european parliament – AEGEE-Europe | European Students' Forum AEGEE (Association des Etats Généraux des Etudiants de l’Europe / European Students’ Forum) is a student organisation that promotes cooperation, communication and integration amongst young people in Europe. As a non-governmental, politically independent, and non-profit organisation AEGEE is open to students and young people from all faculties and disciplines – today it counts 13 000 members, active in close to 200 university cities in 40 European countries, making it the biggest interdisciplinary student association in Europe. Wed, 15 Nov 2017 17:59:33 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.5.11 European Parliament Conference of Presidents (EP president and political group leaders) with Chair of the EU High Level Group on Own Resources /ep-own-resources/ Fri, 09 Jan 2015 17:42:29 +0000 http://aegee.blogactiv.eu/?p=1248 On Thursday 8 January a European Parliament Conference of Presidents took place. It was chaired by the EU High Level Group on Own Resources lead by Mario Monti. The report on EU’s Own Resources that was published last month was presented under the idea of reforming the EU funding system.

AEGEE / European Students’ Forum has been monitoring the developments on the area of own financing of the European Union with special interest, predicting it as one of the most important challenges that the European institutions have to face with.

As members of the organization European Movement, AEGEE welcomes the tendency of the EU to increase the self-financed packages. In this sense, in 2013 EMI’s Council meeting a plan for Sustainable Development and Employment was suggested and presented on the ECI (2014)000002 funded through a Financial Transaction Tax.

AEGEE would like to encourage all involved subjects to work on the development of the Financial Transaction Tax linked to the Plan for Sustainable Development and Employment fostering policies directly addressed to lower the current unemployment and underemployment rates.

Background

The High Level Group, that was set up to develop ideas for EU own financing for EU’s 2014-2020 MMF, is expected to deliver its final recommendations before the end of 2016.

New Deal 4 Europe registered on March 2014 the ECI for a European Special Plan for Sustainable Development and Employment, the collection of which is ongoing.

Written by Pablo Hernández, Policy Officer of AEGEE-Europe on Youth Employment

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Position Paper on Single Seat of the European Parliament /position-paper-on-single-seat-of-the-european-parliament/ Mon, 01 Sep 2014 07:43:09 +0000 /?p=5506

Introduction

European elections are taking place in May 2014 and with a fresh Parliament on the horizon, we see this as the perfect time to put a stop to the European Parliament’s travelling circus. The European Parliament (EP) works mainly from Brussels, but for fewer than 50 days a year the Parliament moves to its official seat in Strasbourg to vote. This dual seat, in combination with keeping half its administrative staff in Luxembourg, costs an extra €180 million and 19,000 tonnes of CO2 each year[1].

In current times of economic hardship and global warming, these budgetary and environmental costs are no longer justifiable.

History

When the European Community for Steel and Coal (ECSC) was founded in 1951 it had two seats, one in Strasbourg and one in Luxemburg[2]. The city of Strasbourg has a special meaning, as it was the place where Germany and France met. This is important, since one of the underlying political objectives of the ECSC was to strengthen Franco-German solidarity and cooperation — and thus avoid a new war.

With the Treaty of Rome (1957)[3] the common market was introduced and this enlargement of the cooperation meant there was need for more space for the European institutions. The city of Brussels was appointed as the new capital of the European Union, but the Secretariat-General of the Parliament and the Court of Justice remained in Luxemburg, and the Parliament itself kept its seat in Strasbourg.

At that time the EP consisted of a handful of non-elected representatives of governments, and it had only a fraction of its current influence and responsibilities. Now, it has co-decision power in most areas of legislation and its daily work is done in Brussels, in close contact with other European institutions and civil society organisations. However, MEPs still move to Strasbourg 12 times a year to vote.

Since 2007, 1.27 million citizens have signed a petition[4] demanding that the European Parliament should have a Single Seat in Brussels. Unfortunately, the distribution of official seats of the European institutions is written down in the EU Treaty[5], which means the Parliament does not have the power to decide where it meets. It can, however, under the Lisbon Treaty[6], formally propose Treaty changes to Member State governments — which is what it did with the Single Seat campaign in 2013[7].

The European Parliament clearly agrees with the concerns of these 1.27 million citizens, adopting in 2013 —with a supermajority of 78 percent[8] — a motion stating it wishes to be able to decide when and where it will officially meet. So now it is up to the Commission to decide whether or not to put this motion to the Parliament and the Council, who can then decide on this change to the Treaty.

