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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.

You can read our previous debates with students from the Arsakeio Lykeio in Greece here, the Business Academy Aarhus in Denmark here, and the Dr. Vasil Beron school in Bulgaria here.

Our fourth debate is with students from the BA Programme in European Studies at Lund University, Sweden. We took their questions to Stefano Sannino, Director General for Enlargement at the European Commission; Petri Sarvamaa, an MEP from Finland from the liberal conservative National Coalition Party (part of the centre-right European People’s Party in the European Parliament); Arlene McCarthy, a British MEP with the social democrat Labour Party (part of the Socialists & Democrats group); and two Christian democrat MEPs: Lambert van Nistelrooij, from the Netherlands, and Manfred Weber from Germany (both members of the EPP group).

1. How can voter turnout be increased at European elections?

Our first question came from Malin, who asked how voter turnout could be increased at the next European election. We put this question to Petri Sarvamaa, Arlene McCarthy and Lambert van Nistelrooij for their response:

2. Can Swedish farmers still be competitive if Sweden rejects GMOs?

Next up, we took a question from Jonna, who wondered if Swedish farmers would lose their edge in the Single Market because of Sweden’s strict regulation of GMOs.

We put this question to Petri Sarvamaa, who sits on the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development, for him to respond:

sarvamaa-speaks

I think the Swedes, actually, have been very wise and forward-looking in their approach… There are a lot of people who would like to know more about what they are putting into their mouths, and I advance this ideology in my home country of Finland as well. Of course, we need to have bulk production to produce enough food for the market, but having a strategic emphasis on things like organic food, clean food and local produce will also earn good money for the producers. So, I think Sweden is going to compete just fine, and I hope some other countries will follow their lead.

3. What would be the process for seperatist regions to rejoin the EU after independence?

Next, we had an interesting question from Oscar, who wondered what the process would be for seperatist regions (such as Catalonia or Scotland) to rejoin the EU after gaining independence. We put this question to Stefano Sannino, Director General for EU Enlargement at the European Commission.

4. What measures are being discussed concerning illegal migrants in Europe?

Finally, we had a comment from Christoffer on illegal immigration into the EU. We gave this question to Manfred Weber for his response.

What do YOU think? How can voter turnout be increased at European elections? Can Swedish farmers still be competitive if Sweden rejects GMOs? What would be the process for seperatist regions to rejoin the EU after independence? And what measures are being discussed concerning illegal migrants in Europe? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below, and we’ll take them to policy-makers and experts for their reactions.



30 comments Post a commentcomment


  1. Vincent Mabillard

    Concerning the first question, we are launching a European Citizens’ Initiative aiming to raise awareness about European politics. We believe that it could partially help to raise the turnout at European elections. If you want to find out more about this project, please visit http://www.letmevote.eu

  2. Nikolaos Sotirelis

    Interesting questions made by Swedish students. Especially the 2nd and the 4th! But I’ve observed the total absence of Northern friends and commenters to all articles. Neither thumbs up, nor comments. All the guests of this page come from the southern and the so called peripheral countries. Why is that?

  3. Nikolaos Sotirelis

    What’s the point Vincent, to vote in favor of a parliament without any real authority? The real power centers are in the hands of a few bureaucrats in Brussels, of the bankers in Frankfurt and mainly in Berlin!. I don’t believe this is the Europe, which we all dream about!

  4. Borislav Sotirov

    @Nikolaos Sotirelis “All the guests of this page come from the southern and the so called peripheral countries. Why is that?”
    – – – – –
    Because the poorer and weaker European countries are the real beneficiaries of EU.

    • Profile photo of Natsumi
      Natsumi

      Lie.

  5. Andrew Dianiska

    Not the industrial powerhouses who used eu trade law to decimate industry in those countries while lending them the rope- oops, money- to hang themselves with?

  6. David Fuzzey

    the more people see how the eussr and its criminal eurocrats carry on the smaller the turnout.

  7. Florin Davidescu

    What are the “separatist regions” interested to gain “independence” and “to rejoin the EU” right now ?! A country is economically, politically, military,etc… stronger when is united and not separated. Each region within a country has its own strengths and weaknesses and separation makes regions vulnerable in front of any economic crisis.

    • Profile photo of Natsumi
      Natsumi

      Vulnerable only if you don’t let people decide.

  8. Nikolaos Sotirelis

    Just for inform you Florin and not because I disagree with you UK, Belgium and Spain have the most serious separatist movements. Even France and Italy have similar problems. So we can’t ignore them!

