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Solidarity in the EU member states
English: What does EU Member States mean by solidarity? Discuss with us on 18 November at the European School Luxembourg I (Luxembourg-Kirchberg) the many facets that the term solidarity includes, with a focus on Luxembourg and the Greater Region. Whether you have questions or demands on sanitary and financial solidarity during the pandemic, solidarity during the refugee crisis or solidarity between Luxembourg and its neighbouring countries, make your voice heard: Jean Asselborn, Minister for Foreign and European Affairs and Minister for Immigration and Asylum, Ms Katarina Barley, MEP — Vice-President of the European Parliament; Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (SPD, Germany), Isabel Wiseler-Lima MEP — Group of the European People’s Party (CSV, Luxembourg), Guido Lessing, Research Fellow at the Luxembourg Centre for Contemporary and Digital History at the University of Luxembourg. “Solidarity in the EU Member States” is an event within the framework of the Conference on the Future of Europe: The discussion is public. The event is also broadcast online, so that active participation is also possible from outside via the participation platform Sli.do. You can already submit questions and demands about the hashtag: #EUsolidarity. However, only contributions that are formulated by persons who indicate their clear name are accepted. Spoken in Luxembourgish and German, with simultaneous translation in German and English. However, speeches may be made in Luxembourgish, German, English and/or French. Covid Check Event: → Limited places: Registrations are received via firstname.lastname@example.org. Since the number of places is limited, the rule applies “first come, first served”. All participants must be able to demonstrate on-site that you have either vaccinated or recovered or have taken a PCR test beforehand. No Covid-19 tests are offered on site. ///English: How do the EU Member States interpret solidarity? Join us on 18 November at the European School Luxembourg I (Luxembourg-Kirchberg) to discuss solidarity in all its facets within the EU member states, with particular focus on Luxembourg and the Greater Region. Whether you have questions about, among other aspects, sanitary or financial solidarity (particularly concerning the pandemic and the EU Covid-19 relief packages), solidarity during the refugee crisis or solidarity among Luxembourg and its neighbouring countries, do not hesitate to ask one of our four speakers about it: Jean Asselborn, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, and Minister of Immigration and Asylum, Katarina Barley, MEP — Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (Germany), Isabel Wiseler-Lima, MEP — Group of the European People’s Party (Luxembourg), Guido Lessing, Research Assistant at the Luxembourg Centre for Contemporary and Digital History. Solidarity in the EU member states is part of the Conference on the Future of Europe. In other words, the event is open for everyone and active participation as well as formulating demands is highly encouraged. Since it is a hybrid event, you can participate in person or submit your questions, complaints and/or demands online via Sli.do. You can already send your questions and demands now via #EUsolidarity. We only accept contributions written with the entire name (name + surname). The event itself is held in Luxembourgish and in German, with simultaneous translations in English and German. However, you can ask questions and participate in Luxembourgish, German, English and/or French. Covid Check Event: → Limited seats: If you want to participate, do not forget to register on the CoFoE website and to send us an additional email to email@example.com in order to confirm your registration. First come, first served. → Non-vaccinated participants: on-site tests will NOT be available.
