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People living in depressed industrial areas [What Europe does for you]

With European elections coming up in May 2019, you probably want to know how the European Union impacts your daily life, before you think about voting. In the latest in a series of posts on what Europe does for you, your family, your business and your wellbeing, we look at what Europe does for people living in depressed industrial areas.

People living in depressed industrial areas face a number of challenges. As many industries in these areas have closed down, unemployment rates remain high. Local residents have problems finding new jobs and sometimes need to move away in search of better job prospects. In addition, unemployed workers do not necessarily have the skills to take up new jobs.

Gelände der Zeche Zollverein Essen

© reeel / Fotolia

Furthermore, de-industrialised areas often face the challenge of turning over-sized derelict buildings and polluted sites into revitalised spaces of economic creativity. These areas have to deal with serious environmental issues owing to the legacy left behind by heavy industry. Various tasks, such as land reclamation, decontamination and the building of innovative infrastructure, cannot only be covered financially by local resources and may require additional national or European support.

The EU plays an active role in helping people in all EU areas to improve their living conditions through the European structural and investment funds. These funds enable considerable attention to be paid to re-training people to acquire new skills in order to be able to find new jobs. They can also help to boost innovation, new technologies, the sustainable management of natural resources, investment in renewable energy, energy efficiency and support for small and medium-sized companies. EU funding has also paved the way for re-generation and industrial renovation projects.

Further information

Source Article from https://epthinktank.eu/2018/05/13/people-living-in-depressed-industrial-areas-what-europe-does-for-you/

Novel food enthusiasts [What Europe does for you]

With European elections coming up in May 2019, you probably want to know how the European Union impacts your daily life, before you think about voting. In the latest in a series of posts on what Europe does for you, your family, your business and your wellbeing, we look at what Europe does for novel food enthusiasts.

Are you always interested in trying something new? Do you like exploring local delicacies on your travels? Do you think it would not be a bad idea to add insect flour to bread, to enrich it with proteins?

Since 1 January 2018, a new law on novel foods has replaced previous rules in the EU. Novel foods are foods that were not consumed in the EU before May 1997. These can be foods with an intentionally modified molecular structure, food grown from cell culture, micro-organisms, fungi or algae, for example; or exotic products imported. All of these have to be authorised as safe by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) before they can appear in your supermarket.

Close up of Homemade Black Burger with Cheese. Cheeseburger with black bun on dark wooden background. Junk food.

© zamuruev / Fotolia

Examples of foods included in the Union list of authorised novel foods are chia seeds, UV-treated yeast and plant-based cholesterols added to fat spreads. Interest in using insects as a new, more environmentally-friendly source of protein compared to traditional meat production is growing. For the first time, whole insects and their parts are covered by the law, ending the situation where some EU countries accepted insect food on their markets while others did not. First applications for authorisation for insects as a novel food have been submitted to the European Commission, concerning whole and ground lesser mealworm larvae and dried mealworms and crickets. EFSA has published a scientific opinion assessing possible risks associated with the use of farmed insects as human food and animal feed. The EU has also funded research exploring insects as a potential new source of protein, such as the PROteINSECT project.

Further information

Source Article from https://epthinktank.eu/2018/05/12/novel-food-enthusiasts-what-europe-does-for-you/

Consumers of chocolate [What Europe does for you]

With European elections coming up in May 2019, you probably want to know how the European Union impacts your daily life, before you think about voting. In the latest in a series of posts on what Europe does for you, your family, your business and your wellbeing, we look at what Europe does for consumers of chocolate.

Do you love chocolate? So do we! The preferred sweet of millions of Europeans – the world’s biggest concentration of chocolate consumers – is a natural anti-depressant also good for the heart, circulation and brain. To make your favourite chocolate, EU countries imported 1.7 million tons of tropical Theobroma cocoa tree beans in 2016, mostly from Africa.

Chocolate bars and pralines on wooden background

© Sebastian Duda / Fotolia

EU legislation on food safety and quality, trade and development policies, encourages production of high-quality chocolate. In promoting free trade, the EU negotiates economic partnership agreements with major cocoa producing countries. Various EU standards limit pesticides and other pollutant residue levels allowed in foodstuffs, minimising the risk for consumers. The EU constantly adapts its legislation to the latest scientific evidence. Recently, for instance, the EU set maximum limits for cadmium in cocoa products; a metal that, if it builds up in the human body, can cause kidney and bone damage, on top of being a carcinogen.