    • Profile photo of Natsumi
      Natsumi

      That’s true. People have the right to decide wheter if they want to be part of a country or not, of course, with information and a serious discussion. And assuming the consequences of their decision, but they have right.

  9. Bastian

    Concerning the question about illegal immigrants it is important to distinguish between “legal” and “legitimate”.

    It is highly irritating and raises questions about the Swedish educational system that not even the Swedish Commissioner Malström seems to understand this distinction.
    Even more irritating is that she obviously is succeeding to eraze the word “illigal immigrants” from all EU documents.
    So, where was the often claimed EU of “the rule of law” left? From the breaking of the Maastricht agreement (no-bailout etc.) to immigration without legal ground.

    http://euobserver.com/tickers/119693

  10. Florin Davidescu

    I know about those separatist movements, but what I mean is that they are still part of those countries. There is still no new country in Western Europe. My opinion is that for their future is good to remain united.

  11. Nikolaos Sotirelis

    Maybe Florin, but the opinion that really counts is that of Scottish, Irish, Flemish, Basks, Catalonians, Corsicans, Sardinians and others

  12. Helena Jeanne Tina Fornaro

    Actually voting should be an obligation.. Too many people died to gain the right to vote to let today’s sofa-based society use its “right” not to vote

    • Profile photo of Natsumi
      Natsumi

      What citizens don’t know is they can vote on an european level, for example, I didn’t know. The question is HOW reach all those people in each country, when certain governments and aprties don’t want people raise awareness.

  13. catherine benning

    Sweden has many very serious problem it likes to keep hidden. As it sells itself as the example of tomorrow. Sweden is a very corrupt country that has lost its way as a front runner.

    Lets start with the matter of law, their laws are peculiar in the extreme. A man can be charged with rape when a woman has made sexual advances toward him, she has taken him home to her bed, having given him the right to intercourse with her. The following morning he being aroused by her again, comes on to her and she accepts him knowing he is not wearing a condom, or. worse the condom tears. Later, because he is no longer interested in her as a ‘girlfriend’ and she has found out he has been sleeping with another, she finds the other woman and they plot to have him charged with rape. And, they get away with it. He is then on the wanted criminal list and as he has left the country, an extradition order is taken out against him.

    http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/stories/2012/07/19/3549280.htm

    This is a government not to be trusted or respected. It has, quite frankly, lost its mind. Run, as it is, by too many women.

    Then we move on to the lie it sells the world about its wonderful system of education and children put in nursery care from such an early age, as a requirement of their social law, it hides the fact that these children are not reaching anything like their promise or full potential. But they don’t want you to know that. Not good for their selling of ‘humanity’ and civility is it?

    http://www.thisisawar.com/Parenthood3.htm

    Here is a little list of Swedish political practice. Have a look at the list and see if this is what you believe government should be interfering in.

    http://www.whyileftsweden.com/

    And here, last, is their state of immigration and what it has done to their society as a whole. And they want more of it! The experiment isn’t turning out the way they wanted it, in order to prove their theory, so more immigration they feel, will turn that corner to prove how clever they are on matters of society.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXTDsde5vIU

    http://themuslimissue.wordpress.com/2013/02/19/swedens-welfare-disaster-a-15-1-immigrant-population-burde-60-5-of-the-entire-nations-welfare-handouts/

    Read all about it.

  14. eusebio manuel vestias pecurto@hotmail.com

    Os estados periféricos da UE deviam lançar iniciativas nas escolas e nas formações de cidadania europeia com objetivo de aumentar a igualdade de oportunidades com debates de idéias e projectos e também aumentar a participação nas eleições europeias

