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am 2014 d s t o P f o m Media Tea strings e h t g in ll u Issue 2: P


Journorial Dear readers, stay calm and keep reading! We have hijacked this newspaper, because we wanted to address you in this journorial. You may know us from running around taking pictures, interviewing you or simply hanging around in your committees. We are the Media Team of Potsdam’14. We are here to capture the session, inspire you and let you have your say. We have compiled this issue with your interests in mind and we hope that it adds something extra to your session experience. This issue is your express flight from the EU to the US, from perspectives of young Europeans to prominent politicians, from direct to representative democracy.

Moreover, we wish for you not to only enjoy the session, but learn something about Europe and about yourselves at the same time. We want you to take advantage of this special opportunity to develop yourself – so dare to step out of your comfort zone and be ready to gain new skills, friends and memories. The journalists of Potsdam’14, Veriko, Ana, Lisa, Lara, Joanna, Philipp, Michal, Max, Ole.


Two flavors of democracy

4

Ants vs. Democracy

6

The EU with Martin Schulz

8

Free trade controversy

10

The topics of Potsdam

12

Brain drain or brain collapse?

16

I am here because...

18

Find the facts

19


Two flavours o

by Veriko

Demo

Government b

Direct Democracy

Form of government in which political decisions are directly made by the citizens. Originates from ancient Greece, where the understanding of Democracy was quite different from today’s standards. The people, or more specifically the unity of free citizens, collectively played the role of lawmakers. They directly participated in the decision-making process and managed the home and foreign affairs of the Polis. Direct Democracy was effectively working due to the small size of the city. One of the many differences from modern democracy was the lack of distinction between legislative and executive branches of the government. The citizens had control over both of these branches. Direct participation in decision-making required either physical presence of the citizens or holding referendums. It can only function on a small territory with a limited number of citizens to enable everybody's involvement in political matters. Citizens must be able to afford spending time and money on their political involvement. Enables the representation of diverse positions and opinions on political matters. Focuses on people and individuals and emphasises that the whole community needs to participate in the political life of the state. Time-consuming process with potentially low outcome and lack of motivation among the citizens. 4 / 20

Referen

Citizen’s In


of democracy

o Devidze

ocracy

by the people

ndum

nitiative

Representative Democracy

Form of government in which the citizens’ rights to make decision are realised through their elected representatives. Representative Democracy was first used in the Roman Empire. The concept was further developed in the 18th century and led to the idea of free elections. It is based on the principle of chosen officials representing the citizens of the state. The citizens identify the main objectives and their representatives choose the means of achieving them. The reason why countries moved from the direct to the indirect model of Democracy was that the participative model was no longer useful for countries with large territories and population. They needed a mechanism that would allow more consistent governance through which the interests of the citizens would still be taken into consideration. This is why most modern states use indirect democracy with some elements of direct democracy. Non-violent and honest competition between citizens and political parties for every position in every political institution. Equal opportunities for every social group to participate in the elections. Promotion of political and civil freedom in order to guarantee healthy competition. Opportunity for consistent government. Distance between society and the decision-makers and lack of legitimacy for politicians. 5 / 20


Ants vs. Democracy What we can learn from social insects. by Philipp Magin

Ants are amazing animals. These little creatures are adept climbers, perilous hunters and hard-working labourers. Ants form colonies that can reach the size of super-colonies with several billion inhabitants – that is a magnitude larger than the number of the European citizens. Ants cleverly communicate with each other, usually with smells or some kind of drumming language with their antennas, in order to take on big tasks (such as transporting a lollypop back home to their nest). Although ant colonies do have a queen and several classes of worker and soldier ants, they do not form any kind of insecto-monarchy and social hierarchy. All ants are equal. It is believed that ants do not consciously ponder about decisions, their behaviour is instead steered by hormones and reflexes. A thing that makes us different from ants is not only our larger brain, but also our outstanding ability to be quite selfish once in a while – consequently humans do not cooperate very well in larger groups. Humans can overcome these problems in several ways: e.g. by team building and setting rules on how to live together. Democracy happens just to be the latest way of organising human life on this planet. In theory, people gather at special buildings (think of the parliament building as a giant ant hill), ar-

