capturing all that shines in Piacenza 2012, XXIX째 National Selection Conference of EYP Italy
Piacenza 2012 |
p7 The First Time by Giulio del Balzo
Dear delegates, By now, you already had a first taste of the EYP experience. It was great to see you all discover EYP for the first time. We could see on your faces
a mixture of fear and excitement that turned into confusion when the first game started, and we felt like we were seeing ourselves during our very first EYP experience.
The first session of EYP I was enrolled in showed me things I had not imagined, as I did not expect that the importance of creating new relationships to a main part of the EYP experience. Once arrived in Lucca, I expected to work in a formal environment with fine-dressed people, debates, meetings with politicians and an immediate contact with the world of institutions. Instead, the first day all of us delegates were gathered in a football field and the officials started to play and dance: it
was teambuilding time. I immediately thought that it was weird, but, once we were divided in teams, I realised the games we were playing were occasions to forget shame and embarrassment, so I enjoyed that moment as much as possible. The same night, after the Euro Village, I made a lot of new friends and I was already cut in on EYP environment. At the moment, I understood that what EYP teaches you goes beyond politics itself: it taught me that values such as friendship and entertainment are necessary to work better. On the next day, the session became more challenging.
p12 Thursday 12th
p2 | XXIX NSC of EYP Italy
Piacenza 2012 |
Starry Eyed. You are probably all wondering the hy of this name. As you probably know, the theme of this session is role models. You are going to portray your role models at the theme party, and we will get the chance to see who you look up to, who are the people that make you starry eyed. Because that is what starry eyed means: being amazed, in awe, astonished. This is how our role models make us feel. You will also get a chance to see who our own role models are. However, every time we take part in an EYP event, the people that make us starry eyed are you the delegates. We want you to amaze us even further at this session. Show us your talents, do not be afraid to let go and shine. You are here to share your ideas, opinions, ideals. Do not hesitate to speak up and fight for them, as perhaps, in these, someone will find inspiration.You yourself might find inspiration in others. Be curious, stay open for new ideas, have no fear of challenging yourself. While the academic part of EYP might seem the most important one, you should not underestimate the importance of enjoying yourselves and making new friends. Stay hungry, stay foolish, as we were reminded by Steve Jobs. Camille Dugay Comencini (IT/FR) & Giada Benfatto (IT/ FR/DE)
CONTENT Welcoming Words
p4 Role Model: Hypatia p6 EYP behind the scenes p7 Chair Pairs p8 EMPL: The Greying of Europe p10 DEVE: It’s not about Money p11
CULT: Right to Education p12 AFET: Playing with Fire p13 First Time p14 AFCO: Democracy at Risk p16 ENVI: Europe’s Waistline p17 LIBE: Prisons in the Spotlight p18 FEMM: From one world to Another p19
Il n’y a pas d’articles en français dans ce numéro de Starry Eyed.
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welcome, BY THE BOSSES A few warming words by the three individuals in charge of running the place.
Their first time in EYP:
Maria Manolescu, President of the Session: “I had no idea what I would be doing there, what I was supposed to do and why I was going. I only did it because my sister had done it before me and because I liked the idea of skipping a few days of school.”
Simone Passeri, Head-Organiser: “There was this Philosophy teacher that wanted us to write two resolutions. What for? No idea. Once I knew we got selected, what I knew was that I had to confront other youngsters somehow and that we had to prepare a performance to introduce our delegation. That’s all.”
Camilo Vilagran, Head-Organiser: “I imagined it as something terribly big, complicated, serious and difficult. In my mind I had identified the whole Session just with the GA, getting more and more nervous about a thousand worries. I was so wrong!”
