Happy 2013 – We Want EU – YDE

In 2012 the European Union was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and our focus is on the project that has most consolidated, over the past 25 years, the sense of common belonging to EU: the Erasmus.

We will launch in 2013 a petition which aims to collect one million signatures from all over Europe to safeguard the funds of Erasmus (endangered in recent months for reasons of austerity) and to assert, with the Erasmus Generation, the need for a stronger and faster European political integration.

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Happy 2013

Marco Cappa
President of Young Democrats for Europe
www.youngdemocrats.eu

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Alde and YDE Winter School

Dear friends,

It is our pleasure to invite to the annual ALDE, LYMEC and YDE academy that will take place in the European Parliament in Bruxelles 5th and 6th of December. The programme of the event will start in the early afternoon of the 5th December so please plan your arrivals accordingly. Your departure should be planned for 7th of December at any time.

Programe of the event: DOWNLOAD (Updated on 21.11.2012)

Christians in Syria: A Precious Minority

Syria, an important crossroads for at least five millennia, is a country in possession of a very complex ethnic and religious character. 

Despite the widespread and well-characterized Arab-Muslim society, Syria is also very important for the history of Christianity. It’s from here that the Apostles began to evangelize Europe, firstly with Saint Paul, and some of the most important monasteries such as St. George, St. Thecla, the convent of our Lady of Saidnaya and the Church of St.Hanania in Damascus are located in Syria.

Out of 20 million inhabitants, Christians in Syria (mainly Greek Orthodox, Maronites, Syrian Orthodox, Melkites, Latin Catholics, etc…), while representing  almost 30% of the population until 1967, today make up only about 8-9% of the total number of inhabitants.

With the exception of a small minority that has still preserved the Aramaic language, the language of Christ, the Christian majority speaks Arabic and has lived in a predominantly Muslim land for nearly thirteen centuries. It has steadily promoted dialogue and has contributed to the progress of local society. Religious freedom, however, has found its place in the space provided by the Arab nationalist Party Ba’aht. The unifying strength of the system was not the Koran, but the adhesion en masse towards other slogans like their independence from and national dignity vis-à-vis the West, the struggle against Israel (especially for matters related to the Golan Heights) and the defense of the Palestinian cause.

Along with the majority of Syrians, Christians have thus suffered from the elimination of free political thought, the fight against the enemy and are continuously subjected to a barrage of propaganda. In the crisis in which Syria has plummeted, Christians find themselves in an extremely delicate position.

The Islamic fundamentalist Salafite matrix has so far been marginal. It has recently been increasing and, at the same time, the clash between the Sunni and the Alawite components is bringing more extremists to the fore.

So, while on one hand the Sunni population has not hesitated to take to the streets and trigger a revolt that has turned into a civil war, on the other hand, the other minority communities, including Christians, have found themselves faced with the dilemma of the strong opposition to Bashar Al Assad and at the same time the fear of Islamic extremism.

Christians, in order to resume dialogue and to stop the violence, have sought to pursue a policy of non-violent reforms along with other minorities (such as the Druze).

In this context, the Syrian Christians are divided into two groups, similarly to what transpired in neighboring Lebanon: the regime’s tacit supporters that want radical reform policies and the detractors, who are mostly young people demanding a regime change.

Many members of this group are active in opposition politics and are located in some regions like Bayrud and Arbi in the region of Damascus and in some areas around Hamh, Homs and Idlib.

The hope is, with continued violence and repression, the peaceful nature of the Christians will cause them to break this silence and concentrate all their efforts in opposition politics. Middle Eastern Christians, instead of giving in to resignation, could therefore play an important role by participating, with moderate Muslims, in the rebirth of their country and thus not interrupting relations of solidarity with the majority of their fellow citizens. Certainly, the outcome of this scenario will depend on many unknown internal and external factors.  

 

Nicola Censini LLM

Lavoro, Cappa: “Pronti a dare nostro contributo”

Roma – “La disoccupazione giovanile ha raggiunto il punto critico come emerso dai dati Istat pubblicati oggi. All’indomani della festa dei lavoratori, il numero degli under 25 senza occupazione lascia un profondo sconforto nella nostra generazione ma anche una voglia di mettersi in gioco, di non subire soltanto passivamente questa condizione. Siamo pronti a dare il nostro contributo al Governo che lucidamente ha tracciato la volontà di puntare sulla crescita” così dichiara Marco Cappa, Presidente dei Giovani Democratici Europei.

“Complessivamente, nell’Unione europea i giovani senza lavoro sono 5,516 milioni” – prosegue Cappa – “Schieriamo decisi la generazione Erasmus a supporto di un progetto che acceleri la formazione di un’Europa più coesa, con una svolta economica, che porterà come conseguenza più stabilità all’Euro, alle economie dei paesi membri e ai giovani. Confidiamo nella ‘vision’ del Ministro Fornero e del suo Vice Martone. Siamo pronti a presentare loro le nostre idee e contribuire alla costruzione di un futuro che possa essere sempre più a misura di giovani”.