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gue and discuss with each other and come to a conclusion that is favourable for the majority of the group members. Apparently (?), all the debating is rather time-consuming and might not even lead to a solution at all. At some points in history, a particularly selfish and/or clever person might have recognised that it might be better if only one person would make the decisions for everyone. This made the process more efficient and most likely more comfortable for the person in power. Less consent, more government. If you have read the last newspaper carefully, you might know that European legislation is somewhere in the middle of the both extremes. The European Commission is making decisions whilst consulting experts and lobbyist only to get the best and most efficient results. On the other hand, the European Parliament guarantees that the voices of the European


people will still be heard. We have to take care that we will neither starve to death while arguing over simple matters, nor turn into smallbrained hormone-steered beings forgoing our will and our own needs for the sake of the European ant-heap.

Election Results EDP

Others

EPP

EU

EL

EC

R

PP

EG

P

S&D

AL

DE Inner Circle: Preliminary EP election results Outer Circle: Session election results

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The EU with Martin Schulz:

“I know a man who produces film I’ll put you forward for the role of

Silvio Berlusconi (2nd of July, 2003), w

by Max van

His career started as a bookseller, continued as the mayor of Würselen for 11 years, and is now reaching its peak as a seasoned, well-known Member of European Parliament, currently even presiding the European Parliament. With his bald spots and scruffy beard Martin Schulz has found his way around Brussels and Strasbourg. If Schulz would only have been criticized by Mr. Bunga Bunga, Silvio Berlusconi, he would have gotten off just fine. However, 7 years later, there was more. British Euro-Parliamentarian Godfrey Bloom was removed from a debate for stating that Schulz’s vision was ‘ein Reich, ein Volk, ein Führer.’ Both of these statements are exaggerations of reality, but is Martin Schulz really as democratic as we want him to be? In 2005, there was a proposal for an EU-constitution. Referendums in both France and the Netherlands showed that a majority of both countries’ citizens felt no need for such a constitution. Two years later, the Lisbon Treaty, a constitution disguised as a treaty, had been signed. Surely if the European Parliament wanted to make sure this time also the people liked it, they would hold another set of referendums? The United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) even asked for them. However, they did not hold it, and this is where Martin Schulz comes into play. In his speech he told that everyone that opposed to this treaty where “behaving like nazi’s”, and that he felt like he was back in the Reichstag.

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“Those who oppose to this treaty are opening the door to fascism.” From 2012 onwards, Schulz has been the president of the European Parliament. His rise to the iron throne made people raise their eyebrows. Some European parties be-


democracy or dictatorship?

ms on Nazi concentration camps. f Kapo, you would be just perfect.”

when he chaired the European Council.

n der Stelt

lieve that it was an agreement between the People’s Party and the Social Democrats that resulted in Schulz ruling over the 28 kingdoms. In exchange for Parliamentary presidency, the Social Democrats would not support procedures against Hungary, which would have let to a debate with Viktor Orbán, the Prime Minister of Hungary. In 2012, Schulz was accused abusing his presidential powers. During discussions about the EU budget, Schulz intentionally delayed the process by withholding crucial information. After the Parliament agreed on the budget report,

Schulz crossed out the one paragraph that criticized him for the delaying. During the treatment of the accusation, members of that commission also complained that Schulz had been using staff that worked for him, in his role of president of the Parliament, in his campaign for the Commission. Schulz also refused to reveal which part of his budget went to his presidential work, and which part to his campaign for the Commission. On top of that, he would have promised at least 5 of his employees a promotion in return for their support. Following from this series of scandals, 399 Members of the European Parliament called upon Schulz to lay down his tasks. In my opinion the European Union has taken the wrong path when Schulz seized the iron throne. Can the organisation still be considered democratic with Schulz pulling the ropes or are we heading towards a dictatorship with neither transparency nor honesty? That is not a decision for us to take, but surely something we can think about.

