Academic Preparation Kit 39th National Selection Conference of EYP Greece | 19 - 22 April 2019
Ευρωπαϊκό Κοινοβούλιο Νέων Ελλάδος
Table of contents AFCO | 6 CRIM | 13 CULT | 20 EMPL I | 27 EMPL II | 33 IMCO | 40 LIBE I | 47 LIBE II | 54 REGI | 59 TRAN | 65
k in your Committee, but also provide some insight into other Committeesâ€™ topics.
(Whoâ€™s in play?);Measures already in place (What is the current situation?);
Committee on Constitutional Affairs Recent referendums on significant political questions have shown capable of engaging more young voters in comparison to their turnout in general elections What steps should the EU take ahead of the 2019 European Parliament elections to ensure more inclusive decision-making and increased interest of younger people in their parliamentary representation? By: Stanislaw Zytynski (CH) and Judit Lladรณs (ES/CH)
Since the first-ever elections to the European Parliament in 1979, citizens from the European Union have been able to cast a vote in directly electing their parliamentary representatives and thus making a direct impact on the policies the Union. Looking at the data1, we can observe that those ballots in 1979 reached an all-time peak of 62% of voter turnout. In the following elections, the voter turnout has been in constants decrease. In both the elections of 1984 and 1989 the rate was 58% of voter turnout and in 1999, the turnout dropped to 49%. Fast forward to the most recent European Parliament’s elections in 2014, with a total of 28 Member States were balloting, only a 42% of eligible voters showed up to exercise their democratic rights. 360 million citizens are cast for the next elections taking place in May 2019. To put it into perspective, the European Parliament is the largest transnational democratically-elected institution in the whole world and yet, in spite of the addition of new Member States increasing the number of eligible voters, the number of those who cast their vote keeps shrinking. More worrying is the situation with young voters. Looking at the profile of voters engaging with elections, we can identify an abysmal difference between young and older generations2. In the 2014 European Parliament elections the absenteeism level amongst voters aged 18-24 was above 70%3, meaning that less than 3 of every 10 youngsters voted. This is especially alarming due to the fact that Europe is becoming an “old” continent. Whilst the European population is still considered to be growing, the birth rates keep shrinking and death rates are now higher than birth rates4. With the continent in demographic decline, youth participation becomes an even more pressing matter. It must be noted, however, that in countries such as Austria and Malta - where the voting legal age is 16 years instead of 18 - there is a higher voter turnout amongst young voters. For example in the
“Previous Elections”, European Parliament. In this link you can find information regarding the previous elections to the EP such as the voter turnout for each year and also the gender balance of the MEPs (Members of the Parliament). http://www.europarl.europa.eu/about-parliament/en/in-the-past/previous-elections 2 “Youth participation in representative democracy”, European Commission National Policies Platform. https://eacea.ec.europa.eu/national-policies/en/content/youthwiki/52-youth-participation-representative-democracyestonia 3 “Young people and democratic life in Europe: what next after the 2014 European Elections?”, Tomaž Deželan, Page 24 and onwards https://www.youthup.eu/app/uploads/2015/11/YFJ_YoungPeopleAndDemocraticLifeInEurope_B1_web9e4bd8be22.pdf 4 “Population: declining birth rates in Europe. A new “Iron curtain” divides the north from the south of the continent”, Gianni Borsa, Servizio Informazione Religiosa https://www.agensir.it/europa/2018/07/11/population-declining-birth-rates-in-europe-a-new-iron-curtain-divides-thenorth-from-the-south-of-the-continent/ 1
Austrian general elections of 20135, about 63% of voters aged 16-17 casted their votes which, if we compare to the average EU-elections results, is clearly a better turnout. Referendums6 are an exception to the low voter turnout, engaging a high number of voters from a range of ages and backgrounds. According to an article of Science Direct, “referendums are supported by citizens who feel disconnected from the political process”7. Hence, referendums attract those who do not trust traditional political parties. It seems that voters are more willing to commit to referendums, through which they feel they can comply with their civic duty. Referendums have used broadly in some countries to endorse propositions formulated by the European Union for example to ratify the new treaties in order to codify them into the Member State’s constitution and also to foster political engagement in EU-related matters8. As of today, up to a total of 46 referendums have been held across the European Union.
Democratic legitimacy: in this specific case we are referring to the extent to which the decisions taken by the European Institutions are rightfully validated by the EU’s citizens. In other words, having democratic legitimacy depends on whether the citizen’s interests are properly represented by the institutions that they have put their trust in by voting for their representatives. Referendum: a voting procedure in which the voter is directly voting on the outcome of the policy A Technocracy is a government or social system that is controlled or influenced by experts in science or technology; the fact of a government or social system being influenced by such experts.9
The European Parliament (EP) is the European Union's law-making body. Alongside the Council of EU, the EP passes EU laws and confirms the budget of the Union. The members of this institution “Voting at 16 in Austria: a possible model for the EU?“, Paul Schmidt and Johanna Edthofer, El Cano Royan Institute http://www.realinstitutoelcano.org/wps/portal/rielcano_en/contenido?WCM_GLOBAL_CONTEXT=/elcano/elcano_in/zo nas_in/ari88-2018-schmidt-edthofer-voting-16-austria-possible-model-eu 6 See “Referendum” in the key words paragraph. 7 “Public support for referendums in Europe: A cross-national comparison in 21 countries”, Andreas Schuck, ScienceDirect. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0261379415000438 8 “Referendums in the EU”, Derek Beach, Oxford Research Encyclopedias: Politics. http://oxfordre.com/politics/view/10.1093/acrefore/9780190228637.001.0001/acrefore-9780190228637-e-503 9 Cambridge dictionary: Technocracy https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/technocracy 5
are elected by public ballot and they represent the political interests of the Member States’ citizens10. The European Commission (EC) is responsible for proposing legislation, implementing decisions, upholding EU treaties and managing the day-to-day business of the EU. There is one commissioner per Member State, but members are bound to represent the general interest of the EU as a whole rather than their home state.11 The European Council12 is the EU institution that defines the general political direction and priorities of the European Union. It consists of the heads of state or government of Member States, together with its President and the President of the Commission.13 The Council of the European Union negotiates and adopts legislative acts together with the European Parliament through the ordinary legislative procedure, also known as 'co-decision'. Codecision is used for policy areas where the EU has exclusive or shared competence with the Member States. In these cases, the Council legislates on the basis of proposals submitted by the European Commission.14 The Political Parties within the Parliament are different Parties then we know from National Politics. One can see the Parties that are up for the election as a sort of coalition of the National Parties The European Round Table of Industrialists (ERT) is a forum bringing together around 55 Chief Executives and Chairmen of major multinational companies of European parentage covering a wide range of industrial and technological sectors.15 All these Projects were initiated or strongly influenced by the ERT: The Eurotunnel,16 the high speed train network of Europe17, the Lisbon https://europarlamentti.info/en/values-and-objectives/democracy/ Website of the European Commission https://ec.europa.eu/ 12 Not to be mistaken with “the Council of Europe” nor “the Council of the European Union”. It might seem a bit confusing at first but the three are different institutions and for now we will put our main focus on The European Council. 13 Website of the European Council https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/european-council/ 14 Website of the Council of the EU https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/council-eu/ 15 Website The European Round Table of Industrialists (ERT) https://www.ert.eu/ 16 Networks in European multi-level governance: from 1945 to the present (2009), Michael Gehler, Wolfram Kaiser, Brigitte Leucht https://books.google.pl/books?id=AUSuVMtjdjAC&pg=PA144&lpg=PA144&dq=ert+eurotunnel&source=bl&ots=8ayNCwB axE&sig=ACfU3U3Ridu4UNNgSa1jlrlYy7C7-ENcvw&hl=de&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwim4YqpqKXgAhVyyoKHSn4AVQQ6AEwC3oECAIQAQ#v=onepage&q=ert%20eurotunnel&f=false 17 Networks in European multi-level governance: from 1945 to the present (2009), Michael Gehler, Wolfram Kaiser, Brigitte Leucht https://books.google.pl/books?id=AUSuVMtjdjAC&pg=PA143&lpg=PA143&dq=ert+high+speed+train+network&source=b l&ots=8ayNCwC5EG&sig=ACfU3U2ikfaYs7hq4lCqW8urQhv5gZxH_A&hl=de&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjG3IW6qqXgAhWoyoKHY_kAkQQ6AEwDXoECAMQAQ#v=onepage&q=ert%20high%20speed%20train%20network&f=false 10 11
strategy18, TTIP19 and probably the most influential idea, in 1983 in their paper “Foundations for the Future of European Industry“ they proposed the idea of the European Single Market.20
The European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) is a tool available for all EU citizens allowing them to suggest legal proposals to the European Commission. In the words of the European Commission, a
“participatory democracy instrument“ to enable various citizens from different member states to “come together around an issue close to their heart with a view to influencing EU policy-making”21. With the upcoming Parliamentary elections this year, the European Union has launched the “This time I am voting22” platform, which intends not only to provide reliable information regarding the dates and electoral procedures of the elections, but also to trigger the interest of voters on European and global challenges. Furthermore, several events such as conferences and workshops have been scheduled across the Member States not only by the regional offices of the European Parliament in those countries but also by citizens that are actively engaged in upbringing information about the EU and persuading other fellow citizens to vote. You can find out more about this events in this interactive map. A number of initiatives have been launched aiming to encourage youth participation in the political system. Although not mainly designed to increase voter turnout, these youth projects have an effect on the political discourse among young people. There are projects on both international and national scale and include the European Youth Parliament (EYP) and the European Youth Event (EYE).
Writing the Script: The European Roundtable of Industrialists, S. 22ff.(2000) https://corporateeurope.org/powerlobbies/2012/03/europe-inc 19 European Business United in Support for TTIP (2014), ERT https://www.ert.eu/document/european-businessunited-support-ttip 20 Foundations for the Future of European Industry (1983), Memorandum to Etienne Davignon, European Commissioner, before the EEC summit meeting in Stuttgart (17-19 June 1983). https://www.ert.eu/document/foundations-future-european-industry 21 “The European Citizens’ Initiative”, European Commission. http://ec.europa.eu/citizens-initiative/public/basic-facts?lg=en 22 “This Time I’m voting”, European Union. https://www.thistimeimvoting.eu/ 18
Political Education can help with the issue of young people being uninformed about the political system. Giving young voters a starting point is vital so they can afterwards form their own opinions. This is something that in many countries is not really debated.23
Currently the only procedure allowing citizens a direct say on the Parliament’s law-making agenda is via the European citizen’s initiative. For some, this instrument has been a big step towards a more democratic Union, as it fosters civic involvement in policy-making24. For others, however, the ECI has not been effective enough, as barely any initiatives have made it into an actual piece of legislation25 and several critics perceive it as an apparatus for large-scale lobbies to interfere in policy debates26. The Trilogue is an informal part of decision-making in the European institutions, comprising of undocumented discussions between the Commission, Parliament and Council. Today around 93% of all Resolutions that the European Parliament passes were discussed in the informal trilogue. This is a conflict due to the trend that 75% of Resolutions are passed with the first reading and not further negotiated during the of the Parliament in front of the press.27 The TTIP and CETA negotiations were held in this kind of discussions. 28 In these discussions the different institutions like to hear experts to help them come to better results. The European Round Table of Industrialists (ERT) is an example of these experts.
