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Europe after the pandemic: what is your vision?

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The COVID-19 crisis has changed our lives and young people have been particularly impacted. The way we work, study, shop, travel, and think of health, relationships and leisure has been profoundly affected. With lock down measures easing, it’s time to look ahead and think about how the “new normal” will impact all the different areas of young people’s lives - and how it should impact policy making in Europe.

  • What are your ideas for the future of young people in Europe after the pandemic?
  • What can the European Parliament and its Members do to support young people in these times?
  • What is the role of young people in Europe’s recovery?

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Pavlen Avramov
21 May 2020

I proposw universal basic income across EU, also urgent investigation of internal corruption in the EU, in countries such as Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Poland. Misuse of EU funds is common practice in my home country. I'd like to see drastic changes to the system, since what we have now is not sustainable.

Konstantinos L
21 May 2020

Myself being a Greek, I view that emigration, be it to another EU country or outside the EU, will remain my only option for professional success, as unemployment will rise substantially. I am also concerned about Northern-Southern European tensions, particularly in Italy.

Konstantina
22 May 2020

As we all know, the future and the strength of every country is its youth population. Therefore, the EU will be able to progress past the difficulties, that will obviously arise as a result of the pandemic, by actually listening to what we want and what we expect from Europe so it can be a friendly and stable environment for us all. According to my way of thinking, the main aspects we should all focus on are:
- Giving young people the opportunity of having access to workplace. A main aspect of economical problems in many countries of the EU (especially in Greece) is the youth unemployment of ages 22 - 29.
- Protecting the values of democracy and equality for everyone. Hungary and Poland are currently in the middle of passing extremely conservative laws that do not belong in the 21st century.
- Continue striving for the protection of the environment and the fight for climate crisis
- Advance the level of the educational system of every country-member. The solution to ignorance has always been education and we are able to improve the future of the next generations by improving the education.

Our main goal should be a progressive society based on democracy, human rights, a fair economic and work environment and a healthy planet.

Francesca
21 May 2020

I feel strongly European, but during this crisis my mind about EU Changed.
I live in The Netherlands since 5 years and only now I truly realized (speaking with Dutch friends about the crisis) how many pregiudices towards Italy they have.
There is some work to do to create a more real sense of what the problem of south Europe are (for example is not that Italians are lazy, but more about Corruption, people not paying taxes and so on). So that maybe addressing this problem as EU they might be solved for good.
Also I am a master student and a freelancer professional classical musician, both categories needed more help during this crisis and either in NL or Italy we received it.
Although I considered myself strongly European my fate in EU during this crisis become less, for how little cooperation I saw between the countries especially when the problem was only about Italy and Spain. I did not felt EU was a strong referential point during the crisis. I believe there is hard work to gain that trust back. Imagine for those who were not supporters of EU from the starting point.....
I hope we can be EU together without pregiudices between "frugal countries" and "south europe".
Also in some countries welfare worked fast and efficiently. In Italy for example some families saw the first helps only yesterday. This is something that should be more equal in all Europe if we want to be a nation.
Best
Francesca

Radostina
21 May 2020

I think that the European Union institutions need to find a way to give more voice to the young people. We are really into technologies and people like us who face different challenges with online schooling and entrolments in universities might have amazing ideas on how to make the time during pandemic a little easier. Yes we use face timing to see other people we know that everyone is thinking of a way how to adapt to the situation but right now our group/ the young people are really vulnerable. A lot of people need emotional support and maybe creating an online anonymous line for calls and video chats would really help people who are getting anxiety or depression over the current situation. Also people like me who will have state exams during the pandemic are worried too because there are things that make us nervous, going inside there with that much people is okay, but the stress we experience while answering our questions and having so much people with masks and products for disinfection really makes us stressed and nervous. It would be great if maybe the European Union can communicate with the universities and ask them for lower admission grades exactly in the state exams or at least a little understanding about what we are going through. I know it will be hard as everyone is trying to keep up with the regulations but I think if these ideas come true it will be a lot easier for young people.
Thank you