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TTIP - You can’t eat growth The planned Free Trade Agreement TTIP is sold as a gigantic growth programme that works through the unification of economical directives. Supporters promise an increase of the employment rate and prosperity. What are the changes that are really approaching us with a successful implementation of the TTIP? Democratic Deficit The negotiations are of essential importance for every citizen but are nonetheless directed behind closed doors. 90% of the advisors are in fact lobbyists who are able to actively place the economic interests of their companies. In a democratic system it should be impossible and illegal to write a mandate and to give the blessing of certain governments without demanding basic democratic rights such as transparency. But the negotiations were kept secret for a long time and contents are even faced with a widespread protest not visible. However, citizens do have the right to know which rules are discussed in their names. Public Procurement Communities, rural districts and federal states can at the moment mandate orders within their region in order to encourage their regional economy and to prevent long supply routes. Within the scope of the negotiations with the US, the EU urges the liberation of this public procurement. Thus it is widely made impossible to strengthen the own region and to consider ecological and social aims. Regional companies that do not expand lose their markets. Copyright law and patent law Patents on genetic data for seeds and animals, the collection of personal data - the lobbyists of e.g. Google, Amazon and Monsanto hope to receive wider freedoms on both sides of the Atlantic. Consumer protection Companies like guidelines that allow everything which is not scientifically proven as dangerous or damaging. The precautionary principle now still enables to file suit against the cultivation of genetically manipulated potatoes. 10 / 20

In the US next to the use of genetic The engineering, the cloning of aniand USA hav mals, the hormonal treatment of planning to dee animals and chlorine chickens nomic cooperatio are allowed. the latest economi The impact such products leaders have decided have our health are not yet negotiations on a free t conceivable. the framework of the T The list is continuing; the Investment Part TTIP promises cheaper imports of gas, but for The TTIP shall create th what price? Do we refree trade area. The ag ally want to sustainably ving trade barriers bet damage our environment US. Companies and with technologies such as sides of the Atla fracking. Who will pay for the take advantag consequences? nomic opp Investor state settlement With an implementation of the TTIP the so-called investor state settlement, a newly introduced court, can become dangerous for the state and citizens. Laws that prevent the companies from increasing their profits can be accused in front of the investor state settlement. This arbitral court is composed of three lawyers whose decisions are binding under international law. Long developed laws such as environmental specifications, the implementation of a minimum wage or the prohibition of specific products are due to the conflict with the profit seeking of companies nearly unprotected. Accusations thus become very supposable. Canada being part of the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement with the USA and Mexico (NAFTA) for example already had to pay 250 million dollars compensation after a successful referendum against the use of fracking. Banks and companies are the true winners of the TTIP. Citizens of the US and EU will pay with an unexampled decrease of production standards, consumer protection, employment rights, wage level, environmental and social obligations and even of our constitutional legality, which are simply considered as trade barriers. It is our decision to weigh up these basic needs and democratic accomplishments against the doubtful promises of growth. by Lara Nagel


Race to the top: TTIP as blueprint for future trade agreements

The primary objective of global trade e EU and investment policy is to prove long been mote economic growth and epen their ecoprosperity among all trading on. In the light of partners; they have reduced ic crisis, EU and US global poverty and opened in July 2013 to begin up new possibilities in an trade agreement within increasingly interconnectTransatlantic Trade and ed world. The free play of tnership (TTIP). comparative and competitive advantage, as well he world's largest global as the continued liberalgreement aims at remoisation of trade in goods tween the EU and the and services, are essential consumers on both to this objective and crucial antic could then in an environment of ecoge of new economic uncertainty and slower portunities. growth in some economies. As a market-opening agreement between the world’s two largest trading blocs, TTIP offers a unique opportunity for enhancing such advantages, with a successful conclusion to the negotiations not just benefitting jobs and growth in the two blocs, but also setting the template for progress and future negotiations on a global basis, most notably maybe even with China. The EU and the US account for only some 12% of global population but nearly half of world GDP and 30% of world trade. According to European Commission figures, their bilateral trade in goods and services is worth €1.8 billion per day and €723 billion per year. The transatlantic economy accounts for 15 million transatlantic jobs and mutual stocks of investment total €2.4 trillion.