Civics Education Helps Create Young Voters and Activists (2018), ALIA WONG https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2018/10/civics-education-helps-form-young-voters-andactivists/572299/ 24 “Successful initiatives, official register”, the European Commission. Here you can see all the proposals that have reached the required number of statements of support. http://ec.europa.eu/citizens-initiative/public/initiatives/successful 25 “European Citizens’ Initiative: Failure or success?”, by M. Apelblat, The Brussels Times. Relevant pieces of information: paragraphs 1, 2 and 4 regarding how the ECI works and its impact so far. http://www.brusselstimes.com/opinion/2825/european-citizens-initiative-failure-or-success 26 “Civil Society and Democracy in the EU: The Paradox of the European Citizens’ Initiative”, J. De Clerck-Sachsse, Taylor & Francis online. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/15705854.2012.702574 27 A guide to how the European Parliament co-legislates (2017), Mairead McGUINNESS, Evelyne GEBHARDT, Pavel TELIČKA http://www.epgencms.europarl.europa.eu/cmsdata/upload/10fc26a9-7f3e-4d8a-a46d51bdadc9661c/handbook-olp-en.pdf 28 The future of EU trade negotiations: what has been learned from CETA and TTIP (2017), Johan Adriaensen http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/86025/ 23
With the Lisbon treaty, the EU created The European Citizens' Initiative. It needs noting that the Commission has no obligation to look into the suggestion submitted by a citizen. Is this initiative an effective participatory instrument for EU citizens? One of the key problems in voter turnout is that young people are less likely to vote than older people. This seems counterintuitive because young voters are those who will be most affected by these policies. The freedom to vote is something relatively new in Europe and something many young people take for granted. This is strongly linked with long peace in Europe which is strongly intertwined with free elections.29 With the European system trying to incorporate both national sovereignty as well as people representation, the system is highly complicated. Or at least that is said often. In reality, EU citizens can directly vote for one institution of the EU, the European Parliament. The other institutions are comprise of those appointed in national elections or by representatives of EU institutions. Martin Schulz the former president of the European Parliament had this to say to the democracy deficit in the European Union: "If the EU were a state that would apply for admission to the EU, the application would have to be rejected - for lack of democratic substance."30
What could be the reasons why the voter turnout for the European Parliament’s elections keeps decreasing? How does this factor affect the democratic legitimacy of EU’s institutions? Does the European Union suffer from a lack of democratic legitimacy? Why? Do you think that a limited knowledge on the way European Union’s institutions work and relate to each other could be a reason why young voters lack interest on the electoral procedures? Is political education a factor when looking at young-voter turnout? How do eurosceptic governments make an impact on the voter turnout of their countries? Are there any mechanisms the European Union could use in order to involve its citizens into a more participative legislative procedure?
Peace in Europe may too often be taken for granted (2012), Ian Traynor https://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/oct/12/peace-europe-taken-granted 30 Phoenix Interview with Martin Schulz (2013) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0uegWwUGJWI&feature=youtu.be&t=156 29
Would you consider that the low voter turnout is merely a problematic affecting certain Member States or is it an issue on a European scale?
Voter turnout and age distribution dossier: An analysis of the results by gender, age and occupational category reveals a number of trends. In general, men were more engaged in the electoral campaign than women and their turnout was higher. There were more differences between the different age groups; the youngest Europeans (1824) are more positive about the EU than the oldest (55+), even though far fewer of them voted. http://www.europarl.europa.eu/pdf/eurobarometre/2014/post/post_ee2014_sociodemographic_ annex_en.pdf Democracy Voucher Program Seattleâ€™s radical plan to fight big money in politics (2018), Vox Sarah Kliff https://www.vox.com/2018/11/5/17058970/seattle-democracy-vouchers About the Program (official site) https://www.seattle.gov/democracyvoucher/about-the-program Compulsory Voting in Brazil: How are individuals and countries affected by compulsory voting beyond boosting electoral participation? Shane Singh investigates the social, economic, and political consequences of compelling citizens to vote. https://www.psa.ac.uk/insight-plus/beyond-turnout-consequences-compulsory-voting Handbook
http://www.epgencms.europarl.europa.eu/cmsdata/upload/10fc26a9-7f3e-4d8a-a46d51bdadc9661c/handbook-olp-en.pdf With the Treaty of Lisbon, codecision officially became the 'ordinary legislative procedure' and the general rule for adopting legislation at European Union level, covering the vast majority of areas of Union action. Please take a look at the Trilogue (p.28), also The ordinary legislative procedure through figures (p. 50 - 52) and if you are not sure how all the institutions work together you can check
Committee on Organised Crime, Corruption and Money Laundering With value of the European opiates market estimated at approximately 12 billion EUR, what further actions can the EU take within the 2013-2020 EU Drugs Strategy in order to help Member States in their fight against organised crime? By: Marlena Nelson (DE) and Nikos Theologou (GR)
In the last couple of decades it has become apparent that illicit drug use is increasing globally. In 2016, an estimated 5.6% of people between the ages of 15-64 have used some form of illicit drug in their lifetime, an increase of 1.4% since the 1990's. According to the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), in 2014 there were over 690 thousand people being treated for opioid addiction in Europe, and in the same year Sweden recorded a record high of 765 drug-related deaths.31 The increasing use of drugs is indicative of the existence of a rapidly evolving drug market. There is a well established relationship between drug markets and violence showing that certain indicators such as DRH (drug related homicide) are reliable in assessing drug violence in general. While our most accepted models of drug violence include crimes committed by individuals, this topic is mostly concerned with systematic drug violence, meaning turf wars and homicide in the context of rip-deals.32 Homicide is regarded as one of the most serious crimes. Homicides imply very high social costs due to human suffering, decreased community development and the erosion of human and social capital. It is for these reasons that serious commitment is needed from both the EU and the Member States in order to combat drug violence, whether through decriminalization/legalization and controlled distribution, which has been proven effective in countries such as Portugal and the Netherlands, or through some other means.
Organised crime is generally defined as criminal activities planned and carried out by a larger group of criminals over a longer period of time, usually for monetary gain. In the case of our topic, profit is made via production, trafficking, and distribution of illegal drugs. Illicit drugs are substance which inhibit or stimulate the function of the central nervous system to such an extent that that they have been recognised and prohibited globally. Turf wars are disputes between rival groups over territory or a particular sphere of influence. Rip-deals are a type of robbery where one party makes off with the money as well as the drugs, leaving the other party empty handed, leading to conflicts. 31 32
Statista, 2018, â€œDrug situation in Europe - Statistics & Factsâ€? Drug-related homicide in Europe: a first review of the data and literature
EU institutions and bodies play the largest role in developing policies and legislative processes, however have limited competences in regards to supporting and implementing those they propose. The EU commision and EEAS are able to do this, but it is the Council
agencies, and Member States who are the main players in making progress with these issues. European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMDDCA) provides relevant and current data on drugs in Europe, the information upon which the policies of the Drug Strategy function. Europol is an EU agency which assists Member State police forces in fighting serious criminal activities (i.e terrorism, drug trafficking, cybercrime, etc.). Through the alignment of their aims and joint facilities, these agencies are key for facilitating cooperation between Member States. This is crucial especially for efficient work against crimes, which often transcends national borders. FRONTEX, also known as the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, focuses on the maintenance and implementation of EU measures on external borders, and is aligned with the Member Statesâ€™ individual border management programs. The Member States are the stage for organised crime activity, and are responsible for organising responses to the presence thereof. As independent nations, each Member State approaches drug-related issues through their own terms, leading to a diverse range of approaches.
EU Drug Strategy 2013-2020, like past strategies proposed by the EU to aid Member States in their fight against drug-related organised crime. The strategy provides a framework of priorities, objectives and actions for measuring performance. Member States are encouraged to develop
national policies which fit their own goals while aligning with greater EU strategies. The strategy focuses on the reduction of demand, dependence, supply, and social issues associated with drugs. At the end of its term next year, a new strategy will need to be formulated. UN Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances of 1988 This convention provides measures for the prevention of drug trafficking, money laundering, and diversion of chemicals. Furthermore, it aims to facilitate international cooperation between countries, both EU and non-EU, as cross-border movement of drugs is a key factor in the growing drug crisis. EU28 Policies and Laws may vary between Member States. It is the goal of the EU Drug Strategy and its action plans to enable each country to maintain their individual approach to their criminal issues while meeting the standards which the Union maintains. For example, there the drug policies of Member States differ between those focusing on illicit drugs specifically, and those who presume a broader focus on drugs in general33. These differences can lead to disparities in drug issues between States.
One of the key conflicts when considering drug-related violence in Europe or elsewhere is the problem of supply and demand. Due to the illegal nature of most drugs, it has been hard to assess
EMCDDA, 2016, â€œFocus of national drug strategy documents: Illicit drugs or broaderâ€?
either. According to the EMDDCA’s recently published European Drug Report 201834 there has been visible increase in the production of a variety of illicit drugs in recent years.
Furthermore, advancements in technology has not only enabled these increases, the growing precedence of the dark web has provided better communication between producers and consumers, making such transactions more accessible. The growth of international markets has correspondingly promoted the European drug market. As a result of these developments, there has been a clear influx of drug-related health issues and legal challenges regarding the trafficking of products. The growing popularity of new drugs, known as psychoactive substances, has resulted in new health issues and forced policymakers to regard the ever changing nature of the drug market and the threats this brings. Moreover, the growth of drug markets presents a plethora of ethical, environmental, and economical costs. The chemical waste produced by drug industries is often discarded irresponsibly into the surrounding environment, polluting ecosystems and having negative impacts which often come to influence human populations via poisoning of water or food source. After a long period of drug demonization, the public views addicted individuals negatively, further isolating them from society and making it harder for them to get better. Public opinion also affects
EMCDDA, 2018, “European Drug Report 2018” http://www.emcdda.europa.eu/system/files/publications/8585/20181816_TDAT18001ENN_PDF.pdf 34
policy making and election promises from candidates, which could present itself as a problem when considering decriminalization/legalization or expenditures necessary for drug harm-reduction.