Through EU development aid, and by supporting fair trade schemes, the EU helps develop sustainable agriculture, without child labour, and well-functioning agricultural markets. In recent years, farmers from Ecuador, Ghana, Ivory Coast, and Nigeria have benefited from EU support to develop high-quality sustainable cocoa production. Finally, long-term EU measures to limit climate change are crucial to preserving cocoa production undermined by rising temperatures and frequent droughts in Africa.

Further information

Source Article from https://epthinktank.eu/2018/05/12/consumers-of-chocolate-what-europe-does-for-you/

The Visegrad Group and the rule of law [What Think Tanks are thinking]

Written by Marcin Grajewski,

V4 Visegrad group summit - Czech republic, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary flag with reflection and shadow - Middle European country

© Andrej Kaprinay / Fotolia

Political developments in the Visegrád Group countries have raised concern over the commitment of some of their leaders and senior politicians to European Union values, notably the rule of law. The Visegrád Group is an informal alliance of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, all of which joined the EU in 2004.

Criticism by EU officials and some other Union governments centres on Hungary and Poland, where governments have implemented a number of controversial reforms, notably of the judiciary. In December 2017, the European Commission triggered the first phase of Article 7 of the Treaty on European Union, which can ultimately deprive a country found guilty of violating EU values of voting rights. In addition, a European Parliament draft report notes a deterioration of the rule of law in Hungary, where Prime Minister Viktor Orbán won a third term in office in the country’s recent general election.

This note offers links to recent commentaries, studies and reports from major international think tanks on the Visegrád Group, its internal relations and its role within the EU, with the focus on the rule of law debate.

The rule of law debate

How can Europe repair breaches of the rule of law?
Notre Europe, April 2018

First victims or last guardians? The consequences of rule of law backsliding for NGOs: Case studies of Hungary and Poland
Centre for European Policy Studies, April 2018

The consensus fights back: European first principles against the rule of law crisis
Verfassungsblog, April 2018

CJEU opens the door for the Commission to reconsider charges against Poland
Verfassungsblog, March 2018

The Court is dead, long live the courts? On judicial review in Poland in 2017 and ‘judicial space’ beyond
Verfassungsblog, March 2018

Maintaining the rule of law in Poland: What next for the article 7 proceedings?
Institute of International and European Affairs, February 2018

Report of the Stefan Batory Foundation legal expert group on the impact of the judiciary reform in Poland in 2015-2018
Stefan Batory Foundation, February 2018

Beneath the surface of illiberalism: The recurring temptation of ‘national democracy’ in Poland and Hungary, with lessons for Europe
Wise Europa, Heinrich Böll Stiftung, February 2017

Political discrimination in Hungary: Case studies from the Hungarian justice system, local government, media, agriculture, education and civil sector
Policy Solutions, February 2017

Illiberal democracies in the EU: the Visegrad group and the risk of disintegration
Barcelona Centre for International Affairs, January 2018

Frontiers of democracy: Embedding democratic values in Central and Eastern Europe. Good practices and limits of transferability
Center for European Neighborhood Studies, January 2018

Discussions on rule of law crisis in Poland
Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights, January 2018

The Commission takes a step back in the fight for the Rule of Law
Verfassungsblog, January 2018

Systemic threats to the rule of law in Poland: between action and procrastination
Fondation Robert Schuman, November 2017

Infringement proceedings as a tool for the enforcement of fundamental rights in the European Union
Open Society Foundations, October 2017

Shrinking spaces in Hungary and Poland
Carnegie Europe, October 2017

Europe and its discontents: Poland’s collision course with the European Union
European Council on Foreign Relations, September 2017

Defending EU values in Poland and Hungary
Carnegie Europe, September 2017

Time to stop the Polish danse macabre
Centre for European Policy Studies, July 2017

The open society and its enemies: An attack against CEU, academic freedom and the rule of law
Centre for European Policy Studies, April 2017

The Commission’s decision on ‘less EU’ in safeguarding the rule of law: A play in four acts
Centre for European Policy Studies, March 2017

Five steps the EU must take to protect civil society
Open Society Foundations, January 2018

General issues

The future of the Visegrad Group
Das Progressive Zentrum, March 2018

V4-Chinese relations: A lost opportunity or a new start?
EUROPEUM, February 2018

Visegrad: Europe’s axis is shifting West not East
Association for International Affairs, February 2018

