Debating Europe wants to give students the chance to question policymakers, debate with fellow students from other European countries, and learn more about the work of the EU.

To achieve this goal, we are working closely with schools and colleges across each EU member state to launch a series of student-led online debates.

Our first debate is with students from the Business Academy Aarhus in Denmark. We took four questions from the students there, and put them to Satu Hassi, a green MEP for Finland, Malcolm Harbour, a conservative MEP for the UK, Santiago Fisas Ayxela and Arturs Krišjānis Kariņš, two centre-right MEPs representing Spain and Latvia respectively, and Peter Simon, a social democrat MEP representing Germany.

Q1. Will the euro survive?

The first question comes from Dan, who asks simply: “Will the euro survive?” We put his question first to Satu Hassi, a green MEP representing Finland:

Next, we put the same question to Arturs Krišjānis Kariņš, a Latvian MEP with the centre-right European People’s Party in the European Parliament:

Yes, the euro will survive. Within the 17 member states of the eurozone, we have a lot of economies that are fundamentally strong economies. And, although a quick and ready resolution to the mistrust of the financial markets is not available, I believe the direction that member states are now moving in, by consolidating national budgets, will ultimately regain that trust.

Finally, we asked German social democrat MEP Peter Simon to respond:

I think one of the key problems over the last years has been that the financial markets had no trust [in the future of the euro]. But WHY didn’t they trust in the future of the euro? Because member states decided to take one small step after another, but never gave the big sign that they were willing to do everything possible to let the euro survive…

It was Mario Draghi [President of the European Central Bank] who gave this big sign to the markets [when he gave a speech saying he would do ‘whatever it takes’ to protect the euro], and for me it is ridiculous that it needed a former Goldman Sachs banker, and not the member states… to give this political sign. I think the member states should take Mario Draghi’s action as an example of good practice, and should do the same on their own.

Q2. How are we going to create more jobs in Europe?

The next question came from Dani, who was understandably concerned about high unemployment in Europe. Again, we asked Satu Hassi to respond:

Then we asked Malcolm Harbour to comment:

We are not exploting the potential of the single market enough. We need to promote more energetically the free flow of goods and services across the single market. We need to encourage small and medium sized businesses in particular to move further outside their comfort zone, and to export their goods and services across Europe. Only then would we see the full potential of removing barriers to trade in Europe.

And how would Arturs Krišjānis Kariņš respond?

How can we create more jobs? By opening up the single market. We talk a lot about the single market, and we ostensibly have in Europe a free flow of goods, people, etc. But, in reality, we still have many restrictions even to the flow of goods, let alone services. For example, in the case of building materials, many states have additional technical requirements on a national level that are very difficult for non-national companies to adhere to. So, I would call this behaviour protectionism in the guise of protecting workers’ rights, and it is a barrier to more competitive trade.

Q3. How are you going to get Europeans to speak to each other better?

The next question came from Victoria, who wanted to know how Europeans might communicate better on a continent with so many different languages?


We also put this question to Santiago Fisas Ayxela, a centre-right MEP who represents Spain in the European Parliament:

In my opinion, one good system is the Erasmus programme. This programme allows different students to go to different countries. And it’s good for education but, in my opinion it’s even better [in terms of encouraging students to] learn different languages and to know different people better. And, I’d like to say that Erasmus has probably been more important for the European Union than many European treaties.

Q4. What are you doing for young entrepreneurs?

The last question came from Mehmet, who asked what the European Parliament was doing to support young entrepreneurs.

Finally, we put the same question to Arturs Krišjānis Kariņš:

The answer is: not enough. Barriers still exist in the single market, and they need to be taken down. One example would be the unified European patent, which will make it cheaper and easier for innovative entrepreneurs to establish patents. This will be a great step forward.

What do YOU think? Will the euro survive? How can we create more jobs in Europe? How can we better support young entrepreneurs? And, with so many languages in Europe, how can we get Europeans to communicate better? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below, and we’ll take them to policy-makers and experts for their reactions.



17 comments Post a commentcomment


  1. Jokera Jokerov

    I hope the euro does not survive and if we cut EU budget, that means natl governments have more money to invest in job creation.

  2. hari naidu

    EURO is irrevocable! -> that is not only Mario Draghi’s opinion but also what Borosso said when accepting Noble Peace Price in Oslo (few days ago).

    For those of us who worked in Brussels during Maastricht Treaty negotiations – which finally introduced Euro as our common currency (1992).

