reaction – 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. Tue, 17 Oct 2017 22:02:01 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.5.10 AEGEE / European Students’ Forum expresses solidarity with Armenian young people defending their fundamental rights /solidarity-armenia-electricity/ Thu, 25 Jun 2015 12:04:02 +0000 http://aegee.blogactiv.eu/?p=1334 From June 19 AEGEE has attentively followed the recent stand-off and major public discontent over the increase of the electricity price in Armenia.

AEGEE strongly condemns excessive use of force by the Police aimed at dispersing the crowd on the morning of June 23, resulting in arrest of more than 250 civic activists. We are, furthermore, extremely troubled with the use of force against journalists and representatives of different international media channels.

The freedom of assembly and freedom of speech are fundamental democratic values which shall be respected and accordingly not restricted.

Simultaneously, AEGEE expresses its support and solidarity to representatives of Armenian civil society and urge all sides to set a ground for constructive dialogue, with the aim of overcoming non-grounded and unpopular economic decision. As pan-European organization which empowers students and young people in Europe to take active role in society, we call on young people in Armenia effectively exercise their human rights and freedoms to peaceful and non-violent assembly.

1896899_723551454457802_831791733778853287_n #ElectricYerevan  #Baghramyan

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Reaction to Statement on Policy Orientation for a Social Europe /reaction-social-europe/ Mon, 15 Jun 2015 13:35:04 +0000 http://aegee.blogactiv.eu/?p=1326 On Tuesday 9th June, the commissioner on Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labor Mobility Marianne Thyssen released a statement on policy orientation for a Social Europe pointing out the willingness of the European Commission on “taking the social dimension on board of all its policies”.

Source: Google

Marianne Thyssen

This willingness is encompassed with the intention of establishing “minimum standards, expressed in benchmarks” covering aspects such as the duration and level of unemployment benefits, minimum income or access to child care or basic health care. AEGEE-Europe as a student organization that is aware of the critical situation that many young Europeans are living due to the high rates of unemployment and lack of social support from governments, welcomes the renewed intention of the European Commission of taking actions to “deliver good and decent jobs” to the European citizens. In this sense, AEGEE encourages the European Commission to act fast in the direction of setting minimum standards for employment taking into consideration the opinion of young people as a part of society that is especially suffering the consequences of the actual precarious employment framework.   Written by Pablo Hernández,  Policy Officer on Youth Employment of AEGEE-Europe

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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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Why does Hungary matter? /why-does-hungary-matter/ /why-does-hungary-matter/#comments Mon, 25 Mar 2013 15:28:37 +0000 http://aegee.blogactiv.eu/?p=509 This question was asked recently by the US Helsinki Commission and also exactly a year ago by the Nobel prize laureate, Paul Krugman. Why does Hungary, this small, landlocked country with around 10 million inhabitants in Central Eastern Europe, matter to the US or to any other EU country?

However, the recent happenings, namely the latest, Fourth Amendment to the Constitution of Hungary, put this country into the spotlight and brought international responses. It is not the first legislative act which was highly debated – let’s recall reactions to the media law for example and the criticism of Venice Commission since the change in the constitution in 2011 – but the critics sound even louder this time.

The 15-page amendment, which has been passed by the Hungarian Parliament on 11th of March, contains parts about the definition of marriage (“the union of a man and a woman”) and family (“based on marriage and the relationship between parents and children”), implicitly excluding the recognition of same-sex marriage. It also reinforces the heavily criticised contract between the university or college students and the state, which defines the conditions of state-supported years in higher education: Students have to stay and work after graduation in Hungary for the same period of time they have studied in their college or university and received state support. Finally, it grants an option to declare homelessness illegal (“declare illegal staying in a public area as a permanent abode with respect to a specific part of such public area”).

Besides “the new constitutional amendment (again) kills off the independence of the judiciary, brings universities under (even more) governmental control, opens the door to political prosecutions, (…) makes the recognition of religious groups dependent on their cooperation with the government and weakens human rights guarantees across the board. Moreover, the constitution will now buffer the government from further financial sanctions by permitting it to take all fines for noncompliance with the constitution or with European law and pass them on to the Hungarian population as special taxes, not payable by the normal state budget….”, as Kim Lane Scheppele, head of Law and Public Affairs program of Princeton University, states (Scheppele, 2013).

Since AEGEE stands for human rights and democracy and promotes unlimited access to education, we demand full respect of these principles. We consider the Fourth Amendment to be an undemocratic step back in development of the country. We would welcome the EU to put pressure on the Hungarian government to remove the articles which don’t respect fundamental rights from the Amendment. We acknowledge the relevance of the problems of brain drain, immigrating intellectuals and raising poverty, but we urge Hungary to find an appropriate solution for these issues.

If we come back again to the original question: Why does Hungary matter? As Paul Krugman said, “if you believe in democracy and peace, you have a stake in that idea’s success — which is why all of Europe’s current troubles are a tragedy for all of us. And now we have a nation in the heart of Europe, a member of the EU, a nation that emerged from dictatorship, which is at the very least backsliding on democracy. This is terrible — and terribly important. If you can’t see this, there’s something very wrong with your priorities.” (Krugman, 2012)

Sources:
Scheppele, K. L. (2013) Constitutional Revenge http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/03/01/guest-post-constitutional-revenge/ Reached on 20/03/2013
Krugman, P. (2012) Why Hungary matters? http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/15/why-hungary-matters/ Reached on 20/03/2013
Fourth Amendment to the Fundamental Law of Hungary. http://www.parlament.hu/irom39/09929/09929.pdf Reached on 20/03/2013

Written by Beáta Matuszka, member of Comité Directeur of AEGEE-Europe

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