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Europe’s youth stand against Russian aggression and in support of Ukraine’s future

Europe’s youth stand against Russian aggression and in support of Ukraine’s future

Joint Declaration: Europe’s Youth Stand Against Russian Aggression & In Support of Ukraine’s Future

We, YEPP, YES, LYMEC, JEF, FYEG, YDE and EFAY, condemn the actions of the Russian Federation in the direct violation of international law and the peace established in Europe. Russia must cease all military actions, withdraw its military presence from Ukraine and desist from destabilising Europe’s Eastern regions.

These last few months have clearly shown that the Russian Federation does not look to adhere nor respect international law. Hence, we ask both the EU and NATO to take necessary measures and sanction Russia for their continued unprovoked and unjustified violations.

With the recent illegal recognition of two breakaway Ukrainian regions and unprovoked hostile attacks by the Russian Federation, we see it as crucial that necessary and consequential actions are taken. It is in times like these that clear and strong stances truly make a difference. The EU can no longer rely on effective rhetoric, but must instead take effective measures and turn words into actions.

We appeal to the EU to:
● Provide urgent Humanitarian aid and financial assistance where necessary
● Enhance security cooperation, included through the use of the European Peace Facility
● Impose strong and essential sanctions on Russia immediately
● Continue allowing Ukrainians into the EU without visas and fast-track asylum processes for Ukrainian refugees

All signing organisations of this statement will continue to stand for peace, security, diplomacy and rule of law. We cannot remain silent with a government that continues to go against our fundamental
principles.


Ukraine’s future lies in the hands of the country’s youth and over the coming weeks and months,consistent engagement with the country’s pro-European youth will play an important role in shaping the future they will have to live in.


We reiterate our commitment to both support and stand with our Ukrainian friends and thank our Ukrainian member organisations for their continued upholdment of our European values, despite all odds.


We all continue to #StandWithUkraine

The organisations:
• Youth of the European People’s Party
• Young European Socialists
• European Liberal Youth
• Young European Federalists
• Federation of Young European Greens
• Young Democrats for Europe
• European Free Alliance Youth

BAN UNPAID INTERNSHIPS!

BAN UNPAID INTERNSHIPS!

The global pandemic has put our lives on hold for the last two years. While our classes were moved online, not only we missed key events that were to shape our lives, we suffered social and economic instability. We were no longer able to rely on libraries for our books and materials. We had to buy additional technology to follow online classes. We were forced to pay fees for the dormitories we were not staying in. Our part-time jobs disappeared. Some of us had to rely on food aid and some of us had to drop out of education.

The challenges brought by the pandemic combine with the long existing struggle of making ends meet; finding affordable housing, gaining experience and finding meaningful work that strengthens our skill set while making it easier for us to navigate the labour market. 

Internships have become a common way to gain work experience and set a foot in the door of the labour market. Yet, the ever-increasing reliance of employers on unpaid internships is rendering the transition from education to work particularly perilous for today’s youth. 

2022 was announced as the European Year of Youth by the European Commission. This year has to be the year that we once and for all end unpaid internships and traineeships in Europe.

  • Unpaid internships are exploitative: Young people are exploited by working for free under the pretense of gaining experience. Experience does not pay the bills. Work is work, and it should be paid. Moreover, unpaid interns or other interns who are exploited are often unable to seek the support or advice of a union. 
  • Unpaid internships are unjust: In certain sectors of the labour market, entry-level positions have been fully replaced by unpaid internships. Not only do unpaid internships offer none of the security and value of a real, paid job, they also make certain sectors inaccessible for people who cannot afford to work for free. Those who come from wealth are given yet another advantage in life.
  • Unpaid internships perpetuate inequality: Young people who do not have the privilege of financial security, parental support or cheap housing cannot take unpaid internships, making it even harder to begin their working life and benefit from social mobility. 

Internships are work and work must be paid. Unpaid internships are a violation of young people’s right to fair remuneration. Beyond a ban on unpaid internships, we need fair wages for interns accompanied with a European status for interns and trainees, guaranteeing a minimum standard of rights concerning working conditions. 

Providing fair wages for interns will benefit all of society. We will be justly rewarded for our hard work and we will have greater financial security to withstand any future crisis. Access to career opportunities will be opened up to all young people and not just those who can afford to work unpaid. Even businesses will be able to benefit through the potential to recruit young people from a more diverse range of backgrounds and uphold young people’s rights.

