogressimperative.org/progreso-social-paraguay-reinventing-the-future/) 16 Widuto, Agnieszka (2016): Briefing Beyond GDP: Regional development indicators, p.4 (http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/BRIE/2016/577953/EPRS_BRI(2016)577953_EN.pdf)
ECON III | Rebecca Smith (FR)
ECON III 6. Outlook and Key Questions “What we measure affects what we do; and if our measurements are flawed, decisions may be distorted” - Stiglitz report.
7. Essential Research Links Jackson, Tim (2010): An Economic Reality Check, in: TED Talks (http://www.ted.com/talks/ tim_jackson_s_economic_reality_check) Widuto, Agnieszka (2016): Briefing Beyond GDP: Regional development indicators (http:// www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/BRIE/2016/577953/EPRS_BRI(2016)577953_ EN.pdf) New Economics Foundation (2014): Beyond GDP: From measurement to European economic governance (ec.europa.eu/social/BlobServlet?docId=12760&langId=en)
ECON III | Rebecca Smith (FR)
ECON III Chang, H.J. (2013, 22 December): “There’s a new jobs crisis – we need to focus on the quality of life at work”. (http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/dec/22/jobs-crisisquality-of-life-at-work) Jackon, Tim and Webster, Robin (2016): “Limits Revisited - a review of the limits to growth debate”
ster-2016-Limits-Revisited.pdf) St Gallen Symposium (2016): “Growth - the good, the bad, and the ugly” (http://www.symposium.org/topic) Labitsch, Schima (2016): Deconstructing growth: the why, what, and how any alternative to growth must consist of, in: St Gallen Symposium (http://www.symposium.org/sites/default/ files/2016%20Winner%20Essay_Labitsch.pdf) Stiglitz, Joseph (2009): Report by the Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress (http://www.insee.fr/fr/publications-et-services/dossiers_web/ stiglitz/doc-commission/RAPPORT_anglais.pdf) -> Note: please only read the executive summary The Economist (2015): “Wrong number?”. (http://www.economist.com/blogs/buttonwood/2015/06/economics) Green, Michael (2014): What the Social Progress Index can Reveal about your country, in: TED talks (http://www.ted.com/talks/michael_green_what_the_social_progress_index_can_ reveal_about_your_country#t-39409) Beal, Douglas (2015): An alternative to GDP that focuses on Wellbeing, not just wealth, in: TED institute (http://www.ted.com/watch/ted-institute/ted-bcg/douglas-beal-an-alternative-to-gdp)
ECON III | Rebecca Smith (FR)
COMMITTEE ON EMPLOYMENT AND SOCIAL AFFAIRS
Sustainability in a modernised economy: With 87% of workers worldwide unhappy in their jobs, how should more modern, healthy, and sustainable workplaces be made available in Europe? Chaired by: Anastasia Ntracha (GR)
EMPL 1. Key Terms A sustainable business has minimal negative impact on the local and global environment, society and economy while making profit. Engaged employees are passionate with their work and move the company forward. An ergonomic workplace is intended to maximise productivity by minimising fatigue and discomfort. A Life Course Approach suggests that the interaction of multiple protective and risk factors throughout peopleâ€™s lives determines their health outcome.
2. Relevance and explanation of the problem Sustainability is a three-legged stool,1 which stands on the factors of people, planet, profit. Maintaining the balance among all three sectors is crucial for the future of modern societies. Unfortunately, a poll by Gallup has found that 87% of people worldwide are dissatisfied in their workplace2. With the latest technological boom we step towards an increasingly dynamic labour market that demands constant high rates of performance and competences from the employees. However, there is a direct correlation between happiness in the workplace, productivity and financial performance, as well as the quality of output and service. In fact, happy workers correlate with increased sales by 37%, productivity by 31%, and task accuracy by 19%3. Employees who are happy also cost less as the creation of a working environment that focuses on wellbeing can save up to 16 billion euros annually just by reducing the occurrence of workplace illness4. Drawing inspiration from many good company
Paul Hogendoorn (2012):A three-legged stool: Balancing the three pillars of sustainability (http://www. automationmag.com/columns/industry-watch/a-three-legged-stool-balancing-the-three-pillars-of-sustainability.html)
Susan Adams(2013): Unhappy Employees Outnumber Happy Ones By Two To One Worldwide (http:// www.forbes.com/sites/susanadams/2013/10/10/unhappy-employees-outnumber-happy-ones-by-two-toone-worldwide/#35790be02f29)
Shawn Achor (2011) : The Happiness Dividend (https://hbr.org/2011/06/the-happiness-dividend) National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) (2015): Healthy workplaces make for happy and effective employees (https://www.nice.org.uk/news/article/healthy-workplaces-make-happy-and-effective-employees)
EMPL | Anastasia Ntracha (GR)
EMPL practices in the area, or countries like Denmark where job satisfaction is as high as 94%5, what steps can be taken towards more sustainable and healthy workplaces, and which are the key factors of ensuring employee happiness?
3. Key actors The International Labour Organization (ILO) is the UN agency that brings together governments, employers and workers representatives of 187 Member States to set equal labour standards for all. The World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialised agency of the United Nations concerned with the international public health. As far as Europe is concerned, the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) is the only organisation to represent and ensure the wellbeing of European workers. On the employersâ€˜ side there are three organisations: BUSINESSEUROPE (private firms), European Association of Craft, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (UEAPME) (small businesses) and European Centre of Employers and Enterprises providing Public Services (CEEP) (public employers). The European Commissionâ€˜s Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion contributes to the development of a sustainable and inclusive European social model and Employment Strategy. The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) is the EU information collection and dissemination agency for occupational safety and health (OSH).
4. Key conflicts 4.1 Health and motivation In recent decades, employees experience more pressure upon their cognitive, social and psychological skills and are often on the verge of dealing with the burnout syndrome while disengaging from job-related activities6. Two of the main problems in the workplace, ab5
EUObserver (2014): Danes the happiest EU workers (https://euobserver.com/news/123932)
Melinda Smith (2016): Burnout Prevention and Recovery (http://www.helpguide.org/articles/stress/preventing-burnout.htm)
EMPL | Anastasia Ntracha (GR)
EMPL senteeism and presenteeism7, are linked to the mental health8 and the overall morale9 of the workers. However, one-third of managers in Europe say they lack the resources needed to tackle depression at work10 and promote a culture of physical and mental wellbeing11, in correlation with the life-course approach12. Furthermore, motivation is essential for harnessing the full potential of human resources. From the creation of an ergonomic and an environmentally friendly working environment, to the establishment of an incentives13 and reward system14, there are many routes for the employers to express their support towards their employees. However, the traditional managerial styles discard social connection and collaboration15 while strict hierarchical structures favour only top-down evaluation and exclude employees from the decision-making process16. On that note, Jean-Claude Juncker and Martin Schulz, in 2014, supported setting a European minimum standard on employeesâ€™ board-level representation, but nothing has been established yet17.
7 While absenteeism is the habit of not going to work, presenteeism is being present at the workplace but not being productive 8
Europa (2008): Report on the Health of People of Working Age (http://ec.europa.eu/health/social_determinants/docs/final_full_ecorys_web.pdf)
9 Morale generally relates to the feeling of individualâ€™s comfort, happiness and satisfaction. 10 ENWHP e-guide for employers to promote mental health in the workplace: (http://www.enwhp.org/fileadmin/downloads/8th_Initiative/MentalHealth_Broschuere_Arbeitgeber.pdf ) 11 National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) (2015): Healthy workplaces make for happy and effective employees (https://www.nice.org.uk/news/article/healthy-workplaces-make-happy-and-effective-employees) 12 WHO: A Life- Course Approach to Health (http://www.who.int/ageing/publications/lifecourse/alc_lifecourse_training_en.pdf) 13 Management Study Guide: Motivation incentives (http://managementstudyguide.com/motivation_incentives.htm) 14 Felipe Furtado (2012): Improving Organizational Performance Through Reward Systems (http://cdn. intechopen.com/pdfs/37077/InTech-Improving_organizational_performance_through_reward_systems.pdf) 15 Forbes (2012): What Maslow missed (http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevedenning/2012/03/29/whatmaslow-missed/#76a59796455a) 16 Jeff Boss (2014): Why Hierarchy is Outdated (http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffboss/2014/06/06/why-hierarchy-is-outdated-the-long-overdue-need-for-organizational-adaptability/#6ea56b912bc7) 17 Chapter 8 of the ETUC towards sustainable European employee involvement (https://www.etui.org/content/download/21252/177496/file/Chapter+8.pdf)
EMPL | Anastasia Ntracha (GR)
EMPL 4.2 Technology and new challenges Technology has changed the nature and the organisation of the workplace as it can lead to more flexible working schedules by giving the option of virtual meetings, part-time employment and telework18, to name a few. However, difficulties emerge amongst geographically-dispersed working teams and the feeling of being constantly “plugged in” threatens the work-life balance19 of employees. Furthermore, employers have to address the challenges of an aging workforce20 which can offer valuable knowledge and expertise, but which also requires special working arrangements to combat ageism21 and the label of a declining productivity22. Therefore, this technological boom paired with the challenges of a diverse workforce necessitates lifelong learning, training and skills development to secure employees’ competitiveness and flexibility within their field23.
18 Forbes(2013): How Technology Has Changed Workplace Communication (http://www.forbes.com/sites/ unify/2013/12/10/how-technology-has-changed-workplace-communication/#1360f7214562) 19 Work-Life Balance is a person’s control over responsibilities between his workplace, family, friends and self. 20 IBM Business Consulting Services (2005): Addressing the challenges of an aging workforce (http://www. aia-aerospace.org/assets/smc_wp-workforce.pdf) 21 Ageism is discrimination or unfair treatment based on a person’s age 22 Age-friendly workplaces (2015): (http://www.seniors.gc.ca/eng/working/fptf/promoting.shtml) 23 EPSU(2012) Lifelong learning, training and skills’ development (http://www.epsu.org/article/lifelong-learning-training-and-skills-development)
EMPL | Anastasia Ntracha (GR)
EMPL 5. Measures in place The WHO has developed the Global strategy on human resources for health: Workforce 2030 and the Workers’ health: global plan of action 2008-2017 that promote universal and equitable health coverage while identifying the main criteria for a healthy workplace24. In the same light, ILO, being the only tripartite UN agency with government, employer, and worker representatives, has introduced the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development to achieve the 8th Millennium Development Goal on decent work and economic growth25, while working towards the creation of sustainable enterprises.26 On a European level, responsibility for employment and social policy lies primarily with national governments, and the EU funds and supports their efforts since these areas27 lie under the supporting competences of the EU28. The European Commission provides guidance towards modernised welfare and employment support systems through the Social Investment Package and funding mechanisms like the European Social Fund (ESF) and the EU Programme for Employment & Social Innovation (EaSI). Furthermore, the Europe 2020 strategy aims to increase employment of the population aged 20-64 to 75%. The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) has launched the “Healthy Workplaces for All Ages” campaign, within its Strategic Framework, to promote work-life balance with the help of specially tailored e-guides for both employers and employees. Lastly there are numerous networks and platforms within the EU that assist the promotion
24 WHO (2011): Five Keys to Healthy Workplaces (http://www.who.int/occupational_health/5_keys_EN_web. pdf?ua=1) 25 ILO: Goal 8 of the MDG on Decent Work and Economic Growth (http://www.ilo.org/global/topics/sdg2030/goal-8/lang--en/index.htm) 26 ILO (2014): Sustainable enterprises creating more and better jobs (http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/ public/---ed_emp/---emp_ent/documents/publication/wcms_175537.pdf) 27 Europa Employment and Social Affairs (http://europa.eu/pol/socio/index_en.htm) 28 Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, Article 5 (http://europa.eu/pol/pdf/qc3209190enc_002. pdf#page=53)
EMPL | Anastasia Ntracha (GR)
EMPL of good practices in the field and enhance the communication and collaboration of different stakeholders such as the European Network for Workplace Health Promotion (ENWHP), European Workplace Innovation Network (EUWIN) and the EuroHealthNet.