To what extent Member State drug policies align with the goals set by the EU Drug Strategy 20132020? What discrepancies are there between member states regarding drug-related issues? Are there differences in drug-type use and drug related crime? Is there a particular drug that seems to be causing most harm? Are there examples, european or otherwise, of countries introducing policies (that comply with human rights) that have proven to be effective? If so, what are they? Can they be introduced EU wide? What is the public opinion on drug use and policy and how does it vary across the EU? How could this affect policy making?
Drug supply reduction: an overview of EU policies and measures European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), (2017): The EMCDDAâ€™s most recent compilation of EU legislations regarding drugs supply. European Drug Report: highlights EMCDDA (2018): This short video summarises that main points made by the Drugs Report released for 2018, and provides a valuable insight on the direction of the issue, at least in regards to the presence and usage of drugs in the Europe. European
General Secretariat of the Council, (2013): The official document for the drug strategy details the aims and goals for drug handling in the EU.
Drug Situation in Europe - Statistics and Facts Statista, (2018): This website complies drug-related statistics and studies from a variety of sources, including the EMCDDA. Drug-related homicide in Europe: a first review of the data and literature EMCDDA, (2018): Provides a thorough review of the issues of drug-relate homicides and the variation violent crimes throughout the Member States.
Committee on Culture and Education The rise in disruptive technologies and the associated digital transformation call for a new skill-set in the workforce, making education and training a high priority task. How can the EU account for changing requirements in the workforce and ensure that education systems across Europe reflect the demand for new skills, and support these eďŹ€orts accordingly? By: Firdevs Mercan (AT)
Throughout history, technological advancements have shaped and reshaped the labour market and our way of living. The industrial revolution is a main example of this. Today such advancements are taking place at an increasing speed globally, with not only bringing possibilities but also challenges with it. Particularly the development of artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics has affected the labour market drastically. AI and automation are estimated to add about 15,7 trillion dollars to the global economy by 203035, showcasing its importance in the future economy of Europe. But this comes at a cost, as a study from Oxford university from 201336 estimates that approximately 47% of US and around 40% of British jobs are at risk because of disruptive technologies by 2030, especially in the fields such as transportation, logistics and manual labour production. Other estimates also show the same tendencies across Europe, with different levels of vulnerability to automation in the Member States.
But technologies in the labour market might also spur positive socio-economic changes across Europe. Even though 47% of current jobs are estimated to disappear, new jobs will be naturally be
Marr, Bernard, The biggest challenges facing artificial intelligence (AI) in business and society, (01.02.2019), Forbes.com, 36 Frey, Carl Benedict & Osborne, Michael A, The future of employment: How susceptible are jobs to computerisation? (01.02. 2019), Oxford University, 35
created in the ever changing and dynamic labour market, especially in sectors such as healthcare, education and the public sector.37
Disruptive Technologies - Disruptive technologies are innovations that replace or completely displace the track of success of an existing technology, product, or service. Low-skilled and Middle-skilled jobs - Low skilled jobs, also known as â€œunskilled labourâ€?, is a segment of the workforce associated with a limited skill set or minimal economic value for the work performed, whereas the work that that comes along with the middle-skilled jobs require an associate degree and extensive training. Artificial Intelligence (AI) - Artificial Intelligence is the theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence.
The European Commission the executive body of the EU and responsible for proposing legislation related to the issue. If a proposal is agreed to by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union, this legislation will bind Member States. Given that the area of employment is a shared competence, both the EU and Member states can legislate on the topic. In the case of employment policy, the EU can supplement policies in Member States to ensure a coordinated strategy within the EU. The Commission also manages EU programmes and has significant control over EU funding. Member States are responsible for implementing EU legislation and enacting national legislation in harmony with EU legislation. The policy area of education is a supporting competence, so the EU can only intervene to support, coordinate or complement the action of Member States. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)38 is an organisation comprised of 35 Member countries from around the globe, from North and South America, Europe and Asia-Pacific. The OECD monitors events across its members, analyses data and makes recommendations of improvement to governments. The organisation has an own independent
Flinders, Karl, Robots will create more jobs than they eradicate by 2020, (01.02.2019), ComputerWeekly.com, Official website of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
employment database, which includes various data on employment, unemployment, earnings and wages, labour market policies and institutions, skills and work, and job quality. This data can be used for effective understanding of employment issues and policy-making. Major companies are beginning to acknowledge the importance of retraining, and some have already dedicated enormous resources to addressing the problem. Retraining is crucial for succession planning, increasing employee value, reducing attrition rates, enhancing operational efficiency and exceeding industry standards. The McKinsey Global Institute (MGI)39 and the World Economic Forum (WEF)40 are focusing on developing a deeper understanding of the evolution of global economy and providing a factual base to assist decision-making on critical issues.
There are many approaches for handling the aftermath of the digital transformation of the work market, some are more controversial than others. A general idea is that we need to act on the education system to train and retrain people who will become unemployed due to the extinction of some jobs. In 2016, the European Commission launched its New skill agenda for Europe41, enveloping “10 actions to make the right training, skills and support available to people in the EU.” One of the actions is the “Upskilling pathways”, aiming to give low-skilled workers increased knowledge on numeracy and digital skills. Another important point in the EU-wide initiative is the “Digital skills and jobs coalition” which focuses on improving the digital skills of the wider population through cooperation amongst stakeholders in education, employment and industry. Unfortunately, only 17 Member States have started domestic programs under the digital skills and jobs coalition. In the latest Digital Education Action Plan42, published in January 2018, the Commission proposed a revised European Reference Framework of Key Competences for Lifelong Learning which mainly focuses on knowledge, skills and attitudes of employees. The Action Plan outlines the importance of better use of innovation and digital technology and supporting the development of relevant
McKinsey & Company is an American worldwide management consulting firm. It conducts qualitative and quantitative analysis to evaluate management decisions across the public and private sectors. 40 The World Economic Forum engages the foremost political, business and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas. 41 New skill agenda for Europe, (28.01.2019) 42 Latest Digital Action Plan launched by the Commission in January 2018, (14.12.2019) 39
digital competences. Furthermore, it gives priority to making better use of digital technology for teaching and learning, developing relevant digital competences and skills for digital transformation and improving education through better data analysis and foresight. The Make IT Work43 program was selected by the European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society as the model project for teaching digital skills. The program mainly focuses on training IT skills, but also encourages employers to participate in the fast-track training partnership to gain access to high-quality specialists. Companies are providing retraining programs to employees. The leading company Augentes44 is supporting Research and Innovation through the creation of European and international projects in order to support sustainable growth in the involved countries. Horizon2020 is an example of a EU funded program for research and innovation, launched by the European Commission, scheduled to run from 2014 to 2020. Horizon 2020 brings together existing research frameworks under the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Program (CIP) and the programs of the European Institute for Innovation and Technology (EIT). There are also various other programs such as INTERREG, COSME, Erasmus + and Creative Europe which are linked with technology and innovation.
The rise in disruptive technologies is bound to bring forth various challenges and conflicts within European states. The widespread loss of jobs in certain segments of the labour market might lead to a wave of unemployment among low-skilled and middle-skilled workers, consequently creating a need for both social security measures and re-training programmes for workers who have lost their job due to the technological advancements. The use of robotics might also contribute to an increase in the social inequality and boost the divide between rich and poor, states a report from Sutton Trust.45 One key question is; â€œhow to provide social security for their citizens whilst keeping up with the technological advancements in the labour marketâ€?. Daunting as the rapid automation may seem to some, it might also spur positive socio-economic changes across Europe. Even though 47% of current jobs are estimated to disappear, new jobs will
The Amsterdam Economic Board about the project Make IT Work, (01.02.2019) Auguentes official website 45 Vincent, James, Robots and AI are going to make social inequality even worse, says new report, (28.01.2019), The Verge, 43 44
naturally be created in the ever-changing and dynamic labour market, especially in sectors such as healthcare, education and the public sector.46 Technological development and robots “will compliment you, not replace you”, states research by management consultants from McKinsey and Company47, showcasing the adjustability of the future european market. Furthermore, automation might also grant european citizens an increase amount of spare time, leaving people free to take part in cultural activities, organisation work and politics. Yet, technology alone will not be able to benefit all with more free time. Without a democratic debate on the utilisation of time, the technological advancements might not necessarily be beneficial for everyone and continue pushing people into unemployment.48 As a measure against the rapid automation and use of smart technologies, certain EU-states are considering implementing the Universal Basic Income (UBI), following the example of Finland, where the trial was concluded recently and provided 2000 unemployed people with a monthly benefit.49 The concept of UBI has a wide consensus across the political spectrum, with the left viewing it as a measure to decrease social inequality, reduce poverty and promote social mobility, and with the right seeing it as a way of making the welfare state less bureaucratic and more competitive. Yet there are also critics of UBI, who believe that it might function as a disincentive to work, therefore reducing overall economic output, whilst some see it as a weakening of workers political power and hard to implement due to regional differences within the Member States.
How will Artificial Intelligence affect the labour market? What measures should the European Union take in order to reduce the negative effects of the adoption of new technological advantages in the workplace hindering further development? How can we ensure a future employment for those who are less familiar with new technology?
Flinders, Karl, Robots will create more jobs than they eradicate by 2020, (07.03.2019), Robson, David, How automation will affect you - the experts’s view, (07.03.2019), 48 Frayne, David, Automation will mark the end of our work-obsessed society, (07.03.2019), 49 Jee, Charlotte, Finnland’s universial basic income trial made people happier - but not employed, (07.03.2019), 46 47
Chalabi, Mona and Mahdawi, Arwa: What jobs will still be around in 20 years? Read this to prepare your future, (30.01.2019) The Guardian European Commission, The Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition (30.01.2019) European Commission, The Digital Education Action Plan (14.12.2018)
Committee on Employment and Social Affairs I Unpaid internships: The practise of hiring unpaid interns has come under increased scrutiny in the last few years, with movements to ban a system which harms Europeâ€™s youth gaining widespread support. After the European Parliament banned unpaid internship, how should European governments act to protect the working conditions of stagiairesand interns across the continent? By: Karl B. Vederhus (DK/IT) and Giorgos Zachariadis (GR)
Today, because of the uncertainty in the job market, young graduates often have to start their professional life with an internship. However, many of these internships are unpaid and this practice does not respect the equality that should exist in the work market, as not everyone can afford to undertake unpaid internships over long periods of time. More specifically, 4.5 million students and graduates all over Europe undertake an internship each year , and 59 % of them are unpaid.50 Moreover, internships are replacing many entry-level jobs, making it difficult for youths, specifically of a lower-income families, to access the job market.51 The issue of unpaid internship is gaining widespread attention not only in Europe, but all around the world. Especially since it is a practice perpetuated in the same institutions that promote human rights and social justice, such as the UN52 and the European External Action Service (EEAS)53.