  15. Filipposlashtoma Showroom

    “..HSBC’s role in money laundering for drug cartels, terrorist organizations, and Iran..(..)..an estimated $30 million a year to finance al-Qaeda’s operations alone..”.
    SHARE.
    YOUR MONEY KILLS.
    ITS NOT HSBC “ALONE” (SECOND LARGEST WORLD BANK), THE WHOLE WORLD WIDE FINANCE DOES WHAT REPORTED AND MORE.
    IRANIAN NUCLEAR PLAN IS SPONSORED BY USA ISRAEL EUROPE GB CHINA ETCETERA.
    HERE EXPLAINED TURBOWAR WITH OUR CASH AND TAXES AS FUEL BESIDE TURBOFINANCE/DEGENERATION/POLLUTION
    ETCETERA.
    DEBT, WAR, OIL AND HEAVY DRUGS INDUSTRY ARE THOSE WHICH GAIN MOST OUT OF THIS. THEY PLAY THE GAME OF DISPLAYING A SCENARIO THAT IS SYMPLY UNBELIEVABLE AND TOO DIFFICULT TO UNDERSTAND, TRUST OUR FAITH IN INSTITUTIONS, MEDIA, “OPPOSERS”, “SCIENTISTS”, ETCETERA, ALL OF WHICH UNDER CAPILLARY CORRUPTION, BLACKMAIL, IDIOCY, IGNORANCE.
    HERE EXPLAINED TURBOFACEBOOK.
    http://larouchepac.com/node/23412
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnetic_motor
    http://www.hsgac.senate.gov/download/?id=2a76c00f-7c3a-44c8-902e-3d9b5dbd0083
    http://www.std.com/~mica/cft.html
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UgZaukloAAY&feature=endscreen&NR=1
    http://freeenergynews.com/Directory/Howard_Johnson_Motor/
    http://obaidkarki.typepad.com/blog/2012/08/lavin-lawsky-barbeque-is-to-move-hsbc-narcos-kajillion-scam-to-senate-boring-game-al-qaida-hamas-saudi-hezbollah-assad.html
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=71TNsCdY8LM
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MxiQmtVGgcQ&feature=share
    http://www.salon.com/2012/12/11/hsbc_to_pay_1_9bn_to_settle_money_laundering_scandal/
    http://www.ipolitics.ca/2012/08/03/cocaine-cowboys-know-the-best-place-to-bank/
    http://www.avijorisch.com/10986/banking-without-borders
    http://www.trueactivist.com/gab_gallery/12-year-old-girl-gets-it-why-dont-you/
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wtoCX4XqnQ8
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ezIU6ZxYU3A
    http://thesantosrepublic.com/2012/07/full-report-hsbc-u-s-affiliates-saudi-bank-bangladesh-banks-with-ngo-aiding-in-financing-terrorism-and-money-laundering/
    http://www.scoreboard-canada.com/babylon-afghanheroin.htm
    http://www.debunking911.com/thermite.htm
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v5StMRiWJkQ
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUg-BZAR5ro
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&v=ugGIL-KL5rc&NR=1
    http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?t=217459
    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/01/03/1_write_off_the_worlds_debt
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zE9sV6_D_NY
    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=4861494669344&set=vb.1656513432&type=3&theater
    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=3924249558802&set=t.1656513432&type=3&theater
    http://www.bnp.org.uk/news/national/breaking-news-overlooked-hsbc-scandal-%E2%80%93-funding-terrorism-and-drugs
    http://ilmondodiannibale.globalist.it/Detail_News_Display?ID=43783
    http://www.fao.org/newsroom/en/news/2008/1000853/index.html
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laki
    30 BILLION DOLLARS PER YEAR(FEW AND DIMMING) TO ELIMINATE WORLD HUNGER, AS MUCH AS THE WEEKLY WORLDWIDEWAR EXPENCES, TURBOWAR INFACT. INSTEAD OF ENSURING A SPARKLING AND STABLE, NEVER SEEN WORLD ECONOMY, THEY(WE?) FORCE HALF PLANET INTO POVERTY WHILE THE WHOLE STRUGGLES PAYING ETERNAL RISING DEBT ( HEM, EVEN KIDS KNOW IT HASN’T GOT MUCH TIME LEFT), ALL OF WHICH IN THE SAKE OF PRIVATE TRILLIONS IN “TAX PARADISES”; WHILE EMERGENCY, SAVETHECHILDREN AND THE LIKES STRUGGLE GOING THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION WITH MORE CASH FROM GENEROUS DONERS. I DONT REPREHEND THOSE ORGANIZATIONS(OR THEIR GOOD SIDE) AND DON’T INVITE YOU TO STOP IF YOU ARE GIVING, RATHER THE OPPOSITE, BUT WE MUST REALISE THAT IT DOESN’T MAKE ANY SENSE.
    WORLD HUNGER/POVERTY/IGNORANCE ARE SYSTEMATICALLY SUSTAINED BY A BUNCH OF EXECUTIVE FOLKS WHOSE INTENTIONS AREN’T YET CLEAR(…); IF ANYBODY’S GOT THE COURAGE TO SAY THERE’S NO CASH TO DO ANYTHING REMEMBER: INCREDIBLE AMOUNTS ARE “STORED” INTO CAYMAN ISLANDS, BAHAMAS, LIECHTENSTEIN, SEYCHELLES, LUXEMBURG, MONACO, PANAMA, BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS, BERMUDA, SAN MARINO, CYPRUS, ETCETERA, PROVENTS OF DEBT-WAR-OIL-OPIUM-ETCETERA INDUSTRY, CURRENT STATUS WITH NO FUTURE.