6. Outlook and Key Questions All in all, many people would like a recipe or a roadmap towards working sustainably. Although we can get inspired by different practices, each workplace must find its own version based on the challenges it faces and by protecting its most valuable capital: its people. In the end, great results are made by happy people. • Which are the key elements that determine the happiness of the employees? • How can we redesign a flexible workspace to suit the modern needs of employees? • How can we use technology and innovation towards a sustainable work environment? • What can we do to safeguard the physical and mental health of workers? • How can we increase the motivation and engagement levels and influence the mentality of the employees?
7. Essential Research Links TED Talk (2013): Yves Morieux: As work gets more complex, 6 rules to simplify (http://www. ted.com/talks/yves_morieux_as_work_gets_more_complex_6_rules_to_simplify#t-697738) TED Talk (2012): Shawn Achor: The happy secret to better work (https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=fLJsdqxnZb0) Forbes (2013): Unhappy Employees Outnumber Happy Ones By Two to One WorldWide (http://www.forbes.com/sites/susanadams/2013/10/10/unhappy-employees-outnumberhappy-ones-by-two-to-one-worldwide/#2826b1282f29) GreenBiz
blog/2007/09/18/sustainability-workplace) Fast Co. Exist (2014): 5 Simple Office Policies that Make Danish Workers Way More Happy
EMPL | Anastasia Ntracha (GR)
EMPL than Americans (http://www.fastcoexist.com/3029110/5-simple-office-policies-that-makedanish-workers-way-more-happy-than-americans) The Danish Trade Union Movement’s Centre for Competence Development (2004): The sustainable workplace (http://www.kubix.dk/pdf/167-UK.pdf) David J. Cord (2012): FINLAND HAS EUROPE’S BEST WORKPLACE (http://finland.fi/business-innovation/finland-has-europes-best-workplace/) IBM Business Consulting Services (2005): Addressing the challenges of an aging workforce (http://www.aia-aerospace.org/assets/smc_wp-workforce.pdf) The European Commission (2010): Europe 2020, A European strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth (http://ec.europa.eu/eu2020/pdf/COMPLET%20EN%20BARROSO%20 %20%20007%20-%20Europe%202020%20-%20EN%20version.pdf) HR Leadership Forum to Target Depression in the Workplace (2014): Depression in the Workplace in Europe (http://www.depressionalliance.org/media/files/publications/2014/05/08/ TARGET_Report_Final.pdf)
EMPL | Anastasia Ntracha (GR)
COMMITTEE ON ENVIRONMENT, PUBLIC HEALTH AND FOOD SAFETY I
Health for an ageing society: As Europe faces dramatic demographic changes, how should medical care, prevention, and research address this issue in the framework of sustainable health care schemes? Chaired by: Dana KristiÄ na Skrupska (LV)
ENVI I 1. Key Terms A Life Course Approach refers to an approach which recognises the temporal and social dimension of health and ageing throughout life, stressing the importance of all ages and stages of life of individuals. By studying an individual‘s life experience between different generations for clues it leads to to current patterns of diseases and health issues. An ageing society is a society where death rates are higher than birth rates causing the population to age faster. Whereas demographics are the dynamic balance of the population with regard to frequency and capacity for increase or decline. Chronic diseases are diseases that do not go away for a longer period of time, they also cannot be avoided by vaccines or cured with the help of medication. Chronic diseases are more common amongst older people. Healthcare are efforts made by trained professionals, working in the healthcare industry, to maintain or restore health. Health care policies refers to decisions, plans and actions that are initiated to achieve concrete health care goals within the society.
2. Relevance and explanation of the problem In 2016, the European Union (EU) hosted a population of 508 million inhabitants1, third largest in the world after China and India. However, Europe is now facing a major demographic change where the society is ageing faster than healthcare systems and national policies are adapting. By 2050, around one-third of the European population will be 60 or older.2 The phenomenal increase in average life expectancy of the 20th century ranks as one of the society’s greatest achievements. A steady increase in life expectancy started with a baby boom after World War II, which is one explanation to the dramatically ageing society. Other factors worth mentioning are the development of the healthcare system worldwide that promotes the victories against infectious and parasitic diseases, as well as providing 1 The European Union (2016): Living in the EU. (http://europa.eu/about-eu/facts-figures/living/index_ en.htm) 2
Forum Europe (2015): Roadmap for sustainable healthcare. (http://www.eu-ems.com/summary.asp?event_id=254&page_id=2247)
ENVI I | Dana Kristiāna Skrupska (LV)
ENVI I cure to many chronic diseases. An alarming factor to the ageing society is the demographic changes caused by the low fertility rates where the average number per women (the current fertility rate) is low, at 1.5 children within the EU.3 However, the low fertility numbers have been influenced by many different sectors like education, finance, health, to name a few, as well as the changing values of young Europeans. The growing number of chronic diseases, like cancer, heart diseases and diabetes, are the most common of all health problems amongst Europeans, affecting 8 out of 10 Europeans . This accounts for 75% of healthcare spending, equaling €700 billion annually. It is also important to mention other chronic diseases, like dementia (in 60-80% of cases it is known as Alzheimer‘s disease), obesity and arthritis that do not always lead to death but make the life of elderly people more difficult by requiring regular medical supervision as well as expensive medication to prevent the disease from growing. These chronic diseases are creating big challenges for health and social systems, such as overburdened nursing homes, insufficient amount of healthcare workers, lack of “elder-friendly” public spaces, etc.4 Such spending in the health system leads to economic pressures. What this then results in is urgent reevaluation of health sector financing, as well as social, education and research priorities in the whole of Europe.
3. Key actors The World Health Organization (WHO) is working alongside with national governments and other partners to ensure the highest reachable level of health for all people. The WHO‘s primary role is to coordinate and direct international health issues within the United Nation‘s system. Some areas that the WHO works within include strengthening health systems, promoting health through the life-course approach, ensuring universal health coverage (UHC). By implementing the Innovation Union strategy, the European Commission is planning to increase European competitiveness in the field of innovation. The aim of this programme is to address the weaknesses in the European research and development (R&D) sector. The
EUR-Lex (2006): Commission Communication - The demographic future of Europe – From challenge to opportunity. (http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/ALL/?uri=CELEX:52006DC0571)
4 Forum Europe (2015): Roadmap for sustainable healthcare. (http://www.eu-ems.com/summary.asp?event_id=254&page_id=2247)
ENVI I | Dana Kristiāna Skrupska (LV)
ENVI I European Commission has determined active and healthy ageing as the primary challenge amongst all European countries. It is up to the national governments of the Member States to administer healthcare and to ensure its accessibility for the society.5 In 2006 European Demography Forum (EDF) was founded and is held every two years since. The main aim of the EDF is to give the policymakers, stakeholders and experts from all over Europe the opportunity to share their knowledge and to discuss what measures should be taken into account to address demographic change. Their work is later on summarised and presented in the European Demography Report that sets out the main facts and figures concerning demographic change and discusses appropriate policy responses. The European Steering Group on Sustainable Healthcare (ESG) is composed of senior academics, politicians, patients and industry. Their aim is to create a platform for discussion on concrete ideas as well as recommendations on how to ensure a long-term sustainability. The result of their work is compiled in a pan-European White Paper that would contribute to the discussions about sustainable healthcare. Health R&D refers to the investigative activities to improve existing healthcare products and procedures or to develop new ones.The hope is to find a cure for diseases, by performing clinical trials and publishing research publications to inform the society about the discoveries in the field of healthcare. Research industries are bound to work together with health professionals worldwide, who have a central role in improving the access and the quality of healthcare for society. At present, health R&D efforts worldwide are uncoordinated, and cross-country financing and collaboration is rare. To combat this, the WHO has developed the Global Observatory on Health Research and Development which hopes to provide information on what health R&D is being conducted, who is conducting it, where and how, and as such, identify gaps and opportunities for health R&D to help define priorities for new R&D investments6. Healthcare is usually understood as the responsibility of the doctors working at hospitals but the changes in the modern healthcare system involves everyone including patients and their families. With the medical innovations changing at a rapid pace, it is important for 5
European Union (2016): Division of competences within the European Union - Health. (http://europa.eu/ pol/health/index_en.htm)
WHO Global Observatory on Health Research and Development users guide (2016): WHO (http://www. who.int/research-observatory/portal/Global_Observatory_on_Health_RD_User_Guide.pdf)
ENVI I | Dana KristiÄ na Skrupska (LV)
ENVI I everyone involved, including the patients and families, to be well aware of the responsibilities and roles they each have. It is important to have well-informed patients that contribute to the positive change of the medical system and are aware of the treatment they should receive.
4. Key conflicts
Population age structure by major age groups, 2004 and 2014 (% of the total population).
The ageing population in Europe is an issue based on many factors. One of the main reasons is the ageing demographic, meaning that the proportion of older people is increasing as the result of significant economic, social and medical advancements giving Europeans the opportunity to live a longer life. It is predicted that the demand for superior healthcare services will keep increasing, however, the existing services will prove unable to handle these needs. 7
Eurostat Statistics Explained (2015): Population age structure by major age groups, 2004 and 2014 (% of the total population). (http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/File:Population_age_ structure_by_major_age_groups,_2004_and_2014_(%25_of_the_total_population)_YB15.png)
ENVI I | Dana KristiÄ na Skrupska (LV)
ENVI I Central to the issue, are five interconnected policy areas which need to be resolved, namely family-career balance, employment, research and development, education, and finance. Part of the issue which has resulted in this dramatic demographic change, is the lack of preventive measures. Stay-at-home-mothers are not as common as half a century ago, and so it is common that couples will prioritise their careers over having children. What actions could be taken to incentivise childrearing (also known as demographic renewal), and how should Europe work to better allow for a family life alongside a working life? Providing more workplaces in Europe would encourage a diversity in placements, ensuring job opportunities for all age groups. To ensure a healthy work environment and prevent ageism within the society, what could be the possible workplaces where people of all ages could work together? It is particularly important to invest into research and development of healthcare, as well as education of practitioners, both to provide enough qualified specialists not only in the healthcare field but also to promote the importance of the research industry in Europe that until now has a lot of hidden potential. What measures should be taken to encourage European countries to invest more in the healthcare research field? It is important to ensure the older generation of Europeans with adequate pensions, healthcare and long-term care to make their lives easier at a respectable age.8 What sustainable public funding models could be used, and where should funding be prioritised?
5. Measures in place In May 2016, the WHO adopted the Global Strategy and Action Plan on Ageing and Health, which builds on existing activities to cover five areas of action: commitment to healthy ageing, aligning health systems with the needs of older populations, developing systems for providing long-term care, creating age-friendly environments and improving measurement, monitoring and understanding.9 During the first EDF an European Demography Report was issued that discussed the de8
European Commission (2016): Demographic analysis. (http://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=502)
World Health Organization (2016): The Global strategy and action plan on ageing and health. (http:// who.int/ageing/global-strategy/en/)
ENVI I | Dana KristiÄ na Skrupska (LV)
ENVI I mographic change that had not been acted upon since 2006, leading to insufficient work and attention in the field of demographic changes. The pilot scheme European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing (EIP on AHA) aims to increase the average healthy lifespan of Europeans by two years till 2020. This aim is to be reached by implementing measures that improve health and life quality, especially for older people, that ensure sustainable and efficient health and social care systems, and that enhance the competitiveness of EU industry through expansion in new markets. The European Commission staff working document Investing in health that was published in 2013, shows how investments in health systems contribute to reaching Europe 2020 goals. The demographic future of Europe is based on a strategy set forth by the European Council. The European Commission issued this communication already in 2006 with the aim to provide guidelines for possible policy changes within the EU and on the national level to manage the difficult challenges of ageing. As one of the goals described,the needs to reach sustainable public finances in order to ensure quality healthcare, long-term care, and adequate pensions, are paramount.
6. Outlook and key questions The healthcare systems around the world and within Europe need to respond to the challenges of these demographic changes. Policymakers, health professionals and patients should work together to be able to adapt to the needs of the population and become more sustainable. This collaborative effort will be beneficial not only to help and improve the health care system to promote healthy ageing, but also to stabilise the EU‘s changing economy. Questions to consider: • Should the EU try to encourage Member States to improve their own health care systems? Since Member States themselves implement health care would it be possible for the EU to impact it in an effective way? • How would you describe the health care system in your country?