Dear delegates, Welcome to the XXIX National Selection Conference of EYP Italy in Piacenza. By now, you already had a first taste of the EYP experience. It was great to see you all discover EYP for the first time. We could see on your faces a mixture of fear and excitement that turned into confusion when the first game started, and we felt like we were seeing ourselves during our first EYP experience. We have been there as well, and whether it was in 2004 in Berlin, or in Bologna in 2008, or two years ago, in Cervia, we still remember those moments perfectly. Several doubts and questions were going through our heads, such as “what the … are they doing?!?”, “I won’t be able to understand the attacks in English”, or “The president will tell me to do something and I’ll get something different and everyone will laugh”. Yet, everything turned out for the best, and many sessions later, here we are. Preparing for this session and getting everything ready for you was not an easy task, but we were driven forward by the idea of giving you the opportunity to experience something as great as we did. All the sleepless nights, the hard work, the days spent writing e-mails or doing endless Skype calls will be worth it when we see your happy faces at the end of the session. Confidence and security will come in due time, and we hope you will be satisfied with yourself and your work by the end of the session. To help you get there we just have a few words of advice: be open to change, be curious. If you think outside the box, an endless world of possibilites will open to you. EYP is the way towards that world, a path you can walk on towards this undefined wonderful growth space. Expect nothing but be ready for anything. Don’t ever feel ashamed of your insecurities and remember to be yourself, in the way you feel most comfortable, with determination. Don’t leave any answer unquestioned. Forget the stereotypes. Forget imposed limits. Enjoy the experience and once you are back home, take time to think about what happened during these days. Think about what you liked, what you didn’t like and what you want to make out of this experience. There is a team of 40 officials that are have committed to do their best to offer you a unique EYP experience that will inspire you. Make the most out of it and make sure you have a blast at it. Maria Manolescu (RO), Simone Passeri (IT), Camilo Miguel Teillier Vilagran (RCH/IT)
Piacenza 2012 |
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HYPATIA, a woman in a man’s world by Borana Meta The first woman remembered for her work as a mathematician, a philosopher and as an astromer. I came to know about Hypatia two years ago reading a book of Adriano Petta. As soon as I read the first pages I fell in love with her. I had not heard anything about her before, but after reading that book and watching the movie “Agorà” I learned to value her not just for her studies and researches, but also for her great personality, her strength, her bravery, and her resistance to male chauvinism and popular ignorance. If, like many, you have never heard of her, after reading here you will understand why it is important to think of her as a heroine of the Ancient world, and even find in her a fantastic role model. Not everyone knows Hypatia really existed. We do not have any of her works because of her tragic and ruthless murder – she was burned with all of her writings. Nevertheless, Hypatia’s works and ideas are still remembered by people such as Marcel Proust, Margherita Hack, Adriano Petta and Micheal Deakin. Also, in the 2009 movie ‘Agorà’, Hypatia is seen investigating the heliocentric model of the solar system proposed by Arystarchos of Samos, and even anticipating the elliptical orbits discovered by Johannes Kepler 1200 years later. Hypatia (c.a. AD 350-370 to March 415) was a woman who fought against chauvinism, studied maths, philosophy and astronomy in an age in which people killed for matters of religion, ideology and worship. She was a woman in the Ancient world and a pagan in an increasingly Christian environment. Hypatia’s father, Theon, was the last head of the Museum of Alexandria. This made her an important figure, and allowed her to study and express her opinion more easily than other women at that time. Hypatia was famous for her passion for culture and science. She was not just a scientist, but also head of the Platonist school of Alexandria and taught astronomy and Platonic philosophy. Shortly before Hypatia’s death, Cyril was made the Christian bishop of Alexandria, and a conflict arose between Cyril and the prefect Orestes. Orestes was a friend of Hypatia and disliked by some Christians, and rumours started that Hypatia was the one to blame for the conflict. In the spring of 415 C.E. the situation reached a tragic conclusion when a band of Christians monks seized Hypatia on the street, beat her and dragged her body into a church where they mutilated her flesh with sharp tiles and burned her remains. For some people, Hypatia’s death marked the end of Classical antiquity. I think she is a wonderful person to be remembered. Even if she was completely destroyed as a human being, and as a scientist, she is still alive in every woman who fights against male chauvinism and ignorance caused by political and religious beliefs. – BM
Piacenza 2012 |
EYP BEHIND THE SCENES by Sigrun Fagerfjäll Who are all the different people you see running around? Here is your guide to the officials team. fee, to printing this newspaper. For the next couple of days the organisers will control everything you do. You had better be nice to them – your life is in their hands. You are probably wondering who the people hiding behind the camera flashes are. The answer is journalists. The journalists are your personal paparazzi. Anywhere you go someone from the press team will be there to document even the most insignificant details of your stay here in Piacenza. The journalists are all knowing, all seeing and always present, so comparisons to God are not too farfetched. The mission? To, with the guidance of the Editors and Video-Editors, produce high quality papers, videos and Facebook albums to serve as entertainment and printed memo-
Head Organisers, probably came up with the idea to organise this session months ago and thought the task to be completely crazy and impossible. Then they started planning and slowly the ‘impossible’ turned into a ‘maybe’ and then into a “Yes!”. The organisers have a diverse job description. It consists of everything, from making sure the delegates are where they are supposed to be at the right time, to making sure we get cof-
ries that you can bring home with you. The press team will also be there to hang out and answer any questions you have about EYP, world issues and life in general. In return the journalists expect you to provide them with intelligent insights, inspiration and – last but not least – gossip. So, next time you see a journalist walking by, strike a pose and your face might end up in the next issue of Starry Eyed.