Maria Dolores Teresa Quirimit
26 May 2020

I envision a Europe strong and united.
But when Covid-19 came into the surface from China, not only Europe but also the rest of the world didn't take the necessary measures to prepare for such pandemic (even though WHO has given a detailed guide on what to do in such situation on 2005).
The Europe of today has accomplished many achievements, but also has many flaws and made mistakes. Not being able to have a fast response resulted in the deaths of many people. And so this crisis most of the time has been taken care on a national level.
The question is what can Europe do in the aftermath?
I propose a Universal Basic Income (UBI) across EU, as a necessary policy that should be implemented on all European Counties. But on its core UBI is an unconditionally granted to all on an individual basis, without means test or work!!
So in much simpler terms FREE MONEY for everyone without having any requirements as long as you are an adult and live in Europe.
There are many benefits to count, but on my opinion it can also boost the economic growth of country, while improving the lifestyle of the people.
Think of it as an investment that the governments will give to its people. Hypothetically let's say the government gives 1000€ for each individual. The people will have the freedom to manage their own money whether they buy product goods from their local markets or being able to pay a significant portion of their taxes and etc. In a way the money will be given back to the government, but on the same time it will improve the living condition of the people.
There are 3 popular questions when UBI is concerned:
-Where can we find the money?
- Why rich people should be part of this granted?
- Why is not only limited to the poor? And etc...
I could give you the answers, but I believe it is a matter that is important to be researched individually (to examine the pros and cons), and not to have an "impression" of what we believe UBI is, without making the necessary research.
What I ask from EU institutions is to take UBI in a great consideration since is not limited in a certain ideology but you can match it in many different ideologies (feminism, environmentalism, human rights etc.)
OH and one important thing, UBI is on the same page with the goals and values of EU.
Also It would be ideal if each EU country examines the potential of having a UBI based on their own ecomic capabilities, since not all countries follow the same economic model.
I know that my whole point seems kinda utopic, but I certainly believe it can become a Reality.
Thank you for giving us a platform to voice our concerns, since we are a generation that will determine the future.
If we want a strong and united Europe, then we need to have similar strengths in terms of economy without corruption, a diologue between cultures and a strong sense of where we want to be heading towards. If that happens then it will truly be a discussion "equal to equal" / "ίσος προς ίσο".
A nation cannot be called "a developed country" if it ignores the needs of its people and Europe needs to acknowledge its mistakes, forgive them and move forward.

Ivo
21 May 2020

The youth of Europe plays a key role for the continent’s recovery in post-pandemic times. Jobs should be accessible for fresh high school and university graduates, especially in the green sector.
With that said, it is the perfect time for Europe to step up on it’s green economy policies. We need subsidies for zero-carbon low-skill and high-skill jobs so that more young people can go into those fields. Perhaps a carbon tax should be introduced for the big corporations.
Illegal immigration should be dealt with much more effectively, EU members should work together, improving security along the borders of the Union and deploying more troops. This will provide for a better wellbeing of each member’s citizens.
Poorer regions of the EU need more supervision in every aspect - from infrastructure building quality to ensuring the correct usage of European funds and grants. In my opinion this is especially necessary for Bulgaria and Romania.
Young people need opportunities and EU can provide them!

Stephanny Ferreira de Araujo Ulivieri
21 May 2020

I believe that the pandemic and its crisis have made clear many of the deficiencies of the European community, specially regarding the immigrant population. I talk out of personal experience, because I am an immigrant in Spain myself.

First of all, it seems sad that only European voices are willing to be heard in nice initiatives such as this one. When identifying myself and inputting my personal data, it only gave me the option to choose a European country. I'll be wrongly labeled as a Spaniard, which I am not. I am a Brazilian national, resident in Spain, who has lived, studied and worked within the EU for almost 8 years now.

Secondly, and in the case of Spain, there has been a huge gap when dealing with the virus regarding nationals and foreigners. In the most specific case of the Community of Madrid, masks are being handed out for free in the pharmacies. But, there is a catch: only if you are in possession of a European Health Card for example, a document that many immigrants living in Spain do not have access to because of the status of their visa (students for example) or the complete lack thereof. Are immigrants also not in danger of getting contaminated and contaminating others? Even in terms of cultural citizenship, are "madrileñ@s" only those born in Madrid? Madrid is an international city and a hub for spaniards from all over Spain alike. I feel outraged that such a discriminatory initiative has been approved by the government. Masks should be handed out to every one, regardless of their country of origin or legal status in the country.

Thirdly, as a precautionary measure, most university classes have been confirmed to be conducted almost entirely online in the following course (2020-2021) but the Spanish Education Ministry has decided against the lowering of taxes. It does not seem fair to any student to continue to pay the same price as if they were going to classes, but even less so for foreigners who pay almost 5 times more than EU students and might find themselves in financial difficulties for finishing their studies.