ENVI I | Dana Kristiāna Skrupska (LV)
ENVI I 7. Essential research links European Commission (2016): Demographic analysis. (http://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=502) Forum Europe (2015): Roadmap for sustainable healthcare, opening video that explains the current situation. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TgUazAjINdc) World Health Organization (2016): Ageing explained. (http://www.who.int/topics/ageing/ en/) The World Health Organization (2016): World report on ageing and health. (http://www. who.int/ageing/publications/world-report-2015/en/) The European Commission (2015): Sustainable healthcare is practicable if Europe works together. (https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/blog/sustainable-healthcare-practicable-if-europe-works-together) Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (2015): Chronic Disease Overview. (http://www. cdc.gov/chronicdisease/overview/) The European Commission (2015): Active & Healthy ageing - A European Innovation Partnership. (http://ec.europa.eu/research/innovation-union/pdf/active-healthy-ageing/leaflet. pdf#view=fit&pagemode=none) The Economist Intelligence Unit (2009): Healthcare strategies for an ageing society. (http:// graphics.eiu.com/upload/eb/Philips_Healthcare_ageing_3011WEB.pdf) European Union (2016): Division of competences within the European Union - Health. (http:// europa.eu/pol/health/index_en.htm) Ted Talks (2005): Aubrey de Grey - A roadmap to end ageing. (https://www.ted.com/talks/ aubrey_de_grey_says_we_can_avoid_aging?language=en)
ENVI I | Dana KristiÄ na Skrupska (LV)
COMMITTEE ON ENVIRONMENT, PUBLIC HEALTH AND FOOD SAFETY II
The two-sided coin of nuclear energy: How should the crossborder risks posed by nuclear power plants be regulated within and on Europeâ€™s borders whilst ensuring energy security? Chaired by: Eleftheria-Irida Karasmanoglou (GR)
ENVI II 1. Key Terms Atoms are tiny particles of matter that make up every object in the universe, which cannot be broken up by chemical means. Nuclear energy is energy in the nucleus (core) of an atom. Nuclear energy can be used to make electricity, but first the energy must be released. It can be released from atoms in two ways: Nuclear fusion is the process where energy is released when atoms are combined or fused together to form a larger atom. This is how the sun produces energy. Nuclear fission is the process where atoms are split apart to form smaller atoms, releasing energy. A nuclear power plant (NPP) is a thermal power station in which the heat source is a nuclear reactor. The heat is typically used to generate steam, which drives a steam turbine connected to an electric generator which produces electricity1.
2. Relevance and explanation of the problem Every day, the world becomes more dependent on energy. Nuclear power provides over 11% of the worldâ€˜s electricity as continuous, reliable base-load power, without carbon dioxide emissions, operating in 56 countries with a total of 240 research reactors. There has been a global debate on the use of nuclear power since its origins, which will continue, as its use projects many costs as well as benefits2. There is a clear polarisation between EU countries on the matter, with some countries showing faith in nuclear energy (France, Belgium), whilst others have decided to phase out (Germany, Sweden). Central to the debate are the cross-border risks, where the main concern is safety and security risks of NPPs. Every country relies on its own self-interest on the matter, and as a result high tensions have arisen between otherwise allied states, especially in cases where NPPs are close to the countryâ€™s borders. Those countries positive to nuclear energy believe in its prospect of sustainable energy supply, whilst those opposed hold a deep-seated fear of nuclear accidents, radiation linkages, and terrorist attacks. Having
Pocket Guide: Nuclear Power Reactor Characteristics http://www.world-nuclear.org/our-association/publications/pocket-guides/pocket-guide-nuclear-power-reactor-characteristics.aspx
What The End Of Nuclear Power Would Actually Mean For The World, Gail E Tverberg, OilPrice.com http://www.businessinsider.com/what-would-be-the-impact-if-we-discontinued-nuclear-energy-2011-3
ENVI II | Eleftheria-Irida Karasmanoglou (GR)
ENVI II this kind of imbalanced regional position around nuclear power also creates political and ideological tensions between states, especially between those phasing out and the others still using and developing nuclear. From a broader perspective, although the EU is trying to harmonise the range of policies surrounding nuclear energy, the realisation of a truly European energy policy still depends on the aligned wills of its Member States3, which is often a difficult ask. All the while, as Europe‘s energy consumption evolves, EU electricity demand is expected to continue growing faster than the overall energy supply. Insufficient base-load capacity may endanger the stability of the EU’s electricity network unless countermeasures on a large scale are introduced.
3. Key Actors The United Nations have a prominent role in nuclear energy management. The UN General Assembly’s first resolution established the UN Atomic Energy Commission to deal with the issues raised by the discovery of atomic energy. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) works with its member states (all European states are members) and multiple partners worldwide to promote the safe, secure and peaceful use of nuclear technologies4. The European nuclear policy is governed by the Euratom Treaty, which was signed in 1957 and remains very much the same since5, due to the sensitivity surrounding nuclear power in European public opinion until this day. The European Commission deals with nuclear activities from three angles; safety, safeguards and security6. Taking a step further towards safe nuclear initiatives, and building on the Commission’s three angles, the International Framework for Nuclear Energy Cooperation (IFNEC) is a smaller partnership, aiming towards the utilisation of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes in a proficient way.
Dave Keating (6/2/2015): Energy ministers clash over nuclear power http://www.politico.eu/article/energy-ministers-clash-over-nuclear-power/
International Atomic Energy Agency: Mission statement https://www.iaea.org/about/mission
Fact Sheet of the European Union about Nuclear Energy http://www.europarl.europa.eu/atyourservice/ en/displayFtu.html?ftuId=FTU_5.7.5.html
European Commission DG Energy: Nuclear Energy http://ec.europa.eu/energy/en/topics/nuclear-energy
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ENVI II What is more, Member States play a role in forming a policy for nuclear energy, as energy falls under the shared competencies of the EU, and each national policy can transform EUâ€™s energy mix concerning nuclear power.
4. Key Conflicts Central to this issue is whether nuclear power and the burden of nuclear waste is future-worthy. The situation facing the nuclear industry globally is challenging, especially after the Fukushima accident7. In several European countries, nuclear power faces public opposition and complacency. There are tough economic conditions for operators, not only in some deregulated energy markets, such as in parts of the USA, but also in European countries, where electricity prices have decreased due to a growing share of renewable technologies which are subsidised, regardless of whether their electricity is needed8. China continues to grow as a nuclear power hub, taking advantage of its stable and forward-looking policy regime, and Japan, although having the infrastructure, has put its nuclear power potential on hault9. One side of the coin, the pro-nuclear entities, suggest that this form of power is safe, sustainable, has life expectancy of several years and is one of the least environmentally damaging forms of electricity generation10. On the other side, the voices against nuclear generation highlight the risks that both humanity and the environment will face in case of a malfunction or a disaster. Nuclear fission can be very hazardous and the resultant nuclear waste is notoriously difficult to safely dispose of. Also, safety and security threats are present, with the recent example of one of the suspects in Paris Attack having connections with
Sweeney, Dave (2016): Fukushima five years on, and the lessons we failed to learn https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/mar/11/fukushima-five-years-on-and-the-lessons-we-failed-to-learn
Renewable Energy and Electricity (Updated 20 June 2016) http://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/energy-and-the-environment/renewable-energy-and-electricity.aspx
9 BBC News (11/8/2015): Japan restarts first nuclear power plant since Fukushima http://www.bbc.com/ news/world-asia-33858350 10 Environment and Health in Electricity Generation (updated November 2013) http://www.world-nuclear. org/information-library/energy-and-the-environment/environment-and-health-in-electricity-generation. aspx
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ENVI II nuclear power plants11. Keeping nuclear on the energy mix of the country is also a debate, since importation and exportation of energy and its costs is a matter concerning all Europe and not just the countries by themselves12. Lastly, although transport is a minor cost in the nuclear fuel cycle, lack of harmonisation and over-regulation in authorisation create problems for cross-border transport.
11 Rรถnsberg, Andrea (2016): A nuclear terrorism threat made in Belgium? http://www.dw.com/en/a-nuclearterrorism-threat-made-in-belgium/a-19191458 12 The Economics of Nuclear Power (Updated July 2016) http://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/ economic-aspects/economics-of-nuclear-power.aspx
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ENVI II 5. Measures in place Worldwide, there is an interest in making nuclear energy safe and secure. Therefore a number of international agreements in the form of conventions have been established, such as the Joint Convention on Nuclear Safety and the Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management. What is more, the United Nations Security Council resolution 1540 was adopted in 2004 to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons, including the establishment of appropriate controls over related material. The EU lacks a common energy policy, as energy falls under its shared competencies. Trying to ease concerns surrounding the delivery of Russian gas via Ukraine, the EU launched the energy security strategy in 2014, which layed out measures such as increasing energy efficiency and indigenous energy production. Also, the European Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET-Plan)13 aims to accelerate the development and deployment of low-carbon technologies. With its Energy 2050 Roadmap policy paper, the EU tried to set the goals for a secure, competitive and decarbonised energy system, with positive steps taken for nuclear energy as well.
6. Outlook and Key Questions Every form of electricity generation has its strengths and weakness and future electricity generation will need a range of options, in order to meet marketsâ€™ demands. The two-sided coin for nuclear energy is flipped, and its landing will determine Europeâ€™s future energy mix. In other words, this committee has to take a stance on whether nuclear power generation is a viable option for European countries, or if there should be a phase-out period with transitions to alternative power methods. In addition, in favour or against nuclear power, this committee will also have to discuss the framework in which Europe and the EU should start operating, providing a viable strategic plan, in order for safe, secure and sustainable power to be met with the needs of every European citizen. 13 Strategic Eneregy Technology Plan https://ec.europa.eu/energy/en/topics/technology-and-innovation/ strategic-energy-technology-plan
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ENVI II 7. Essential Research Links Nuclear power faces uncertain future in Europe, Deutsche Welle (article) http://www.dw.com/ en/nuclear-power-faces-uncertain-future-in-europe/a-19215273 World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2016 - Global Launch in Tokyo, 13 July 2016 (website) http://www.worldnuclearreport.org/ World Nuclear Industry Status as of 1 January 2016: Mind the China Effect (update) http:// www.worldnuclearreport.org/UPDATE1-World-Nuclear-Industry-Status-as-of-1-January2016-Mind-the-China.html Partnership for Global Security (website) https://partnershipforglobalsecurity.org/ World Energy Outlook,Presentation (2015) (video) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8ESBtcS000&feature=youtu.be Policies for the future: 2011 Assessment of country energy and climate policies (pdf assessment)
ment_of_energy_and_climate_policies_executive_summary_2011_WEC.pdf World Energy Needs and Nuclear Power, updated June 2016 (article from the infomation library)
world-energy-needs-and-nuclear-power.aspx Nuclear power worldwide - An error or the future? Deutsche Welle (video) http://www. dw.com/en/nuclear-power-worldwide-an-error-or-the-future/av-19281067 What people really think about nuclear energy, September 2014, FORATOM (polls pdf) http:// www.foratom.org/public/topical-publications/8596-opinion-poll/file.html New nuclear grid connections double - now policy support is needed to deliver more, 2 June 2016, World Nuclear Association (Press Statements) http://world-nuclear.org/press/ press-statements/new-nuclear-grid-connections-double-now-policy-sup.aspx
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COMMITTEE ON WOMEN’S RIGHTS AND GENDER EQUALITY Equal pay for equal work: With women receiving on average 16% lower wages than men, how should progress be made towards income equality for women? Chaired by: Can Elvanıoğlu (TR)
FEMM 1. Key Terms Income is the money received, especially on a daily basis, for work or through investment. Wage is a fixed regular payment earned for work or services. Gender Pay Gap (GPG) refers to the difference in average wages between men and women. Unadjusted Gender Pay Gap is a measure for the GPG and represented as the difference between average male and female wages divided by average wages earned by men. Glass Ceiling is an unacknowledged barrier to being promoted above a certain level in a hierarchy. Mostly, women and minorities are affected by a glass ceiling.