Unpaid Internships in EU institutions, CafĂŠ Babel (2016)
Internship: A period of time where a student receives training at a particular job in order to become qualified to do it.54 Quality Internship Charter: charter redacted by the European Youth Forum that aims to promote quality internships around Europe, focusing on the aspects of education, rights and remuneration.55
The rise up against unpaid internships, Europa.eu (2017) Intern-history: How internships replaced entry-level jobs, Time (2018) 52 UN intern 'living in a tent', The Independent (2015) 53 No more-unpaid internships at EEAS Delegations, European Youth Forum (2017) 54 Internship definition, Cambridge English Dictionary 55 European Quality Charter on Internships and Apprenticeships, European Youth Forum 50 51
Traineeships: programs that are offered each year to young people to increase their professional skills by most of the EU institutions, each lasting usually between 3 and 5 months. These traineeships are available in a wide range of fields.56
Firstly, the National governments have the right to regulate how internships should be carried out. Some countries have banned unpaid internships, while others have taken steps towards it such as the UK57 or Denmark. More specifically58, internships do not have special legal status: an employer cannot dodge the minimum wage simply by classifying a temporary worker as an intern. But, most countries with minimum-wage laws have carve-outs for public bodies which creates exceptions for interns. On a European level, employers offer traineeships that remunerate their prospective trainees accordingly and internships are also offered within EU institutions or agencies. In a landmark decision in July 2018, the EU decided to remunerate the interns serving under a Member of the European Parliament (EP).59 The EP has been put under a lot of pressure to take action against unpaid internships.60 Moreover, the Youth Intergroup of the European Parliament is a cross-party group of over 100 Members of European Parliament (MEP) working for better youth policies in Europe. The group is fighting hard for a rule change to ban unpaid internships in MEP offices. Companies from Startups to Colossuses61 who have had both paid and unpaid interns claim that in order for an intern to be paid they have to generate revenue for the company because as they say, interns often destroy more value than they create for companies. So, If the company doesnâ€™t have an established internship program then at the beginning the intern struggles and at a later stage of the internship or sometimes at the end of it, starts to create net value. Another crucial actor is the Global Intern Coalition (GIC)62, a network of organisations aiming to improve workplace rights for interns worldwide. It collaborates with the public, private, and nonprofit sectors to lead the global intern rights movement. It includes many member organisations
Traineeships, European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO) Unpaid internships are damaging to social mobility, Government of the United Kingdom 58 Are unpaid internships illegal 59 The unpaid internships phenomenon, Europa United (2018) 60 The Parliament youth intergroup fight for a rule change to ban unpaid internships in MEP offices, The Parliament Magazine.eu (2017) 61 What those who are defencing unpaid internships are saying (2016) 62 The Global Intern Coalition (GIC) 56 57
such as the European Youth Forum. More specifically this forum, as a member of the GIC, is the platform of the national youth councils and international non-governmental youth organisations in Europe, which is currently engaged in legal action against states for unpaid internships.63
The most recent and crucial development happened on July 2nd 2018, when the Bureau of the European Parliament decided that all interns in the European Parliament were going to be remunerated for their work, and it adopted key principles to revise the framework regarding trainees in MEPs offices. This decision was a victory for campaigners of the Youth Intergroup.64 Following the Parliament, also the European External Action Service (EEAS) decided to start paying the interns in its EU Delegations from 2018. This puts an end to discriminatory practice within one of the EU institutions and paves the way for other EU, international institutions and private companies to do the same. Going further into the topic, there clearly is a legal deficit when it comes to the protection of interns against the unpaid internship format.65 Furthermore, as it is today, the legal framework regarding internships vary greatly between member states.66 There are, however, good member-state practices to be shared. An example is Denmark, where every Dane over the age of 18 is entitled to public support for his or her further education - regardless of social standing. This applies also in the case of unpaid internships, nevertheless the State gives good tax incentives of up to 3300€ per student67 to companies that decide to pay their interns.68
“Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment”. The quote was taken from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly already in their third session. Yet, the United Nations are still keen
No more-unpaid internships at EEAS Delegations, European Youth Forum (2017)
European Parliament bans unpaid internships, Europa.eu (2018) The unpaid internships phenomenon, Europa United (2018) 66 The EU diplomatic corps has been told to discontinue unpaid internships, and it could cause a ripple effect, Business Insider (2017) 67 New rules for internships, Danish Ministry of Education (2018) 68 SU - The Danish students' Grants and Loans Scheme, SU.dk 64 65
on paying the many interns they have in their agencies, which raises the question whether that is a “just and favourable” practice. If an institution such as the European External Action Service has been able to hide behind this hypocrisy by the UN until now69, then it’s somewhat difficult to address the issue in the private sector, because they would be expected to do the same. Furthermore, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find a job that doesn’t require “previous experience”70, hence the need to undertake an internship. There is a huge competition amongst students and graduates for internship places, and encouraged by this “need for experience”, there are many willing to partake in unpaid internships. However this system is not equal, as it makes it problematic for the people that cannot afford working for free to gain experience and access the work market.71 Receiving a salary in exchange for the work an intern does is just fair. On the other hand, forcing the company on giving to interns remuneration might lead to fewer internship spots available, because not every company (small and medium enterprises in particular) can afford that.72
If it’s possible, what balance can be found between unpaid internships and less internship spots available, caused by companies not willing and/or not able (SMEs in particular) to pay for their interns? Who are the most poorly-affected people by a system of unpaid internships? Why are unpaid internships unfair? How are the different member states tackling the issue? Have they been able to tackle the problem? What can Europe do in order to help tackling the problem? Is there a need for coordinated action?
Statement: Unpaid Internships: institutions must break this shameful "tradition", European Youth Forum (2017) Why is work experience important?, allaboutcareers.com 71 Are Unpaid Internships Exploitation or Opportunity?, Fortune (2018) 72 Documentary on internships, BBC (2014) 69 70
CafĂŠ Babelâ€™s short and concise video-article about the issue of unpaid internship. TEDX talk by David Hyde, the UN intern that was sleeping in a tent in Geneva. BBC documentary about unpaid internships in London. Time article about the recent history of internship and about how they are slowly replacing classic entry-level jobs.
Committee on Employment and Social Affairs II In 2017, the analysis of overall migration flows in the EU showed that population loss occurred in most regions of Finland, Greece, Portugal and Spain, while population growth occurred in all regions of Austria, Luxemburg, Sweden and Ireland as well as in Cyprus. While freedom of movement in the EU is one of the basic rights, the “brain drain” phenomenon may lead to a region’s permanent loss of skilled workers or students. What steps can the EU take in order to prevent permanent negative eﬀects of economic migration? By: Liam McCourt (IT)
The European Union is full of internal imbalances. A wealthy Centre-North which exports way more than it imports (trade surplus, the opposite is a trade deficit) and austerity driven economic policies (this means governments spend very little), a struggling South-West with trade deficits (excluding Italy73) and governments still to make the economy recover, and a developing East, strongly supported by EU Regional Cohesion Funds, which, despite strong growth, keeps hemorrhaging educated workers to other areas of the EU. The economic crisis of 2008 and sovereign debt crisis of 2011 have worsened these divisions 74 and contributed to the forces which nowadays threaten to pull the Union apart. In 2018, 17 million workers moved moved within the EU, mostly coming from Portugal, Romania, Italy and Poland towards Germany, Denmark, Ireland and the United Kingdom75. And the problem is getting better rather than worse: migration of young qualified workers from Italy saw a 15% rise in 201676, while Spain posts an almost one to three ratio of qualified workers loss77 lingering just behind Greece, Romania and Poland and even France has a negative trend in this regard 78. The motives that lead these workers to leave are usually better employment perspectives (in countries with high unemployment) or higher wages.
Brain Drain: brain drain the the phenomenon by which a country progressively loses many of its most qualified workers due to migration. This negatively affects its prospects for development and
Italy’s trade surplus in 2017 amounted to 54 billion euros. Source: Statista, 2018. “Italy: Trade balance of goods from 2007 to 2017 (in billion U.S. dollars)”. <https://www.statista.com/statistics/263624/trade-balance-of-goods-in-italy/ >. 73
Economic growth is determined mainly by increases in technology and knowledge, population and investments. Therefore Member States to which a growing number of qualified workers migrate will over time accumulate more capacity to innovate; 75 The European Committee of Regions, Commission for for Social Policy, Education, Employment, Research and Culture, 2018. “Addressing brain drain: SEDEC The local and regional dimension”. <https://cor.europa.eu/en/engage/studies/Documents/addressing-brain-drain/addressing-brain-drain.pdf >. 76 Martinelli, Anna. “Italian brain drain speeds up: +16% in 2016”. La Stampa, 17 October 2017. <https://www.lastampa.it/2017/10/17/esteri/italian-brain-drain-speeds-up-in-2bxn1AL6eq3odp4ZPrQ5lN/pagina.html >. 77 For every qualified worker Spain attracts from abroad, three Spanish workers expatriate. Source: The Local. “Spain’s brain drain “worst in Western Europe””. September 2014. <https://www.thelocal.es/20140901/spanish-professionalsleave-spain-brain-drain >. 78 Mazoir, Fabrice. “La France, 2ème pays le plus touché au monde par la fuite des cerveaux”. Mode(s) d’Emploi, 18 August 2019. <https://www.blog-emploi.com/france-fuite-cerveaux/ >. 74
contributes to population loss. Workers are usually attracted by higher wages or better perspectives on employment abroad. Human Capital: the Encyclopaedia Britannica defines is as intangible collective resources possessed by individuals and groups within a given population. These resources include all the knowledge, talents, skills, abilities, experience, intelligence, training, judgment, and wisdom possessed individually and collectively, the cumulative total of which represents a form of wealth available to nations and organizations to accomplish their goals79. Macroeconomic policies: this is a fancy word to indicate what a state (or the EU) can do to influence economic growth: a. Fiscal policies: who to tax, and how much to tax; b. Monetary policy: is very broad term which defines basically how much money to “print” (central bank need to be careful not to print too much of it or it rapidly loses in value in a phenomenon known as inflation, or to print too little of it, or it will rapidly gain in value in a phenomenon known as deflation80), how high to set interest rates for banks to borrow money from the central bank (in this case the important thing to know is that the lower the rates, the easier it is for banks to get money that then the should lend to citizens and enterprises); c. Public expenditure: how, where and how well a state spends it money.
