5ideas_bigSince Autumn 2011, two senior representatives of EU institutions have been visiting universities across Europe to meet with young people and listen to their ideas for a younger and better Europe. The top five ideas have now been selected and will shortly be submitted to the European Parliament (the only EU institution directly elected by European citizens) and the European Economic and Social Committee (which represents European civil society).

So, next Monday 18th March, Debating Europe will be the official debating partner for the final event of the “5 Ideas for a Younger Europe” joint-initiative of the First Vice-President of the European Parliament, Gianni Pittella, and the Vice-President of the European Economic and Social Committee, Anna Maria Darmanin.

The top five ideas from young European students will be presented and discussed on Monday 18th March 2013 at 14:30 CET at the European Economic and Social Committee in Brussels, and Debating Europe will be livestreaming and liveblogging the event (you can use the hashtag #5ideas on Twitter)

You can read the final five ideas below. What do YOU think about them?

5ideas_1

DEMOCRACY
The creation of a true European political union. This process entails the establishment of a President of the European Union, to be directly elected by all EU citizens.

5ideas_2

EMPLOYMENT
Put in place a European public employment service. Intended not only to facilitate the matching of job-seekers and employers, but designed to guide the choices of young people in their search for a job, to suggest education or vocational training solutions that are able to serve the needs of the labour market.

5ideas_3

RIGHTS
Standardisation of human, social, civil, political and economic rights in the EU. Any right conferred by a Member State of the Union must be automatically extended to the citizens of all Member States. This would avoid some rights becoming the privileges of those who can afford to pay for them.

5ideas_4

EDUCATION
Setting up a European Degree Programme: four-year course; four universities; four European countries. To be combined with the further development of distance learning and virtual universities and the establishment of EU ambassadors in all faculties of all EU universities: students who would help other students to stay informed about their rights, opportunities for mobility, employment and scholarships offered by the European Union.

5ideas_5

EUROPEAN PUBLIC SPHERE
According to Eurobarometer, television is by far the leading source of information for many Europeans (7 out of 10 EU citizens state that they keep informed mainly through it, according to a survey published in 2012); therefore the European Union should support the creation of a European public broadcasting company.

Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below, and we’ll take them to the event next Monday.



41 comments Post a commentcomment


  1. eusebio manuel vestias pecurto

    Os estados menos poderosos da UE devem ser mais participativos com os seus cidadãos de liberdade de idéias e de valores com a transformação numa europa mais unida e mais moderna exemplo nas cidades a participação da população é necessária para o bom desenvolvimento da cidade

  2. Marco Silva

    1.
    I don’t understand what the relation between a “true” European political union and having a president of the EU is. It seems to me that having an elected president would be no more than having a diplomatic representative of EU. Something that shall be and is part of EU Council’s president, as well as EU Commission’s president. Moreover, centralizing does not seem to me the way forward to engaging citizens and ensure that all different contributions are represented.

    2.
    There is an urgent need to inform youth about what the EU market trends are and where to find the resources and tools they need to grasp the opportunities they come along the latest changes within EU. EU statistics play a paramount role in this and shall be make accessible on time to whom they concern. This associated to educational EU-founded platforms and an integrated job-search support can lead to better alignment between education and market. A pro-active approach must be taken.

    3.
    Although it seems desired, such standardization entails cultural, social and economic matters that many countries will state as constraints to adopt a certain right brought up by another member state. Therefore, a transition scheme shall be designed, supported, monitored and evaluated by EU to ensure that all members states respect the rights adopted.

    4.
    EU Degree Programme must be centrered in the challenges that EU and the world face nowadays with a futuristic scientific-political mind-set which, although aware of the EU’s history, addresses the contemporary issues in an innovative and inclusive way.
    The role of an EU ambassador shall be taken by the external affairs department that every university has. That can even be done online encompassing a centralized contact center. In order to ensure this, EU shall set a policy which states which conditions and means information about EU programs is made available to EU students.

    5.
    European public broadcasting channel is lacking for many years. Actually, no other than Euronews provides dedicated time to EU affairs. An EU TV channel is extremely relevant to inform EU citizens and increase their participation. Such company should be self-sustainable and, eventually, its profits could be directed to other EU social media initiatives.

  3. Loredana Guatteo

    sono d’accordo sui Vs.5 punti ma se tutti gli stati membri non hanno la stessa tassazione ma hanno le stesse leggi su cui attenersi secondo me non è un UNIONE EUROPEA.tutti gli stati se non hanno un unica tassazione non hanno una pari concorrenza fra stati

    • Marco Silva

      By Google Translate: “Agree on Vs. 5 points but if all member states do not have the same tax but they follow the same laws of which in my opinion is not a EU. All states unless they have a unique taxation have no equal competition between states.”

  4. Debating Europe

    @Mihail,

    We moderate any comments that breaches our Code of Conduct. Your most recent comment was moderated because you referred to Austrians as “evil”. You have also had comments moderated in the past for referring to Turks, Germans and British people as “evil”. Please avoid making generalisations about an entire people or ethnic group, and we will have less reason to moderate.

