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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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Rebeca Casado
19 August 2020

I believe that the young generation of EU citizens will have a challenging future, but I also believe that we can develop much more advanced capabilities. We can create many more jobs that do not require that all staff be transferred to a workplace, we can generate working days of 3 to 4 days a week with the right to work online. That can be cheaper and healthier for all of us.
From my point of view we would create a higher performance and probably a more professional job.

Louisa V
06 July 2020

Could you post any of these studies here? :) Thanks!

Constantine-Peter Martzaklis
24 June 2020

I don't wanna waste your time. You're asking what's my vision about EU. I think is the greatest thing going on in the world right now. I believe in Europe, we can make it, in our distinctive way. We don't take human lifes for granted and we proved it. It was a considerable crisis but we make it. Now we have to prepare. This situation showed us how unpredictable the future can be. Although, that does not mean that we can't be ready for what ever comes next. I am talking about the field of medicine. So what my vision is? Free healthcare for everyone, thus no life will be lost without a fight, and most importantly more hospitals and people, so the systems doesn't collapse in any kind of crisis. I want a Europe of equals. We are not there yet, but I have faith, because I need to! Every European citizen should live with dignity an if you ask me, many people in the south has lost his "privilege" for a long time.

Georgia Vasileiou
10 June 2020

The Covid-19 crisis brought in the surface many of the issues that the Union already had. The economic crisis that follows this pandemic sets back the already struggling young people, who just managed to get a light of hope after the 2008 economic recession. Many of the issues can be found in all of the state-members such as youth unemployment, housing (rents are disproportionate with salary), lack of realistic minimum wage, lack of professional opportunities. It is clear that we are growing to be a generation marked by anxiety, insecurity, health issues and no saving accounts. It would be extremely intelligent if the EU could find a way to battle these problems- along with all other major issues like climate change and racism- by utilising the young professionals that are career-driven and longing for a meaningful job that provides for them the security that previous generations enjoyed. Maybe this recent crisis could be a great opportunity for revolutionary policy changes that address all the current issues. This way the Union could become more contemporary, more relatable and create the unity that needs be achieved between all state-members.

The youth is here, it is educated and ready to start working to get the world out of the crisis and into a better future.

Eoin Reid
09 June 2020

As lockdown measures begin to ease I know myself and alot of young people have felt very trapped and isolated over the past few months, and as countries begin to open and adjust to the new normal I feel as though our desire to travel around Europe and explore and experience it more has only been invigorated as we have learned that we took our oppurtunities to travel so easily and experience more than just where you live for granted.

One barrier to this however may be the lack of finance available and the financial hardship for young people to act on this desire as the looming recession comes and unemployment levels begi to rise.

One of my purposals would be in favour of extending the Discover EU pass to all 18 years old instead of a select few, or perhaps a scholarship scheme for all young people,perhaps 18 - 24, where you could apply for a full or part scholarship towards your travels around Europe.

I feel there is no better way to strengthen the bond, particularlly at this difficult time,between the different EU countries, cultures and people than to experience them first hand.

Felice Giuseppe Rita Lana
08 June 2020

I think that in this period of social crisis is very important the role of young people and the european parliament could approve some law about the work, specially for the pension age that i think can be drop so older worker could be safe and younger people could have more work possibility. In my opinion this could be an interesting idea for rising the european economy.
Lana Felice Giuseppe Rita

Pablo
04 June 2020

My idea comes in the line of the European regions, which include parts of different states.

I am from Galicia, in the northwest of Spain and the relation of my land with the north of Portugal is very strong, both culturally and economically. However, in these coronavirus crises, the border between Portugal and Spain is closed, even though neither Galicia nor northern Portugal were regions affected by the Coronavirus which cause a big economic impact in both regions.

In the long run, my proposal is the integration of regions that, for historical reasons, are part of different states, but that united could be an engine of economic growth and prosperity. This idea is in line with the notion of Europe as one state and the destruction of nation-states.