23 Boulevard Konrad Adenauer, 1115 Kirchberg-Luxemburg
Event reportRewatch the event (EN translation) on our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y9KqLRMJZ8g&t=3s // Report by: Prof. Anna-Lena Högenauer, University of Luxembourg Organization: The debate on the “Solidarity in the EU Member States” took place on 18 November 2021 at 18:30 on the premises of the European School I in Luxembourg City. It was organized by the Liaison Office of the European Parliament in cooperation with the University of Luxembourg, the University of Saarland, the European School I and the Trans European Policy Studies Association (TEPSA). Speakers: • Jean Asselborn (Foreign Minister of Luxembourg) • Isabel Wiseler-Lima (MEP, Luxembourg) • Katarina Barley (MEP, Germany) • Guido Lessing (University of Luxembourg) • Moderator: Jonathan Ponchon (Liaison Office of the European Parliament) Participants: The event was geared towards a younger audience of students and older pupils. 256 people attended the event in person, and 259 watched the livestream on the day or during the next 5 days. 93 members of the in-person audience were Bachelor and Master students from the University of Luxembourg (36), the University of Saarbrücken (40) and the University of Trier (17). In addition, 87 pupils from the European Parliament's Ambassador School Programme participated. The remaining members of the audience came from the general public. Format: The idea was to place the emphasis on interactivity and questions from the audience. Therefore, the event started with only a short 30-minute introduction, where an Austrian academic, Paul Schmidt from the Österreichische Gesellschaft für Europapolitik, presented the main findings of a forthcoming TEPSA book on the different perspectives on “solidarity” in the EU’s member states. In addition, the panelists briefly provided their own definitions of “solidarity” and reacted to the findings of the book. After this introduction, 60 minutes were devoted to questions and comments from the audience that had been prepared in advance or submitted during the event via Slido. Perspectives on solidarity: The aim of the event was to understand better the key expectations and concerns of young citizens with regard to “solidarity” in the European Union. The meaning of “solidarity” was defined by the panelists and participants as providing people with equal opportunities, an absence of selfishness and a willingness to embrace one’s responsibility for others. The questions and speeches by the audience raised several areas of concern: 1. Discrimination against LGBT people: Members of the audience were concerned about the anti-LGBT policies of countries like Poland and Hungary (e.g. LGBT-free zones). They demanded an effective response from the EU to protect the rights of these minorities. 2. The treatment of migrants by the EU: Members of the audience criticized the illegal push-backs that are happening at the external borders of the EU. They voiced the opinion that the EU was violating international law and risked the lives of these people. They also felt that the treatment of migrants and the respect of their human rights by the EU had deteriorated in recent years. Those actions were seen to stand in stark contrast to the EU’s claim to be a community based on values and solidarity. Other students had submitted questions about how the EU was planning to deal with climate change induced migration in the future, which could not be raised due to time constraints. 3. Climate change, its social impact and intergenerational justice: Unsurprisingly, climate change was an important topic for the young citizens. Several members of the audience submitted and asked questions about how the EU can, on the one hand, ensure that adequate policies to prevent climate change are adopted and implemented now. In particular, the question of intergenerational justice was raised, i.e. how we can convince older citizens to give up their cars and shift to public transport. At the same time, there were also questions about the social impact of climate change, and how we can ensure that the energy transition will be equitable and will not negatively impact the poorest segments of the population. At the same time, audience members also identified a selfish NIMBY (Not in my backyard) attitude that hindered the emergence of a green infrastructure. Thus, citizens are often in favour of a green energy infrastructure, but only as long as it does not ‘inconvenience’ them personally in some way (e.g. having the infrastructure too close to their private homes). If the European Union wants the energy transition to be a success, it needs to overcome this attitude. 4. A more coordinated response to the Covid-19 pandemic: Some audience members were concerned about the disjointed (and occasionally self-centred) national responses to the outbreak of the pandemic. They wanted to know whether it would be possible to create a common agency or mechanisms that would ensure a more coordinated response in case of a future health crisis, similar to the EU civil protection mechanism. One of the most popular Slido questions focused on the perceived negative impacts of the uncoordinated national responses on smaller states. 5. A European minimum wage: One audience member asked whether the disparities between the North and the South could be reduced by a common minimum wage. 6. Human Rights vs the Economy in EU foreign policy: One of the Slido questions that received the most support from the audience concerned the EU’s foreign policy. It criticized the perceived tendency of the EU to neglect human rights when the EU had to chose between profitable economic relations and insistence on human rights. 7. The ‘rule of law’ in Poland and Hungary: Another popular Slido contribution expressed concern with the fact that the EU’s decision-making procedures allow states with rule of law problems like Poland and Hungary to protect each other and impede an effective European reaction. Conclusion: In total, we received about 25 questions, though not all of these could be asked during the debate due to time constraints. The debate and submissions reveal wide-spread concerns about a lack of respect for the rule of law and human rights both within the European Union (especially in Poland and Hungary) and potentially in its foreign policy, when a choice has to be made between human rights and economic benefits. In addition, the need to develop effective policies against climate change is an important topic for the young citizens. At the same time, they are aware of the potential social problems that some green policies risk causing and for the need to design policies in such a way that everyone can embrace them. Overall, the participants felt that the EU needed to address these issues more rigorously.
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