Plastics, ecological transition and social justice: what European tools for cities and territories?
Event reportContext, FINALITY, EDITION AND STRUCTURE/METODOLOGY OF THE EVENT | The debate took place in virtual form on the Zoom platform and at the same time was broadcast live on the Facebook page of the European Federalist Youth Lecco. This was divided into three short initial reports, followed by a wide-ranging debate with contributions from the participants. The theme draws inspiration from the most stringent news, the reception of the European Plastics Directive by 3 July 2021 in a climate of increasing social tensions on the territories (especially Emilia-Romagna and Lombardy) with the aim of underlining the need for a federal institutional and fiscal structure in the European Union. Number AND TYPE OF PARTICIPANTS PRESENTS | The participants were approximately 20 and in an age group between 18 and 26 years. The distribution by gender has been balanced. Among these you can register the participation of: three speakers (Treasurer GFE Lecco, Secretary GFE Bologna, Doctorate UniBO); four participants enrolled in the GFE (President and Secretary GFE Lecco, Secretary GFE Sondrio, Treasurer GFE Bologna); two non-registered participants by zooming; seven non-interactive viewers via Facebook. Overall Participants were mostly students; in particular, two high school students, four university students, two PhD students. Main MATERIES OF DURING DISCUSSION OF DURING DEBACTS | The debate focused on 3 themes: 1. European instruments and territorial resources for the reception of European Directive 2019/904 on reducing the impact of certain plastic products on the environment; 2. The role of European federalism in the governance of the ecological transition; 3. The effect of the enlargement of the European budget with own resources on the budget of local authorities and, therefore, on the government of the territory. Main IDEES Suggested BY PARTICIPANTS DURANT THE EVENT, DISCORSES AND SHARED ARGOMENTS Or debates WHAT BY THE IDEAS | There has been unanimous agreement that the ecological transition will generate ever greater social tensions if the EU does not put in place adequate tools to deal with the historic enterprise to fully convert the way of living, producing and consuming Western democracies. Participants believe that an ambitious European response to climate change is necessary and should be pursued; it will only be made possible through progress in the European institutional design capable of expressing a purely political impetus for the Union. Directive 2019/904 is but a test case in the coming years. Finally, the need to address the issue of ecological transition between household political families sharing values and priorities was discussed. For example, the Italian political debate, which is still shy about these issues, could draw inspiration from the most recent and encouraging results of the French and German Greens, who conquer more and more slices of the electorate, despite having the first socialist inspiration and the second liberal. The ATMOSFERA GENERAL AND THE FOLLOW-UP ATTESO | The atmosphere during the debate was positive and proactive; in addition, a strong interaction between the participants could be appreciated. Overall, the event met expectations and fully achieved the objectives that the Conference on the Future of Europe intends to pursue. Summary WRITING| After a summary on the definitions and strategy of the Union on plastics management (in particular disposable), the ambiguity of this material has been explained, which has advantages in its use in parallel with the limits of recycling. This still does not make it fully replaceable and certainly challenging for local authorities in the disposal cycle. Moreover, it must be borne in mind that Italy has invested a lot in the production of bioplastics – with an industrial concentration in the centre/north – which are equally penalised by the EU directive. Finally, Italy is unacceptably delayed in transposing the directive, eventually negotiating with Brussels a delay in time and a revision of the application criteria; in this way, encouraging the intensification of the contrast between employment and the protection of the environment. Such an attitude on this first important step will make the path of ecological transition even harsher, a strategic point on which the current President of the European Commission has asked Parliament for confidence. The PROPOSALS THAT THE PARTICIPANTS HANNO ACCEPTED TO PRESENT | Participants agree it is necessary to emphasise more and more the role of local authorities in the management of the ecological transition which, as in the case of Directive 2019/904, reflects the growing awareness of the health of the seas, including Italians, affected by disposable plastics. To this end, a large amount of resources will be needed to deal with conversion, resources which can only come from a federal European budget powered by own resources. Finally, fiscal federalism is closely accompanied by an institutional structure with concentric circles, able to shorten the distances between the European decision-making centres and the periphery of Europe, between the districts of cities or the small countries of metropolitan areas and Brussels, thus democratising the decision-making processes and the follow-up of policies undertaken.
There can be no real European democracy without an autonomous fiscal power of the EU.
For a true European democracy: Abolish the right of veto and assign direct powers to the European Parliament in taxation and foreign policy
For a true European democracy: There can be no true European democracy without an autonomous EU fiscal power
For a true European democracy: abolish the right of veto and give direct powers to the European Parliament in taxation and foreign policy
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