Labour market reform and Visegrad countries: Deep rooted concerns and how to address them
EUROPEUM, February 2018

Macron’s new Europe: How do the Visegrad countries fit in?
Centre for Euro-Atlantic Integration and Democracy, February 2018

Squaring the circle? EU budget negotiations after Brexit: Considering CEE perspective
Public Affairs Institute, Bertelsmann Stiftung, January 2018

How young central Europeans view the world
GLOBSEC, January 2018

Many shades of the Visegrad Group
Association for International Affairs, November 2017

Trends of Visegrad European policy
Association for International Affairs, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, November 2017

The flexible solidarity
Policy Solutions, Foundation for European Progressive Studies, October 2017

After the elections in the Czech Republic: The end of liberal democracy in Central Europe?
Heinrich Böll Stiftung, October 2017

The future of the EU beyond Rome: Views from the Visegrad countries
Center for European Neighborhood Studies, September 2017

V4+Israel Summit in Budapest
Polish Institute of International Affairs, July 2017

Meeting of Prime Ministers of the Visegrad Group and Benelux
Polish Institute of International Affairs, June 2017

Sharing the responsibility or shifting the focus? The responses of the EU and the Visegrád countries to the post-2015 arrival of migrants and refugees
Foundation for European Progressive Studies, Stiftung Mercator, Istituto Affari Internazionali, Istanbul Policy Center, May 2017

FDI promotion of the Visegrád countries in the era of global value chains
Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, March 2017

Listen to Us, too! Flight, migration, and integration from the perspective of NGOs in the Visegrad region
Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, March 2017

The state of populism in Europe
Policy Solutions, Foundation for European Progressive Studies, February 2017

The state of social democratic parties in Central and Eastern Europe
Policy Solutions, Foundation for European Progressive Studies, February 2017

Czech Republic

The role of the Kremlin’s influence and disinformation in the Czech presidential elections
European Values, February 2018

Activities of Czech President Miloš Zeman as the Kremlin’s Trojan horse
European Values, January 2018

Andrej Babiš and the European Union: What to expect in 2018?
EUROPEUM, January 2018

Can EU funds promote the rule of law in Europe?
Centre for European Reform, November 2017

The Czech general elections: And now three “illiberal” Eurosceptic governments in Central Europe?
Fondation Robert Schuman, October 2017

Hungary

Viktor Orbán’s survival games
Carnegie Europe, April 2018

Hungarian politics is about to enter a new period
German Marshall Fund, April 2018

Cohesion policy and perceptions of the European Union in Hungary: A cultural political economy approach
Center for Policy Studies, December 2017

Orbán’s theatrical struggle against big, bad Berlin
Heinrich Böll Stiftung, October 2017

Demokratie als Enttäuschung: Transformationserfahrungen in Ungarn
Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, January 2017

Information warfare in Hungary
Institute for Foreign Affairs and Trade, January 2017

Poland

Stabilization policies and structural developments: Poland and the crises of 1929 and 2008
Center for Social and Economic Research, December 2017

The West matters to Poland
Carnegie Europe, November 2017

The influence of economic migration on the Polish economy
Center for Social and Economic Research, Fondation Robert Schuman, November 2017

New Pact for Europe: National Report, Poland
European Policy Centre, Institute of Public Affairs November 2017

Slovakia

An investigative journalist killed in Slovakia
Centre for Eastern Studies, February 2018

New Pact for Europe: National Report, Slovakia
European Policy Centre, GLOBSEC, November 2017

Strengthening Social Democracy in the Visegrad Countries: Limits and Challenges faced by Smer-SD
Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, January 2017


Read this briefing on ‘The Visegrad Group and the rule of law‘ on the Think Tank pages of the European Parliament.

Source Article from https://epthinktank.eu/2018/05/08/the-visegrad-group-and-the-rule-of-law-what-think-tanks-are-thinking/

People with autism [What Europe does for you]

With European elections coming up in May 2019, you probably want to know how the European Union impacts your daily life, before you think about voting. In the latest in a series of posts on what Europe does for you, your family, your business and your wellbeing, we look at what Europe does for people with autism.

Are you, or is someone you know, one of the 0.6 % of the EU population that may be affected by autism spectrum disorders? Autistic people experience difficulties interacting and communicating with others, which can go from mild (as in Asperger’s syndrome), to disabling. Autism usually appears in early childhood and may cause problems in social, occupational or other important areas of everyday life.

one sad little boy sitting near the window at the day time. Concept of sorrow.