succeeded in setting up a blueprint mechanism for addressing the main issue in commercial agreements in the 21st century: regulatory convergence. And the combined pressure of the two markets could even encourage a race to the top in global regulatory standards. By developing transatlantic trade and fuelling both economies, the attractiveness of this huge market will encourage other partners to tailor their regulatory measures to transatlantic standards. Though it remains to be proven that the precautionary principle can be applied on both sides of the Atlantic, citizens have to trust the European Commission when they promise not to lower ambitious European regulatory standards and should continue to remind regulators how highly these are valued. A final comment on criticism expressed regarding the proposed ISDS: they are already common practice in most trade agreements and their execution from TTIP would do little to nothing to limit the powers of the ISDSs already in place. In contrast to what is often argued in the press, it seems very unlikely that TTIP will lower existing regulatory standards in the EU. But above all, TTIP will pioneer a new generation of trade agreement as it sets out to narrow the regulatory gap and to facilitate the functioning of global supply chains. by an anonymous contributer

While predictions of the benefits of TTIP can vary according to modeling the broad picture is clear: it benefits citizens on both sides of the Atlantic (a CEPR study suggest that it would increase the size of the European economy by €120 billion or 0,5% of GDP). For both trading partners TTIP will be bigger than any previous trade agreement which is true in relation to the value of business covered and the range of subject matter. What's more, if TTIP goes ahead, the EU and the US will have 11 / 20


AFCO I

ENVI

by Ole Petersen

by Philipp Magin

Are you, as a citizen of the European Union, feeling voiceless in the decision-making process of the EU? If you are an average European citizen, you most probably are. It is highly important for everyone throughout the EU to feel adequately represented by the democratically legitimated Members of the European parliament. The disappointing voter turnout of 2009 has been the latest big, alarming sign for a change in the power balance of the EU. Taking into account that all member states consider themselves as democratic countries, it is a shame that important affairs like the TTIP are negotiated behind closed doors, even though there are legitimate doubts concerning their contents.

Humanity is conducting a global experiment – what will happen if we heat up our planet? The results look rather frightening. This is why the European Union has set the 20-20-20 targets and the 2030 policy framework, which aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while increasing energy efficiency and the share of renewable energy until 2020. However, Europe's economy is still dependent on fossil fuels and the ability to discard high amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, meaning that a change to renewable energy will require considerable investments and will disadvantage conventional energy production.

In addition to internal protest, this behaviour is also damaging the EU itself, due to the fact that secret agreements raise EU-scepticism and political apathy. It is urgently required to grant the European Parliament more rights, such as the right of initiative and right of inspection (e.g. in case of TTIP). As long as there will not be a significant change towards a more democratic system with a powerful parliament, every EU citizen will be affected by laws and treaties made by a non-legitimated elite. Bearing in mind the EP elections, there could not be a more suitable moment for a passionate discussion about the missing power of the European Parliament.

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Some countries in the EU see high potential in renewables and are investing heavily to transform their economy, hoping that their leading role in sustainable technology will create new jobs and open new opportunities. Partially, they have even met their goals ahead of time and would be willing to set more ambitious targets. Other states are more reluctant to implement the 20-20-20 goals and more demanding regulation in favor of their national industry. The decision we have to make is a tough one: The course we are setting will determine how Europe’s energy production and economy will look like for the next 50 years. It is now our task to weigh up or – even better – unite the social, economic and ecologic aspects and effects of renewable energy.


DROI

AFCO III

by Ana Viitanen

by Lara Alexa Nagel

Patients, who are facing pain for the rest of their life, may ask to be given a fatal drug dosage. They may ask for the discontinuation of life sustaining measures. They would rather face death and an end to their suffering than continue living with unbearable pain or facing a wholly undignified death. Active euthanasia is when a person deliberately causes a patient’s death through e.g. administering a drug. Passive euthanasia on the other hand is when upon the request of the patient he/she is not given treatment that would prolong their life. When the patient himself ends their life with means provided to them it is called assisted suicide. In most EU member states, if a patient asks to have their painful life shortened, their request will be denied. This is because with a couple of exceptions euthanasia is illegal in the EU. Fear of misuse, religious arguments and moral objections lay behind these regulations. As a result, terminally ill patients are unable to have their suffering ended legally. Consequently we’ve seen people travelling abroad to end their lives as well as people serving jail time for assisting someone in ending their lives with dignity. Something should be done; if not to standardise legislation on euthanasia on a EU scale then at least to alleviate the suffering of those who’s days are both numbered and excruciatingly painful.