We are calling on the European Commission and the Member States to put forward a common binding legal framework for an effective and enforceable ban on unpaid internships, traineeships and apprenticeships and providing a minimum standard of rights concerning working conditions.

About us

The Federation of Young European Greens (FYEG) is the European umbrella organisation for 36 Young Green organisations from all over the continent, comprising local ecological groups, student unions, youth wings of Green parties and Green Youth NGOs. In addition, FYEG is also the independent, official youth wing of the European Green Party (EGP).

The European Liberal Youth (LYMEC) is a pan-European political youth organisation seeking to promote liberal values throughout the EU as the youth organisation of the ALDE Party and its parliamentary group in the European Parliament (Renew Europe). LYMEC is present all over Europe in 40 countries through 62 organisations and individual members.

The Young Democrats for Europe is the youth wing of the European Democratic Party and of Renew Europe, Parliamentary Group. The YDE has 13 members in 10 European countries and partners in a dozen of other European countries.

Young European Socialists (YES) – formerly ECOSY – is the biggest party political youth organization in Europe. YES unites the youth of socialist, social democratic and labour movements all over the continent to campaign and organise at the European level and to provide a forum for debate, advocacy, capacity-building and exchange for all European young socialist activists.

The Young European Federalists (JEF Europe) is a non-partisan youth NGO with 10,000 members active in over 30 countries. The organisation strives towards a federal Europe based on the principles of democracy and subsidiarity as well as respect for human rights.

The European Youth Forum (YFJ) is the platform of youth organisations in Europe. YFJ represents over 100 youth organisations, which bring together tens of millions of young people from all over Europe. The Youth Forum works to empower young people to participate actively in society to improve their own lives by representing and advocating their needs and interests and those of their organisation

Register for the Young Elected Leaders Summit 2022!

Register for the Young Elected Leaders Summit 2022!

Following on from the success of the previous Summits of Young Elected Local and Regional Leaders (#YELL) that took place in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020, RenewEurope CoR group have yet again teamed up with European Liberal Youth (LYMEC) and Young Democrats for Europe (YDE) to organise a fifth in 2022.


This time the event will take place at the European Summit of regions and cities in Marseille 3-4 March. The European Summit of regions and cities is a gathering of local representatives organised every two years by the European Committee of the Regions to discuss the EU’s future challenges. With the support of the French hosts and co-organisers, youth representatives, and a wide participation enabled by the hybrid format, the 9th European Summit of Regions and Cities invites citizens and their elected representatives to help design a more resilient, cohesive and democratic European Union.

▶️ Register through this link, deadline for registration is February `4.

More information on the call :

Resolution on renewable energy

The World and the European Union are facing a historically challenging moment. On the one hand, there is the difficult task of bringing the health emergency under control. On the other hand, there is the need to continue stimulating the economy and introducing major recovery measures. For that, two main pillars have been chosen by the EU, the green and digital transitions. Both will help creating a more sustainable, inclusive and resilient economy.

 

It is very important to align hand in hand short-term recovery efforts with the medium-and long-term objectives, such as the Paris Agreement, the UN Sustainable Development Agenda or the EU Climate targets. Besides the governments and the political parties, there is a growing willingness shown by society to transform our economy into a more sustainable and environmentally friendly wealth. There is a decarbonization desire that we need to deal with.

 

 

  • A widespread technology that aims to reach our carbon neutrality goal

 

Renewable energy presents a golden opportunity because it ticks in all the boxes. Renewable energy is directly linked to the green and digital transitions. The benefits of renewable energy in terms of releasing lower or no carbon emissions and reduced air pollution are widely known. This is directly linked to society´s health. Having good air quality in our towns and cities ensures our wellbeing. Nevertheless, it is to point out that renewable energy is much more than saving CO2 emissions.

 

Renewable energy is also about economy. Unfortunately, its numerous socio-economic benefits have only become apparent specially in the last decade when the deployment of renewable energy technologies has become more widespread. Every year, renewable energy creates a significant and growing number of jobs worldwide due to rising investments. Moreover, the sector is constantly improving and innovating, and this has led to technological upgrades which resulted in falling costs. The whole Manufacturing Industry is developing in all its manufacturing base, innovating continuously their products.