To conclude, I would like to express my sincere admiration for what the EU has managed to achieve. Nevertheless, with it having been built with idea of collaboration and cooperation, such flaws cannot continue to exist anymore.

Isbat Hasnat
21 May 2020

I think this is a really good opportunity to bring people together. EU institutions have long been looking for opportunities to bring Europeans together with a same mindset and agenda. Be a European citizen, not just the citizen of a nation. Be it employment, education or culture, everywhere there must be a clear reflection of European diversity and togetherness of the European youth. Being an international student myself, I would love to see integration with Europe and other parts of the world as well. If anything this crisis has taught us is that in a global world we can't survive by our own merits.

George
25 May 2020

Make China pay for the damage caused by the virus. It was their fault.

Paris
23 May 2020

The EU is a monetary union rather than a political one at the moment - the original idea was that by integrating economically we would then move towards a political integration. This hasn't happened; instead we have individual countries pushing for their own agendas - there is no political or ideological cohesion -
The EU parliament, while it is elected by the people, doesnt represent the power of the people - it is elected from existing national parties, and lacks power and vision.
The commissions are groups of country leaders, each pushing for their own agendas, not taking into account European integration.

We need an EU constitution, that provides the basic principles of our Union.
We need representation, that is free of national party politics.

We also need public works that connect us- why not a railway spanning across Europe connecting every capital? (its also way more environmental than air-travel) at them moment there is no direct connection between Paris-Berlin let alone Greece.

And finally communication; it is often the case that national governments take the credit of all good done and blame all the mistakes at the EU - communication, and transparency

Zura
21 May 2020

We need way better cooperation and integration.
We have to boost our industries and technologies stop relying on China and USA.

Lukas
24 May 2020

Stop Fiscal Paradises inside the European Union and Basic Income for people unemployed

Fabiana
21 May 2020

In my opinion we need to make it clear that we are all truly one reality and that Europe exists for this.

Institutions must show themselves to young people, on social networks and by organizing various types of webinars, they must make it clear that they are not alone, and will be their points of reference.
But most of all, I believe that in order to guarantee a "right to study", which allows them to train for the world of work, it is necessary to intervene on teaching methods.
The example that I would like to propose is precisely to increase the number of teachers, thus smaller classes would be created and there would be both greater security in terms of social distancing, and in this way, the students being few, would be followed as it must be from the teachers.

Mehranvi
23 May 2020

Don’t drive today with yesterday’s maps .The tales have changed. The writing has changed. There is no going back. Countries need leader's who have the vision for future and strength to lead in these situations.

William Kennedy
28 May 2020

Disagree. All serious studies undertaken on UBI have shown it’s not sustainable or even possible, especially not in the short term.

It’s not competitive, and will not help us stand up to economies that don’t share our values. We should work with pride in the freedoms we already have, knowing only a strong economy allows us to spread and maintain these freedoms.

Babette
23 May 2020

The Europe I am hoping for after this pandemic is an open one, a more accessible institution. I read a lot about citizens assemblies and I think it is exactly what we need. Let me explain why. First, citizens assemblies give people the impression of being able to influence politics, to be part of it, to matter. As a citizens assembly mirrors society it would help to increase the representation of minorities, and also youth - which currently is not represented by most MEPs. It would work against anti-democratic structures embedded in the EU institutions, and counteract the European Commission, a body full of non-elected experts. Thus, the first reason for a citizens assembly is to make the European citizens more aware of the impact they can have, and make Europe more democratic. The second reason is that a citizens assembly would help to create a European identity, something that currently is declining while populism and nationalism is rising. This would help to fight internal struggle and create cohesion to external threats. The last reason is that the assembly would help to make decisions that politicians currently cannot make - because of reputation, restrictions, national interest. For global issues such as climate change citizens assemblies can find new solutions, and think outside the box. It might actually help to take step forward in many fields.
A citizens assembly could never replace the entire structure of the EU but it could add democratic value to it on several levels. It could set priorities and demonstrate what really matters to the people of the EU.

Maureen
21 May 2020

Many young people have been affected by the covid-19 crisis concerning their studies or their jobs.
People in vocational training have had to stop working and sometimes lost their contract with their employer for those in apprenticeship. Others could not pay their bills as they lost their part-time student jobs. Some have been laid off as they were the last comer in the company, and others are simply struggling to find a job or an internship.