  5. Christos Mouzeviris

    All the above are needed if we want to build a functioning and fair Europe in the future… So you got my votes!!!

  6. Jean Constantinescu

    These are indeed 5 ideas I like to share. With a little ‘nuance’ regarding election of the EU president. For me, there is no clear difference of democracy impact between direct election and election by the Parliament.

  7. Anna Ortiz Palafox

    In my humble opinion, unlike other countries such as the US for instance, Europe has no sense of nation and unity. Ppl consider themselves as Germans, French, Spanish, Greek and so on prior to being Europeans. That’s our main problem: we’re divided and therefore, we can’t grow up and develop policies. We should foster this feeling since early childhood. I agree with comments that European institutions talk too much and do not take a step towards action.

  8. Stuart Mack

    I’m not exactly young, but I would like to add to the above comments. Although I very much agree with the five ideas, they are very much ‘top down’ ideas. There are many views on what education policy should be within nation states and the idea of an elected president of Europe is controversial. European wide political parties that transcend national boundaries, need to be developed, that truly represent the views of different sections of European society. I am concerned that this top down approach could set back the case for an integrated Europe by a generation. Unless of course people are forced against their will by dictators, but I would hope those days belong to European history!?

  9. Nikos Papakonstantinou

    For me, the most important points are #1 and #3:

    1. The idea for a President of a European Union elected by the citizens is fine, in theory. The EU needs political cohesion and a system that will actively work towards improving the standard of living for all of its citizens, not create zones of exploitation of financially weaker countries by the leading ones. But the only way this is truly going to help democracy is a valid European Constitution, which will help unify the EU for the benefit of its citizens, not that of financial institutions and banks. A President without a soild constitution to back him up will be little more than another honorary position, like that of Mr. Van Rompuy. Therefore the establishment of a constitution protecting the rights of EU citizens and cracking down on governments which abuse their power is a prerequisite in order for the election of a President to have any meaning.

    3. A necessary step. This is the only way to ensure that the citizens of the EU South and the Balkans are not treated like slaves. Social rights should include adequate welfare and healthcare, economic rights should include at first the harmonization of wages and prices in each country. It is unthinkable for youung people to be unable to start their own lives due to unemployment without benefits or abysmally low salaries. It is inconceivable for old people in the 21st century to be unable to afford their medication and healthcare. Work rights such as overtime pay and maternity leave should be universally protected in the EU. The list goes on.

    • Lemos

      @Nikos Papakonstantinou
      I agree with you in #1, but there is a thing that until today, during all my short life, that I can’t understand. Why democracy? Democracy is a political system very dangerous, but appears to be the meaning of freedom, I don’t know if the minorities (for example) can have a significant word in a democracy and the minority can be a country, for example, south countries.

      The constitution will be a very good way to ensure a strong and prosperous union of countries, but it will need to be simple and have all the intrinsic meanings associated to Democracy very explicit and the word shouldn’t be used in the constitution, because like I said is a very dangerous word that drives with ‘tyranny’, but in the protection of the rights associated with them, like I said, all the meanings associated with the word democracy should be very explicit.

      One other thing is a need to standardize a total free educational system, health care for all citizens, nothing more nothing less.

  10. João Camacho

    Yes, Europe needs equal rights and equal conditions to survive. We cannot try to be one imense reserve of political acts and ideias and after not practicised in the same way. If we do see a clear difference between North and South that has to have to historical and cultural conditions that are well known. A young finalist cannot goe out of university and be for 2-3 years working without receiving any money. It’s not fair, it’s an explotation as teachers and others professionals do freely. A professional that works hard intelectually in many areas cannot be out of the education market because he is not well with this kind of situations. Europe has to be united economically, culturally and citizenship (politically). The participation of their members is essentiall to all democratic process. It’s nice to know that there’s people working well in that way.

  11. Luís Almeida

    The European Union can never be a country, or the centralism and the monopolies that are causing so much trouble now will become worse. Countries like Portugal, Greece, Cyprus, Hungary… will always be periferal and mere puppets. Previledged colonies for the central (Germany, Benelux, France…) economies.

  12. john scott

    Total nonsense really just politicians trying to justify their high salaries. All countries have their own pols. who make their own laws. Continue with this and the UK will definitely leave because we are not interested in a European superstate.

    • Stuart Mack

      ‘..we are not interested in a European superstate.’

      Speak for yourself!