The distribution of seats in the European Parliament is a highly controversial topic relating to democratic deficit. In the last years, the parliament would simply increase the number of seats with the ascension of every country. The states with higher population have more seats, nonetheless the states with lower population can get more seats than they would have with a directly to their proportional size calculated distribution. The so-called “degressive proportionally principle” goes against the basic democratic principle that every vote should count equally. Supporters mention its balanced intermediate character between a proportional system and a system where every Member State has the same amount of seats in the parliament. In addition to that, it is argued that smaller countries are better represented in legislation, which inhibits the bigger ones to gain too much influence. With the Treaty of Lisbon the distribution of seats have been distributed in an ‘objective, fair, durable and transparent way, based on the principle of degressive proportionally principle. However, it fails to specify the procedure resulting in a subject-making of the allocation of seats to treaty discussions. Possible discrepancies between member states as well as the democratic deficit caused several calls for a fundamental reform of the electoral system, which would require an EU Treaty and a consensus of the Member States.

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ECON

CULT

by Joana Stachera

by Michal Novotny

The very first aim of the European Union was to strengthen Europe economically. Economic growth constitutes the basis for further political and social integration. Today, one of the most significant factors of the economic union is a healthy competition between countries within the EU. Member States try to maximise their individual profits, and thus implement policies and grants in order to attract potential internal as well as external investors. In some cases, this behaviour interferes with fair competition and negatively affects the overall Union’s economic condition – as in the case of the UK’s ‘patent box’. A company’s aim usually is to achieve the highest profit. That is why in many cases, they take under consideration the taxation system present in a given country. Lower taxes obviously mean higher profits. If a particular taxation system available in another country is more beneficial, companies might move there without hesitation. The current situation is considered to be extremely harmful to companies on the international level. Businesses that have to pay higher taxes are in an inferior position compared to their less taxed opponents. Moreover, as all the systems are incompatible to each other, they may contradict or cause further conflicts. Managing taxation systems in the EU is one of the most important and pressing issues concerning Member States’ economies. On the other hand, badly planned or invasive EU action may easily harm Member States’ sovereignty.

With the increasing integration of the European Union, the discussions about unifying Europe linguistically are becoming more and more common. The main problem is the current knowledge of foreign languages among EU citizens.

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The European Union is based on diversity. There are 24 official languages spoken throughout its organisations. On one side, it is important to protect member states linguistic heritage. However, on the other side, it is necessary to bear in mind the fact that almost half of the EU’s citizens do not speak any foreign language and that therefore it is complicated and often even impossible for them to travel, study and work on a European level. Additionally, only 18% of young Europeans regard themselves as proficient in any foreign language. The numbers mentioned above clearly call for help. It is evident that there have to be some steps taken in order to solve the problem of communication amongst EU member states and citizens. Regarding the lingua franca, there are two possible solutions: create a completely new language or recognise English as the pan-European language. In conclusion, there is one question that we all have to ask ourselves: “Is it even possible to create a lingua franca on a European level and maintain the cultural diversity of the individual member states?”


INTA

LIBE

AFCO II

by Lisa Latussek

by Veriko Devidze

by Max van der Stelt

Despite promises of economic growth on both sides of the Atlantic and the possible creation of thousands of jobs, public opposition against the project is continuously growing. The importance explains its controversy. The outcome of the negotiations might harm the core of European values – those of democracy and safety. The project aims at harmonising trade regulations and food standards, which currently act as non-tariff barriers. As the social and environmental norms in Europe tend to be much higher than in the US, EU citizens fear that the TTIP will bring social and environmental dumping to Europe. In other words, Europeans worry that the TTIP would endanger both food safety and social security. Moreover, the TTIP would introduce a mechanism called Investor-State Dispute Settlement, which would enable companies overrule national law and sue countries for not sticking to project contracts. At the same time, the promised economic boost might be exactly what the crisis-ridden European economy needs to recover from its current problems.