2. Relevance and explanation of the problem Consider Jack and Jessica, a twin. The two have clearly been given birth with equal opportunities, but the educational and career expectations for boys and girls are different. By the time they grow up Jack is expected to earn 16%1 more than Jessica. Once they reach the age of 65, Jessica is expected to receive 38%2 less pension payments than Jack. In Europe, generally one of the world’s most equal continents, the pay gap is still a major problem. Women tend to earn less and and have higher risk of poverty at old age, despite their increasing economic activity and progress in securing better education and training. The gender pay gap is a complex issue caused by a number of interrelated factors. Its root causes extend well beyond the question of equal pay for equal work. The gap between women’s level of education and professional development is significant.3 Currently, women
Eurostat (2016). Gender pay gap statistics. Available at: http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics- explained/index.php/Gender_pay_gap_statistics
“Working Document on the need for a European Union strategy to end and prevent the Gender Pension Gap.” European Parliament. Available at: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=COMPARL&reference=PE-584.177&format=PDF&language=EN&secondRef=01
Chamie, Joseph (2014). Women more educated than men but still paid less. Available at: http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/content/women-more-educated-men-still-paid-less-men
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FEMM account for 60% of university graduates in the EU4, yet they are overrepresented in sectors with a lower wage level (e.g. health care, education, and public administration), while sectors with higher wages are mainly dominated by men.5 What is more, equal access to financial resources would bring benefits to the economy and to society in general. It can help to reduce poverty and increase women’s earnings during their lifetimes.6 It is also essential for companies to create quality jobs which in turn will help to build a positive working environment where all workers are valued. Closing the gender pay gap can also tackle skill shortages by benefiting from women’s skills and talents that are generally under utilised. Moreover to reach the Europe 2020 targets, namely the new strategy for jobs, and smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, closing the gender pay gap and further encouraging equality in workplaces is essential.
3. Key actors Closing the Gender Pay Gap requires the contribution from all stakeholders, which are mainly the national governments, the European Commission, the European Parliament and European Social Partners7. Among these actors, national governments have most power to implement policies. The Advisory Committee on equal opportunities for women and men, which is composed of representatives from Member States, social partner organisations and civil society, advises the Commission on policy and legislative initiatives. The European Commission and its Directorate General for Justice and Consumers (DG JUST) is responsible for implementing the Commission’s “Strategic Engagement for Gender Equality”. The Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM) of the European Parliament is responsible for equal opportunities policy, including the promotion of equality between men and women with regard to labour market opportunities and treatment at 4 European Commission DG Justice: Equal economic independence http://ec.europa.eu/justice/genderequality/economic-independence/index_en.htm 5
European Commission (2010). Strategy for equality between women and men. Available at: http://eur-lex. europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:52010DC0491&from=EN & European Commission DG JUST (2014). Tackling the gender pay gap in the European Union. Available at: http://ec.europa.eu/justice/ gender-equality/files/gender_pay_gap/140319_gpg_en.pdf
European Commission DG JUST (2014). What are the benefits of closing the gender pay gap? Available at: http://ec.europa.eu/justice/gender-equality/files/gender_pay_gap/140319_gpg_en.pdf
7 The social partners are the bodies representing employers and employees.
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FEMM work8. The Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council configuration (EPSCO) is the equivalent body in the Council of the EU. Working accordingly to its objectives set by EPSCO and FEMM, European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) is an autonomous body, whose central role is addressing the challenges of and promoting equality between women and men9. Moreover, international organisations are also involved and working to close the gender wage gap. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) and Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) have been publishing reports that set goals and offer possible solutions for national governments.
4. Key conflicts The Gender Pay Gap is a complex issue caused by a number of interrelated factors. It is yet to be solved and one of the main challenges remains not having enough information on the situation. Pay secrecy prevents others from accessing information on wages and increases the effect of bargaining in wage negotiations. Men tend to be better at bargaining10 which makes them more likely to have higher wages behind closed doors, along with women’s disadvantages in bargaining like potential pregnancy, maternity leave, and longer parental leave . Women are traditionally assigned the role of child-keeping and this results in big challenges. One is the overrepresentation of women in part-time or informal work like care for elderly or care of home. The overrepresentation in part-time11 or informal work reduces the average wage a women gets considerably compared to that earned by men. Another challenge is the aforementioned maternity and longer parental leave, where women are paid while not working in the company. Maternity leave and longer parental leave thereby make 8
“Annex VI: Powers and responsibilities of standing committees”. Rules and Procedure of the European Parliament. European Parliament, July 2016. Available at: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getLastRules.do?language=en&reference=ANN-06
European Institute for Gender Equality: About EIGE http://eige.europa.eu/about-eige
10 Bargaining power increases in accordance with the ability to walk away. Men, for whom it is common to withdraw from their family responsibilities therefore have a higher bargaining power. Rosenbluth, Iverson. The Structure of Patriarchy. 11 According to 2012 data of Eurostat, 34.9% of working women are at part-time jobs. http://ec.europa.eu/ justice/gender- equality/files/gender_pay_gap/140319_gpg_en.pdf
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FEMM women less favourable for leadership positions, and reduces their bargaining power in wage negotiations This leads to debates on whether child care is a responsibility of childbearing mothers or a shared responsibility between the parents. On a larger scale, it is debatable whether the parents should be responsible for taking care of the development of their children full-time, or whether the development of children can also be a responsibility of the government12. The latter could be realised by providing funding for early childcare facilities. One other factor of the gender pay gap is the underrepresentation of women in higher paid decision making positions. This has a significant impact on the gender pay gap, yet how to tackle it remains unclear. Some say that over the time, the gender representation on boards will naturally become more equal. On the other hand, incentives like gender quotas remains another possible solution.
12 For example by ensuring the quality of childcare facilities or public educational institutions
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FEMM 5. Measures in place
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FEMM 6. Outlook and Key Questions Closing the gender pay gap is since long on the European agenda. Despite past efforts the general question remains as how to ensure that women and men have equal access to economic resources? Often, encouraging trends and a collective effort of the EU; Member States’ and NGOs’ efforts; potential benefits of gender equality in the workplaces are heard from officials. If all are working to close the existing gap, why does the issue still exist? What more should be done? Accordingly, will closing the gap be possible if radical measures are taken? Similarly, will it be possible to close the gap if one or more actors are not in place? If so, which actors’ are resisting change and for what reasons?
7. Essential Research Links EurActiv.com (2016): Commission to review stand on gender pay gap this year (http://www. euractiv.com/section/social-europe-jobs/news/commission-to-review-stand-on-gender-paygap-this-year/ ) Eurostat (2016): Gender pay gap statistics (http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/Gender_pay_gap_statistics ) Advisory Committee on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men (2015): Opinion on how to overcome occupational segregation (http://ec.europa.eu/justice/gender-equality/files/opinions_advisory_committee/151125_opinion_occ_segregation_en.pdf ) European Commission Directorate General of Justice and Consumers (2015): Strategic Engagement for Gender Equality 2016 - 2019 (http://ec.europa.eu/justice/gender-equality/ document/files/strategic_engagement_en.pdf ) Crepaldi, Chiara; Loi, Daniela; Pesce Flavia; Samek, Manuela (2015): Evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of the strategy for equality between women and men 2010 -2015 (http://ec.europa.eu/justice/gender-equality/files/documents/151201_strategy_evaluation_ en.pdf) Luxton, Emma(2015): Which European countries have the biggest gender pay gaps? (https:// www.weforum.org/agenda/2015/12/which-european-countries-have-the-biggest-genderpay-gaps/ )
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FEMM Advisory Committee on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men (2009): Opinion on the effectiveness on the current legal framework on equal pay for equal work or work of equal value in tackling the gender pay gap (http://ec.europa.eu/social/BlobServlet?docId=3176&langId=en ) EU Justice and Consumers (2012): A short story about the gender pay gap (https://www. youtube.com/watch?v=hoAWOlL2RIo ) Rosadoctv (2016): Gender Pay Gap In Europe (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWNoQKbqPO4 )
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COMMITTEE ON CIVIL LIBERTIES, JUSTICE AND HOME AFFAIRS I
Building new opportunities: After the arrival of approximately one million refugees in Europe in 2015, how should European states and civil society cooperate to provide adequate education, training and integration for asylum holders? Chaired by: Onur Can Uรงarer (TR)
LIBE I 1. Key Terms The term refugee refers to people escaping their country of nationality or residence due to conflict or a well-founded fear of persecution and are not able to avail themselves of the protection of their own country. Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights refers to the right to asylum as „Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution“. On the other hand, immigrants are individuals who have willingly moved to and are living in a country which they are not native to, seeking better social and economic conditions. There is no formal and internationally accepted legal definition of integration. According to UNESCO, integration means both providing stability to a social group and also the process of acculturation - making someone equal or fitting to the rest of society1. Civil society refers to individuals and organisations that are independent from the government and essential for the success of the integration process, facilitating the communication between refugees and societies through social projects and initiatives.
2. Relevance and explanation of the Problem Throughout the world, many and diverse conflicts take place and affect more and more people every year. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the global forced displacement of people hit a record high in 2015, with 65.3 million people all around the world being forced to move from their homes; of which 40.8 million are internally displaced and 21.3 million are refugees2. More than one million of these refugees fled to Europe during the same year, most of them from Syria3. After being forced to leave their country due to internal conflicts, most refugees arrive in Europe without speaking the language of the country of arrival, without having a proper place to live, and without a job.
UNESCO - Social Transformations and Intercultural Dialogue, Integration: http://www.unesco.org/new/ en/social-and-human-sciences/themes/international-migration/glossary/integration/
UNHCR Global Trends Report (20 June 2016) (http://www.unhcr.org/news/latest/2016/6/5763b65a4/ global-forced-displacement-hits-record-high.html)
BBC (4 March 2016): Migration to Europe explained in seven charts (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-34131911)
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LIBE I Member States have different action plans to address migration and integrate refugees in their societies through language courses, workshops or social housing programs. However, these plans were not originally created to respond to such a massive influx of refugees and have been unable to cope with Europe’s largest amount of refugees since World War 2. To ensure societies remain prosperous and peaceful, each of its members needs to have good living conditions and experience a sense of belonging. Yet, according to research by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)4, immigrants tend to have more difficulties than natives in regards to proper housing, civic engagement, social cohesion or access to education. Additionally, the poverty rate of a third-country (non-EU) individual living in the EU is twice as high as that of a EU citizen5. European states and civil society need to further cooperate in order to create a wider plan for a holistic integration of refugees in societies.
3. Key Actors The Directorate-General of Migration and Home Affairs (DG HOME) is the responsible body of the European Commission that aims at creating EU-wide guidelines on legal migration while also keeping in mind the interconnection between migration and integration6. Although the DG Home incentivises and supports the promotion of integration measures across the EU, the creation of integration policies falls into the national competences of individual Member States. Member States’ Governments therefore have a central role7 in creating inclusive, cohesive and prosperous societies through both adopting legal acts and cooperating with civil initiatives when it comes to integrating refugees. The UNHCR is an agency of the United Nations (UN) which works to ensure everyone in need has the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge when escaping persecution and war.
OECD/European Union (2015): Indicators of Immigrant Integration 2015, Settling In. Page 11. (http:// www.keepeek.com/Digital-Asset-Management/oecd/social-issues-migration-health/indicators-of-immigrant-integration-2015-settling-in_9789264234024-en#page1)
European Commission, DGs - Migration and Home Affairs - Integration: http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/home-affairs/what-we-do/policies/legal-migration/integration/index_en.htm
Article 79 (4) of the Treaty of the Functioning of the European Union (http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=celex%3A12012E%2FTXT)
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LIBE I It monitors the situation of refugees all around the world and takes action in order to facilitate their transition to a safe environment. The UNHCR is involved in building reception camps to supply housing or schools for the children refugees by working closely with governments, NGOs and civil initiatives. NGOs have an essential role when it comes to integration8. Organisations such as Save the Children or Red Cross provide assistance to refugees in a wide spectrum of areas including the provision of language courses, legal advice and psychological help. They also focus on native members of society via anti-discrimination workshops and diversity programs.