Position of AEGEE-Europe

We have no preference as to where the European Parliament seats. We do however understand the Parliament itself has shown a preference for Brussels, due to the effectiveness of working close to the other European bodies and institutions, as well as the representatives of civil society and the media.

Also, although we realise the importance of the reasons why the European Parliament was officially seated in Strasbourg, we believe that with the ascension of 22 new Member States since the creation of the ECSC, the importance of a seat in Strasbourg has become mainly historical and does not weigh up to the resources spent on moving the Parliament back and forth.

Therefore, we as AEGEE, share the concerns of European citizens considering the high costs of forcing the European Parliament to maintain its two seats. We also believe the Parliament itself should decide, taking into account both practical issues as well as historical ones, where it wishes to convene. We therefore urge the Commission to initiate the procedure for a Treaty change, giving the European Parliament the right to determine its own seat.

About AEGEE

AEGEE/European Students’ Forum was born 29 years ago with the vision of creating a unified Europe, based on democracy and respect for human rights, bringing together students with different cultural backgrounds. Today, AEGEE is Europe’s largest interdisciplinary student organisation: 40 countries, 200 cities, 13 000 friends.

This network provides the ideal platform for young volunteers to work together on cross-border activities such as international conferences, seminars, exchanges, training courses, and case study trips. In line with the challenges young people are currently facing in Europe, AEGEE’s work is focused on three main areas: promotion of youth participation, development of European relations with its neighbours, and inclusion of minorities.

 


[1] Joint Working Group of the Bureau and the Committee on Budgets on the European Parliament budget, Annex 2: http://singleseat.eu/10.html

[5] Treaty on European Union and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, Protocol no. 6, On the location of the seats of the institutions and of certain bodies, offices, agencies and departments of the European Union: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/en/treaties/index.htm

[6] Treaty of Lisbon, Title III, Provisions on the Institutions, Article 9: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:C:2007:306:FULL:EN:PDF

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Europe on Track 2: The great Finale /europe-on-track-2-the-great-finale/ Thu, 15 May 2014 16:20:37 +0000 /?p=5255 31 days, 25 cities and 16 countries since the departure from Brussels on 9th April, the Europe on Track 2 teams arrived at their last stops: Strasbourg and Budapest, respectively.

Europe on Track, winner of the 2013 European Charlemagne Youth Prize,was asked to present the project to inspire the more than 5,000 young people meeting in Strasbourg for the European Youth Event 2014. The session was moderated by Mrs Katrin Ruhrmann, director for Information Offices of European Parliament, and Mrs Bettina Leysen, vice-chairwoman of the Charlemagne Prize Foundation.

Around a hundred participants during the Europe on Track session in the European Parliament i Strasbourg

Around a hundred participants during the Europe on Track session in the European Parliament in Strasbourg

Réka Salamon, project coordinator, and Mathieu Soete, traveller from the first edition, had the chance to debate the conclusions of the project with a full room of youngsters from all EU member states. The audience proved to be very active, especially regarding the topics of youth participation and youth employment. A secondary school student from Cyprus demanded more complete education on democratic participation to be able to better exercise their right to vote. “The system of our parents’ generation doesn’t work anymore”, remarked one of the participants when asked how to enhance their chances of employment.
Mrs Katrin Ruhrmann ended the fruitful session encouraging the participants to keep voicing their demands and ideas through projects like Europe on Track, ensuring that the input gathered does reach policy makers.

 

At the same time, the second team of travellers took part in a conference in the Corvinus university of Budapest aiming to raise awareness of the upcoming European Parliamentary Elections and of the importance of active citizenship. AEGEE-Budapest, ESN Hungary, the National Youth Council, the Higher Education Student Organizations Association and GovFaces participated in the presentations that later gave way to a lively discussion. Students raised contrasting opinions on the importance the Hungarian society gives to active participation when living in a reality of economic decay and disillusionment with politics.​

AEGEE will embark now on the last phase of the project, analysing all the input received to support its advocacy work both in Brussels and at local level. Similarly to the previous edition, AEGEE will collect all opinions and recommendations in a results booklet and a documentary giving an insight into how the youth wants to shape the future of Europe, their future.

Budapest

“We are extremely proud of how far AEGEE´s Europe on Track initiative has reached, how it has been able to mobilize not only AEGEEans all over the continent, but also concerned young people wanting to share their visions and to participate in the construction of a new Europe. Thank you to our partners Interrail, the Open Society Foundation, Youth For Public Transport, Debating Europe and to the team and ambassadors, for allowing to develop this tool for young people from young people to bring a strong youth and student message to the institutions in Brussels.”
Luis Alvarado Martínez, President of AEGEE-Europe.