I think one idea could be to include specific measures to help the youth as part of the recovery plan or as part of the future budget 2021-2027. I think tools and policies are already in place but there should be more funds allocated there.

Shibu Antony
26 May 2020

One of the things that is Ultimately necessary is that we actually analyse how dependent we are on other countries and what kind of autonomy we have on the industry with in the country and map out the current capabilities of Europe and work towards setting up systems to ensure autonomy for basic necessities and services. The response within Europe has been rather commendable however with the lockdown going on One of the things we could have is education/training programs specific for the common citizens(especially students within universities) during this lockdown so that in case of a future pandemic we can ensure an efficient response for everyone and people have set guidelines on specific projects that can be worked on to tackle the situation based on the domain of expertise. In some way this would be a sort of emergency citizen collective response towards the future pandemics.
The covid crisis did bring together many people however the effort was not a rather collective one and there were some areas that were more focused than others. Such a structure can ensure proper utilisation of human resources especially within universities. We could have response teams with experienced personal from the industry as well as academics and each arm would be responsible for delivering certain deliverables that we deem are essential for any pandemics in the future. Such structures would be very good opportunities for both students/academics and industry and would foster better environment to develop solutions at much faster rate and not have multiple solutions for one problem and no solution for the other.

Marcell Kelemen
21 May 2020

Down with the EU!

Panayiotis
23 May 2020

With regard to the pandemic situation young people can contribute to the recovery of European Union.
1)Every town of every city in a european country can collect a small amount of money which it will be given for all people's needs when they need to do something for them all together.So that money will be saved for emergency situations of the town. Like a monthly deposit but very low because of crisis.
2)People who take higher salaries in eurpean countries must have to pay a little higher taxes amount to their goverment so the goverment it will be able to help the rest of the people more effectively.

3) People who get sick under a serious epidemic like COVID-19 or other diseas they must be able to take some extra money from their goverment because they will be at home for a long period. The money will be given for their medication and essential needs.

4)All employees of Hospitals and the rest of front line workes and the doctors who have not a high monthly salary must be allowed to take from Europe a small amount of money for their contribution to the safety of resident's health.

5)Education of teenagers and children must be cotnrolled when they will be at home that they won't be missing their lessons at school.The system of e-learning must be capable to know how it can be better to be more efficient to the students. Goverments must hire some proffesional technicians who will be paid with a percentage from European Eunion because they will be ensuring that european students who stay at home can enjoy their e-learning.

6)Europe must make european lectures to explain to all students by online broadcast how important it is to know how they can be safe from epidemics and how important it is to do not keep missing their lessons from school when they are home.

7)European Parliament can fund a techonological system which will be installed in every country and it will be tracking and detecting the people who want to publish some fake news to confuse the rest of the people.

8)Every year European Union can be funding a national festival in every country where the residents will be collecting moneys for the vulnerable societies.

9) A better idea is, a europeam socila group to be created on facebook when the people of Europe can instantly take some help for any essential personal need like psycological supprt or some solutions about their economic issues.

Ana
24 May 2020

Universal basic income. We're responsible enough for freedom.

Kai Capuzzo
23 May 2020

The European Union should convert into a new form of European Federalism, with shared debt, army, government, laws etc and bet on the Green Revolution inciting the countries to evaluate the multiple uses of the Cannabis plant.

Giorgio A. Sciara
26 May 2020

The Covid-19 crisis has put the European Union in front of its weaknesses and showed the need to reform its institutions and competences.
The lack of unity in the first phase of the infection has increased the eurosceptic sentiment across the citizens of the most hit countries (Italy and Spain first); we must regain the popular consent around the European project but to obtain this we have to be sure that the EU will be near to our people trough concrete aids and solidarity.

The European Recovery Fund should be financed by Eurobonds (common debt) which will unite the national economies even more; this debt would be repaid thanks to European taxes (Web tax, Carbon tax...) which would also become the first core of a European Union's own budget, independent of single states contributes.

Another important issue is the reform of the European institutions: the Council of the European Union has shown its incapacity of deciding in quick times due to the divisions between the European states, in light of this facts it's important to abolish the unanimity system and transfer the legislative power entirely to the European Parliament, giving the right of initiative to the EMPs.

The post-pandemic world will see an high polarisation between USA and China; the European Union must avoid divisions inside Europe and the only way to do this is trough the construction of an European army and a common foreign policy, both directed by the European Commission.

To surge stronger from this terrible pandemic we must unite in our diversity!

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