4. Key Conflicts One of the most vital elements towards the successful integration of refugees is language. It is of the utmost importance for a refugee to learn the language of the country they move to, since it will directly influence their employment chances and communication with natives, enabling friendships and allowing them to become an active part of society. Language skills are also necessary for the education of refugees. Keeping in mind that nearly half of Syrian refugees are children9, successful methods to ensure their inclusion in the educational system of Member States must be taken into consideration. Language skills and the education of refugees directly correlates to their employment chances. According to a report published by UNHCR10, finding a job turned out to be the most important variable that makes refugees feel integrated. Europe’s population has been steadily ageing11 and refugees could potentially be a way to minimise this problem by bringing youth to societies and their workforce. Yet, youth unemployment rates throughout the
Source 1: Szczepaniková, Alice (May 2010): Between the state and clients – NGOs working with refugees and migrants in the Czech Republic. (http://migrationonline.cz/en/between-the-state-and-clients) Source 2: Valutis, Tadas (Spring 2013): Understanding the role of NGOs for immigrant integration in Sweden. (http://lup.lub.lu.se/luur/download?func=downloadFile&recordOId=3801181&fileOId=3801188)
UNHCR (20 July 2016): Syria Regional Refugee Response. (http://data.unhcr.org/syrianrefugees/regional. php)
10 UNHCR (September 2013): A New Beginning, Refugee Integration in Europe. (http://www.unhcr. org/52403d389.html) 11 Tomkiw, Lydia (October 2015): Refugee Crisis 2015, Could Syrians Help Europe‘s Aging Population Problem? (http://www.ibtimes.com/refugee-crisis-2015-could-syrians-help-europes-aging-population-problem-2091181)
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LIBE I EU are very high, reaching to 18.6%12, which is why some employers can be sceptical when hiring refugees. A major obstacle refugees face while trying to find a job is the recognition of qualifications and previous experience. Most of the refugees who fled their country were already employed there. However, when applying for a job in EU, their experience or qualifications are rarely accepted or recognised by employers. Even qualified refugees who were lawyers, engineers or teachers in their own countries state that their skills are disregarded and their job applications were rejected due to the differences between the training of their country of origin and the local job market13. Most Member States require training for refugees in order to validate their degree and, for example, Belgium requires refugees who are doctors to go through an education of up to 8 years again in medical school14. Another crucial factor that highly impacts the wellbeing of refugees is housing. After having been granted refugee status, they need to leave the reception camps assigned to them immediately and start looking for a job and a home. The negative perception of landlords towards refugees creates further difficulties in finding one though, and, the aforementioned difficulty in employment results in a lack of secure income, which directly correlates with the ability to afford the rent of a house. Furthermore, in order to find affordable accommodation, refugees often move to cheaper and socially deprived areas with relatively worse living conditions, which makes them more vulnerable to mental and physical illnesses15. Lastly, because of cheaper prices, there’s an inherent risk these suburban areas become ghettos, which can result in further isolation of refugees from society. Factors such as education, language skills, employment and housing are the basic ground steps for refugee integration. But even after having successfully managed to secure these basic but challenging steps, the further integration of refugees in societies through NGOs, school events, community activities, sports and cultural events is as essential to create prosperous and inclusive societies that accommodate, provide for and welcome newcomers.
12 Statista (May 2016): http://www.statista.com/statistics/266228/youth-unemployment-rate-in-eu-countries/ 13 UNHCR (September 2013): A New Beginning, Refugee Integration in Europe. Page 80. (http://www.unhcr. org/52403d389.html) 14 Van Wassenhove, Luk N. (September 2015): What’s Europe’s Long-Term Plan for Integrating Refugees? (https://hbr.org/2015/09/whats-europes-long-term-plan-for-integrating-refugees) 15 UNHCR (September 2013): A New Beginning, Refugee Integration in Europe. Page 112. (http://www. unhcr.org/52403d389.html)
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LIBE I 5. Measures in Place
16 17 18 19 20 21
16 Memorandum to OECD by the Swedish Ministry of Integration and Gender Equality (2008) (http://www. oecd.org/sweden/41706122.pdf) 17 Dettmer, Markus (2015): Refugees are an opportunity for German Economy. (http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/refugees-are-an-opportunity-for-the-german-economy-a-1050102.html) 18 UNHCR (September 2013): A New Beginning, Refugee Integration in Europe. Pages 81-82. (http://www. unhcr.org/52403d389.html) 19 Council of Europe (2015): Building the future on diversity. (https://rm.coe.int/CoERMPublicCommonSearchServices/DisplayDCTMContent?documentId=090000168048e623) 20 Ibid. 21 Refugees Welcome Web Platform (2016) (http://www.refugees-welcome.net/)
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LIBE I Although some civil initiatives are creative and innovative, their results still only apply to a small scale. On a larger scale, the European Commission has recently adopted the Integration Action Plan22 23
, which lays out some guidelines for Member States to address the challenges faced by refugees in
their integration process.
6. Outlook and Key Questions After having received more than one million refugees only in 2015, Europe needs to figure out a way to successfully integrate refugees in their societies in order to keep them cohesive, well-functioning, harmonious and sustainable. With a strong plan, both the EU countries and the refugees can benefit from each other a lot; however, there are many obstacles in the way which can hinder this achievement, including the aforementioned bureaucratic and technical problems during the integration process: namely in language, education, employment or housing areas; and also more ideological dangers such as racism or populism. • What should be the long-term plan of the EU to integrate refugees? • How can the EU tackle the difficulties in the education, language, housing and employment of the refugees? • Keeping in mind that integration is primarily a national competence, how should the EU act in order to coordinate and direct the work of the Member States?
7. Essential Research Links: 7.1 Articles and Newspapers: Dettmer, Markus (2015): Refugees are an opportunity for German economy. (http://www. spiegel.de/international/germany/refugees-are-an-opportunity-for-the-german-econo-
22 Action Plan on the integration of third country nationals adopted by the European Commission (June 2016) (http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/home-affairs/what-we-do/policies/european-agenda-migration/proposal-implementation-package/docs/20160607/communication_action_plan_integration_third-country_nationals_en.pdf) 23 Visual by the Commission about the Action Plan on the integration of third country nationals (June 2016) (http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/home-affairs/what-we-do/policies/european-agenda-migration/background-information/docs/20160607/factsheet_action_plan_integration_third-country_nationals_en.pdf)
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LIBE I my-a-1050102.html) Van Wassenhove, Luk N. (September 2015): What’s Europe’s long-term plan for integrating refugees? (https://hbr.org/2015/09/whats-europes-long-term-plan-for-integrating-refugees) Kamall, Syed (2016): Successful refugee integration begins with community outreach. (http://europesworld.org/2016/03/10/successful-refugee-integration-begins-community-outreach/#.V6MRwcci2e9) Voice of America (2016): Model migrant town claims success. (http://www.voanews.com/ content/model-migrant-town-germany/3156428.html) Dingwall, Blair (2016): Syrian refugees integration hailed a success in Aberdeen. (https:// www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/news/aberdeenshire/924377/syrian-refugees-integration-hailed-a-success-as-councillors-urged-to-back-further-integration/) Oltermann, Philip (2016): Germany unveils integration law for refugees. (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/apr/14/germany-unveils-integration-law-for-refugees-migrants)
7.2 Reports UNHCR (September 2013): A New Beginning, Refugee Integration in Europe. Pages 81-82. (http://www.unhcr.org/52403d389.html) OECD/European Union (2015): Indicators of Immigrant Integration 2015, Settling In. (http:// www.keepeek.com/Digital-Asset-Management/oecd/social-issues-migration-health/indicators-of-immigrant-integration-2015-settling-in_9789264234024-en#page1)
7.3 Videos Betts, Alexander (2016): TED Talk - Our refugee system is failing. (https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=kLIfeGflNp8) Kurzgesagt (2015): European Refugee Crisis. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RvOnXh3NN9w)
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COMMITTEE ON CIVIL LIBERTIES, JUSTICE AND HOME AFFAIRS II
Leaving no one behind: Building on the Council of the EUâ€™s first agreement on LGBTI equality in 2016, how should LGBTI rights be protected in Europe whilst acknowledging and addressing public hostility and reservations of individual states? Chaired by: Laure Steinville (FR)
LIBE II 1. Key Terms The acronym LGBTI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex) refers to a diverse group of people who do not conform to traditional notions of male and female sexuality and gender identification. They are also sometimes referred to as ‘sexual, gender and bodily minorities‘. A lesbian/gay is a woman/man whose enduring physical, romantic or emotional attraction is to a person of one‘s own sex. An individual physically, romantically or emotionally attracted to both men and women is referred to as ‘bisexual’. Transgenders are individuals whose gender identity or gender expression differs from the sex they were assigned at birth. Finally, being intersex means that the individual shows bodily variations from culturally established standards of maleness and femaleness, including variations in chromosomes, gonads and genitals1. The aforementioned definitions of one’s sexuality are still ignored by many, or face a great deal of reservations and hostility: homophobia deals with the irrational hatred and fear of lesbian and gay people, but also applies to a general disapproval of LGBTI people2. Homophobic actions include prejudice, discrimination, harassment, and acts of violence towards the LGBTI community. There are various branches to homophobia, such as transphobia, or biphobia, respectively the fear or hatred of transgender or bisexual people3.
2. Relevance and explanation of the problem In 2016, the EU is legally divided between more progressive Member States having recognised equal marriage and adoption rights (mostly in the North, West4), and Member States having a more traditional LGBTI legislation, where equal marriage and adoption rights are considered as criminal (mostly in the South, East).
UNHCR Emergency Handbook (2016): Lesbian, Gay, Transgender, Bisexual and Intersex (LGBTI) persons. (https://emergency.unhcr.org/entry/62590/lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender-and-intersex-lgbti-persons)
UCDavis (2016): LGBTQIA Resource Center Glossary. (http://lgbtqia.ucdavis.edu/educated/glossary.html)
With the Netherlands, Spain, Belgium, Luxembourg, Sweden, Ireland, the United Kingdom and Denmark as amongst the world’s 10 most gay friendly countries. Source: World Economic Forum (2016): These are the 10 most gay-friendly countries. (https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2015/07/what-are-the-10-mostgay-friendly-countries/)
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LIBE II The following graph clearly outlines this east/west divide on the issue of LGBTI rights, and that so far efforts have been focused on same-sex couples rights, with transgenders and intersex people being still at the start of their quest for equal rights5: Public opinion-wise, although an apparent majority (71%) of Europeans think that lesbian, gay, and bisexual people should have the same rights as heterosexual people, only a minority of respondents agreed with the same statement in 10+ Member States, such as Slovakia (36%), Romania (36%), and Latvia (42%)6. The roots of such disapproval of LGBs equal rights are mostly based on the wish to ‘protect traditional family values’. We observe that across Europe 77% of 15-24 year olds agree that there is nothing wrong with a sexual relationship between two persons of the same sex, compared to 57% of those aged 55 or over. Furthermore, those identifying as part of a religious minority are more likely to reject (45%) measures
Csaky, Zselyke (2014): Despite shifts in public opinion, there is still an ‘East-West divide’ on LGBT rights in Europe. (http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/europpblog/2014/09/16/despite-shifts-in-public-opinion-there-is-still-aneast-west-divide-on-lgbt-rights-in-europe/)
Pew Research Center (2013): Eastern and Western Europe divided over gay marriage, homosexuality. (http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2013/12/12/eastern-and-western-europe-divided-over-gay-marriage-homosexuality/) & European Union (2015): Special Eurobarometer 437 “Discrimination in the EU in 2015”, p.50. (http://www.equineteurope.org/IMG/pdf/ebs_437_en.pdf)
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LIBE II Nonetheless, having more progressive LGBTI legislation and more LGBTI-friendly public opinion does not make a country a homophobia-free zone: hate crime against LGBTI people remains widespread as France has for instance witnessed a rise in homophobic verbal and physical attacks before and in the aftermath of the adoption of same-sex marriage in 20138. This challenges the assumption that the road to LGBTI equality is a linear one, and thickens the wall of defiance and rejection9.
3. Key Actors The three main EU institutions, the European Parliament (EP)10, the Council of the EU11, and the European Commission12, have all agreed over the past two years on the need to enhance LGBTI equality. Yet, their good will still needs the approval of individual Member States as such legislation is purely a supportive EU competence. The EU Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA)13 alongside Transgender Europe (TGEU)14 play a crucial role in communicating on a frequent basis on LGBTI rights developments, and analysing their state in the EU15. In addition, EU institutions are closely working with International Organisations, such as the Council of Europe, the World Economic Forum (WEF) (with this year’s Davos forum being
Chrisafis, Angélique (2013): France’s gay marriage bill fought over on streets as much as in parliament. (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/apr/21/france-gay-marriage-bill)
EurActiv (2014): Breaking through the rising tide of conservatism in Europe. (http://www.euractiv.com/ section/social-europe-jobs/opinion/breaking-through-the-rising-tide-of-conservatism-in-europe/).