 

Apart from the cost decline, infrastructure development has allowed the integration of variable energy sources in safe and feasible way. Moreover, renewable energy provides the needed resilience making it less prone to large-scale failure since some renewable energy technologies are installed in a distributed, modular fashion. At the same time, renewable energy gives more independence in terms of not depending on the oil or gas imported usually from countries outside Europe.

 

 

  • Europe, a fertile ground for the deployment of renewable energy

 

Needless to say, in order to install and benefit from renewable energy natural resources such as wind, water, sun, biomass etc. are needed and after a proper cost-benefit analysis the right technology should be chosen for each location, in order to make best of it. Europe is affluent in the mentioned resources and it has become a leader in driving the deployment of renewable technologies and there is the goal to become the world number one in renewables.

 

The industry is thoroughly working on technological developments such as floating wind turbines, wind-hydrogen hybrid projects etc. Governments and politicians from our side would need to push an innovation on the market legislation to follow up with the speed of integration of renewable energy. There is a lot of money willing to invest into renewable energy and the governments should establish regulatory frameworks which give investors confidence to go in. And last but not least, we need more projects.

 

Costs have come down dramatically and the field of application has really broadened, renewable energy innovation is really changing. This is a moment of opportunity, alignment of all stakeholders will define the success of the green and digital transitions. Let’s make the best of it.

 

This is the reason why we, the Young Democrats for Europe, call for a consultation of all the stakeholders in order to quickly increase renewable energy in our energy mix. Green transition won’t go with the consent of the people. If economic inputs are already foreseen, we need to get the European citizens on board with a transition that will change their way of consuming as well as their landscape.

 

In order to so and relying on the leading European companies, we also encourage the launch of an “Airbus” of renewable energy. Cooperation and integration are at the root of the European process ongoing for 70 years. We want to strengthen it with the goal of the XXIth century: achieving the quicker that we can carbon neutrality.

 

Resolution for a true European citizenship

At nearly 30 years old, European citizenship is still being sought. The political union that was to come into being with the European Union is constantly being called into question by the difficulties of coordination between member states. The financial crisis, the reception of migrants or the management of the COVID-19 epidemic have shown that behind the concept of union lie many realities.

This is why we Young Democrats for Europe are working to make European citizenship a reality for the 450 million European citizens.

The Maastricht Treaty provides that “Every national of a Member State shall be a citizen of the Union”, which we interpret it in a broad sense: as the quality of a citizen, belonging to a community greater than the sum of the States that constitute it and representing a set of values and rights that provide access to participation in a transnational public space.

More than a definition, we believe that European citizenship must now become a reality.

 

● Making effective the rights granted to European citizens

We, Young Democrats for Europe, welcome all the rights acquired by European citizens since 1992. However, although they are numerous, we regret the fact that European citizens have very little knowledge of them.

As a political party, we believe that it is essential that the right to vote in European and municipal elections, the right of petition and the right to launch an European Citizens’ Initiative become more widely exercised.

This is why we will strengthen our communication and training actions on these rights. With the aim to ensure that the modalities for exercising these rights are clearly accessible and that citizens can effectively make use of them.

More than pedagogy, we will work, in collaboration with the other European political parties, to implement tools that citizens can use to raise awareness about these rights, which are essential to European democratic life.

Finally, we do not forget all the other rights given by European citizenship. Freedom of movement, consular protection or access to European documents and to the European Ombudsman are real advances for all citizens of the Union.

We therefore keep in mind that it is all these rights that must be known by European citizens in order to make them effective. To deprive oneself of them is to renounce to one of the foundations of the European Union, and therefore the exercise of one’s full and complete freedom within a State governed by the rule of law.

 

● Giving primacy to the values of the EU over its policies

The values of the European Union are multiple and subject to many political interpretations. This is why we will rely on those which are at the heart of the ideological corpus of our member parties as enshrined in Article 2 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU), i.e. “human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities”.

Because we are democrats, we cannot tolerate any violation of the rule of law. Freedom of opinion, freedom of the press, independence of the judiciary or government control are the foundations of our society. Aware that promoting them around the world is essential, we must first ensure that these principles are guaranteed within the 27 member states. This is no longer the case.

This is why we, the Young Democrats for Europe, are in favour of making European funds conditional on respect for the rule of law. Indeed, legal measures as vigorous as those provided for in Article 7 of the TEU cannot remain without effect. Although it is true that the financial argument does not solve everything in itself, it will act as a new tool to ensure respect for democracy in Europe.