Europe – a home for tolerance, acceptance, integration, the place where equality and fight against discrimination stand above everything else. Europe – “united in diversity”. But how united are we? How much do we actually value our diversity?

I often wonder what Plato would think of modern politics. In his most famous work he described democracy as a form of government lead only by the elite, wise enough to rule the country – an aristocracy. Through the years democracy evolved. Today politicians even ask for the opinions of normal citizens, usually in bizarre happenings which we refer to as ‘elections’. In 2005, Ireland and the Netherlands directly asked their citizens about a unified constitution for the European Union. After the results showed that both countries’ inhabitants disapproved the EU-constitution, the politicians followed the people’s voice. Those who are ruled should have a say in how they are ruled. Few non-democratic regimes remain, because it is widely accepted that democracy is the cream of the crop. As Churchill stated: “Democracy is the worst form of government, except all the others that have been tried.” No matter whether he is right or not, the dilemma between representative and direct democracy remains. Will you make modern-day politics shiver or Plato turn in his grave?

Roma people, who constitute Europe’s largest ethnic minority, are the biggest minority of European society. They are subject to social and political exclusion and human rights violations. Deeply rooted racist attitudes towards Roma people result in their exclusion from the society. Studies show that the citizens of many European countries would feel uncomfortable being affiliated with Roma. This exclusion leads to Roma having limited access to the labour market, which forces them into poverty and ultimately crime. The keystones of the European Civil Society are its citizens, losing of whom Europe cannot afford. This is why it is extremely important to take further steps in order to accelerate political, social and economic integration of Roma people into the European society.

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Brain drain or brain collapse? “We shouldn’t really fight the brain drain, we should fight the economic situation that causes it” by Joanna Stachera

One of the most basic and obvious aims of the EU since its formation is the economic integration and free flow of work labour among its citizens. While this has several positive implications such as general economic growth and fair competition between entrepreneurs, it also goes along with some significant drawbacks. One of them is the so-called brain drain, which happens when highly qualified specialists from a particular region migrate in order to find a job outside their home country. It is usually caused either by unemployment or by the pursuit of higher payment or better living conditions. In the case of the EU, this problem mostly concerns eastern countries, but lately also those with the highest unemployment rates, namely Greece, Spain and Italy. In 2012 alone, 35 000, 37 000 and 42 000 people respectively have moved from these countries solely to Germany.

However, people migrating away from their home country do not always succeed in finding employment in their original professions. Often, their qualifications are simply not recognized in more economically developed countries. Thus, they have to agree on simple, often socially underappreciated occupations, which ironically still provide them with better conditions than their original job in their home country. This process is called brain waste, and it is the reason why the differences in development between less and more economically advanced countries are constantly increasing. This leads to a vicious cycle in which the home countries of migrating workers start lacking professionals in the long term, forcing them to obtain new ones from even poorer regions, employed for even lower wages.

“We shouldn’t really fight the brain drain, we should fight the economic situation that causes it” claims William Girvan (DE) from DROI

Sara Alfirevlz from ECON (HR) confidently says “I think it’s just a sad thing. But for some young people it’s necessary because the economy of their own country isn’t prosperous. Less developed country will be losing many young people that it needs”

Implications

Future and action

Obviously, brain drain brings along several harmful implications, many of which are not only concerning Eastern European countries. The most visible one is, among others, vast migrations in the pursuit of better working conditions.