10 European Parliament (2014): EU Roadmap against homophobia and discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender equality. (http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//TEXT+TA+P7-TA-2014-0062+0+DOC+XML+V0//EN) 11 Council of the EU (2013): Guidelines to promote and protect the enjoyment of all human rights by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) persons. (https://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/ cms_Data/docs/pressdata/EN/foraff/137584.pdf) 12 European Commission (2015): List of actions by the Commission to advance LGBTI equality. (http://ec.europa.eu/justice/discrimination/files/lgbti_actionlist_en.pdf) 13 You can follow the Facebook page of the FRA: https://www.facebook.com/fundamentalrights 14 You can follow the Facebook page of TGEU: https://www.facebook.com/TransRightsEurope 15 EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (2013): EU LGBT survey, Results at a glance. (http://fra.europa.eu/ sites/default/files/eu-lgbt-survey-results-at-a-glance_en.pdf); and Transgender Europe (2016): Trans rights Europe map 2016. (http://tgeu.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Trans-Rights-Europe-Map-2016-WEB. pdf)
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LIBE II the first where solutions on equal LGBTI rights were discussed16), and the United Nations (UN) through its Free and Equal campaign, in gathering data and finding out world-wide solutions. The civil society and LGBTI NGOs lobby on a daily basis to advance LGBTI rights. The most important are groupped under the umbrella of the International lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex association (ILGA), with its European Region being the main NGO body to negotiate with the EU. Media outlets in the EU further play a role as the key shapers and transmitters of perceptions, which can greatly influence public opinion in a given country17. The general public and European LGBTI citizens are primarily concerned with these issues, as they are the ones both victim and perpetrators of harassment and discrimination on a daily basis, whether it is in the streets, by employers, landlords, or even in their own family.
4. Key Conflicts Legally speaking, it was mentioned earlier that there is a strong divide between northern/western Europe having already undergone radical LGBTI friendly reforms, and eastern/ southern Europe. The European Commission, although determined to pass pro-LGBTI rights EU-wide legislation, to fight stereotypes and misinformation on LGBTI communities,18 and acting as a serious facilitator in the exchange of good practices between Member States, has its action seriously diminished by the only supportive competence the EU has in the field of family law and education19. Growing voices in politics and the civil society are advocating for LGBTI equality, but it still not seen as a priority on the political agenda: too few opinion leaders and leading politicians have taken a firm stand against homophobic and transphobic expressions, against 16 Michael Lopez (2016): The fight for LGBT rights has only begun. (https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/02/lgbt-equality-in-workplace) 17 For instance, some medias have decided last June to condemn the Orlando attacks as a terror attack whereas others claimed that it was purely a homophobic one. Frida Ghitis (2016): Was Orlando shooting terror or homophobia? Yes. (http://edition.cnn.com/2016/06/12/opinions/orlando-terror-shooting-ghitis/). 18 European Commission (2015): Combating Sexual Orientation Discrimination in the European Union http:// ec.europa.eu/justice/discrimination/files/sexua l_orientation_en.pdf 19 Euobserver (2015): The illusion of the EUâ€™s commitment to LGBT rights. (https://euobserver.com/opinion/127533)
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LIBE II academics openly condemning homosexuality as a mental disease20, or against discrimination and violence in Europe or/and abroad. Furthermore, there is considerable lack of legal consideration of weaker minorities within the LGBTI community, and especially trans rights and intersex groups. For instance, Hungary does not give them legal gender recognition to transexual individuals, and forced sterilisation is still a practice in many EU Member States21. As a whole, the European society is largely unaware of the reality of intersex people, with EU Member States still medically operating ‘normalising’ treatments of intersex persons (without the full consent of the person concerned). Intersex people still don’t have adequate recognition of their sex on official documents and access to justice22. Beyond legal issues, the fight against LGBTI rights is mostly led by groups believing that what they see as traditional - the fact that marriage should be between a man and a woman, that homosexuality is wrong, that children need a mother and a father - is under threat23. This raises the conflict asking if one can choose its sexuality? And if so, is a family mandatorily formed by a heterosexual couple24? Due to such fundamental disagreement by a part of the population, LGBTI people are stigmatised in many societal branches. Health issues greater than heterosexuals’, as LGBTI people statistically contract and spread more STDs than the rest of society, and are at higher risk for emotional problems leading to depression and suicide.
20 Fabian Brathwaite (2016): Way too many doctors in Europe still think homosexuality is a disease. (http:// www.out.com/news-opinion/2016/3/21/doctors-europe-still-believe-homosexuality-disease-according-eu-report) 21 Transgender Europe (2016): Trans rights Europe index 2016. (http://tgeu.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Trans-Rights-Europe-Index-2016-WEB.pdf) 22 Council of Europe (2015): Human rights and intersex people (Issue paper). (https://wcd.coe.int/com. instranet.InstraServlet?command=com.instranet.CmdBlobGet&InstranetImage=2909386&SecMode=1&DocId=2367288&Usage=2) 23 ProCon (2016): Should gay marriage be legal? (http://gaymarriage.procon.org/) 24 Christl R. Vonholdt (2016): Ten reasons against adoption rights for homosexual couples. (http://www.dijg. de/english/ten-reasons-against-adoption-rights-for-homosexual-couples/)
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LIBE II In addition, specific healthcare, especially for transgender and intersex individuals, is very costly and difficult to access25. At work, many LGBTI workers still choose not to disclose their sexuality to co-workers and clients fearing the stigma26. Lastly, the way sexuality is displayed in the media and society impacts a lot on the public opinion, and it has been claimed that some parts of it are still reluctant to talk about homophobia and LGBTI struggles27. Advertisement has dramatically improved on the matter, yet this business still remains largely heterosexual28. The cinema industry has also being criticised for its negative portrayal of LGBT characters, with especially transgenders used as a ‘joke’29. Although the LGBTI community has spoken against such bad publicity,
5. Measures in Place The rights of the LGBTI individuals are protected by EU law with Article 21 Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU. It states that “Any discrimination based on any ground such as sex, [...] genetic features, [...] sexual orientation shall be prohibited”30. Being one of the strongest advocates for LGBTI equality in the world, the Dutch government made this issue a key priority for its six-month presidency of the Council of the EU. Last March, the EU-wide agreement aimed at tackling homophobic and transphobic discrimination was blocked by Hungary31. Nonetheless, a similar agreement by the Council of the EU was reached in the aftermath of the Orlando attacks, inviting Member States to take action to “combat discri-
25 Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2016): About LGBT health. (http://www.cdc.gov/lgbthealth/ about.htm) 26 Bella Qvist (2014): Challenges for LGBT people in the workplace and how to overcome them. https:// www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/lgbt-employees-discrimination-in-the-workplace-talkpoint) 27 The Guardian (2012): BBC ‘should be bolder’ in depiction of lesbian, gay and bisexual people https://www. theguardian.com/media/2012/dec/13/bbc-depiction-lesbian-gay-bisexual 28 The Guardian (2015): Six LGBT ads that challenged traditional adland thinking https://www.theguardian. com/media-network/2015/aug/13/six-lgbt-ads-advertisements-representation 29 The Guardian (2014): Hollywood criticised for negative portrayal of LGBT characters https://www.theguardian.com/film/2014/jul/23/hollywood-criticised-lgbt-gay-characters-glaad 30 Official Journal of the EU (2012a): Charter of Fundamental rights of the European Union. (http://eur-lex. europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:12012P/TXT) 31 Duffy, Nick (2016): Hungary slammed after blocking Europe-wide agreement on LGBT rights. (http://www. pinknews.co.uk/2016/03/09/hungary-slammed-after-blocking-europe-wide-agreement-on-lgbt-rights/)
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LIBE II mination on the grounds of sexual orientation”32. Indeed, only policy recommendations to Member States were issued, which do not legally guarantee equal opportunities for LGBTI people in Europe on matters of employment, education housing, and do not promote a complete right to form a family. A few EU Member States have moved towards more access to LGBTI specific healthcare, and discrimination in general has been condemned by all EU institutions33. In 2010, the EU adopted a Toolkit (which was upgraded in 2013) into the EU Guidelines to Promote and Protect the Enjoyment of all Human Rights by LGBT people34. The Guidelines provide instructions to the EU and the Member States’ diplomatic services on how to progress on human rights of LGBTI people when dealing with third countries, and in international fora. The Council of Europe has also published its own recommendations to combat discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation35.
6. Outlook and Key Questions Although much has progressed in Europe over the past three decades in legislative matters, full equality is still far from being achieved. Mentalities in Europe aren’t fixed and linear on the issue, and the roots of anti-LGBTI equality thinking need to be understood. With its hands tied to its back due to the division of competences, the EU has to rely on Member States to improve the situation. Furthermore, solutions to efficiently tackle homophobia and hate crimes will come when LGBT activists switch their focus from changing legislation to bring actual change for people, and make sure laws are implemented. Should the various lists of recommendations from EU institutions and others be implemented in every EU Member State? And if yes, how? How to further tackle issues of discrimination, education, healthcare, freedom of movement, without harming Member States’ 32 Council of the EU (2016): Council conclusions on LGBTI equality. (http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/ press/press-releases/2016/06/16-epsco-conclusions-lgbti-equality/) 33 Official Journal of the EU (2012b): Directive 2012/29/EU of the European Parliament and the Council. http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/HTML/?uri=CELEX:32012L0029&from=FR; and Council of the EU (2013). 34 European Union External Service (2013): Protecting and promoting the rights of LGBTI persons. (http:// www.eeas.europa.eu/human_rights/lgbt/index_en.htm). 35 Council of Europe (2011): Combating discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender equality. (http://www.coe.int/t/dghl/standardsetting/hrpolicy/Publications/LGBT_en.pdf).
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7. Essential Research Links A comprehensive handbook by the UNHCR to master the LGBTI semantics: https://emergency.unhcr.org/entry/62590/lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender-and-intersex-lgbti-persons A list of recommendations by the World Economic Forum to improve LGBT rights in Europe: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/01/10-ways-to-improve-lgbt-rights-in-europe/ An interactive Rainbow Europe map by the EU ILGA providing a good overview of where LGBTI rights are respected, with details on each countryâ€™s situation: https://rainbow-europe. org/#8633/0/0 The latest news on LGBTI development in Europe by the FRA: http://fra.europa.eu/en/newsand-events/news?related_content=3507 An Euractiv article questioning EUâ€™s leadership in promoting LGBT rights worldwide: http:// www.euractiv.com/section/social-europe-jobs/interview/gay-rights-organisation-the-eu-nolonger-leading-on-lgbt-rights/ A Debating Europe debate asking if all EU Member States should recognise gay marriage? http://www.debatingeurope.eu/2013/04/24/should-all-eu-states-recognise-gay-marriage/#.V6PNPZOLTwd or debating arguments for and against gay adoption: http://www. debatingeurope.eu/focus/arguments-gay-adoption/#.V6PNlJOLTwc
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CIVIL LIBERTIES, JUSTICE, AND HOME AFFAIRS III A contribution to transparency or a threat to security: Following the Snowden, WikiLeaks and Panama Papers cases, what approach should European States have towards whistleblowersâ€™ disclosures of sensitive information? Chaired by: David Corish (IE)
LIBE III 1. Key Terms Whistleblowing is usually defined as unauthorised disclosure of information or activity that is deemed illegal, unethical, or not correct within an organisation that is either private or public. Internal whistleblowing is when a whistleblower brings their accusations to the attention of other people within the organisation, usually their superiors. External whistleblowing is when the information is disclosed to a third party outside of the organisation, such as the media, government, or law enforcement. Sensitive Information refers to privileged or proprietary information that only certain people are allowed to see and that is therefore not accessible to everyone. If sensitive information is lost or used in any way other than intended, the result can be severe damage to the people or organisation to which that information belongs. Public Interest is usually recognised as including but not limited to detecting and exposing crime or serious misconduct; protecting public health, privacy and safety, and preventing the public from being misled by an action or statement of an individual, organisation or government.