    The current financial (debt) crisis in the periphery has exposed the fallacy of the concept of nation-state and national sovereignty, since Rome Treaty (1957). Inadequate national governance and budget slippage in adhering to EMU mentra lead to the deficit and ensuing financial meltdown.

    Council, in its wisdom, finally recognized that national sovereignty was not palatable under EMU when members cannot or will not govern their budget process – without some serious (economic) consequences. T

    The case of Greece is self-evident. And, in final analysis, Greece will remain inside EZ.

    In the process, Iberian countries have also leanr their political lessons, by now. If they can’t govern their domestic budget process – there will be political intervention (now) from Brussels under the Stability program. And, as we move closer to Fiscal Union, national sovereignty will be replaced by collective EU sovereignty!

    Under EMU there is no other political or policy alternative, methinks.

    • Pedro

      EU has a major responsability in this crisis because it financed the present bankrupted countries without controling how those funds where being spent. Now EU points the finger to the countries and not to the corrupt polititians that stole the money to their own convenience. They don’t point the fingers to the corrupt polititians that spent their country’s money (tax payers money) to save the banks.

  3. Jorge Pitrez

    uma das poucas maneiras que a Europa tem de sobreviver, apostar na juventude que ainda no se deixou corromper….

  4. Povl Christian Henningsen

    This is a great initiative. Europeans need to talk more and better together. This is a small step in the right direction. Talking about the Euro is like talking about money. Normally everybody can relate to talk about money. Common to all Europeans.

  5. Daniela Duduman

    Europa trebuie sa fie mai unita,iar tarile aderente mult mai responsabile,ma gandesc la Romania si celelalte tari ca ea!

  6. Wolf Woodland

    Ati vazut ce au facut cu Romania? :))) Ca la scoala, i-au pus sa scrie reguli de comportament :))) Ca in scoala elementara cand mama iti spune cum sa te porti la scoala, cu colegii, profesoara, ce trebuie sa faci, ce sa inveti… E clar, astia pun parul pe noi si ne civilizeaza!

  7. GP

    I suggested the improvement of the index of doing busiess in countries where is pretty low. What about an index of doing business in Europe?

  8. eusebio manuel vestias pecurto

    Eu estou optimista que a moeda única irá sobreviver agora é preciso assegurar que os estados mais poderosos façãm alguma coisa para que os estados menos poderosos possam restaurar a confiaça na sustentablidade das finaças publicas porque a União deve resolver os seus problemas internos de natureza finaceira

  9. Marcel

    What we do with life quality discrepancies?
    In some EU countries (e.g. south-eastern europe) the medium salary is about 300 euros, in the same time the food price is similar to the one in the Western part of Europe, where the medium salary is over 1000 euros?
    HOW CAN EURO IMPROVE THE LIFE OF ITS CITIZENS, WHEN Is CONSIDERING EVERYONE SIMILAR WHEN PAYING FOR FOOD?

  10. António Rocha

    Could someone be European unemployed with 5 ? a day and paying taxes for another Countries and picking new Imigrants.NO,Never,NO MORE!!! Finish,End of Story !

    • steve

      True,,,noone can control the governmenys thats why simple people suffer.

  11. Peter Schellinck

    It’s not a question any more weather or not the Euro will survive; it’s a matter of how? We need to make this brilliant tool work. Shortcomings were overlooked when it was introduced and with the right political will and the ECB as vehicle the Euro can stand up against the dollar. National currencies are history.

    As to creating more jobs I agree with both Malcolm Harbour and Arturs Krišjānis Kariņš that we are not exploiting the potential of the single market enough. We need to promote more energetically the free flow of goods and services across the single market. Not only will more jobs be created we’ll at the same time be able to free up billions of wasted duplication costs from the various administrations.

    Communication is the name of the game and the social community accepts English as the common language. Local languages are to be preserved as well as the local culture. Hence, all kids are to be brought up at least bilingual within their own regional & cultural wealth.

    Supporting young entrepreneurs should come high on the list of to do’s. The true single market will facilitate this process. The business community ought to be directly connected with the education system so that the principle of “a job for a degree” can be applied.

  12. Marc

    The wealth-destroying Euro must itself be destroyed. 70% of people have seen relative or absolute decline in income. Only the rich have benefitted.

    Politicians who advocate more free trade (free trade = jobs disappear from Europe) should be thrown in jail.

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