Even though the issue seems to be significant and influential, not many actions have been undertaken to stop it. In fact, the problem itself is just too complex to simply come up with a relevant, direct solution. In the future, problems are likely to worsen, as the citizens of less developed countries become more and more aware of existing possibilities and thus are more eager to use them. Unfortunately, this process does not only take place within the

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EU, but concerns Europe as a whole. Gradually, economic migration from Europe to North America is becoming more and more popularSome countries attempt to turn the brain drain into brain circulation by various exchange programs allowing specialists to spend short periods of time abroad. Moreover, universities from regions where brain drain had its greatest impact are supported by the UNESCO with high quality equipment in order to enable them to work on an equal level as their peers abroad.

By coming up with creative solutions, some experts claim that the situation might improve in the future. Elizabeth Redford (DE), from CULT concludes “It creates great problems where countries are left by the specialist and creates a great opportunity for the countries where they actually go. It’s hard to have a stable country and a united European Union as well.“

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... I like EYP. After every session you're so tired but you still go home with a smile on your face.

...I liked my earlier sessions and I heard that German sessions are really well organised. I heard right.

Nikolas Petersen-Dyggve AFCO II

Eline Katska, CULT

... Germans are really cool people.

Jarl-Otto Jalmari Siikasmaa, AFCO I

... I am interested in politics.

Taisija Nachtnebel, AFCO III

...Ahaus was awesome and I wanted to be a part of that again.

...I wanted to get to know new people and meet some international delegates.

Ralph LĂśhrer, INTA

Tom Wolfskämpf, ENVI

...I really enjoyed the discussions at my regional session and I find the topics interesting.

Selina Marguerre, LIBE

... I believe in the EU.

I am here because...

Paul Niemeier, AFCO II

by Ana Vitanen

... I was selected and I thought it would be fun and interesting. Totally not here for the beer.

... I will learn a lot about the EU.

Nynke Boiten, AFCO II

Leonie Gugler, LIBE

... obviously if you are given the chance to go, you take it.

Elisa Thomas, ECON

... every EYP session is a great experience.

Conlin Hillert, INTA

...we got to choose. It was closer than the other alternative and Germans actually have a good sense of humour.

Nina Giesen, ECON

...I really enjoyed Frankfurt; I gained so much.

Julika Enslin, AFCO II

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Find the facts Which are the facts and which are the faults? Answers to be found on our Tumblr blog: potsdam14.tumblr.com by Ana Vitanen

There are 28 commissioners in the European Commission. For 22 years Martin Schulz was the mayor of Würselen. September 26th is European Language day. There are 27 official languages in the EU. Euthanasia is illegal in all of the EU. The EU currently has 31 free trade agreements. The minimum number of MEP’s of a member state is two. The negotiations on TTIP are scheduled to be completed by 2017. 62% of eligible voters cast their vote in the European elections in 2009. Indirect democracy was first introduced in the 18th century in the Netherlands. Tax harmonisation is the process of lowering taxes to the benefit of companies and investors. Bulgaria is one of only three countries to have reached their 2020 renewable energy usage targets. 74% of the Romanians expressed their wish for the Roma people abroad to return to their motherland. The Patent Box is a tax policy that requires companies to store their patents in special safety boxes. Over 10% of prisoners in the EU convicted for petty theft are part of the Roma community. The 2020 target for the share of energy that comes from renewable sources is 20% A European Citizen Initiative needs 5.000.000 signatures before it is discussed. The European Parliament will have a 30% gender quota after the next election. Only 29% of people aged 18 to 24 voted in the last European elections. The minimum length for cucumbers is 14 cm as defined by the EU. François Hollande is the President of the European Commission. Referendums were imported from direct to indirect democracy. Internet voting will be the standard in the next EP elections. In 2012 alone 42.000 people moved from Italy to Germany. 12% is the current tariff for importing goods into the EU.

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supported by:

Brought to you by the media team of Potsdam’14: Sebastian Hojas (AT) David Rauch (AT) Tua Malmberg (SE) Ole Petersen (DE) Michal Novotny (CZ) Lisa Latussek (DE) Veriko Devidze (GE) Max van der Stelt (NL) Philipp Magin (DE) Joana Stachera (PL) Ana Viitanen (FI) Lara Alexa Nagel (DE) Special thanks go to the organising team, particularly to Jun.


Issue 2: Pulling the strings  
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