© altanaka / Fotolia

The EU complements national policies to help to improve the quality of life of people affected by autism. To better diagnose and treat the condition, the EU has financed research on new treatments, with the largest single grant for autism in the world, including over €20 million from the EU Innovative Medicines Initiative. The EU also supported a project to study diagnosis, prevalence, interventions and ways to improve care and support for sufferers with over €2 million in funding, as well as funding a multidisciplinary network to investigate early life brain development disruptions leading to autism and to train young researchers. The EU has also helped autistic children by helping to develop a robot for an emotion-recognition and emotion-expression teaching programme. The EU also helps with training for professionals and carers, such as the training network for autism researchers; a project to develop basic reference training for all professionals, to support autistic people and their inclusion; and autism training for pre-school teachers, to reduce disparities and foster inclusion; and a project to provide training for parents, stressing positive approaches to autism.

Further information

Source Article from https://epthinktank.eu/2018/05/06/people-with-autism-what-europe-does-for-you/

People with Alzheimer’s [What Europe does for you]

With European elections coming up in May 2019, you probably want to know how the European Union impacts your daily life, before you think about voting. In the latest in a series of posts on what Europe does for you, your family, your business and your wellbeing, we look at what Europe does for people with Alzheimer’s.

Alzheimer’s is a degenerative brain disease often associated with old age. According to estimates, it affects more than 50 % of the EU’s dementia patients. As the disease puts a strain on both sufferers and carers, action centres on quality of life, early diagnosis and prevention.

National governments are responsible for healthcare policy while the EU’s role is mainly one of coordination and support. The EU has nevertheless long been committed to combatting Alzheimer’s and reducing its high social and economic cost. In 2009, the European Commission produced a paper on a European Alzheimer’s initiative, with four objectives, promoting early diagnosis, better understanding and research coordination, best practice, and respect for patients’ rights. It also launched joint action between EU countries to boost knowledge of dementia and its consequences, and care for sufferers. In 2016, an additional measure focused on post diagnostic support, crisis and care coordination, quality of residential care, and dementia-friendly communities.

Lebenserinnerungen

© Gabriele Rohde / Fotolia

The Innovative Medicines Initiative, a public-private partnership between the EU and the pharmaceutical industry, has co-funded projects to research the causes of Alzheimer’s, create a European medical information framework and a new approach to clinical trials, improve the development of treatment and uncover the causes of social withdrawal. Future projects include research on inflammation and Alzheimer’s, and patient engagement. Moreover, the EU’s Joint Research Centre has helped develop new scientific standards to help early diagnosis.

Further information

Source Article from https://epthinktank.eu/2018/05/06/people-with-alzheimers-what-europe-does-for-you/

Victims of trafficking in human beings [What Europe does for you]

With European elections coming up in May 2019, you probably want to know how the European Union impacts your daily life, before you think about voting. In the latest in a series of posts on what Europe does for you, your family, your business and your wellbeing, we look at what Europe does for victims of trafficking in human beings.

Did you know that 65 % of victims of trafficking in human beings (THB) identified in the EU are EU nationals? And did you know that between 2013 and 2014 nearly 16 000 women, men, girls and boys were registered as victims of trafficking in the EU?

Human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation is the most widespread form of THB in the EU (67 %), its victims being mostly female EU nationals from central and eastern Europe. However, THB also affects male EU nationals, who are predominantly victims of labour exploitation, as well as people belonging to vulnerable groups, forced into criminality, begging and sham marriages.

The EU is very much aware of the problem and has put THB at the centre of its anti-trafficking policy. In 2011, it adopted a law that obliges EU countries to provide help, support and protection and assess victims’ specific needs.

Lady with handcuff on bed, Human trafficking - Concept Photo

© aam460 / Fotolia

If THB has affected you or someone you know, the EU has published a brochure, available in all EU official languages, an overview of trafficking victims’ rights, which range from (emergency) assistance and healthcare to labour rights, access to justice and a lawyer, and compensation.

Between 2004 and 2015, the EU financed 321 anti-trafficking projects in 26 EU countries, for a sum total of €158 million. These focused mainly on labour exploitation, child trafficking and sexual exploitation.

For certain THB victim groups, such as child victims of sexual exploitation and child pornography, the EU has adopted specific legislation that addresses their needs directly.