 

Marco Cappa
Presidente Giovani Democratici Europei

 

Roma, 2 Maggio 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roma, 2 Maggio 2012

Jerusalem: A Global and Local Issue

Jerusalem is the holy city for the three major monotheistic religions that share the revelation of the Pentateuch; for Jews it’s the city of the Wailing Wall and of Temple Mount, for Christians the place of passion, death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth, for Muslims the set from which the Prophet is believed to have ascended to heaven and where today is the Noble Sanctuary of Al-Haram Ash-Sharif. In the popular imagination, therefore, “the city of Jerusalem” is the Old City, that is enclosed within its walls built by Suleiman the Magnificent in 1538. In addition, it’s universally known that Jerusalem represents a kind of huge concentration of all issues related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In the city, in fact, the historical and religious complexity is palpable even in social and economic relations and so, the region (land) inevitably becomes not only place but also subject of conflict. Within the walls of the Old City the control and management of places, considered sacred by different religions are reason of argument; while in the wider area of the municipality of Jerusalem there is a rather profound disagreement on rights of use and transit of the land, and also on administrative boundaries. This state of affairs is now even more complex because of the objective constraints imposed by the construction of Security Fence that envelops the city and saves only the western side. According to Israel, this physical barrier has been erected for the safety of the Jerusalemite people, threatened in particular after the Second Intifadah, according to the Palestinians it is a division both symbolic and tangible that seeks to impose a de facto situation on the ground; a way to create a path of no-return whereby Jerusalem, enlarged and enclosed, would be permanently attached to Israel, despite international law and the many pronouncements of the United Nations. The use and spatial planning represents one of the main causes of division. In this direction, together with the Security Wall, it is the construction of Israeli settlements in the north (Givat Zeev),South-West (Gush Etzion) and East (Maale Adumim, Kfar Adumimand) of the Old Town. This is, overall, a process of spatial fragmentation, linked to a re-territorialisation in progress since the first Arab-Israeli war.

This process, which began to provide “new” Jerusalem a different identity, is causing severe social changes and is exacerbating tensions. Which is Jerusalem? Where does it begin and end? Who and how many are its inhabitants? By analyzing different points of view and international law, it is very difficult to give a clear answer to these questions. What you can instead grasp is the key role that Jerusalem might take, as well as, conversely, the possible marginality. In a context of collaboration and mutual recognition between Israelis and Palestinians, the city may in fact perform a valuable “hinge” function , whether it goes in the direction of two different States which constitute the capital city, or whether it takes into account the hypothesis of a “special” city under international protection, or, again if the prospect of a single multiethnic State was to prevail. Among the two components of ethnic and religious practice there is a clear complementarily: the Palestinian Arab labor can be (in many cases is already) very important for Israel in many fields, such as construction, agriculture, industry and even services, Israelis technology and economic development could instead allow a rapid improvement of living conditions in the city as a whole, for the entire population. In this context, Jerusalem could become again the reference point for the economy of the Middle East and resume its historic role as a bridge between East and West. Jerusalem would again be open and integrated, even more than today, and be destination of large flows of international tourism, which would be an additional driving force for urban development. The city could, on the other hand, merely be an offshoot of the State of Israel, should it continue to remain closed because of the persisting Israeli-Palestinian conflict . The Security Wall, although statistics show a decline in terrorist attacks in the city, it does not seem

to be a long-term solution. It not only divides Israelis from Palestinian Arabs, but even among themselves. In West Bank, in fact, the track cuts the region into two parts and makes connections complex between North/South complicating the connections with other Palestinian centers (Jericho, Ramallah, Bethlehem, Jenin, Hebron). For Israelis, the situation is not at the best because the Security Wall also makes it difficult for relations between those who are inside the path and those who were cut out. Through the land use resulting, the city has lost its traditional hinterland towards all points of the compass except the West, gaining instead preferential links with Israeli settlements within a radius of about ten kilometers from the administrative limits. In conclusion it is right to say that the geography of Jerusalem seems therefore crucial, as well as the city itself, for Palestine and throughout the Middle East, but even for the world as a whole. Although in recent years the general rule prevailed in considering the status of Jerusalem as a problem to be totally submitted to the agreements between the two parties in conflict, one gets the impression that a definition of this thorny issue can only be identified through the involvement of major geopolitical players worldwide, including Europe, since the fairness and stability of the solution rests not only on the balance of local or regional, but also on the credibility of the United Nations and the relations between the Muslim world on the one hand and the so-called “West” on the other.

Nicola Censini LLM

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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