Your very own guides on your EYP journey are the chairs. The chairs team consists of some of the wisest people you will ever meet. Their role at the session is to guide your committees through the session without influencing your opinions. The chairs team is lead by the President of the session, Maria Manolescu (RO) and her three brilliant sidekicks, the Vice Presidents. Together, they make up the board. Sometimes the chairs tend to be a bit cryptic, which is frustrating, but also part of their charm. Make sure to ask them questions because they are very knowledgeable and will always provide you with an answer. They also know a lot of silly games and songs, and a common super power among chairs is the ability to remember a lot of names really quickly. In the next page of this very issue we will provide you with an introduction to the amazing chairs team of Piacenza 2012, do not miss it. Hopefully you now have an idea of what the roles of the different people at this session are. Remember, they are here to help you get the most out of your stay here in Piacenza so make use of them. – SF
At every EYP session there is a team of officials that has as a sole purpose to make your experience better. There are three different groups of officials: organisers, journalists and, last but not least, chairs. So what are the tasks of these different groups? Keep reading and you will find out. You do not see much of them but they are always present and controlling everything we do like evil puppet masters. The organisers are the whole reason we are here and are the people who make sure that we never want to leave. It might seem like the organisers mostly carry stuff around and serve food but really they are the true visionaries of a session. The leaders of the organising team, Camilo Tellier Villagran (RCH/IT) and Simone Passeri (IT), the
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HERE THEY ARE, THE
Robin Roy Fonda (IT) Studies Law in Trieste The person who inspires you the most? “Me, because I’m perfect, obviously“
Gregor Rawert (DE) Studies law
Lorenzo D’Eri (IT) Currently gearing up for Secondary School Leaving Certificate Who is the person who inspires you the most?“ Oscar Wilde, because he looked at life as the biggest piece of art you can be working on
Aida Grishaj (AL) Studies Law at the LMU in Munich, Germany
Who is your role model? „David Ben Gurion“
Maria Vittoria Bachi (IT) Studies law in Pisa Who’s your true inspiration? Sappho! She was a Greek poet and though she was a woman she has always been considered as one of the most gifted poets on earth
Laurens Kraima (NL) Studies Political Science in the beautiful town of Amsterdam, where he was born and raised Who is the person who inspires you the most? I guess I’ll go for Machiavelli because he came up with theories that are still legit up to this date. „
Dana Ion (RO) Studies Finance&Banking in Bucharest What was the dumbest thing you’ve ever done once you were delagate?“ Probably the most stupid thing that I and my team did was to write the resolution before the session.
Monica Mantovani (IT) Studies Translation and Interpretation in Brussels Who is the person you draw inspiration from?“ My mom, because she’s stunning, thin and is a good cook“
Piacenza 2012 |
CHAIRS A glimpse into the fabulous life of Villa Regina Mundi’s elite. xoxo, Gossip Girl
Niall Murphy (IE) Studies law Who is your role model? Sergio De Mello because of his amazing contribution to the good of humanity .
Priit Piip (EE) Lives in the UK EYP in three words: Expensive Changing Intellectual
Alex Proctor (FI) Currently gearing up for Secondary School Leaving Certificate Who is the person who inspires you the most?“ Oscar Wilde, because he looked at life as the biggest piece of art you can be working on
Francesca Purricelli (IT) Last Year of High School Who you draw inspiration from?” A person who inspires me is Christian, main character of the “Moulin Rouge”, he’s a bohemien and believes in truth, beauty, freedom and love “.
Giulia Pace (???) Studies Political Sciences in Rome Can’t say with absolute certainty where I come from: my crib’s in France, most of my shoes are in Rome and my heart is in London. Airplane seats are the only place where I sleep well.
Greta Ardito (IT) Last Year of High School Who’s your true inspiration? The most stupid thing as a delegate: screaming out loud as soon as Andrea Stagni announced he was to be our chair again.
Laura Letoing (FR) Age:23 She doesn’t have any specific role model, she is just inspired by nature.