2. Relevance and Explanation of the problem From Luxleaks1 to the Panama Papers2, the increased media coverage for whistleblowing activities over the last few years has made many across the EU aware of the growing importance of whistleblowers. However, the recent conviction of Antoine Deltour for his part in the LuxLeaks scandal3, as well as the continued pursuit of whistleblowers such as Edward Snowden4, highlight the gaping hole within the legislation of many EU Member States regarding whistleblowersâ€™ protection. 1
Euronews (April 2016); Everything you need to know about the LuxLeaks Scandal, (http://www.euronews. com/2016/04/26/everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-luxleaks-scandal)
BBC News (April 2016); What are the Panama Papers?, (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-35954224)
Euractiv (June 2016); Luxleaks whistleblowers found guilty, given suspended sentence, (http://www.euractiv.com/section/euro-finance/news/luxleaks-whistleblowers-found-guilty-given-suspended-sentence/)
BBC News (January 2014; Edward Snowden: Leaks that exposed US spy programme, (http://www.bbc. com/news/world-us-canada-23123964)
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LIBE III Whistleblowing is widely considered as an effective way of preventing wrongdoing, such as corruption or illegal activity, from occurring, or uncovering it if it has already taken place. Whistleblowers point to where accountability mechanisms are failing or, in some cases, do not yet exist. However, a comprehensive, pan-European framework of protection does not currently exist. As a result, Member States are free to decide whether they should adopt, or not, specific laws in order to protect whistleblowers from abusive acts against them. As the map below highlights, this approach has led to varying levels of legislative protection being offered to EU whistleblowers at a national level. In 2016, whistleblowers are at the centre of events like never before, holding governments and corporations accountable for illegal activity, corruption, Human Rights violations and environmental damage5. Many would argue they are not being adequately protected, and pressure is slowly mounting on European states to act6.
Whistleblowing Protection Laws Across EU Member States A country’s existing laws include comprehensive or near-comprehensive provisions and proceedures for whistleblowers in the public and/or private sectors. Ireland, Italy, Greece, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, UK A country’s existing laws include partial provisions and proceedures for whistleblowers in the public and/or private sectors. Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, France, Latvia, Poland, Spain, Sweden
A country’s existing laws include no or very limited provisions and proceedures for whistleblowers in the public and/or private sectors. Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Lithuania, Portugal
(Source: Whistleblowing Protection Laws – EU Member States Laws7) 5
Decoster, Juliette (June 2016): Protecting whistleblowers and whistleblowing, a challenge for democracy, (http://www.efc.be/human-rights-citizenship-democracy/protecting-whistleblowers-whistleblowing-challenge-democracy/)
Kartte, Felix (May 2016): Whistleblowers: Between a rock and a hard place, (http://www.euractiv.com/ section/euro-finance/news/whistleblowers-between-a-rock-and-a-hard-place/)
Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom (CMPF), Interactive Map - Whistleblowing Protection Laws – EU Member States Laws, (http://journalism.cmpf.eui.eu/maps/whistleblowing/)
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LIBE III 3. Key Actors , , , , ,
8 9 10 11 12 13
Many MEPs within the European Parliament are in favour of introducing EU-wide legislation in order to protect whistleblowers. During a recent plenary session of the parliament, on 6 July 2016, MEPs from various political groups once again argued that further EU legislation is needed to protect whistleblowers8. However, the Parliament’s hands are tied as the European Commission is the only institution that can initiate new legislation.
For the whistleblower, it is their decision as to whether they disclose their findings to a third party, yet in most EU states, whistleblowers run an enormous legal risk. At present, blowing the whistle appears to be a scary path to take for many employees, a path which often leads them to the Media. The majority of whistleblowerrelated scandals over the past decade have been brought to light by the media, such as the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ)13, leading to some questioning the role the media plays in deciding what information is revealed to the public.
European Commission Employers For the European Commission the question of a Member specific directive on whistleblower protection is a States delicate one. So far, the apparent lack of appetite for such a protective framework among the Member States has not encouraged Brussels to start working on a proposal, and the Commission is hesitant to heed the Parliament’s call for legislation9. The Commission argues that the EU has no competence to establish a comprehensive protection system. However many within the European Parliament do not share this opinion10, yet have seen the European Commission reject a request by MEPs to introduce EU whistleblower protection laws11.
While employers do have a duty of care towards their employees, many organisations want to ensure their trade secrets are suitably protected from corporate espionage or malicious employees. Employers argue that the existing mechanisms in place are sufficient and EU level protection is a steps towards over-regulation. However it has been highlighted that whistleblowing frameworks could actually aid businesses12.
European Parliament News (July 2016), Whistle-blowers: providing a valuable public service, (http://www. europarl.europa.eu/news/en/news-room/20160701STO34372/Whistle-blowers-providing-a-valuable-public-service)
Barbière, Cécile (April 2016); Trade secrets: Whistleblower protection not a priority, (http://www.euractiv. com/section/trade-society/news/trade-secrets-whistleblower-protection-not-a-priority/)
10 Barbière, Cécile (July 2016); Virginie Rozière: We need whistleblowers, (http://www.euractiv.com/section/ trade-society/interview/virginie-roziere-on-a-besoin-des-lanceurs-dalerte/) 11 Nielsen, Nikolaj (October 2013); EU-wide whistleblower protection law rejected, (https://euobserver.com/ justice/121873) 12 The Economist (December 2015); The age of the whistleblower, (http://www.economist.com/news/business/21679455-life-getting-better-those-who-expose-wrongdoing-companies-continue-fight) 13 ICIJ, About the ICIJ, (https://www.icij.org/about)
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LIBE III 4. Key Conflicts There is a growing appetite within the European Parliament towards legislating for whistleblower protection across Europe, yet this is countered by a hesitancy within the European Commission and Member States. The question of protecting whistleblowers at an EU level is complicated by the fact that it overlaps a number of exclusive (competition, environment, internal market) and some shared EU competences (taxation)14. For a EU law to protect whistleblowers in all these fields, it would have to be unanimously accepted by all Member States. A way to sidestep this issue is for legislation to be introduced at a national level. However, while national legislation is certainly on the rise; it is reactive not proactive15, often introduced only after scandals force governments to act16. In the three years it was debated in the European Parliament, the recently-adopted Trade Secrets Directive proved controversial17. The harmonisation of trade secret laws across the EU is intended to generate legal certainty for European innovators by creating a secure environment where valuable know-how can be exchanged18. While businesses should rightfully be protected from corporate espionage, many questioned the effect the directive would have on whistleblowers, leading to a rewording of the final draft of the directive19. Yet ensuring both businesses and whistleblowers are adequately protected across the EU remains a challenge.
14 European Citizens Initiative: Q&A on the competences of the EU http://ec.europa.eu/citizens-initiative/ public/competences/faq 15 OECD Report (March 2016); Committing to Effective Whistleblower Protection, p. 23 (http://www. keepeek.com/Digital-Asset-Management/oecd/governance/committing-to-effective-whistleblower-protection_9789264252639-en#page25) 16 As was the case with Ireland in 2014, Irish Times (January 2016); Care needed with whistleblower legislation, (http://www.irishtimes.com/news/crime-and-law/care-needed-with-whistleblower-legislation-1.249529) 17 BBC News (April 2016); Whistleblowers fear prosecution under new European Trade Secrets law, (http:// www.bbc.com/news/business-36041738) 18 EurActiv (April 2016); Protecting European firms against trade secret misappropriations, (http://www. euractiv.com/section/innovation-industry/opinion/protecting-european-firms-against-trade-secret-misappropriations/) 19 EurActiv (January 2016); Journalists and whistleblowers protected under new Trade Secrets Directive, (http://www.euractiv.com/section/digital/news/journalists-and-whistleblowers-protected-under-new-trade-secrets-directive/)
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LIBE III The conflict of transparency versus security, particularly national security, is at the core of the issue of whistleblowing. Many would argue that whistleblowing is essential for fostering transparency and detecting misconduct. Yet is whistleblowing synonymous of transparency in itself? And what is the difference between blowing the whistle and simply leaking information to the press? Does the type of sensitive information which whistleblowers disclose and the way they choose to do it matter in how they should be protected? What happens when whistleblowers, acting in the public interest, actually cause more harm?20 If the „leak“ is designed to expose illegal activities, then many would argue the individual should be protected in some manner. If the leak, on the other hand, has nothing to do with exposing illegal activities and, instead, is just to reveal secret (but legal) information, all in the name of transparency, does the individual still warrant protection? And who decides the value and nature of the information? Finally, when national security issues are brought to light through whistleblowing, efforts to protect whistleblowers may be weakened, yet many would argue this is a necessary sacrifice to ensure security.
Key Questions While there is growing recognition across the Europe that Member States need to do more to protect whistleblowers, several questions remain surrounding how far the EU should go in legislating. Should legislation be introduced at a national or European level? Should harmonised legislation be introduced for all Member States, or only for those who currently lack protection? How can the EU encourage Member States, who have previously been hesitant to legislate for protection, to come on board? Should the EU draw inspiration from the US ‘bounty-style’ framework30 or devise a system tailored to Europe?
If legislation is introduced, who is responsible of seeing it enforced? How can the EU ensure it is working effectively?
While the European Parliament is becoming increasingly prowhistleblowers, are the everyday European citizens aware of the issue? Do they support or oppose whistleblowers?
The varied public perception of whistleblowers, particularly between the West and East, could prove challenging to a EU-wide framework - how could the EU account for this?
What is the difference between whistleblowing and leaking information to the media?
Are all whistleblowers inherently good? How can you prove that a whistleblower was acting in good faith?
20 Spiegel Online (September 2011); The Principle of WikiLeaks Has Been Destroyed, (http://www.spiegel.de/ international/world/the-world-from-berlin-the-principle-of-wikileaks-has-been-destroyed-a-784048.html)
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LIBE III 5. Measures in Place The recently-adopted Trade Secrets Directive21 tries to find a balance between the need to protect trade secrets from corporate espionage and the right to disclose wrongdoing. In December 2015 the European Commission published a Implementing Directive on whistleblowing22 under the EU’s newly adopted Market Abuse Regulation (MAR). Article 32 of the MAR mandated that the EC should publish pan-European whistleblowing procedures to assist in detecting financial market abuse offences. MAR came into effect for Member States in July 201623. In April 2014, the Council of Europe24 (CoE) adopted a Recommendation on the Protection of Whistleblowers25, which provided CoE Member States with guiding principles for the creation of a comprehensive national framework for protecting public interest whistleblowers26. In April 2015, the CoE published an update on their recommendation detailing what action had been taken by Member States27.
21 EurActiv (April 2016); The Trade Secrets Directive: What it does – and does not – mean, (http://www. euractiv.com/section/trade-society/news/demystifying-the-trade-secrets-directive/) 22 Robson, Neil (January 2016); European Union Publishes Implementing Directive on Whistleblowing Under Market Abuse, (http://www.corporatefinancialweeklydigest.com/2016/01/articles/eu-developments/european-union-publishes-implementing-directive-on-whistleblowing-under-market-abuse/) 23 European Commission, Press release (July 2016); New EU rules to fight insider dealing and market manipulation in Europe’s financial markets take effect, (http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-16-2352_en.htm?locale=EN) 24 Council of Europe; About Us, (https://www.coe.int/en/web/about-us/values) 25 Council of Europe (April 2014); Recommendation CM/Rec(2014)7 of the Committee of Ministers to Member States on the protection of whistleblowers, (https://search.coe.int/cm/Pages/result_details.aspx?ObjectID=09000016805c5ea5) 26 Council of Europe (April 2014); How To Protect Whistleblowers, (http://www.coe.int/t/dghl/standardsetting/cdcj/Whistleblowers/protecting_whistleblowers_en.asp) 27 Council of Europe (April 2015); Whistleblowing: Update on Europe, (https://www.coe.int/t/dghl/standardsetting/cdcj/Whistleblowers/Whistleblowers_Update%20on%20Europe_20%2004%202015.pdf)
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LIBE III Finally, the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU28 brings together in a single document the fundamental rights protected in the EU. Among the many rights enshrined within the Charter, the Freedom of Expression and Information are guaranteed by the EU. The freedom of expression is seen by many as relevant for whistleblowers29.