The European Commission: The European Commission is the EU's politically independent executive arm. It is alone responsible for drawing up proposals for new European legislation, and it implements the decisions of the European Parliament and the Council of the EU. It is responsible for proposing EU legislation, manage EU policies and allocate EU funding, enforces EU law and represents the EU internationally. It specifically manages the implementation of EU Regional Funds which are a key resource to try and stem differences in economic development. Member States of the European Union: the MS are largely still responsible for macroeconomic policies within the European guidelines in matter of fiscal policy. Its principally up to them to decide
Encyclopaedia Britannica, s.v. “Human Capital”. < https://www.britannica.com/topic/human-capital >.
If you are interested in learning more about
fiscal policies as well as economic policies. Regarding brain drain, most of the responsibilities are still in their hands. The European Investment Bank: The European Investment Bank is the lending arm of the European Union. We are the world’s largest multilateral lender and the biggest provider of climate finance. It sustains the economy, creates jobs and promotes equality. The EIB Group has two parts: the European Investment Bank and the European Investment Fund. The EIF specialises in finance for small businesses in the areas of innovation, infrastructure and renewable energy81. The EIB could play a more significant role in sustaining economic growth in countries which suffer from brain drain. It annually invests around 80 billion €82.
The currently is no European policy or instrument which is aimed at fighting or curbing brain drain in the EU because within the common market, free movement is considered a fundamental right. Most of the efforts the EU makes in this direction (although not though with the purpose of fighting brain drain) go in the direction of fostering economic growth, This said, these are the current laws and measures which you should be aware of: Article 45 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) which states that: “Freedom of movement for workers shall be secured within the Union83” and can be limited only on grounds of “public policy, public security or public health84”
In an ideal European Union (or internal market), the free movement of people is good for everyone as the number of workers leaving a country would be more or less the same as the number of workers who arrive, and the stronger sectors of the economy would grow and further specialise. So, for example, in an ideal internal european market, many of Italy’s finance graduates would migrate to France, the MS with the largest financial sector in the Eurozone, because it would
The European Investment Bank. “The EU Bank at a Glance”. <http://www.eib.org/en/about/index.htm>. Investopedia, s.v. “European Investment Bank”.
<https://www.investopedia.com/terms/e/europeaninvestmentbank.asp > 83 TFEU, article 45.1 <https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:12012E/TXT&from=EN >. 84 TFEU, article 45.3.
offer plenty of opportunities. In this way, the French financial sector, benefiting from a large influx of highly educated Italians, would become more competitive in the world economy, grow, and offer even more employment opportunities. This migration of Italian workers would be counterbalanced by
a strong migration of French biochemists to Italy, the Member State with the largest
pharmaceutical industry in the Eurozone, for the same reasons Italian graduates in finance were migrating to France. In this way the Italian pharmaceutical industry would grow and compete on world markets. Clearly this is not the case right now for two main reasons: some states grow more than others, and some states offer higher wages than others. These two issues are generally the caused by poor economic performances (some Member States just don’t grow enough) or by a lower level of development (such as in Eastern Europe). Struggling companies, in fact, tend to pay their workers less (this is known as wage deflation) in order to remain more competitive, or to lay-off workers. Unfortunately this is what happened in many MS (Spain, Italy and France are good examples) because of low growth. In Eastern Europe, on the other hand, even well performing businesses can’t offer the same pays as those available in other Member States, and workers choose to migrate, often in very large numbers. The effects of these trends is leading to the largest depopulation phenomenon in the world: Eastern Europe has lost 18 million inhabitants in the last 25 years, mostly due to migration85. While in some Eastern European countries high levels of growth have slowed this trend, states like Romania and Bulgaria are still very highly affected by depopulation. The EU’s response to the economic crisis of 2008 and the sovereign debt crisis of 2011 further worsened the situation: instead of opting for economic cooperation among MS in fiscal and economic policies to foster growth, the response had the effect of increasing internal competition for resources, to the obvious detriment of weaker states. Member States, instead of coordinating policies to ensure a balanced recovery, started competing for investments, for better workers and researchers, and to attract other EU companies which only caused gaps in employment rates within the EU and greater wage deflation. To make it simple, the less competitive states lost even more ground to the more competitive ones. The winners find themselves as brain receivients with low unemployment, while the losers keep hemorrhaging talents and now have chronically high unemployment. Romei, Valentina. “Eastern Europe has the largest population loss in modern history”. Financial Times, 25 May 2016. <https://www.ft.com/content/70813826-0c64-33d3-8a0c-72059ae1b5e3 >. 85
Freedom of movement is one of the pillars on which the EU is built. An internal market can only function if people are free to move and, ideally, roughly as many people would enter a state as those who leave. The problem is that in many countries this flux of workers is negative and the so called “brain drain” is heavily affecting prospects for economic growth. This will be especially bad in the long run as economists have proven that around ⅔ of total long term economic growth is determined by advances in technology (which are slowed down if a large portion of educated workers leaves)86. If certain Member States keep accumulating human capital (see definition in key words) to the expense of others, the European Union’s internal contradictions will only increase and wealth will become more and more concentrated certain areas. Part of the reason the EU has not been able to counter this issue is that it does not have tools to do so. The Union is a unified market with governing bodies which have only part of the powers they would need to fight this trend87 a Central Bank with only half the mandate88 a central bank usually has (have a look at the footnote)89 and 28 Member States with close to no coordination regarding economic and fiscal policies (excluding stringent budgetary rules) 90. In short, the EU is still far from being a federal state, but it’s not a simple free trade area (this would just mean that there would be free trade, but borders for example). It has profound and largely ignored imbalances which are being accentuated by the so called “brain drain”. The long-term effects of this phenomenon risks having a destructive effect on the EU.
This is kind of a complicated topic, so I recommend you google any term you don’t understand. But for research on this I would advise you to: 86
Atella, Albanese. 2009, “Corso di Economia Politica: Modelli di crescita nel lungo periodo”. Università di Roma 2 Tor
As a common market with a single currency, the Eurozone would necessitate a system which redistributes deficits and surpluses among Member States 88 The European Central Bank’s mandate sets price stability as its principle priority, while economic growth, stimulating the job market and financial stability can only be pursued if they don’t clash with its primary objective. Source: Reza, Moghada. “The ECB’s narrow mandate is no longer fit for purpose”, Financial Times, 14 June 2014. <https://www.ft.com/content/5f5fc09e-6e25-11e8-8863-a9bb262c5f53 >. 89 Jérôme, Creel. Francesco, Saraceno. “The dual mandate, the Fed and the ECB”. Observatoire français des conjonctures économiques (OFCE), 2011. <https://www.ofce.sciences-po.fr/blog/the-dual-mandate-the-fed-and-theebc/ >. 90 Tax competition between Member States is one of the causes for internal imbalances and loss of revenue within the Union. For an more in depth look at it consequences read: Kratunkova, Rositsa. “Tax competition undermines European values of solidarity”. Financial Times, 21 November 2017. <https://www.ft.com/content/607c1ace-c92d-11e78536-d321d0d897a3 >. 87
See what policies some states have put into place to stop brain drain; Search for the causes of low growth in some countries; See what could be done to improve this! For anything you don’t understand feel free to write to me at email@example.com and I’ll help you as I can!
This is a link to a report by the European Committee of Regions on brain drain. It’s quite long and approaches the issue from a regional point of view rather than a European one. But it has some example of good practices. This article gives a good overview of the matter for Southern Europe, while this one provides the same for central and Eastern Europe. While this written answer by the European Commission provides a good outline its approach to the matter.
Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection With recent advancements bringing interactive and potentially intrusive technologies, such as Amazon Alexa, into our homes, consumers are concerned about privacy. How can the EU protect its citizens from the negative side-eďŹ€ects of heightened technologies, without impeding necessary and positive advancements? By: Ask EspensĂ¸nn Ă˜ren (NO) and Elena Petsa (GR)
Ever since Apple introduced Siri, a new age began for intelligent personal assistants. Great advancements in the sector of Artificial Intelligence (AI)91 have made virtual assistants, such as the Amazon Echo called Alexa, a new reality. These devices play a great role in facilitating everyday life through completing tasks given to them over voice commands. However,
increasingly common and gaining popularity, new challenges arise92. In order for digital assistants to work,
personal data are required. This data is then usually stored in cloud servers or the data centres of the providers and/or shared with authorized third-party services93. The European Union and most Member States are still working on assessing the dangers of privacy breaches and finding prevention measures and solutions as such leak of information could affect unimaginable parts of peopleâ€™s lives. Privacy breaches in the past have not given cyber criminals access to financial information of people alongside their personal healthcare records.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as the theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decisionmaking, and translation between languages. 92 Attitudes towards the impact of digitisation and automation on daily life - European Commision (2017) 93 Virtual assistant (AI assistant) - Rouse, Margaret (2017) 91
IPA - Intelligent Personal Assistant - Beal, Vangie GDPR - Intersoft Consulting (2018)
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect in 2018, replacing the outdated Data Protection Directive from 1995, and is applicable to all organisations either within the EU, or processing the data of EU citizen. It entails three major points;96 firstly is the right to access, which empowers data subjects97 by enabling them to see both what kind of personal data is currently being processed, and to whom it is sold to. Secondly, it ensures the right to be forgotten, meaning that companies cannot hold personal data for longer than necessary, and is required to delete all data upon the withdrawal of consent from a data subject. Lastly, it also promotes privacy by design, which refers to the fact that data protection should be part of design and not a late addition. Furthermore, it calls for controllers to only hold data strictly required for the completion of duties. In addition the GDPR, The EUâ€™s Data Reform Protection Package, also included another directive, meant to define the role of authorities regarding data in criminal matters, The Data Protection Directive on Police Matters. This directive was made to stay consistent with the GDPR, yet enable police and other national law enforcement to be able to utilise data at the subjects discretion. All Member States were required to adopt legislation in compliance with the directive by 06.05.2018.98 In 2015 the final compromise for The Network and Security (NIS) directive was agreed upon. This agreement established rules regarding security and notification of incidents for operators of essential services (OoES), such as banking, energy and transport; and DSPs, including online marketplaces and search engines. It also lays down obligations for Member States to implement sufficient Computer Security Incident Response Teams (CSIRT). Furthermore, it promotes the cooperation between Member States, through the establishment of cooperation groups meant to facilitate information sharing on cyber security.