Dario Feliciangeli (IT) Studies Mathematics in Rome The person who inspires you the most? Hank Moody, the main character in Californication. He is freaking awesome. EYP is: people, travelling ,coffee
p10 | XXIX NSC of EYP Italy
The Greying of Europe
rti ic A
by Toni Kerridge
L P M E
Can the EU unite the ‘Oldies’ with the ‘Youngsters’? Across Europe, life expectancy rates rose by 8 years between 1960-2006 and could increase by another 5 years between 2006-2050. To maintain an equal population size in each generation, fertility rates must be 2.1 children per woman. However, in 2008 it was predicted that the rate would be 1.68 by 2060, so the younger generations will be too small to support the ageing population. Apologies for the rather bleak start to an article but there seems no other way to present this topic than to start with the basic statistics. Not to mention that I was also rather disturbed by the thought of producing 1.68 children. I guess someone else can have the other 0.32 of one. This topic is particularly relevant for this National Session as Italy faces this crisis more than many other European countries, with a high age (over 60) population and a very low fertility rate. It has been estimated that the country would need to raise its retirement age to 77 or admit 2.2 million immigrants each year to maintain its worker to retiree ratio. But Italy is not alone; every EU member state faces this problem. Innovative solutions are needed
in the EU, and they are needed fast. It is a huge topic to deal with and there are several main areas that need changing: pensions, health and long-term care, employment policy, immigration and integration, and infrastructure. They cannot simply be sorted and unified by waving a magic wand. By 2050 the share of the working-age population (age 15-64) will have fallen from 66.9% to just 56%, and the share of the population older than 65 will increase to 30% from 17%. To put it simply: too many old people and not enough workers. There are many possible solutions to these problems, starting with more encouragement for female labour participation, especially in countries such as France and Italy. Immigration in all member states will have to increase – with controls carefully laid in place to avoid rising antipathy in EU countries against immigrants. It would be of utmost importance that the skills of migrants match the needs of the labour markets so the public trust the governments are aiding their countries growth. On the issue of pensions, some argue they will have to be lowered,
and private-pension provisions will need to become more prominent, alongside a policy to combat discriminatory prejudices against older works. People need to have incentive and encouragement to work longer. These are a few suggestions, all of which require much debate to resolve the details. It is also worth thinking about the role the civil society and media should play in creating social cohesion across generations. After all, policies rarely work in a fractured society and the EU governments need the support of the people to combat this problem. With 2012 declared the ‘European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations’ to raise awareness of the contribution older people make to society, a starting point has been introduced. Yet this will not be enough unless solid and cohesive policies are put in place soon. This demographic change should be embraced as a chance to open new opportunities for the EU, rather than seen as a hazard. However, if actions are not taken now, a crisis will spread. – TK
Piacenza 2012 |
It’s not about the
by Emanuele Cossa
MONEY, MONEY, MONEY. cle
rti ic A
E V E D
We just wanna make the world dance, forget about the price tag Obesity is mainly an American probleThe lack of plains, pastures and reservoirs has triggered a quest for land and natural resources that resulted in the phenomenon of ‘land-grabbing’. This term has long been used to identify large-scale land acquisitions made by corporations, governments and privates. The reason why the issue is now getting international media coverage is because since 2007 there has been a surge of land acquisitions in developing countries, which is seriously putting in danger the survival of local populations. It is easy to see why ‘landgrabbing’ is considered the expression of the year, right after ‘spread’.
is being exploited for the production of bio-fuels by those countries that are naturally abundant in petrol and gas, with only 11.4% being used for agricultural production. It seems like a paradox since the original intent was to use the newly acquired land for population-feeding purposes. Multinational corporations promote this practice as a panacea for third-world countries, claiming it helps local populations to switch from an old-school type of farming to modern and less time-consuming techniques. Unfortunately local people profit neither from the production nor the consumption. In fact, they are often forced to abandon their lands upon the payment of a tiny sum of money, far from the actual price of the land. As previously mentioned, these people are so poor that even a few hundred bucks would seem like a fortune to them. Therefore, they accept to sell the land for an amount that is ridiculously small for the buyer. It is now your turn to find new ways to better accommodate both the needs of autochthonous people and those of developing and developed countries and multinational firms. – EC
Africa, Latin America and parts of Asia are the lands most targeted by more economically developed countries (MEDCs), such as Saudi Arabia, Japan, China, India, Korea, and Libya. EU countries are not strangers to the practice either. The time of massive armies and that of « conquistadores » are now gone. Rather than colonising a country by force, rising powers now buy the land they need from those people too poor and desperate to fight back. The land does not physically move, whereas its products fly abroad to more prosperous countries that are now paying the consequences of an economy based on a heavily polluting industry. The first country to ever step into this direction was Saudi Arabia, after figuring out that despite the hoards of petrol on which the country was floating, it did not have any natural resources to feed its citizens. That was when the Saudi government took action and bought huge pieces of land from Ethiopia for a few dimes. The land was meant for the production of primary goods at a very low expenditure. What is most worrisome is that 37% of the subtracted land