  13. Claudiu Stanescu

    i believe that Europe can be united if we believe in it.If we believe in Europe’s freedom of speech,in diversity.If so many immigrants from Middle East and Asia choose Europe,is due to her warm and friendly environment

  14. Claudiu Stanescu

    Europe give equal rights to everyone,no matter their origins.If we look in Gulf Area,people live here for years,and have no rights

  15. Vicente Silva Tavares

    Europe is not a nation? Of course is not! The same way most colonial countries were not a nation. How many African countries could be considered a nation when they got their independence? Most likely two: Egypt and Ethiopia. How many countries in the Americas were nations? And in Europe? Are we all a “nation”? Is UK a nation? Or is more the power of the English over the Scotts and Welsh? If UK is a nation why is Scotland talking about independence? Is Belgium a nation? Or just an artificial construction imposed by UK after the defeat of Napoleon? And still fighting! From when is Italy a nation? From the time of Garibaldi, on the 19th century. Is Spain a nation? Why then the Basques and the Catalan want to be independent? From when is Switzerland a nation, with 3 languages?Actually there are only two States that match a nation: Denmark and Portugal. A common sense of belonging is important. Only outside of Europe, the tourists realize they are European and feel closer to other Europeans. Of course a common passport, common embassies and consulates, and even a common language would help. Why not to teach Latin to everybody? After all there is already an institution using the Latin as a common language: the Roman church. A Nation is a partnership in progress.

  16. David Fuzzey

    you want common embassies?and common passport..have them as long as we are not involved…and I care nothing for any language used by the Father Feelabout church…

  17. Vicente Silva Tavares

    David, your language is a creole: a German structure with more then half of Latin origin vocabulary. Are you recanting your language?

  18. Robin Wilson

    Yes, this all shows the wisdom of crowds. These five topics are well-chosen and would resonate well across the union with the citizens.

  19. Tiago Mouta

    More democracy, means electing a president for Europe…? I thought democracy was giving voice to people in a world of global comunication, instead the oportunity to choose a previous chosen one… :D

  20. Marcel

    OK here we go.

    1. when will people learn that elections are not synonymous with democracy? Where there is no ‘demos’ there cannot be democracy, no matter how many elections there are. For a historical perspective on this, see the Soviet Union.

    2. I hope these young people are prepared for the low paying service industry jobs (ie ‘do you want fries with that’) they are going to be offered.
    What? They think that after the disappearence of industrial jobs, that entry level and lower level financial-administrative jobs aren’t also going to be outsourced to Asia?
    Or would everyone be offered a government job? And who would pay for that?

    3. In other words, the peoples in Germany, Austria, Finland and Netherlands should be forced to pay for welfare checks for anyone from any other country that just waltzed in and never contributed a dime? Or have us pay for welfare and healthcare in other countries? Yeah, surely people will all vote for that. Oh wait, I discovered the flaw in my reasoning, you don’t intend to have votes on that.

    4. This would be done to create the nomenklatura for the future EU ‘federal state’?
    And who would these EU ambassadors to these EU universities be? Mario ‘Goldman Sachs is more important than ordinary people’ Monti? Jean Claude ‘we must lie to further the EU project’ Juncker? Martin ‘how dare people vote for politicians that do not want more integration’ Schultz? Or maybe they can recruit from other organizations and get people like Christiane ‘paying tax is for the unwashed masses and not for elites like me’ Lagarde?

    5. You can set it up, but you cannot make people watch it. And undoubtedly, the French would demand half the broadcasts to be done in French. Good luck at getting people from Italy, Austria or Finland to watch that.

  21. Patrick

    While I would agree to all proposals, I would point out that an elected president who is hands-tied to the blackmail of some heads of state is utterly useless. What we need first is independent financial resources for the EU, so that the usual “I want my money back” can no more be invoked.
    We also need pan-european political parties which care for the greater interest of half a billion people, rather than specific natonal interests. Finally, we need a constituton that states there is an european goverment accountable to the european parliament. The council could then be transformed in a sort of senate. The disproportionate power of the (non-elected) council vs the elected parliament one of the main reasons for the ever greater distance between the EU and its citizens.

  22. Geirrchris

    Talking and discussing is the abolut necessary first step. But it is important to follow up with action, at least to support those forces able to make decissions in the European Parliament e.g. It’s more than important to unite all federalists & pool their forces to rally behind a paneuropen plattform like SPINELLI GROUP. Their aim is “We want to make a network of those who choose the European interest above their national interest.” There are already more than 5000 supporters europeanwide therefor please join and support http://www.spinelligroup.eu
    Thanks!

  23. Laura

    Setting up more European degree programmes is a great idea, but for all young people to be able to enjoy the benefits of EU citizenship, they need to first know about all the opportunities available to them!

    EU education needs to start in schools – starting at university is too late – and the Europa Diary (www.generation-europe.eu > Europa Diary) is a unique and successful tool for communicating Europe and empowering the young!

  24. Gavin Crowley

    I suspect that a Federal Europe on any current model of federalism would fail due to lack of a common spirit. Perhaps a unitary state with devolution would have some chance of success in time because it would nation-build; common rights, public broadcaster, promote some languages over others, common military… These kinds of centralising things built France from an unpromising beginning.
    Europe is not a ‘big Germany’ but more like a ‘big Italy’.

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