Personal assistants and other smart devices gather personal data in order to improve their services. As part of Artificial Intelligence, these technologies require data to learn and perform their tasks. Additionally, the use of personal data by DPAs offers more personalised consumer experience
Data Protection - European Commission (2018) A data subject is any person whose information is being held or processed. 98 The Data Protection Directive on Police Matters 2016/680 protects privacy - The evolution of EUÂ´s data protection law and its compatibility with the right to privacy - Pajunoja, Lauri J. page 56 96 97
Is it worth sacrificing privacy for protection from crime? How much should large corporations realistically know about us? Where is the limit of companies gathering and storing personal information? In what way can the EU further ensure that the privacy of its population will be respected?
How Businesses Are Collecting Data (And What They’re Doing With It) - Uzialko, Adam C. (2018) Revealed: 50 million Facebook accounts harvested for Cambridge Analytica in major data breach - Cadwalladr, Carole & Graham-Harrison, Emma (2018) 101 Amazon’s new Echo has a really creepy feature - Haselton, Todd (2017) 102 How Alexa is changing the future of advertising - Koksal, Ilker (2018) 99
How can EU citizens become educated about the new advancements in technology and how to safely utilise them? Why are big tech-companies so reluctant on adhering to the new privacy principles?
How tech companies deceive you into giving up your data and privacy - Finn LĂźtzow-Holm Myrstad (2018): A TED talk showcasing how hard it is form consumers to give informed consent, and what that might lead to. How Businesses Are Collecting Data (And What Theyâ€™re Doing With It) - Uzialko, Adam C. (2018): Gives a good overview of why and how data is being used, and therefore why the large firms need them. Amazon's Alexa might be a key witness in a murder case - Lieber, Chavie (2018): Provides a new perspective on the issue, as well as an example of how the data can be used for good later. Revealed: 50 million Facebook accounts harvested for Cambridge Analytica in major data breach Cadwalladr, Carole & Graham-Harrison, Emma (2018): Explains the case of Cambridge Analytica quite well, thus showing one of the potential dangers of mass collection of data. Episode 60: Bringing Ethics and Privacy to Machine Learning - The Georgian Impact Podcast (2017): Podcast that brings up both some history on transparency, as well as the potential future of data privacy.
Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs I Recently approved legislation in Denmark among other acts imposes doubled penalties for crimes committed in designated low-income, predominantly Muslim areas, and has been criticised as xenophobic and discriminatory on the basis of religious beliefs. With many European nations struggling to integrate refugee communities what steps should be taken to ensure the liberty, rights and future of immigrant communities? By: Kanan Huseynov (AZ) and Panagiota Mitrakou (GR)
Since the early days of the society, people have tended to migrate from one place to another. In recent years, one of the main flows of migration has been from undeveloped countries to European shores. These migrants look for legal pathways but when this is unsuccessful they risk their lives to escape political oppression, war and poverty, as well seeking for family reunification, entrepreneurship, knowledge and education. Every person's migration tells its own story. Misguided and stereotyped narratives often tend to focus only on certain types of flows, overlooking the inherent complexity of this phenomenon, which impacts society in many different ways and calls for a variety of responses. On the other hand, the number of refugees and migrants is increasing in Europe in a somewhat a decreasing rate in the last years 103. The host countries hesitate to open their doors to new migrants, and usually set high requirements. Thus, the attitude towards the refugee communities in the EU Member Countries is not usually positive. Migrants and asylum seekers become target of hate crime; they face violence and harassment because of their religion, different cultural backgrounds, gender and skin color. These acts are perpetrated and condoned by state authorities, private individuals, as well as vigilante groups. In some cases, political figures welcome the act of vigilante groups104. The Danish government’s new plan of “getting rid of ghetto areas by 2030” is an example of government strategy to tackle refugee minority problems. The plan involves tougher criminal punishments in specified areas, housing rules aimed at changing resident demographics, data sharing, compulsory daycare attendance in underprivileged areas and financial incentives for good performance. According to this plan, residents of these specific areas will be double penalized for their crimes as an effort to decrease the crime and social inequality in Denmark’s underprivileged areas. The government itself will not decide which areas are going to be subjected to double penalty; this will be under the jurisdiction of local police chiefs105. In addition, maximum of 40% of
Brief analysis of facts and figures released by European Union Article specifying the details of hate crime against migrants and asylum seekers in European Countries Article by a Danish local online news agency
housing in these areas will be converted to a social housing106, which will likely lead to demolition of some housing107. Another crucial part of the plan is separating â€œghetto childrenâ€? from their families 25 hours in a week for mandatory teaching of Danish values108. This plan started many controversies with itself as it is perceived as discriminatory and unfair towards refugee communities, as well as gambling with the rule of law.
Immigrant: A person who moves to another country, usually for permanent residence. Migrant: A person who moves from one place to another in order to live in another country for more than a year mostly for find a better job, seeking better education and reuniting with family. Unlike refugees and asylum seekers, immigrants and migrants are safe to go back to their home countries. Refugee: A person who has been forced to leave his or her home country because of war, violence or persecution and has been granted refugee status Asylum seeker: A person who is seeking international protection from another country but whose claim for refugee status has not been legally determined Irregular migration: Movement that takes place outside the regulatory norms of the sending, transit and receiving countries. Hate Crime: Violence and offences motivated by racism, xenophobia, religious intolerance, or by bias against a personâ€™s disability, sexual orientation or gender identity. Ghetto areas: A neglected, or otherwise disadvantaged residential area of a city which largely populated by minority groups, typically because of social, economical and legal pressure.
Migrants, asylum seekers and refugees are the ones with the greatest stake in play, as those living in immigrant communities are facing discrimination. Taking into account the perspectives of migrants and their families, as well as empowering them is essential.
In Denmark social housing or, more specifically, not for profit housing consists of housing for rent provided at cost prices by not for profit housing associations. 107 Article by Danish local news agency 108 A news report from New York Times 106
European Union Institutions: the Council of the European Union, the European Commission, the European Parliament and the European Court of Justice are working on the refugee issues, including their integration to the society, in collaboration with United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR)109. The European Asylum Support Office110, Frontex111 and European Social Funds112 are few examples of European Agencies working towards building a better future for both Europe and its immigrant communities. Civil Society: International, regional, national, and local non-governmental organisations play a crucial role in assisting migrants in the host countries. The strategy of National Governments of the Members states and their political leaders affects immigrants directly as they are the main characters in host countries who can impose regulations.
Since 1999, the EU has been working on creating a Common European Asylum System (CEAS). The Treaty of Lisbon, establishing minimum standards in creating a common asylum system comprising of a uniform status and uniform procedures. It also underlined the principle of solidarity and fair sharing of responsibility, including its financial implications, between Member States. In addition, the Global Approach to Migration and Mobility(GAMM)113, which was evaluated in 2011, includes legal and irregular migration , strengthens protection for refugees , enhances migrant rights and harnesses the positive links that exist between migration and development. Furthermore, the EU has adopted some major pieces of legislation to combat irregular immigration. The so-called ‘Facilitators Package’ which is setting out a common definition of the crime of facilitating unauthorised entry, transit and residence, and Framework Decision 2002/946/JHA, establishing criminal sanctions for this conduct are some of them. In May 2015, the Commission adopted the EU Action Plan against migrant smuggling (2015-2020), and, in line with the Action Plan, the Commission conducted a REFIT evaluation on the application of the existing legal framework, which was preceded by a public consultation. The “Returns Directive” sets out common EU UNHCR with European Institutions The European Union is working towards a Common European Asylum System. EASO supports its implementation by applying a bottom-up approach. The aim is to ensure that individual asylum cases are dealt with in a coherent way by all Member States 111 Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, promotes, coordinates and develops European border management in line with the EU fundamental rights charter and the concept of Integrated Border Management 112 The ESF is Europe’s main instrument for supporting jobs, helping people get better jobs and ensuring fairer job opportunities for all EU citizens 113 Further information about GAMM 109 110
standards and procedures for returning irregularly resident third-country nationals. At the same time, the EU is negotiating and concluding readmission agreements with countries of origin and transit with a view to returning irregular migrants and cooperating in the fight against trafficking in human beings. These measures show the efforts made by the EU in combating irregular migration and raises the question of whether the EU should invest its resources to prevent irregular migration or to efficiently integrating immigrant communities and ensuring the rights and liberties of migrants are respected. On the other hand,the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) intends to safeguard the rights and well-being of people who have been forced to flee. UNHCR therefore strives to engage with migration issues that affect refugees and asylum-seekers, internally displaced people and stateless people. It focuses broadly on seeking to ensure that migration-management policies, practices and debates take into account the particular protection needs of asylum-seekers, refugees and stateless people, assisting states and partners to meet asylum and migration-management challenges in a manner that is sensitive to protection concerns, supporting stronger governance and closer observance of the universal character of human rights. To support these aims, UNHCR collects and analyses data and trends, develops policy and guidance, implements programs and provides operational support to governments and other stakeholders.
The current migration crisis is the worst since World War II. In 2015 and 2016 alone, more than 2.5 million people applied for asylum in the EU, while more than 2,030 people are thought to have lost their lives in the Mediterranean in the first six months of 2017 alone. However, most of the Member States do not have the will or the necessary infrastructure to absorb the migrants. The European Immigration policy as well as a European Asylum policy might be shared ideals by the Member States, but nevertheless they are not commonly implemented.
This situation leads to a
fundamental question, is there a way to ensure that all Member States implement those policies with respect to immigrants as human beings ? On the other hand, are those policies capable to resolve the age-old feeling of fear and threat against foreign people or the target for equal rights of immigrant communities is just an utopian willing? Unfortunately, the confrontation of Danish â€˜ghettosâ€™ is not the exception but the rule, and double punishments for crimes in those areas are nothing less than acts of discrimination, which obstructs the balance and the stability of the society.
A study by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights(FRA)114 have stated that similar xenophobic incidents have been noted in Germany, where 6432 xenophobic hate crimes took place in 2017. The study shows a rising trend in racist and xenophobic hate crime across Europe in the past years. How can the EU deal with such hate crime, seeing that the perpetrators are mainly EU citizens? Another rising conflict that concerns the majority of the immigrants is the difference between assimilation and integration. Assimilation is generally defined as adopting the ways of another culture and fully becoming part of a different society. Whereas integration is defined as incorporating individuals from different groups into a society as equals, and allowing new cultures to add to the value of society. The difference significant. Assimilation implies that immigrants must conform to the existing cultural norms of the host country. By contrast, integration recognises different cultures norms and welcomes them to the culture of the host country, allowing for a multicultural and accepting society. Hence, it is vital to separate those two different situations and define: does the EU intend to assimilate or to integrate?