p12 | XXIX NSC of EYP Italy
Education beyond disabilities by Borana Meta
rti ic A
T L U C
The right to education should be granted despite physical and mental disabilities, only this way will integration be possible. People with disabilities want the same rights and entitlements as everyone else. The European Project ‘Pathways to Inclusion’, which stands for a better integration of disabled people into school, responds positively to that. It is important to do everything we can to make sure these people have the possibility to gain real skills and real jobs, are granted the same right and the access to the same opportunities. The challenge for the EU is to stop judging people by what they cannot do and start valuing what they can do. When facing the matter of the exclusion of disabled people, it is necessary to take into account different government agencies, such as the Department of work and Income, the Ministry of Health, or the Ministry of Education. The EU must reach several goals in order to solve the problem, among which is the increase of people with disabili-
ties in the world of employment, and their participation in the community. For that, it is essential to start considering people with disabilities from the very beginning of their growth and maturation: when they still attend school. The relevance of education is underlined in the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF), which is a framework of the World Health Organisation (WHO). The ICF suggests itself a biopsycho-social classification model: the analysed person is not just considered from a point of view of personal health, he or she is also considered from a global point of view. This intervention is careful to measure his or her total potential, considering all different resources of the individual and taking into account that the personal, natural, social and cultural framework weighs heavily on the growth of a person. When it comes to education, the trend among EU countries is the realisation of educational policies that integrate disabled students in ordinary schools and ensure several types of support for teachers, such as extra staff, educational materials and technical instruments. Different EU countries have different approaches to education, which can be divided into three categories: 1. The first one (one way approach) is for countries where disabled students study in ordinary school system. Examples are Spain, Italy, Greece, Portugal, Islands, Sweden, Norway and Cyprus. 2. The second one (mulidirectional approach), concerns countries where there is more than one method and several approaches to treat integration. They offer a variety of services between the two systems (i.e. mainstream and special needs education systems). This occurs in France, Ireland, Austria, Estonia, Poland, Slovenia and Lithuania.
3. In the third one (bi-directional approach), there are two different and separate educational systems. Generally students with Special Educational Need (SEN) go to ‘special schools’ that are only for SEN students. This method is popular in Germany, Belgium and Netherlands, even if now Germany and Belgium have started to adopt a multidirectional system. When considering these school systems, one should keep in mind that the population density has an impact on their efficiency. In fact, in low-density countries the separation between ordinary schools and special schools presents several disadvantages. First of all, this kind of instruction necessitates moving disabled children from a city to another. The consequences are negative: children do not have time to make friends in the neighbourhood and they are cut out from their social environments. It is proven that in those areas this system has more negative outcomes than positive results. In highdensity areas however, the negative impact is limited. In these cases the consequences of having separate schools can be mitigated due to the fact the facilities are likely to be in the same areas. Also, the organisation of specific structures has financial benefits. The discussion on how to integrate young people with disabilities within the school system is very important. However, one has to consider that there are different methods in every country and in every region regarding school systems, funds, teachers and employments. It is important to include disabled people in the regular school system. Even if we are still far from an ideal situation, we can make this inclusion a realistic project if people start getting serious about this issue. – BM
Playing with fire; how should the EU approach Syria?
Piacenza 2012 |
rti ic A
T E F A
by Sigrun Fagerfjäll The humanitarian situation in Syria is unacceptable and some say that it is the international community’s responsibility to put an end to it. How should the EU handle such a complex situation where so much is at stake? Sunni states such as Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar support the opposition. On the other, Shia states such as Iran and Iraq support the government. The Shia government is also backed by the Lebanese organisation Hezbollah. Western countries are involved in the conflict too. The United States and Israel have even been accused by Iran of starting the uprising by financially assisting organisations that support the opposition. Considering that several countries are involved in this conflict and that they all have different interests and motivations, the situation in Syria can definitely be classified as highly dangerous. The outcome will not just affect Syria but might also have a great impact on the rest of the world. It is clear that the developments in Syria can by no means be ignored by the European Union. So how do we handle this explosive situation? Will the economic sanctions imposed by the European Union be enough? The European Union uses economic sanctions as a tool to promote democracy, human rights, fundamental freedoms, international cooperation and peace, and to ensure the security of the union. These criteria definitely apply to the situation in Syria, and the European