Further information

Source Article from https://epthinktank.eu/2018/05/05/victims-of-trafficking-in-human-beings-what-europe-does-for-you/

Victims of crimes [What Europe does for you]

With European elections coming up in May 2019, you probably want to know how the European Union impacts your daily life, before you think about voting. In the latest in a series of posts on what Europe does for you, your family, your business and your wellbeing, we look at what Europe does for victims of crimes.

Did you know that every year an estimated 15 % of Europeans, or 75 million people in the EU, fall victim to crime? These people have a range of needs and rights that have to be met, such as physical and psychological assistance, access to justice, protection from intimidation, retaliation and further harm and access to compensation.

In 2012, the EU adopted a law that sets minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime in all EU countries. The law ensures that victims are recognised and treated with respect and that they are able to participate in criminal proceedings. Furthermore, based on that law, EU countries ensure officials who come into contact with victims of crime have appropriate training, so that they recognise those victims’ needs.

euro money and handcuff

© Fabio Balbi / Fotolia

National authorities can issue restraining or barring orders to protect victims from further violence or harassment by the offenders and EU law ensures that victims continue to benefit from those protection orders in civil or criminal matters even when moving or travelling to another EU country.

EU law also ensures that each country guarantees fair and appropriate compensation to victims of crime for injuries or damages they have suffered. That compensation must be easily accessible, regardless of where in the EU the crime was committed.

For certain groups of victims of crime, such as victims of human trafficking, child victims of sexual exploitation and child pornography and victims of terrorism, the EU adopted specific legislation that directly addresses their needs.

Further information

Source Article from https://epthinktank.eu/2018/05/05/victims-of-crimes-what-europe-does-for-you/

Summertime: changing of the clocks

Summer time. Daylight saving time. Spring forward alarm clock vector icon II.

© Albachiaraa / Fotolia

Citizens recurrently turn to the European Parliament with comments on the changing of the clocks. Some citizens are in favour of the summer-time and winter-time arrangements; others call on the Parliament to abolish them.

Since the 1980s, several directives, harmonising the varying summer-time arrangements in the Member States step by step, have been adopted at EU level. The main idea is to provide stable, long-term planning which is important for the proper functioning of the internal market.

Current EU legislation

The current EU legislation in place is Directive 2000//84/EC on summer-time arrangements, which defines the summer-time period as ‘the period of the year during which clocks are put forward by 60 minutes compared with the rest of the year’ as well as its beginning ‘on the last Sunday in March’ and its end ‘on the last Sunday in October’. The directive states that a common date and time for the beginning and end of the summer-time period ‘is important for the functioning of the internal market’.

European Parliament debates

The latest European Parliament debate on the current summer-time arrangements was held in plenary on 8 February 2018. The plenary debate, with Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc, followed previous debates in 2015 and 2016. It was dedicated to the impact of the biannual time change, and whether it should be abolished.

The Commissioner pointed out that based on all the available evidence it ‘is conclusive only on one point – that letting Member States free to apply uncoordinated time changes would be detrimental for the internal market’. and added that ‘conversely, the findings are inconclusive on human health’. The video and the verbatim report of the debate are published on the EP website.

Resolution of 8 February 2018 on time change arrangements

Following the debate of 8 February, a resolution on time change arrangements was adopted by 384 votes to 153 with 12 abstentions.

The resolution considers inter alia that ‘numerous scientific studies, including the European Parliamentary Research Service study of October 2017 on EU summer-time arrangements under Directive 2000/84/EC, have failed to come to a conclusive outcome, but have instead indicated the existence of negative effects on human health’.

Therefore, the Parliament calls on the Commission ‘to conduct a thorough assessment of Directive 2000/84/EC and, if necessary, come up with a proposal for its revision’. More information can be found in the press release ‘Parliament calls for thorough assessment of bi-annual time change‘.

Parliamentary questions and petitions

The summer-time arrangements have also been the subject of a number of parliamentary questions and petitions, which can be consulted in the Public Register of Documents.

Further information

The EPRS study ‘EU summer-time arrangements under Directive 2000/84/EC‘ published in October 2017, makes an ex-post impact assessment of the summertime arrangements, and points out that summertime benefits the internal market (notably the transport sector) and outdoor leisure activities, yet health research associates the arrangements with some disruption to the human biorhythm. The European Commission website on Mobility and Transport provides further information on the issue.