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Europe on Track 2 empowers European youth to become actors in the construction of the Europe of tomorrow /europe-on-track-2-empowers-european-youth-to-become-actors-in-the-construction-of-the-europe-of-tomorrow-2/ Tue, 15 Apr 2014 08:30:08 +0000 http://aegee.blogactiv.eu/?p=1022 AEGEE-Europe launched on Wednesday 9th April the project Europe on Track 2. After presenting the project in the press conference at the European Parliament, six ambassadors divided in two teams began their traveling by train all over the European continent during one month, with the objective of interviewing young people from various backgrounds about their vision of Europe.

To set the context, the results and the documentary from the first edition (winner of the 2013 European Charlemagne Youth Prize) were presented to the audience. Then the project coordinators introduced the features of Europe on Track 2, which this time focuses on encouraging young people to get involved as active citizens and capture possible ways of participating in the construction of the European Project.

At a time when European integration is being questioned, and when young people’s future prospects have become hazy, Europe on Track wants to act as a loudspeaker for the youth, bringing their opinion, their realities and their wishes to decision-makers” Réka Salamon, project coordinator, said.

The six travelers will visit 25 cities in 16 countries, reaching as far as the Baltics, the Balkans and Ukraine. In local events they will discuss about mobility programmes, youth employment, the European elections, youth participation and europtimism. All the discussions and insights will be documented with videos, pictures and articles shared in the Europe on Track blog and through social media.

In order to overcome the geographical and time limits, Europe on Track partners with Debating Europe to host two online debates on youth mobility and youth participation. “With this partnership we hope to spark online discussion that can add to the project’s results, engaging more young people and even not-so-young people from all European countries“, said Rocío Leza, project coordinator.

AEGEE also counts with the support of Interrail, who makes this ambitious project possible. Besides, our partner Youth For Public Transport supports the sustainable transport of the travelers by providing them with a carbon footprint calculator created especially for the project. “We thought that there was no better way of contributing to the project than supporting the sustainable transport of the ambassadors, providing them with the possibility to really think about their mobility choices!” in words of Jerome Kisielewicz, Y4PT.

Find more about Europe on Track:
We invite you to follow the upcoming events of ‘Europe on track’ on our website, Facebook, and Twitter.

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Europe on Track 2 empowers European youth to become actors in the construction of the Europe of tomorrow /europe-on-track-2-empowers-european-youth-to-become-actors-in-the-construction-of-the-europe-of-tomorrow/ Tue, 15 Apr 2014 08:17:55 +0000 /?p=4549 AEGEE-Europe launched on Wednesday 9th April the project Europe on Track 2 in the European Parliament. After presenting in the press conference, six travellers divided in two teams began their routes, crossing the European continent by train during one month, with the objective of interviewing young people from various backgrounds about their vision of Europe.

To set the context, the results and the documentary from the first edition, winner of the 2013 European Charlemagne Youth Prize, were presented to the audience. Then the project coordinators introduced the features of Europe on Track 2, which this time focuses on encouraging young people to get involved as active citizens and capture possible ways of participating in the construction of the European Project.

DSC_0026

 

“At a time when European integration is being questioned and young people’s future prospects have become hazy, in Europe on Track we want to act as a loudspeaker for the youth, bringing their opinion, their realities and their wishes to decision-makers” Réka Salamon, project coordinator.

 

The six travellers will pass by 25 cities in 16 countries, reaching the Baltics, the Balkans and Ukraine. In the local events they will discuss about mobility programmes, youth employment, the European elections, youth participations and europtimism. All the discussions and insights will be documented with videos, pictures and articles shared in the Europe on Track blog and through social media.

DSC_0007

 

In order in order to overcome the geographical and time limits, Europe on Track partners with Debating Europe who will host online debates on two of the topics: youth mobility and youth participation. “With this partnership we hope to spark online discussion that can add to the project’s results, engaging more young people and even not-so-young people from all European countries” Rocío Leza, project coordinator.

