Eis os temas que vão ser debatidos, pela respectiva comissão e em plenário, no IV Fórum Universitário do Parlamento Europeu dos Jovens – Portugal.
- ECON (Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs)
“Sweeping new powers for the European Central Bank, including the authority to shut down eurozone banks by withdrawing their banking licence, were proposed on Wednesday in a move that would give the ECB the ultimate authority to oversee some 6,000 banks across Europe.” (Joshua Chaffin, Financial Times)
The proposal for the creation of an European banking union is far from being fully understood by European citizens but one thing is sure – it leads to a deeper integration. Is geofinance about to meet a new player? Can finance be the glue that holds together European economies? How can the EU manage the balance between the indicators that member states citizens require less integration (for instances, taking into account the refusal of the European constitution in some referenda) and the need of harmonization in order to keep playing a determinant role in this multipolar world?
- AFET (Committee on Foreign Affairs)
The economic and social crisis following the financial meltdown of 2007-8 in the West made China emerge more clearly than ever has a major player in the International Arena, enjoying an influence it never had before. With the rising of China, more developing countries are following the same model – economic liberalization and political repression – sometimes even closing the door to European Union calls for free and fair election and the safeguard of human dignity.
Given this scenario, how can the EU serve as an effective major power in the promotion of human rights and democracy?
- CULT (Committee on Culture and Education)
“I would say we are at the beginning of the second half, and that contrary to all the commentators we have not lost, we are not losing (…) We have resisted well. And what I would like to underline now is the need for all players to stay focused, to keep the team spirit, so that we can score goals (…) I believe we will win, with a comfortable margin, this match.” (José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission)
European leaders often compare Europe to a football game in which all the players should be committed to the final goal – the score. But European people are struggling with huge and heavy domestic policies highly relying on European policy. Is there a turnaround regarding European integration? How could EU use the cultural and social bounds to prevent a EU political disaggregation?”
- SEDE (Committee on Security and Defence)
“First Tunisia, then Egypt – Libya a little later. The European Union misjudged the stability of the regimes, came late and off-balance to the protests, and worse, came to the revolutions without a shred of unity.” (José Ignacio Torreblanca, El País)
The “Arab Spring” and the fall of dictatorships by revolutions rather than political transitions was a clear sign that the Euro-Med dialog needs a profound re-evaluation: constant negotiations with North Africa regimes did not lead to their political reforms. The results are mixed at best: after the wave of revolutions, some countries (e.g. Tunisia and arguably Egypt) seem to be able to carry on their political reforms with some degree of success. However, in other countries there is a high level of political turmoil (Lybia), when not a violent and never-ending civil war (Syria). Given this state of affairs, how can the EU play a stabilizing role of development in the region and guarantee the respect for human rights and democracy?
- LIBE (Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs)
“Greece’s far-right Golden Dawn party is increasingly assuming the role of law enforcement officers on the streets of the bankrupt country, with mounting evidence that Athenians are being openly directed by police to seek help from the neo-Nazi group, analysts, activists and lawyers say.”
Economic crisis have social and political consequences: as a response to the deep economic recession in Greece, the far-right political party Golden Dawn has observed a boost in its electoral results, giving them a comfortable __% in the last elections. This strengthened presence in the Greek political life has already met its social consequences: recent reports by news agencies reveal that Golden Dawn militias have been harassing immigrants in Greek, both legal and illegal ones, namely by vandalizing their business and constantly threatening immigrants. An even more worrying fact is the reports that Greek police in the outskirts of Athens has been forwarding some citizen complaints to these militias, giving them a warrant they should not and cannot have under any circumstance. How should Europe react to this? If one member state cannot control its own police forces to bend by the law, what can EU do to enforce the rule of law above all?
- DEVE (Committee on Development)
“An analysis of 10 years of UN voting statistics shows the EU has lost the regular support of 41 former allies on human rights votes, mostly in Africa and Latin America. Support for EU positions has fallen from over 70 percent in the late 1990s to around 50 percent in the last two years.” (Richard Gowan & Franziska Brantner, A Global Force for Human Rights?: An Audit of European Power at the UN, ECFR)
Africa is the new hotspot of the international political arena: joining China’s presence in the continent for some years now, Turkey has also made a powerful entrance in Africa, opening many new embassies throughout the continent. Although in different degrees, both these powers carry values and objectives different than EU ones – still, the EU policy for Africa is not clearly defined, let alone influential. Without being hegemonic, how can EU promote a sustainable development of the continent, mainly in the environmental and economic fields?