Union has already imposed a travel ban and asset freezes on more than 40 companies and 120 individuals including President Assad and the Syrian central bank. According to the European Commission, in 2010 the European Union was Syria’s greatest trading partner, accounting for 22.5% of all Syrian trade. The European Union also stood for 90% of Syria’s oil export, an industry that accounts for 20% of Syria’s GDP. While this could make it seem like the sanctions would hit the Syrian government quite hard, critics affirm that it is not enough to put an end to the abuse of human rights. They insist that the European Union and other international powers should take further action. However, intervening in such a dangerous conflict would mean taking a big risk since this might spark further conflicts with other countries in the region. The situation in Syria and how the European Union should approach it is a true dilemma. In this session AFET will face the challenge of finding a balance between helping the people in their fight for Syria’s freedom and ensuring the security of the European Union while attaining peace in the Arab countries. – SF
Syria is fighting for freedom. We have all seen the images of suffering and violence in the media. The humanitarian situation in the country keeps getting worse and the list of victims keeps getting longer. In response to this the European Union has put economic sanctions on Syria. The question is, will this be enough? The ripples of the Arab spring reached Syria about a year ago, when public demonstrations against the government began on the 26th of January 2011. The protesters demanded the resignation of president Bashar al-Assad to put an end to nearly five decades of Ba’ath Party rule. The government decided to quell this uprising with violence. Since then about 10,100– 12,500 people have died in the conflict between the opposition and the government according to the United Nations. From this description the conflict might be interpreted as a simple clash between the government and the people of the country. However, the situation is a lot more complicated than that. It is also a conflict between two religious orientations; the opposition mostly consists of Sunni Muslims while the leading government officials are Shia Muslims. This makes it a conflict of great interest for other Muslim nations. On one hand, the
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The First Time by Giulio del Balzo Each EYPer’s first sesssion is unforgettable. The first session of EYP I was enrolled in showed me things I had not imagined, as I did not expect that the importance of creating new relationships to a main part of the EYP experience. Once arrived in Lucca, I expected to work in a formal environment with fine-dressed people, debates, meetings with politicians and an immediate contact with the world of institutions. Instead, the first day all of us delegates were gathered in a football field and the officials started to play and dance: it was teambuilding time. I immediately thought that it was weird, but, once we were divided in teams, I realised the games we were
playing were occasions to forget shame and embarrassment, so I enjoyed that moment as much as possible. The same night, after the Euro Village, I made a lot of new friends and I was already cut in on EYP environment. At the moment, I understood that what EYP teaches you goes beyond politics itself: it taught me that values such as friendship and entertainment are necessary to work better. On the next day, the session became more challenging. First the committee work took place. There we talked in an informal way about the resolution we were going to present. At the beginning, there
was a brainstorming moment where we collected our ideas, and at the end we had to find agreements. Since we often had opposite position, we learned the value of diplomacy and we had to put that skill to use for the debates to be successful. Hence, the session days were extremely intense, with no time to rest. The various experiences continued, until we arrived to the General Assembly, the crowning moment of the session, when the entire work we had done was going to be evaluated. We were working for the future of Europe. We finally got the chance to build a common path. I remember we were all extremely thrilled after a night of studying and preparing. When I spoke during the open debate, the microphone in my hands was shaking a lot, but I
“It is the only place where you can go through a hundred experiences in four days.” managed to answer to all of the questions that my committee was asked. The most beautiful moment of all, after the GA, was when all of us, delegates and officials, hugged each other in a circle, singing John Lennon’s “Imagine”. I felt really moved then and I finally realised everything I had just experienced. I felt the love for EYP as if it was a big family. Many of us started crying because these feelings had spread among everyone present. The last night we all had fun together during the farewell party, looking at the session videos and crying together again. Something was happening in our hearts. During those four days, we had exploited the opportunity to get in contact with our new fellows, creating strong friendships. I hope it will be the same for you, delegates that are attending this session. – GdB
Piacenza 2012 |
The Evolution of an EYP Delegate: Stage 1 Everyone goes through different stages in an EYP session. You arrive, you are nervous. Then however you gain confidence... Want to find out what stage you are in?
Stage: New Arrival Weaknesses Tendency to gather tightly in groups with familiar people (safety in numbers tactic) Hint of panic/confusion in eyes Wandering aimlessly around and asking questions like ‘What do I actually have to ‘do’ in teambuilding?’
Strengths High levels of excitement and energy Actually managed to arrive at the Session: Stage One Complete Saturday’s party outfit already planned to the last detail Survival Techniques
5/6… I only need a couple a day, right?