Speaker from the Youth For Public Transport presenting the concept of carbon footprint calculation

Speaker from the Youth For Public Transport presenting the concept of carbon footprint calculation

 

AEGEE also counts with the support of Interrail, who makes this ambitious project possible. Besides, our partner Youth For Public Transport supports the sustainable transport of the travellers by providing them with a carbon footprint calculator created especially for the project. “We thought that there was no better way of contributing to the project then supporting the sustainable transport of the travellers, providing them the possibility to really think about their mobility choices!”Jerome Kisielewicz, Y4PT.

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Welcome to the new EU-EaP priorities expressed by the European Parliament /analysing-the-priorities-of-the-european-parliament-for-eu-eap-relations/ Tue, 08 Apr 2014 16:05:49 +0000 http://aegee.blogactiv.eu/?p=998

On Wednesday 12 March 2014, the European Parliament adopted a resolution on assessing and setting priorities for EU relations with the Eastern Partnership countries (2013/2149(INI)). The Eastern Partnership Project of AEGEE-Europe warmly welcomes and supports this resolution.

Regarding points 5, 13, 15, 43 on the role of youth, education and civil society exchanges, the Eastern Partnership Project of AEGEE-Europe would like to emphasise that our objectives are:

  • Enhancing bilateral cooperation in the field of education and culture between youth from EaP and EU countries
  • Strengthening EaP youth participation by promoting active citizenship in the region
  • Developing solidarity between young people in EU countries and in the EaP region
  • Fostering a common understanding by raising awareness about the EU in the EaP region and vice versa

We call upon the particular attention of MEPs the existence of the Eastern Partnership Project of AEGEE-Europe. Founded in 2011, this project is a unique initiative created out of the commitment of young Europeans, aware of the importance of youth work and the necessity of providing young people with opportunities to experience cultural diversity. It is also crucial to the development of civil society in the six program countries.

The Eastern Partnership Project of AEGEE-Europe has developed and will continue to develop a wide range of activities (conferences, training sessions, cultural exchange programmes) within the abovementioned framework.

The Eastern Partnership Project of AEGEE-Europe would like to express its utmost willingness to fulfill these new priorities for EU-EaP relations. Given the experience of AEGEE-Europe, we are best suited to work in collaboration with the European Parliament, the European Commission and other institutions in order to bring EU and EaP countries closer.

Lea Hannaoui-Saulais, Impact Measurement Manager and Adrian Browarczyk, Project Manager
Eastern Partnership Project of AEGEE-Europe

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EU Energy targets for 2030. On the way to 2050? /eu-energy-targets-2030/ Tue, 01 Apr 2014 08:50:55 +0000 http://aegee.blogactiv.eu/?p=988 The European Union strives for less than 2 degrees temperature rise this century in comparison with the pre-industrial times. In order to reach this goal, scientists have calculated that the carbon emission should be reduced by 80% in 2050 (1). There are different ways in which this reduction could be reached: achieve a higher energy efficiency, increase the use of renewable energy, and reduce the share of polluting energy sources are ways to decrease the greenhouse gasses emissions.

Every ten years, the European Commission proposes new mid-term energy targets. The current energy targets are set for 2020, and the first energy proposal for 2030 was recently voted upon in the Parliament. The proposal of the European Commission for 2030 is a 40% reduction of greenhouse gasses and reach a 27% (non-binding) share in renewable energies in the mix. The Parliament voted in favour on a resolution of 40% reduction of carbon emission, 30% share of the renewable energy market and 40% energy efficiency improvement by 2030. The Parliament criticised in this way the proposal of the European Commission (2): the renewable energy target is set to 20% in 2020, and increasing it only by 7% in 2030 would be unambitious. Furthermore, there are no national targets for renewable energy, which makes the Member States unaccountable. Additionally, the energy efficiency should be a very important objective, and there is no target set about this topic in the proposal of the Commission right now. However, the resolution of the EP is not binding, and the final proposal will be voted upon by the new Parliament in October.

In an analysis of the Friends of the Earth,  a decrease of 60% of carbon emission would be in line with the targets of 2050, instead of the 40% proposed right now. In total there should be a reduction of 80% in carbon emission by 2050 to strive for less than 2 degrees temperature rise at the end of this century (compared to the pre-industrial times). The reduction of only 40% in 2030 means that after 2030 there should be still an additional reduction of 40% in 20 years. There are no changes in the Emission Trade System so far, and the carbon prices will be low until 2030 when nothing is done (3). Internationally, Europe will continue the trend of losing its leading position in carbon emission with this proposal. The US and China will probably have more ambitious plans and targets to reduce their carbon emission in the future.