 

● Ensuring the legitimacy of the EU through the participation of citizens in its functioning

The 2019 European elections saw an increase in citizen participation, especially among young people, for the first time since they were held. This is a first victory and we celebrate it. However, we must continue to invigorate European democracy with all the means at our disposal.

To do this, we will set up exchange times for young people with the ten MEPs who represent us in the European Parliament. They are our strength and our legitimacy; we will be able to rely on their skills to strengthen a European democratic system that is often far from its citizens.

In addition to relying on our elected representatives, we will provide position papers for each current European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) in order to make them more accessible and to democratize their functioning. Debating them means making them exist. And on the basis of the many petitions posted online, we want European youth to take ownership of the ECI, which allows us to mobilize all European citizens.

Finally, and because a democracy cannot be envisaged without the confrontation and debate of ideas, we want the next Conference on the Future of Europe to be open to as many people as possible. The agoras envisaged will have to cover all the subjects for which the European Union is competent, including those for which it shares competence with the States. These agoras will have to be physically distributed in each Member State in order to reach all citizens and not just an already informed public.

As a youth organisation and because we are the future actors of Europe, we also insist on the need to dedicate an agora to youth. This would be held both online and it would travel throughout the Member States to diversify the audiences that can be reached.

YDE Congress 2020 : New board elected

The Congress of the Young Democrats for Europe (YDE) was held, online, on Saturday, November 7. The 13 parties of the youth organisation of the European Democratic Party approved the activity and financial report of the 2018-2020 board and prepare the ground for the next one.

Before proceeding to the renewal of the board, the YDE welcomed a Romanian member, the youth organisation Pro România Tineret. The party already associated with the YDE wanted to formalise its rapprochement in order to act more on European politics and spread our values across Europe. It is also a great opportunity for the YDE to be even more involved in the eastern Balkan.

Begoña Garteizaurrecoa (Euzko Gaztedi Indarra) who did not stand for her own succession has left the place to Asier Areitio (Euzko Gaztedi Indarra) who becomes the new president of the YDE. Unanimously elected like the rest of his board, he first of all thanked Begona for his work as well as all the parties that support him for this new term.

Asier Areitio announced that he wants to work with the entire Board so that the YDE become a reference for all young people in Europe who support the values of freedom and democracy, values that are, today more than ever, necessary to face the populism that is rising all over Europe. This is why he insisted on the need for the YDE to work to spread the values of the EU, the cement of the unity of European youth.

It is Ugo Rostaing (Jeunes démocrates) who replaced François Dogon (Jeunes démocrates) as Secretary General. The latter will nevertheless remain a member of the board for the next two years.

Ugo Rostaing also recalled the importance for the YDE to gain recognition on the European scene by relying on the EDP’s European elected representatives as well as the associations that invigorate the European democracy. He sees the Conference on the Future of Europe as a major opportunity for young people who are constantly demonstrating their commitment to the planet, freedom, and equality.

 

The full board of YDE for 2020-2022 will be:

–           President : Asier Areitio (Euzko Gaztedi Indarra)

–           Secretary general: Ugo Rostaing (Jeunes démocrates)

–           Treasurer: Cristina Gennari (Generazione Futura (Repubblica Futura))

–           Spokesperson: Sergio Soares (Junge Freie Wähler)

–           VP Communication: George Efstathiou (Symmaxia Neon)

–           VP Events: Miroslav Stanici (PRO ROMANIA)

–           Santiago Guttierrez (Jóvenes Nacionalistas Canarios)

–           Anita Velic (Narodna stranka-REFORMISTI)

–           François Dogon (Jeunes démocrates)

–           Tina Andrioti (Neolaia Enosis Kentroon)

–           Alena Minns (Mladí Európania)

–           Eiza Gallo (PDE Italia youth)

 

Finally, delegates adopted the action plan of the new board and two resolutions. The action plan is based on the political priorities set out in the resolutions. European citizenship, through the promotion of EU values and participation in the Conference on the Future of Europe as well as the transition to a greener economy will therefore be the two guiding threads of the YDE board’s action for the next two years.

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Young Democrats for Europe (YDE)
Jeunes Democrates Europeens (JDE)
YDE is the youth wing of the European Party.We embrace the key role of democratic principles, underlined in the Lisbon Treaty and shrined in our political belief: democracy, freedom, equality, participation, sustainability and solidarity.

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