Number of Hours before Next Coffee Needed:
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Democratic Participation at Risk of Extinction by Giulio del Balzo le
O C F A
People are far away from institutions. European turnout is gripped by a steady decline. Can a new active citizenship rise again? This period of deep global crisis has relevant repercussions on European politics: most people get more interested in their own Country’s affairs than in the European ones. They do not seem to remember what Schuman’s dream signifies for us all: a great chance to reach peace and security through cooperation. Does the European Union have an active citizenship any longer? The voter turnout is already gripped by a steady decline. From the first elections to the European Parliament, held in 1979, to the last in 2009, this fell from 66% to 43% approximately. The decline in voters’ participation affects all countries in the Union. Even the eastern ones, which only
recently joined the EU, while showing a positive attitude towards Europe, demonstrated a very low number of votes in the last election. This fact contrasts with the reality of a Parliament that has become the scene of important discussions that rebound on the whole continent and whose powers have grown greatly in recent years. A contradiction that has reason to exist, as EU institutions are still struggling to gain visibility towards the citizens, but mass media still prefer to give more publicity to national events. The Europeans feel therefore confused, badly informed but also too discouraged to search for more information. Europeans are aware of their duty, but unfortu-
nately their votes seem to fall into an empty container. The European Parliament is seen as an institution that is still too distant and that cannot compare to the national Parliament. Add to that the current crisis, dangerous enough to compromise the security of the European citizenship and which could easily spread scepticism. What the EU needs is to spread the message that even if the EP does not play the classic legislative function it remains a parliament with one fundamental value: the representation of the people. We know that if indifferent people were not entitled to vote, politicians would not spend time in political campaigns. Hence, since people often do not really understand what a powerful tool suffrage is, the EU should spread the value of an active citizenship in which politicians and citizens work closely bound to each other. Also, When voting in European elections the performances of the different political parties have to be evaluated differently than during the national elections, because their attitude in their National Parliament is one thing and their attitude in European Parliament is another one. The EU should follow these two principal headlines in a policy focused on polling’s increasing. Nevertheless the EP has to renew its image as a powerful and positive cooperative institution, also considering the strong impact of communicating trough Social Networks and the possibilities offered by new technologies such as e-voting. – GdB
Piacenza 2012 |
Managing Europe’s Waistline by Toni Kerridge le
Bring on the Supranational ‘Fat Camp’ sit there and judge me as I tuck into my dinner this evening, because Europeans across the whole EU seem set to challenge the US citizens by piling on the pounds in an alarming fashion. For children in particular this is a problem. In 2010, research showed one in seven children in the EU were overweight or obese, with only one in five children exercising regularly. Two years later this number has risen. Around 3 million people die worldwide every year from the
whole new problem: the ever-increasing waistline of the European people. I am particularly ashamed, although not very surprised, that it is Britain which holds the heavyweight medal with predications that by 2030, 50% of the population will be obese. But do not think you can smugly
diseases caused by obesity, such as type-2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease. Now is the time for the EU to take action and stop future generations from contributing to these figures. Focus must be placed on improving food in schools, increasing encouragement and
incentive of physical activity, limiting fast food advertisements and dealing with the problems of alcohol abuse. The problem seems to lie in there being no cohesive approach across the EU to deal with the problem. Hungary imposed a ‘Hamburger Tax’ last year on foods with high fat, sugar and salt contents, soft drinks and beer. It was closely followed by Denmark who introduced a ‘fat tax’ for the content of fats in butter, milk, cheese, pizza, meat, processed food and oil. The French too approved a soda tax that raised the price by 35%. Burger guzzlers and fizzy drink addicts may have been outraged by these changes, but the predicted annual proceeds of Є70 million in Hungary and over Є100 million a year in France seems like a worthwhile benefit when put in perspective. So is now the time for the EU to impose a supranational ‘fat tax’ across all member states? Or in a time of economic crisis, would it be detrimental to antagonise large firms, such as Coca-Cola, with this tax and risk losing investment? There is no doubt that this is a huge problem, which needs to be worked on through many institutions and businesses across all member states. The EU must be careful not to wield a double-edged sword, or tape measure in this case, when dealing with this issue, so that it does not end up causing more problems than it solves. – TK
Obesity is mainly an American problem, right? Double/triple/quadruple cheeseburgers, mountains of fries, buckets of fizzy drinks and a kilogram of chocolate on the side… Europeans tend to point the finger across the Atlantic when it comes to obesity, but it’s time to turn our eyes homeward and face the fat facts. We’ve all heard of the term ‘enlargement’ when discussing the EU, but it no longer just refers to the increase of member states. Instead, it stretches across a
p18 | XXIX NSC of EYP Italy
Prisons in the Spotlight
by Giulio del Balzo
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With convicts living in conditions that can only be described as inhuman, it is up to LIBE to find solutions to the disastrous situation of prisons.