We wonder: where is the voice of the scientist and the youth in this proposal? The knowledge of the scientists is used to support decisions when it is in the benefit of the decision-makers, but non-scientific arguments become suddenly more important when the scientific facts are not pointing in the direction of the interest of the political forces. The youth has the power to reform the present in order to preserve the future; their voice and their concerns should be heard!

For many European citizens, the legislators in Brussels seems to be the big angry power which limits the growth of their countries when they impose a limitation of the carbon emissions. It is the responsibility of governments to explain why these energy targets are so important for the future of Europe, and show that this is the only way for a long term successful economy. We should develop not by bringing the healthy future of our planet and children in danger, but striving for a sustainable Europe.

To the decision makers we would like to say: about the importance of a sustainable future, do not only talk but act accordingly!

Written by Iris Hordijk, Policy Officer of AEGEE-Europe for Sustainability

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AEGEE demands more equality in the procedures of EP elections /aegee-demands-more-equality-in-the-procedures-of-ep-elections/ Fri, 28 Feb 2014 09:18:43 +0000 http://aegee.blogactiv.eu/?p=964 Being actively involved in raising awareness of the upcoming European elections and trying to increase young voters’ turnout, we have identified a number of impediments that under certain circumstances limit citizens’ opportunities to participate in the elections. In a previous article, AEGEE put forward a debate about inequalities that exist in the EU Member States regarding the minimum age to be eligible to vote and to stand as a candidate. This time we address the issue of the different national rules that determine the right of citizens to cast their votes when residing or traveling abroad on the day of elections.

We find it unacceptable that the provisions for participation of citizens while abroad – within the borders of the EU or beyond – are so diverse and discrepant for the European Parliament elections. To mention just a few examples, while Bulgarian citizens are legally allowed to cast their vote if they reside in any other country, Cypriots are completely deprived of this right; while Hungarian electorate has an opportunity to vote in these EP elections no matter where they live – outside or inside the EU-, Greeks can only exercise their voting rights within the Union. There are many more contradictions, therefore AEGEE emphasises that since we are electing a single European legislative body, all European citizens must be provided with equal voting rights and through similar procedures.

Foto from Gunnar 3000 FotoliaEven when people are allowed to vote from abroad, there are many differences: in some countries proxy or postal voting is possible (e.g. Austria, Latvia, Belgium), in Estonia e-voting system functions, but in other countries the only available option is to vote in person from your own country’s diplomatic representation (e.g. Romania, Croatia, Czech Republic).  Current situation causes several negative consequences that worsen EU’s institutional image and decrease citizen satisfaction with, and trust in, the EU.

The obstacles to participate in the EP elections potentially decrease voter turnout, especially in those countries with a significant number of citizens abroad. The level of citizen participation in EP elections is already worryingly low – only 43% of Europeans voted in the last elections to the EP in 2009. AEGEE considers that rules and procedures for participation in European elections should be simplified to counter this low turnout, to avoid losing more voters and more voices in the upcoming elections.

Additionally, when citizens face such set of constraints for their engagement in democracy, the perception of legitimacy of the political entity substantially decreases.  The principles of consistency and equality are undermined from the moment nationals from different Member States do not exercise the same rights. Is this something the EU – being highly criticised for its democratic deficit in the past years – can afford?

Last but not least, these diverse rules and procedures are not in line with one of the EU’s main goals and greatest achievements – mobility of citizens. Having provided us with an opportunity of free movement among 28 countries, the EU has failed to adjust these basic regulations that should enhance the feeling of being European.

The aforementioned implies that the Y Vote project of AEGEE-Europe claims for two explicit things:

  • rules and procedures for the participation in European elections from abroad should be as equal as possible in all 28 Member States
  • these rules and procedures should provide better access to participation in elections in order to foster higher citizen representation.

Hence, AEGEE welcomes the petition Equal Voting Rights and Procedures for all EU Citizens in EP Elections initiated by European Citizens Abroad, and strongly encourages everyone to sign it!

Written by Diana Ondža, Communications Manager of the AEGEE-Europe Y Vote 2014 Project

In order to achieve the goals AEGEE-Europe has set for itself regarding the European elections, the Y Vote 2014 Project was successfully launched  in 2013. The project aims at reaching young people, especially first-time voters, in order to turn them into important actors of the upcoming European Parliamentary Elections through different discussions, campaigns and actions. A number of events have been already implemented, however our ambitions grow as our achievements augment.