    AFRICAN AL QAEDA IS NO EXCEPTION. THE RECENT MILITARY ACTION WITHOUT ANY PERMISSION PROVES ONCE AGAIN HOW TURBOWAR ISN’T JUST CIA OR USA RESPONSABILITY BUT A WORLD-WIDE SYSTEM.
    ON THE OPPOSITE, HELL HAS BEEN ALLOWED IN SIRIA FOR ALMOST 2 YEARS WITHOUT ANY INTERVENCTION. WHAT WAS DONE WITH OSAMA BIN LADEN WOULD BE SUFFICIENT EVERYWHERE IF EVERY EFFORTH TO AVOID ANY KILLING WOULD BE ENSURED.
    THE RECENT ISRAELI MILITARY ACTION PROVES ONCE AGAIN HOW FAKE AND SYSTEMATICALLY MASTERMINDED THE WAR SYSTEM IS: NETANJAHU WAS BOMBING THE REBELS AND HELPING ASSAD, AHMADINEJAD’S FRIEND. ASK YOURSELVES WHY. THE INCRDIBLY VIOLENT DICTATORSHIP OF ASSAD IS ACTUALLY A LIFE-ENSURANCE TO THE VIOLENT DOMINATION OVER PAESTINE AND THE CONFLICT ITSELF, REPRESENTING THE MAJOR SPARK-GENERATOR/HATE-FACTORY FOR MAJOR WARS BETWEEN CATHOLIC/PROTESTANT/JEW/WESTERNS AND ISLAM, BEING ISRAEL ONE OF THE MAJOR HOLDER/INVESTOR INTO WAR/DEBT/OIL INDUSTRY OF ABOVE. NEEDLESS TO SAY MANY CAN SEE THE LOGICS OF TURBOWAR ALSO BETWEEN MOSSAD AND HAMAS.
    FOR THOSE WHO SAY OBAMA IS LIKE ALL OTHER US PRESIDENTS: THE SENATE REPORT ON HSBC, IRAN, AL QAEDA, NORTH KOREA ETC COULDN’T EXIST WITHOUT HIM.

    THE OIL AGE SHOULD HAVE ENDED DECADES AGO. ALTERNATIVE ENERGY RESOURCES HAVE BEEN SYSTEMATICALLY BOYCOTTED EVER SINCE BUT ARE READY TO BE DEVELOPED AT ANY TIME (FOR EXAMPLE, 2ND LINK FROM THE TOP, JUST A FEW LINES FROM WIKIPEDIA ABOUT THE SO CALLED “MAGNETIC MOTOR”: “considered to be a perpetual motion device”: NOT EXACTELY BUT NEEDING A DECENTLY LOW PERCENTAGE OF THE ENERGY PRODUCED TO KEEP IT’S MOTION, EXISTING AT LEAST SINCE 1979..(..)..WITH AN INITIAL INVESTIMENT OF 2 TO 3 THOUSAND EUROS EACH HOUSE COULD HAVE FREE ENERGY FOR DECADES COVERING ALL NEEDS, INCLUDING CHARGING THE ELECTRIC CAR. THE “LAW OF CONSERVATION OF ENERGY” MUST BE REWRITTEN AND REPRESENTS ONE OF THE BIG LIES OF “GLOBALIZATION” ). GLACIARS ARE MELTING. NEVERTHELESS THIS MEANS FLOADS EVERYWHERE THEN NO WATER AT ALL, WE DON’T HAVE TIME TO WAIT TO DROWN OR DRINK OUR OWN ORINA: ONE OF THE MAJOR LAVA “HOT SPOTS” STILL SLEEPS BENEATH THE MELTING ICELANDIC GLACIARS. THIS MEANS THAT NOT A VOLCANO BUT A WHOLE VOLCANIC SYSTEM COULD WAKE UP SOONER THAN ANY CAN PREDICT. IN 1783 A SIMILAR SUPER-ERUPTION OF THE SO CALLED “LAKI” CAUSED 6 MILLION DEATHS AND ONE OF THE WORST CRISIS ON THE WHOLE PLANET DUE TO CLIMATE CHANGE, VIOLENT COOLING DOWN, INDUCED BY THE HUGE CLOUD OF GAS ERUPTED. 6 MILLIONS OVER A WORLD POPULATION OF LESS THAN A BILLION BACK THEN. IF IT WOULD HAPPEN NOW WOULD MEAN A CATASTROPHY WE PROBABLY COULDN’T BE ABLE TO FACE. FORGET PROPORTIONS: NOWADAYS LOGISTIC/FINANCIAL “EQUILIBRIUM” HIDES A FRAGILITY THAT WILL SPARK UNPREDICTABLE CHAIN REACTIONS.