How can the EU create guidelines for Member States on how to effectively confront refugee integration? Are modifications concerning the Immigration and Asylum Policies necessary? What further steps need be taken for a better integration of refugees and migrants into society? What approach does the EU need to take in order to ensure that all the people in the territory of the EU are treated equally?
Current migration situation in the EU: https://fra.europa.eu/en/publication/2016/currentmigration-situation-eu-hate-crime (focus on the main findings)
European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights: â€œHate crime recording and data collection practice across the EUâ€? (2018) 114
Refugee integration: https://www.unhcr.org/protection/operations/52403d389/new-beginningrefugee-integration-europe.html Agenda of European Commission on migration: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/priorities/migration_en Understanding
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jun/15/what-current-scale-migration-crisis-europefuture-outlook What Europe Has Done Right for Migrants: https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2018-1008/refugee-crisis-lessons-from-europe
Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs II Bullying and sexual harassment in the workplace: with 5-10% of working Europeans facing bullying at some point during their career, and women and LGBTI+ community being the most common victims, how can the Members States ensure a safe working environment?
Despite being recently given a lot of media attention, the problems of bullying and sexual harassment, especially in the workplace, are far from solved115. A recent report by the Women and Equalities Committee of the House of Commons described sexual harassment at work as, regrettably, “seen as an everyday occurrence and part of the culture in workplaces”116, whereas a report by an EU’s policy department found that workplace bullying is “a common problem of a very considerable magnitude”117. Noteworthy, bullying and sexual harassment at work affect people regardless of their occupation or education level. It can happen to a low-paid service worker as well as to an IT specialist.118 However, it must be noted that women and LGBTI+ people, especially gay men, are considerably more likely to face these problems. According to a European study “some 90 % of victims of sexual harassment are female and approximately 10 % are male”119. Bullying and sexual harassment create an intimidating, hostile and humiliating environment at work120, and their negative implications impact the whole society. Not only are these behaviours detrimental to individuals’ mental health and work performance121, they also contribute to a large scale loss of productivity and therefore output. A 2017 study found that victims of sexual harassment are more likely to quit their jobs or even give up their career plans122. Sexual harassment is also indicated as one of the reasons why so few women succeed in male-dominated industries.123
Bullying has no legal definition, however it usually refers to “abuse and mistreatment of someone vulnerable by someone stronger, more powerful, etc.”124
“Harassment and bullying at work”, Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, (2019). “Sexual harassment in the workplace”, House of Commons Women and Equalities Committee, (2018). 117 “Bullying and sexual harassment at the workplace, in public spaces, and in political life in the EU”, European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs, (2018). 118 “75 % of women in professions requiring qualifications or top management jobs and 61 % of women employed in the service sector have been sexually harassed” “Combating sexual harassment and abuse in the EU”, European Parliament resolution of 26 October 2017, (2017). 119 Ibid 120 “What is harassment?”, University of Exeter 121 “Sexual Assault and Mental Health” Twining Enterprise (2017). 122 “The economic and career effects of sexual harassment on working women”, H.McLaughlin et al. (2017). 123 “Women In Male-Dominated Industries And Occupations”, Catalyst (2018). 124 Definition of bullying, Merriam-Webster Dictionary. 115 116
Sexual harassment is, generally speaking, unwanted conduct of a sexual nature. It is a term broader than the related sexual assault as it also refers to behaviour as such written or verbal comments of a sexual nature, offensive jokes or emails with content of a sexual nature 125. Sexual harassment is illegal under the EU law as a form of discrimination based on gender. Sexism refer to actions based on the belief that the members of one sex are less intelligent or skilful than the members of the other sex, especially that women are less able than men126.
European Union through its institutions has taken several actions towards a better social and legal climate for those suffering bullying. For example. European Parliament adopted a resolution with clear actions suggested to different stakeholders involved127. Additionally, a comprehensive study “Bullying at work”128 was conducted by the same institution. European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) is the European Union information agency for occupational safety and health. They work “to make European workplaces safer, healthier and more productive — for the benefit of businesses, employees and governments.” We promote a culture of risk prevention to improve working conditions in Europe.129 European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions has the most comprehensive survey of the prevalence of bullying European Working Conditions Surveys (EWCS)130 at work across the EU based on interviews with about 1,000 respondents in each country. In the survey, bullying or harassment has been assessed with the same question and with the same, self-labelling method in all EU member states (plus Norway, Switzerland and Turkey). Cases of sexual harassment and bullying vary differently among Member States. European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights is the EU’s centre of fundamental rights expertise. It is one of the EU’s decentralised agencies. The Agency helps to ensure that the fundamental rights of people living in the EU are protected. Agency covers minority groups relevant to our topic such as gender-based violence131 or LGBT-related violence and discrimination132.
“Sexual harassment”, ACAS (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service). “Definition of sexism”, Cambridge Dictionary. 127 “Combating sexual harassment and abuse in the EU”, European Parliament resolution of 26 October 2017, (2017). 128 “Bullying at work”, Directorate-General for Research of European Parliament 129 About EU-OSHA 130 European Working Conditions Survey, Eurofound 131 Gender, EU Agency for Fundamental Rights 132 LGBTI, EU Agency for Fundamental Rights 125 126
Companies and their policies play the most immediate role about this topic as they set out the ground for the culture of intolerance towards any kind of bullying or harassment. Depending on whether there is procedure in HR department and the presence of representation of different genders, victims are more or less likely to report harassment.
Gender equality constitutes a core value of the EU133 and is recognised as such by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. The same document states that any discrimination including those based on sex and sexual orientation shall be prohibited in the EU. However, the implementation of these values into national laws is largely in the power of Member States. Moreover, since employment is one of the shared competences of the EU134, legal arrangements concerning bullying and sexual harassment at work differ from country to country. Notably, in recognition of the problem of sexual harassment, the European Parliament has passed a “Resolution of 26 October 2017 on combating sexual harassment and abuse in the EU”
There is lack of awareness regarding what falls under the definition of bullying and sexual harassment. “Something can still be considered sexual harassment even if the alleged harasser didn't mean for it to be. It also doesn't have to be intentionally directed at a specific person.“ On top of that, cases of sexual harassment and bullying are significantly underreported. Many people are afraid to speak about them from a fear of being treated with disregard or disdain. Example. The situation is especially difficult for victims when their perpetrator is their manager or a superior colleague and they are afraid of losing their job. Even when there is no denial that harassment took place victims are often blamed for what happened to them.
What factors contribute to the problem of sexual harassment in the workplace? How the victims of bullying or sexual harassment can be encouraged to report their perpetrators? 133 134
“Combating sexual harassment and abuse in the EU”, European Parliament resolution of 26 October 2017, (2017). FAQ on the EU competences and the EC powers, The European Citizens’ Initiative, (2019)
What are current penalties for bullying and sexual harassment in the workplace in the EU Member States? Are they adequate and properly enforced?
The Power of Us: How We Stop Sexual Harassment, a TEDx talk from the University of Nevada presenting conclusions of research about sexual harassment in the workplace. Bullying and sexual harassment at the workplace, in public spaces, and political life in the EU, a comprehensive report from research by the European Parliament Think Tank. Not all of it is relevant so focus on Executive Summary as well as sections 3 and 4 (pp.23-32). Bullying at work: your legal rights, an article from the Guardian about bullying and harassment at work. Note that the legal status presented applies specifically to the UK. Harassment and Bullying Prevention, advice for employers on what they can do to prevent harassment and bullying in their organisations.
Committee on Regional Development In 2015, the EU-28 early leaversâ€™ rate from education and training (defined for people aged 18 to 24 years) peaked at 12.2 % in rural areas. Particularly high early leaversâ€™ rates were recorded in the rural areas of a number of principally eastern and southern Member States. How can the EU implement its rural development policy in order to decrease the gap? By: George Pardalis (GR) and Mariana Pereira (PT)
In the EU most young people go through the current school system successfully making later a transition to continue education or to training and employment. Even though that is the common path, one in seven young Europeans still leaves the educational system without being fully equipped to enter the labour market. This means across the EU there are 6.4 million people considered early leavers.135 Meanwhile, the year 2020 is approaching with rapid steps and with it comes the strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training (ET 2020 Framework136), which includes the aim to lowerg early school leaves to less than 10% of the students. Despite an overall decrease in this early school leavers rate, the gap between northern and southern countries remains noticeable and even more contrasted lies the gap between rural and urban areas.137 In addition, the european population in rural areas has their health care needs less addressed as well as a higher risk of poverty and social exclusion, in comparison to urban areas. In the end, all this factors have a small but determinant role in the inclination people in rural areas seem to have to leave school earlier.138 As it is well known, education can play an important role in determining job opportunities and raising the quality of life of an individual. In fact, early school leaving is a contributing factor to social exclusion later in life. This is one of many reasons why it is so urgent to tackle the inclination that people living in rural areas have to leave education or training early.
Early school leavers are those who have reached, at most, lower secondary education and are not in further education or training. It is expressed in % of people between 18 and 24 years old in these conditions.139 EUâ€™s rural development policies are drawn up by the Member States or regions itself, addresses six priorities of the European Union, one of them being social inclusion, poverty reduction and economic development in rural areas.140 Reducing early school leaving in the EU - European Parliament (2011) ET2020 framework - European Commision (2009) 137 Statistics on rural areas in the EU - Eurostat (2017) 138 Statistics on rural areas in the EU - Eurostat (2017) 139 Early leaver from school and training - Eurostat (2019) 140 Rural development 2014-2020, European Commission (2014) 135 136
The European Commission has supporting competences regarding the individual education systems across the EU, which means it can support, advise and coordinate Members States. On the other hand, invests almost â…“ of EUâ€™s total budget in regional policy supporting job creation, economic growth and sustainable development through funds like European Regional Development Fund and Cohesion Fund. Members States are fully responsible for their own education and training system, receiving help from the EU in setting joint goals and sharing good practices. They play the key role in implementing and improving their rural development policies. The Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy (DG REGIO)141 is a department of the European Commission, which works with the Member States, regions and other stakeholders to assess needs, finance investments and social development of the less-favoured regions of the EU.