Copyright pictures:
eVoting: Gunnar3000 Fotolia

 

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Mc Kinsey report highlights some of the problems behind youth unemployment /mc-kinsey-report-highlights-problems-youth-unemployment/ /mc-kinsey-report-highlights-problems-youth-unemployment/#comments Wed, 26 Feb 2014 14:43:12 +0000 http://aegee.blogactiv.eu/?p=956 “In Europe, 74 percent of education providers were confident that their graduates were prepared for work, but only 38 percent of youth and 35 percent of employers agreed” states the Mc Kinsey report, which was released Mid-January 2014. This statement, based on a meticulous research carried out toward 5,300 youth, 2,600 employers, and 700 post-secondary education providers across 8 countries, brings to light the difference of perspectives and the lack of clear understanding among Education providers on the reality of the situation for young people willing to enter the job market.

This research reminds us that apart from the lack of job offers, another key issue is the existing skills mismatch between what Education providers are providing and the actual needs of the companies. These and other factors ended up in 5.6 million young people being unemployed in Europe.

AEGEE-Europe is worried to see that the situation for young people is still blocked and leaves so many young job seekers really unmotivated, desperate to find a job that not only enables them to pay their rent, but also fulfills their expectations. On that matter, we can only keep on calling Higher Education institutions to rethink their learning models and to cooperate further with companies in order to understand, and then translate in their programs, the skills that are being asked for on the job market.

AEGEE-Europe also wants to stress the crucial role of Non-Formal Education players in that field, since skills considered as crucial from employers, such as “spoken communication and work ethic” to quote the Mc Kinsey’s report, are exactly those that volunteers in youth organisations get to experience and develop. Moreover, not only do Youth Organisations provide soft skills needed by the job market, but they give also valuable work experience, which often job applicants lack. For this reason, AEGEE-Europe can only repeat the need for volunteers’ engagement and experiences to be recognised by key players, such as Educational centres (with ECTS compensations), Employers (by taking seriously into account volunteers’ experience) and public institutions (through validation of Non-Formal Education competences).

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Reaction to the draft law of Spanish Government shutting down the Spanish Youth Council /reaction-to-the-draft-law-of-spanish-government-shutting-down-the-spanish-youth-council/ /reaction-to-the-draft-law-of-spanish-government-shutting-down-the-spanish-youth-council/#comments Fri, 31 Jan 2014 17:28:17 +0000 http://aegee.blogactiv.eu/?p=917 On 17th January 2014, the Spanish Council of Ministers approved the draft law of Reform of the Public Administration that, based on an alleged duplicity of functions with the governmental body Spanish Youth Institute (INJUVE), formally abolishes the Spanish Youth Council (Consejo de la Juventud de España – CJE), turning a blind eye to the recommendations of Martin Schulz, president of the European Parliament, encouraging for the reconsideration of this measure.

AEGEE, as a youth organization striving for the participation of young people in decision-making processes, is strongly disappointed to see such a decision taken from the Spanish government, and calls for the Spanish Parliament to amend the Draft Law of Reform of the Public Administration and preserve the Spanish Youth Council. AEGEE, whose representatives in Spain are members of the Spanish Youth Council, is concerned by the lack of vision from the Spanish Government, which ignores the mandate of the Spanish Constitution (see art. 48) and eliminates the organ that has the representation of Spanish youth to defend their interests.

CJE is an organism founded in 1984, and nowadays gathers 76 diverse national organizations. It voices the interests of the young people on topics that are crucial for them, such as employment, sexual health or education. Shutting it down would worsen the situation of a collective that is already suffering the hard consequences of the international economic crisis. Therefore, AEGEE believes that this measure is a wrong approach to solving their issues problems, because it causes a lack of representation.

The same 17th of January, the Spanish Youth Council published a press release regarding the approval of the draft law showing their disagreement. In this document they highlight that “Spanish Government commits a big mistake that would let the Spanish youth without a valid representation” mentioning that this decision is not taken from the alleged “administrative efficiency criteria”, but with the objective of eliminating an “inconvenient organism”.

The European Youth Forum also reacted against this announcement calling “on the Spanish government to recognise young people, through their representation by youth organisations such as the CJE, as critical components of a healthy democracy”. They base their argumentation, as Martin Schulz also did, upon the European Union’s White Paper on Youth, emphasizing the importance of democratic platforms such as Spanish Youth Council in promoting youth participation through independent institutions.

Written by Pablo Hernández, Policy Officer of AEGEE-Europe for Youth Participation

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