  16. Youth Association for a Greater Europe

    Join us in Strasbourg this summer for ?Strasbourg Meetings ? Focus Russia? ! Youth from Russia and other European countries meet to get through cultural issues that hamper collaboration on a common platform. The idea is simple: meet new people, learn, discuss, and work to solve issues.

    Follow the link below to apply and be one of the few who are fortunate enough to get this experience first-hand! The deadline for early-birds is 31 March ? that?s tomorrow -, and after that regular applications are open until end of April.

    Apply here: http://www.greater-europe.com/#!forum/cgew

  17. Vicente Silva Tavares

    Heard on a TV forum: “there is a movement in Europe to force Greece and Portugal to leave the Eurozone” . When, when? Can we start planning that?

    • Profile photo of Natsumi
      Natsumi

      Are you insane?

  18. Nikolaos Sotirelis

    Instead of that I would propose to create a movement to demand Germany to leave Eurozone and why not EU! I think is more logical and definitely far more fair

  19. Luis Tavares Bravo

    extremed positions will always lead to extreme outcomes … don’t think is true, but integration will not happen at desired pace , i’m afraid. Long hard slogg still ahead.

  20. Nikolaos Sotirelis

    Dear Luis I’ll accept your comment. However what about extreme policies such as austerity neoliberalism, known as Merkelism ? Will they leads us to desirable result…or straight to dissolution and disaster?

  21. catherine benning

    Mrs Thatcher was holed up in The Ritz Hotel in London’s Piccadilly, the last I heard. Can’t think why, as her large home was down the road in Belgravia, Chester Square, and she had a staff contingent to keep her going, including a policeman at her door day and night. No doubt, one of these children wanted to move in there, or, more likely, to sell it for a quick over priced buck. But you can’t blame them, they were raised by nannies and saw her only as a meal ticket. Which is all she was to them in reality. And her son is a corrupt pirate who got away with it because of his relationship the harridan.

    However, she did collude with the American Ronnie Reagan in their planned US take over of the UK. And sold us all down the river to keep her drunken husband happy. Now the Conservatives are back and stripping the assets from the tax payer, look out for the fleeing of the British people in their droves as they seek asylum elsewhere.

    The wealthy top few have taken over the entire country and are waging war on the sick and disabled in a manner they haven’t done since the 1800’s and they are loving it. Tony Blair made this possible for them as he changed our laws on tax and banking to such an extent we cannot hold them back from robbing us all blind. And the same is taking place in Europe. The robbery was created by and carried out by corporate Globalisation. Which Mrs Thatcher set up for the Blair creature to follow.

    SOS

  22. Nikolaos Sotirelis

    I’ll add in your comment Vicente that except Maggi and the bad actor there was a third person that completed the monetarist troika, “Mr” Augusto Pinochet!!! Furthermore is it accidental that Maggi had a methodist priest for teacher, while Angella had a protestant priest father?

  23. Marcel

    @Luis Tavares Bravo

    We don’t want anymore political integration. In a democracy there should always be more than one choice, and that should also include the choice of ‘less integration’.

    Only in an undemocratic structure like a Eurosoviet Union would there be no choice at all and only the path of ‘more integration’ available. Look how well that worked for the old Soviet Union.

    Or are you suggesting Latvia, Georgia, Armenia, Turkmenistan and Ukraine would have been better off as part of a country called Soviet Union and being ruled from Moscow?

    And if you do, how is being ruled by Moscow different than being ruled by unelected non-income-tax-paying elitists in Brussels?

    We want our democracy back and no more Eurosoviet laws imposed upon us by foreign politicians.

  24. Lolie and Clarelle

    In our opinion, a solution to have more voter turnout, would be to propose different campaigns or even inform the European citizen more than now. It’s also a right that we have, so everyone should take it’s proper reponsabilities. An important thing is also to lag all generations and make people feel more concerned by the European issues.

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