Europe 2020 strategy: In 2010, the EU adopted its Europe 2020 strategy to put Member States back on track following the crisis shocks of 2008. Education was identified as one of five key areas needing specific measures to support economic recovery. The agenda sets out four strategic objectives for education and training in the EU: a. making lifelong learning and mobility a reality b. improving the quality and efficiency of education and training c. promoting equality, social cohesion and active citizenship d. enhancing creativity and innovation (including entrepreneurship) at all levels of education and training. This strategy set a number of benchmarks142 to be achieved by 2020, including that the EU-28 share of early leavers from education and training should be not more than 10%. The governance of the strategy rests on yearly cycles of reporting and feedback known as the European Semester. Member States are on their way towards meeting the Europe 2020 education targets: lowering the number of early school leavers to less than 10% and ensuring that at least 40% of 30-34 year olds 141 142
Regional policy, European Commision (2019) Council conclusions on ET 2020, The Council of the EU (2009)
have completеd tertiary education. However, EU citizens are not yet benefitting evenly from the positive outcomes. A closer look reveals that some regions and segments of the population fare less well than others. At the same time, employment rates have worsened in spite of improvements in the general level of education. The European Parliament has expressed its stance on these issues, indicating possible ways forward. Four headline targets in Europe 2020: Target 1: 75% employment for 20‐64 year olds Target 2: 3% of GDP for Research & Development Target 3: 40% of 30‐34 year olds hold a tertiary degree, school drop‐out rate falls to less than 10% Target 4: 20 million fewer people at risk of poverty or social exclusion Two other flagship initiatives, both under 'Inclusive growth', were charged with education‐related tasks: the 'Agenda for new skills and jobs' was to develop a strategic framework for lifelong learning, whilst the 'European platform against poverty and social exclusion' was to provide innovative education opportunities to deprived communities. However, no benchmarks were set.
Education (like health) can play an important role in determining life chances and raising the quality of life of an individual. Education also has social returns, insofar as raising overall educational standards will likely result in a more productive workforce which, in turn, may drive economic growth. In 2015, the EU-28 early leavers’ rate from education and training (defined for people aged 18 to 24 years) peaked in rural areas while just over one quarter of the EU’s rural population (aged 30 to 34) had a tertiary level of educational attainment. An analysis over time reveals that the rural areas consistently recorded the lowest level of tertiary educational attainment, while the gap between rural areas and cities grew. People living in rural areas are generally more inclined to leave education or training early, which is caused by a combination of reasons. Lack of proper transportation to the school and long distances often lead to children leaving school. Additionally, pupils from rural areas tend to have a socio-economic disadvantage compared to urban-dwelling students, which means they 62
often have to work from an early age to help their familyâ€™s finances. Lastly, we should take into consideration that most universities and other tertiary educational establishments are based in cities, while cities tend to have more dynamic and specialised labour markets, which may be particularly attractive to graduates. A lack of educational skills and qualifications is likely to restrict access to a variety of jobs/careers. In order to tackle this issue educational success should be promoted for all learners while emphasizing more on equity and less on equality of opportunities. Furthermore, an updated curriculum, relevant with the labour market is necessary, along with vocational education and training which will retain learners in education. All in all, successful prevention and intervention programmes point to the importance of positive relationships between pupils and educators. In this context, it is important that a positive school climate should prevail, as well as a protected environment, from safe routes to school to the avoidance of physical violence and bullying.
Which group of young people decide/is forced to leave school? What are the reasons for a life-changing decision like this? What separates urban and rural areas regarding this matter? Which conditions result to higher early school leaving in eastern and southern Member States? What is already being done to deal with this problem? Is there a gap in the current legislation, and if so, how can we cover it? What goals should we set with an eye in the future? What measures should we suggest in order to eliminate this phenomena?
A brief introduction of the topic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qmhiu392AOA
European centre for the development of the vocational training: http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/en Statistics on rural areas: https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statisticsexplained/index.php/Statistics_on_rural_areas_in_the_EU European Semester explained: https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/policies/european-semester/
Committee on Transport and Tourism Recently published study on true costs of EU transport found that the total external costs of transport amount to the equivalent of around € 1 000 billion annually, which corresponds to almost 7% of EU28 GDP. With these costs primarily aﬀecting environment, health, air quality and climate, how can the EU reduce these negative eﬀects towards more sustainable transport? By: Sander Wagemans (NL) and Aimilios Pistofidis-Chatzidimitriou(GR)
Emissions from transport have been rising since 2014 and the transport sector is not on track to reach its policy goals for sustainable transport. About a third of energy consumption and nearly 25 percent of greenhouse gases are accounted by the transport sector.143 However, transport also plays a significant role144 in today's economy and society, an effective transport system is fundamental for Europe to compete in the global economy. The relationship145 between transport and the environment is complex - air pollution, climate and health have all been impacted by the transport sector. But most of these relations are indirect and therefore, hard to quantify. However, it is clear that in order for this sector to grow, develop and stay competitive in a sustainable era, the EU has to negate the negative effects and move to more sustainable transport.
transportation such as cycling or walking have benefits that go beyond reducing external costs or improving health. Sustainable transport146 can create new jobs147 and has proven to stimulate local economies. It provides better air quality and stimulates our physical activity and can save the EU â‚Ź 60 billion in healthcare alone148.
Progress of EU transport Transport sector economic analysis 145 The environmental impact of transportation 146 Three good reasons to promote sustainable mobility 147 Green and healthy jobs in transport 148 Healthcare costs due to transport pollution 143 144
Sustainable mobility, refers to a transport system, that enables individuals and societies to satisfy their needs for transportation in complete safety, in a way that is eco-friendly and which also contributes to sustainable development.149 Intermodal transportation comprises two or more different transportation modes linked end-toend in order to move cargoes or passengers from the point of origin to the point of destination. Freight transport is the physical process of transporting commodities and merchandise goods and cargo. 150
The European Commission is the main executive body of the EU, responsible for proposing legislation, implementing decisions and upholding EU treaties. The European Commission can, for example, impose certain legislation or support Member States which, in turn, are able to create a more sustainable transport network and find ways to reduce the negative impact of the transport sector. One way to create a more sustainable transport sector is by stimulating universities and other research institutes. These actors can develop more sustainable means of transportation or help overcome certain problems caused by outdated infrastructure. The European innovation partnership on smart cities and communities (EIP-SCC)151 is a initiative supported by the European Commission that brings cities, industries, researchers and other actors together. Its goals are to find innovative solutions for transport management to tackle major environmental, health and societal challenges. The EIP-SCC prioritises the creation of sustainable mobility152 and strategic partnerships between industries, cities and other interested parties153. The final actor is Civil society itself. Safe and efficient travel, the shipping of goods and every commute all play a role in the costs and impact of transport. Society is dependant on its infrastructure, services and goods and would be radically different without a functioning transport network.
What is sustainable mobility?, Alstom What is freight shipping? 151 EU smart cities 152 European Energy Efficiency Platform 153 What are smart cities? 149 150
The EU has adopted various legislative acts and has implemented different strategies, in order to achieve the Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by the UN and by the EU, in the domains of Sustainable Cities and Communities and Climate Action. 154 First of all, it is important to mention the European Sustainable Shipping Forum (ESSF), was established by a Commission Decision. The tasks of the European Sustainable Shipping Forum (ESSF) are to assist the Commission in implementing the Unionâ€™s activities and programmes aimed at fostering sustainable maritime transport. Moreover, the European Parliament along with the Council of the EU, adopted the Regulation 1692/2006, regarding the establishment of the second â€œMarco Poloâ€? programme, in order to provide financial support to the Member
performance of the freight transport system. 155
Furthermore the European Parliament and the Council adopted the Directive 2009/33/EC, on the promotion of clean and energy-efficient road transport vehicles. According to this Directive, all Member States are required to take into account the operational energy and environmental impacts, when purchasing road vehicles. Lastly, on the 20th of July 2016, the European Commission, in order to achieve a more efficient sustainable transport policy, published the Strategy for low-emission mobility,156 which mainly focuses on the domains of increasing the efficiency of the transport system, fostering the development of low-emission alternative energy on transport and moving towards zero-emission vehicles.
154 155 156
United Nations, 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development European Commission, Marco Polo II Programme Strategy for low-emission mobility, European Commission
sustainable mobility, has been, more often than not, a factor of conflict, for EU institutions and
Naturally, providing accessibility and mobility to all citizens, is a difficult task, especially when it comes to accommodating the needs of people and in the same time, fostering sustainable development. For example, it has been scientifically proven that COâ‚‚ emissions can result in extremely harmful effects.157 This means, that adequate infrastructure is needed when it comes to pedestrian, bicycle lanes and other types of emissions-free transportation. Not all Member States are equally effective at accommodating these needs. Inefficient road infrastructure might result in traffic congestion and rail, road, maritime or other types of accidents, the percentages of which are shown in the second pie chart, whereas the first pie chart, indicates the most popular means of transportation. Furthermore, it is important to take under consideration, that Member States usually encourage the usage of alternative fuels158 and low-emission energy resources. However, new investments and key stakeholders from the transportation industry, tend to support certain fuels and vehicles, which are more cost-effective solutions, but not always the most sustainable-friendly ones. Moreover, it is a fact, that not all EU countries have succeeded at the same extent to create modes of sustainable transportation. For example, there are countries such as The Netherlands159 or Germany160, which have managed to implement sustainable and safe transportation modes. On the other hand, countries such as Greece have failed to create a sustainable transport system, due to inadequate government policies. This disparity, brings the EU in a difficult position, when it comes to creating common policies for different Member States and in the same time satisfying their different needs.
Chris Dinesen Rogers (2018) The Effects of Carbon Dioxide on Air Pollution MEPs want â‚Ź10bn allocated for cleaner and safer transport in EU budget (2018) 159 Greatest sustainable transportation city: Groningen, Netherlands June 10 1/3 160 German Partnership for Sustainable Mobility 157 158
Lastly, it is important to keep in mind that sustainable transport policies deal with two different sectors; (a) personal mobility and (b) freight/supply chains. Consequently, both the EU and the Member States should be able to find a balance161 between satisfying the transportation needs of the citizens individually, while in the same time fostering trade relationships, by being able to cover the transportational needs of Multinational Enterprises smaller companies and individual merchants, in order to achieve economic growth.
What should be the biggest policy change within the EU towards more sustainable transport? How can the EU find a golden ratio between different stakeholders in order to ensure sustainable mobility and economic growth? What is the current most popular mode of transport in the EU, and is it possible to achieve both intermodal transportation and sustainable mobility?
Sustainable Transport Forum (STF), European Commission Sustainable Urban Transportation: Learning From Success Stories of Europe, Fadiah Achmadi Sustainable mobility Challenges, opportunities and conflicts â€“ A social science perspective Liana Giorgi M F Warrender (2017) A Sustainable Transport strategy for Europe Video on smart mobility, Strong economy.
Integrating passenger and freight transportation : model formulation and insights, University of Eindhoven