The situation of prisons in Europe is alarming nowadays: overcrowding, spreading violence, psychological diseases, more and more immigrants and detainees waiting in trial. These are the main problems concerning detention as described by the European Commission in the Green Paper published in June 2011. Italy, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Spain and Greece have the most overcrowded penitentiaries. Luxembourg and Cyprus have most people waiting for trial. Though in some other States things are not so bad, this crisis must be faced as quickly as possible. Prisoners’ rights must be respected everywhere since these people are human beings, even if they have committed a crime. A lack of freedom should not lead to a lack of rights. Detention must not only be thought as a punishment, but also as an occasion of re-education and social inclusion. How could prisoners be reintroduced in a society that abuses them on the pretext of punishing their previous actions? The whole prison population among the Member states amounts to 630.000
detainees and represents one of the most complicated social issues, but the media does not highlight that enough. Each member State in the EU can decide on its own prison system. Nevertheless, the European Parliament has decided it to deal with this issue, as civil rights are being infringed. The aforementioned Green Paper, which is a document released by the European Commission that aims at creating discussion on an European level, is a first step towards moving this from a national issue to an European one. Firstly the EP asks for a lower use of pre-trial detention in order to reduce overcrowding. Ministers of the European Parliament affirm it must remain an exceptional measure, to be used only when essential and for a limited period of time, according to the fundamental principle of presumption of innocence. Moreover they call on the Member States to set aside proper resources to restructure prisons, to protect detainees’ rights, to prepare them for their release and sequent social integration and to monitor their suffering from mental and psychological disorders. Indeed, their
goal is the creation of a specific EU fund to sustain those projects, trying to meet the States’ financial necessities halfway. Secondly, they demand the States to follow the commitments written during international forums to increase the use of sanctions, which offer an alternative to imprisonment. Thirdly, to check prisoners’ conditions, the EP asks for common European rules. Therefore if national MPs are guaranteed the right to visit prisons, likewise this right should be granted to MEPs. Hopefully the Member States will submit to the EP’s ordering, because it is absurd to think of a democratic system unable to assure the basic civil rights to its citizens. The conclusions mentioned above mean that it is time to revise the system of sanctions. What about the introduction of measures such as electronic bracelets or community detention, which could be a cheaper solution, in this period of economic crisis? It is now up to LIBE to find innovative solutions to this topic, in order to find a balance between the prisons’ system and civil rights. – GdB
Piacenza 2012 |
From One World to Another
by Sigrun Fagerfjäll
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M M E F
Today many female immigrants face discrimination and exclusion from society. What can the European Union do to improve the situation of women from ethnic minorities?
After years of struggle and persecution in your home country you finally get off a plane and face a whole new world. A world where the threats that used to be part of your everyday life are history, but where you are suddenly facing a whole new set of challenges. You do not know the language or the culture of the country and the people there have completely different values from the ones you were raised to have. The expectations about women are different. Do you think this scenario sounds terrifying? Imagine then that on top of this you would also be discriminate, people would refuse to help you and listen to you. No one should have to face that. So, how can this problem be solved? How can you change the mindset of people? The key lies in the integration of these immigrating women, and the key to integration is work. The risk is that women who immigrate to Europe end up staying at home, taking care of children. That way
they never learn the new language or get integrated into the society. The fact that these women never get out of their houses also means that people never meet them and cannot realise that there is nothing wrong with them, therefore the tolerance for these women remains unacceptably low. The way to get these women out into society and teach them the language is to get them to work. Right now it is hard for a female immigrant to get a job. There is a language barrier and a cultural barrier that make the employers hesitate. Also, many times people see a woman in a veil and think that she is oppressed or that she is a fundamentalist. This is the picture that the media has provided us with. A woman who is oppressed or a fundamentalist is not someone you want to hire. Therefore women of ethnic minorities are often rejected by employers based on prejudices. The fact that women are expected to
stay at home in many cultures also complicates things. It is hard to go against tradition and break new ground. Therefore many choose to stay at home while the men provide for the family. This way women remain dependant on their husbands and excluded from society. The European Union needs to help female immigrants become independent and attractive on the labour market. We need to stop the discrimination against these women and start including them in the society. This session it will be FEMMs’ task to integrate female immigrants and fight discrimination. The goal? A European Union where women can get off a plane and enter a world of opportunities instead of a world full of closed doors. – SF
The image is a scene from the film “Terraferma”, by Emanuele Cralese. The film does not actually deal with the problem of women struggling to integrate in society, but with the issue of illegal immigration in Italy. In particular, it deals with the sitation that occurs on small islands such as Limosa, told through the eyes of a local family and an immigrant woman, who is trying to reach her husband. However, the movie ends on a big question mark, what will she find when and if she finally reaches her husband?
Starry Eyed p20 | XXIX NSC of EYP Italy
JOURNALISTS Borana Meta (IT/AL) Emanuele Cossa (IT) Sigrun Fagerfj채ll (SE) Giulio Del Balzo (IT) Toni Kerridge (UK) EDITING TEAM Print: Camille Dugay Comencini (IT/FR) Giada Benfatto (IT/FR/DE) Video: William Goyet (FR) Sara Rinaldi (IT)