6. Outlook & Key Questions
Recent whistleblowing scandals and their effects, such as Lux Leaks and the Panama Papers, highlight the global dimension of whistleblowing. As such, measures taken at a European level to protect Whistleblowers will be closely watched by international actors. Any claims the EU makes in favour of whistleblower protection could also have a global impact in terms of whistleblowers from other countries then being protected in Europe, or even be seen as moral call to duty to protect whistleblowers worldwide. Whistleblowing Protection Limitations Legal protection of whistleblowers varies from country to country but often faces the same types of limitations
Whistleblowers in these regions are perceived as troublemakers, spies and traitors, thus hampering the effect of a comprehensive whistleblowing framework.
The word ‘whistleblower’, seen as neutral, does not have a direct translation in many languages. Synonyms are often negative and the terms used range from ‘Nestbeschmutzer’ (one who dirties their own nest) in German, to ‘hafies’ (snitch) in Greek to ‘delatore’ (leaker) in Italian.
Even if protection legislation is introduced, if people still believe their employers or superiors will ignore the disclosure, many may still be deterred from blowing the whistle.
However a strict proceedure could be seen as a deterrant to some whistleblowers and could even act as an additional roadblock to ensuring the information is disclosed in a correct manner.
Political and legal factors A lack of political will to address inadequate whistleblower protection is apparent in many European countries.
Impact Lack of trust People are often not blowing the whistle because they think that the disclosure will not be appropriately followed up.
Cultural Factors In Eastern Europe, whistleblowing often has a negative connotation because of the former dictatorships and police networks.
Following Proceedure If whistleblowing protection is introduced, the whistleblower would then have to strictly follow the whistleblowing procedures in order to trigger protection
Even if some countries adopt specific whistleblowing regulations, laws often do not cover both private and public sector or there may be no enforcement of the existing law.
28 EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, (http://fra.europa.eu/en/charterpedia/title/ii-freedoms) 29 pdpEcho (February 2014); How the ECHR defended the freedom of speech of a whistleblower, (https://pdpecho.com/2014/02/02/how-the-echr-defended-the-freedom-of-speech-of-a-whistleblower-who-warnedof-illegitimate-wiretapping-by-a-secret-service/) 30 Bloomborg (August 2011); Whistleblower Regimes in the U.S. and UK (http://www.bna.com/whistleblower-regimes-in-the-us-and-uk/)
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LIBE III 7. Links for further Research 7.1 News & Opinion Pieces: The Brussels Times (July 2016): European Parliament calls for legal protection to whistleblowers
gal-protection-to-whistle-blowers) Transparency International (July 2016): Now is the time for EU wide whistleblower protection (http://www.transparencyinternational.eu/2016/07/now-is-the-time-for-eu-wide-whistleblower-protection/) Javor Benedek (May 2016): Frequently asked questions about whistleblowers and whistleblower protection (http://javorbenedek.hu/en/frequently-asked-questions-about-whistleblowers-and-whistleblower-protection/) Forbes (March 2015): The darkside of the American bounty System of Whistleblowing (http:// www.forbes.com/forbes/2005/0314/090.html) UN News Centre (June 2016): UN rights expert deplores conviction of tax whistleblowers in LuxLeaks trial (http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=54374#.V6CxppN96Rt) Marek Arszulowicz (December 2011): Whistleblowing: In Defense of Proper Action, Extracts from “My Arguments Against Whistleblowers”. Focus on pages 33-37 in particular. (https:// goo.gl/Tsn1BJ) Global Research (July 2016): The Rise and Fall of the Whistleblower (http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-rise-and-fall-of-the-whistleblower/5536954) Ada-Iuliana Popescu (2015): A Critical Analysis of Whistleblower Protection in the EU (http:// www.jopafl.com/uploads/issue7/A_CRITICAL_ANALYSIS_OF_WHISTLEBLOWER_PROTECTION_IN_THE_EUROPEAN_UNION.pdf)
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LIBE III 7.2 Interactives & Visuals Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom (CMPF), Interactive Map - Whistleblowing Protection Laws (http://journalism.cmpf.eui.eu/maps/whistleblowing/) Series of infographics analysing the nature of employers approaches to whistleblowing protection within the EU (PDF) (http://goo.gl/XEQrXj)
7.3 Videos DW (February 2016): Risks for Digital Whistleblowers (4 mins) (http://www.dw.com/en/ risks-for-digital-whistleblowers/a-19018030) Ted Talks (March 2013): The dangers of willful blindness (15 mins) (http://www.ted.com/ talks/margaret_heffernan_the_dangers_of_willful_blindness) European Parliament (July 2016): Plenary Session of the European Parliament, July 6, Extracts from the debate on the protection of whistleblowers (3 mins) (http://audiovisual.europarl.europa.eu/Assetdetail.aspx?id=8afe8c80-46f5-4738-be60-a63c008d8587)
140 LIBE III | David Corish (IE)
COMMITTEE ON FISHERIES Awareness, resilience, and innovation at sea: How should fair access to economic activity on European waters be ensured whilst also protecting and preserving marine ecosystems? Chaired by: Halyna Virt (UA)
PECH 1. Key Terms A fishery is a registered activity engaged in catching, processing, and marketing a species of fish or shellfish for human consumption, other animal consumption or medicine production. Fully-fished stock means that fishing pressure of a particular stock is at maximum limit of what can be sustained before overfishing occurs. Overfishing is a situation where humans catch fish from the oceans in such quantities and fast pace that nature does not have time to naturally replenish. Sustainable fishing is a fishing model that does not endanger the population in that fishing area.
2. Relevance and explanation of the problem According to the State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2016, in 2014 production of European aquaculture increased by 77.8 thousand tonnes as compared to 2013. It constitutes around 4% of the total world production of fish for human consumption. Of the total number of stocks assessed in 2013, fully fished stocks accounted for 58.1%1.
World Capture Fisheries and Aquaculture Production2
The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (2016): The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture. (http:// www.fao.org/3/a-i5555e.pdf)
The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (2016): The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture. (http:// www.fao.org/3/a-i5555e.pdf)
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PECH Fisheries employ 350,000 people3 in Europe, foster economic growth of countries specialised in fishing, and are a source of income for individual fishers (who make up around 41% of all fishers). However, fishing also affects ocean ecosystems and distorts the entire food chain in the seas. Moreover, pollution caused by fishing vessels and nets lost by the fishermen kill fish even in non-fishing seasons, which is aggravated by the fact that this fish is not used afterwards.
3. Key actors International organisations, such as the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), and the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) help countries around the world to improve fishery practices, and promote environmentally-friendly ways of practicing fisheries for economic profit. Within the FAO, there exist Regional Fishery Bodies (RFB), which are groups of states working together towards the conservation and management of fish stocks. The Committee on Fisheries (COFI) is an intergovernmental forum part of the FAO. The Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE) is the European Commissionâ€™s department responsible for the implementation of the Common Fisheries Policy and of the Integrated Maritime Policy. National governments regulate fisheries through responsible country agencies for fishery. Fisheries are a part of the shared competences between the EU Member States and the EU, excluding the conservation of marine biological resources, which is an exclusive competence of the EU. Other actors include: fishermen and fish processors directly involved in fishing with the aim of receiving revenue; biologists, monitors, and economists conducting aquaculture research and advising fisheries on how to make their activities more sustainable and profitable; conservation groups, environmentalists, and NGOs, whose activities are aimed at protecting the fish population; and consumers.
The European Union: Maritime Affairs and Fisheries. (https://europa.eu/european-union/topics/maritime-affairs-fisheries_en)
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PECH 4. Key conflicts Fisheries constitute part of the earth’s ‘commons’ (resources that do not belong to any individual in particular), therefore all the countries in Europe can exercise the right for open access. Nevertheless, in order to preserve marine ecosystem, there exist two main methods of managing marine resources: open access and restricted access (e.g. Individual Transferable Quotas (ITQs)). Both of them have advantages and disadvantages4, however none of them tackle the main problems, such as overfishing, overexploitation and waste of fish.
Explanation of Open Access and Restricted Access5 Furthermore, as most fishermen aim for specific species, we often observe unsustainable fishing resulting in all the other species in the bycatch being thrown overboard dead or dying, constituting another threat to marine biodiversity. This problem is aggravated by illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.
Griffin, Liza (2012): Privatising the common fisheries policy. (https://www.opendemocracy.net/liza-griffin/ privatising-common-fisheries-policy)
World Ocean Review: Classic approaches to fisheries management. (http://worldoceanreview.com/en/ wor-1/fisheries/fisheries-management/)
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PECH Also, most national governments provide subsidies and tax breaks to support fishermen if their catches are poor, which results in the increasing amount of people going into fishing in order to receive this kind of incentive, however doesnâ€™t entail enlargement of the catches. Is there any way to ensure sustainable support to small fisheries at the same time ensuring that individuals do not exploit the measure for their own benefit?
5. Measures in place One of the major measures for fisheries is the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, a scheme for the formulation of policies, legal and institutional frameworks and instruments aimed at ensuring sustainable fishing. It covers many important issues, however is voluntary, so countries are not obliged to formulate their policies in accordance with the Code. In Europe, fisheries are mainly regulated through Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), which aims to provide fishers with equal access to the EU waters. It proved to be an effective instrument for dealing with overfishing through imposing limits on fishing, however it aggravated the problem of wasting fish, which is considered to be one of the most difficult remaining issues to tackle6. The Integrated Maritime Policy, focuses on a â€žblue growthâ€œ strategy. It raises awareness in different sectors of the fishing industry and ensuring cross-sector cooperation. For the purpose of providing access to a wide range of high-quality information on the global monitoring and management of fishery marine resources, there exists Fisheries and Resources Monitoring System (FIRMS). It is an instrument of data collection and sharing. There are also created Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). Despite protection of certain small sea areas, this measure puts more pressure on the unprotected areas. One issue remains however, which is that it is particularly difficult to define valuable and vulnerable areas, which require protection7. 6
Waterfield, Bruno (2011): European Commission apologises for disastrous fishing policy. (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/eu/8635623/European-Commission-apologises-for-disastrous-fishing-policy.html)
Sevestre, Arthur (2013): The pros and cons of MPAs. (http://www.skyemarineconcern.org/the-pros-andcons-of-mpas/)
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PECH Other measures include limitations on the use of fishing gear and quotas on the time of fishing and amount of fish to be caught.
6. Outlook and Key Questions The main aim of the topic is to find a balance between the ever-growing demand for fish on the market and protecting and preserving marine ecosystems. Nowadays, thanks to new technologies, fish are caught faster that they can reproduce. Consequently, the issue affects marine ecosystems, as well as the economic benefits of fishing. In the future, a situation where there will not be enough fish to ensure sustainable economic growth in areas related to fishing is well possible. There is a necessity to find a way to ensure sustainable, long-term use of fisheries and thus, define a roadmap for the effective growth of the fishing industry.
7. Essential Research Links Conservation Strategy Fund (2014): A series of videos on Fisheries Economics & Policy. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4AXnZOsrK8&list=PLBfu1mD9hk66c1Q23AOAAhCvkVLC2XZKm) The Economist (2014): The Tragedy of the High Seas. (http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21596942-new-management-needed-planets-most-important-common-resource-tragedy-high) The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (2016): The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture. (http://www.fao.org/3/a-i5555e.pdf) WWF Global: Fishing problems: poor fisheries management. (http://wwf.panda.org/about_ our_earth/blue_planet/problems/problems_fishing/fisheries_management/) Samavati, Pirooz: Norwegian fishing industry and its interaction with EU in the time of global economic crisis (http://www.bibliotekacyfrowa.pl/Content/35546/043.pdf) eSchool Today: Tips on overfishing. (http://www.eschooltoday.com/overfishing/overfishing-regulations-and-controls.html) Overfishing - a global disaster. (http://overfishing.org/pages/what_is_overfishing.php) Griffin, Liza (2012): Privatising the common fisheries policy. (https://www.opendemocracy. net/liza-griffin/privatising-common-fisheries-policy)
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EUROPEAN YOUTH PARLIAMENT SCHWEIZ SUISSE SVIZZERA SVIZRA SWITZERLAND The Schwarzkopf Foundation is the international umbrella organisation of the European Youth Parliament (EYP). EYP Switzerland is a National Committee in the EYP network.
Published on Sep 5, 2016
The academic preparation kit for the 83rd International Session of the European Youth Parliament in Laax, Switzerland. It includes the topic...