Do you have any questions on this issue or another EP-related concern? Please use our web form. You write, we answer.

Source Article from https://epthinktank.eu/2018/03/24/summertime-changing-of-the-clocks/

EPRS Event: Economic and Social policies for young people

Written by Marie Lecerf,

From Bratislava to Sibiu: Roadmap for the Future of Europe. On 20 March 2018, the EPRS organised a policy roundtable in the Library of the European Parliament. This is the first of a series of five EPRS roundtables to set a ‘Roadmap for the Future of Europe – From Bratislava to Sibiu’.

Anthony Teasdale, Director General of the European Parliament Research Service welcomed the participants, and the roundtable discussion was opened by Maria- João Rodrigues (S&D, Portugal), Member of the European Parliament Committee on Employment and Social Affairs and of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs. Maria- João Rodrigues first underlined the need for an ambitious vision for Europe in a changing world of digital revolution and deep transformations to our way of life. These changes will have huge consequences for jobs. Ensuring that two key elements are guaranteed for all is therefore imperative: 1) a basic level contract and 2) access to social protection. Rodrigues also added that these changes will impact European education systems deeply, calling for a different form of education, including access to key digital skills. The European Union has a major role to play in this future through the implementation of the social pillar. Rodrigues concluded her keynote speech saying that it is time to seize opportunities to shape the future for the next generation.

From Bratislava to Sibiu: Roadmap for the Future of Europe. Economic and Social Policies for Young People

RODRIGUES, Maria João (S&D, PT); BASSOT, Etienne;

Etienne Bassot, Director of the EPRS Members’ Research Service gave the floor to Massimiliano Mascherini, Senior Research Manager at the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound). According to Mascherini, Europe is now recovering from one of the most challenging periods in its history. A decade of economic turmoil that leaves behind severe macro-economic and social imbalances in many Member States. The undesired adverse effect of the last decade was to amplify differences among Member States in social and economic outcomes: Italy’s long term youth unemployment is more than twenty times higher than that of Denmark. If we are always proud of our diversity in Europe, these are not the differences of which we are proud. Great emphasis is now to be given to the need to promote Member States’ convergence through European and national actions and initiatives. With a view to the construction of resilient societies and with the assumption that economic and social convergence should be fully aligned, there is now a window of opportunity, with the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights, to re-start the engine of the European Union ‘convergence machine’.

Max Uebe, Head of the ‘Employment Strategy’ Unit, in Directorate General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion in the European Commission, continued the discussion, highlighting that the fight against youth unemployment remains a key priority for the European Commission and that the Commission has taken more concrete new initiatives to further deliver on the European Pillar of Social Rights. More specifically, the Commission recently presented a proposal for a Council recommendation on access to social protection for workers and the self-employed. In line with the European Pillar of Social Rights, this proposal aims to set a direction for Member States to support access to social protection for all workers and self-employed people, in particular for those who, due to their employment status, are not sufficiently covered by social security schemes. Max Uebe also mentioned other European Commission initiatives in favour of young people, particularly, the European Solidarity Corps and the Youth Guarantee.

From Bratislava to Sibiu: Roadmap for the Future of Europe. Economic and Social Policies for Young People

WIDEGREN, Anna; UEBE, Max

Anna Widegren, Secretary General of the European Youth Forum, continued the debate with a more critical point of view, stressing the slow progress as regards youth employment and the inclusion of young people, particularly for minorities (Roma, migrants). Widegren pleaded for more funding for traineeships and better access to social security. Underlining the fact that young people do believe in the European project, Widegren called for the work-life balance package to be put in place, for increased social protection, and for creation of a minimum income framework.

Marie Lecerf, Policy Analyst with the Economic Policies Unit of EPRS then  put the debate in perspective, stating that as regards economic and social policies for young people, findings and discussions could be gathered around three words: imbalances, changes and chances. There are imbalances between young people, between the high potential of the young generation and the lack of job opportunities, and between generations. We are now facing changing times in terms of jobs, education and mind-sets. This opens the floor to new chances to be more cooperative when designing social and economic policies for young people, chances to create more reactive mechanisms to a possible new and sudden economic shock, and chances to be more active in pleading now for more investment in youth policies.

The roundtable discussion was followed by a short Q&A session.


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Source Article from https://epthinktank.eu/2018/03/23/eprs-event-economic-and-social-policies-for-young-people/