Jo Bothmer
31 May 2020

What I noticed is that the Ep is using Facebook for its messages and video meetings. EYE, in the opninion of the European Anti Poverty Network Netehrlands (www.eapnned.nl) could be THE place to involve young people in starting an EU websystem for use for the EP, the EC and the MS. That would be great and is an expression of the R&D policy of the European Commission. So, when does this start?

Sanna
29 May 2020

In my country they say 'onbekend maakt onbehind', or in English: if you don't know something, you don't like it. I think that's the same reason why, in my country, a lot of people have stereotypes about certain countries. They've never befriended someone from said country, so there has never been a reason for them to 'check' their stereotypes. Building on that, my suggestion would be to connect younger people through vlogs, specifically in a school-context. If you would match up schools from different countries, you could make it an education and fun program, with kids having to make their own vlogs showing their daily school life and than sharing this. Their teachers could provide a translation in English to go with the vlog, tell the children something about the country and perhaps there could be a possibility for a penpal (e-mail) to go along with this.

Oprea Alina Alexandra
29 May 2020

Europe means the people that embrace and express the same European ideas, values and ways of living .
It is truth that the Covid -19 pandemic left us in the position to rebuild ,because development comes from communication, health security and environment protection. People start to feel better because the time of pandemic confinement is over.
As a European artist and song writer, my question and my enquiry is on the subject of European Programs that help to develop ideas and art project .My best greetings to all .

Ella Oelbrandt
28 May 2020

Today's youth are the future's workforces. If anything the European Union can do for us now, it's to make shure we are being heard, that our dreams should not be tempered (and that we should get support where necessary whether it's art or sports or caring). The EU can do this buy making their initiatives popular and known, because a lot of youngsters don't know what the possibilities are. Schools can teach about these things, give flyers, show videos during classes, ...

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.

William Kennedy
28 May 2020

We should resist the authoritarian encroachment, focusing less on quick business deals and cheap imports and instead on sustainable solutions for the promotion of democracy and values-based trade and alliances.

Hong Kong’s autonomy is the first clear victim of encroaching authoritarianism, and we should welcome Hong Kong migrants to Europe, both to strengthen our own participation in democracy and civil rights (for which Hong Kongers could share their passion), and also to provide Europe with a population that understands China, which will help us to formulate policy and China strategy.

We should further support Taiwan and other free and open societies. Covid 19 has shown that blind consumerism is not necessary for many, and it would be good to reintroduce some values to how we deal with authoritarian states, while promoting economies that align with our values.

Gabriela
26 May 2020

Hi, I am from Bulgaria. I am sorry my english isn't very good. Here, in Bulgaria, the COVID 19 scared us. There aren't many affected people. The politics start to open everything- hotels, museum, bars, cafes, restaurants and many more.
I am 16 yaers old and I think that young people are those that can help people to understand the virus better. We can explain the things more carefully to older. Also we can help the people to keep their hope for better future.
The economy is at very bad position. The young people have a better and modern ideas and I think we must to listeen their idaes and follow them.
European Parliament should help to young people with their work in schools and universities. The pandemic made a learning harder. Understanding between school institutions and students is very important.
Also, the online videos, speeches from young people to the world are very good idea to lift people's spirits.
I hope everything gets better soon. Stay home, keep a distance, try to explain to your family that it a big problem but they shouldn't be afraid if they follow the rules. If you think today, tomorrow will be better. Sending love and greetings to all the citizens of Europe. We are together in this.

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!

Mór
26 May 2020

I wish there would be marriage equality in all EU countries, so I could marry the one I fell in love with, adopt a kid (together, both of us as parents), and have a family together (for example in Hungary we can't have that). Also a law that guarantees all EU citizens their right to change their name and sex whichever EU country they are in. That would be good. You know, just basic human rights would be really good.

Dani
26 May 2020

Nowadays, young people should be considered as the moving power of society. We should teach our children as building the future which may not be as calm as we wanted to be. Considering the COVID-19 crisis we should plan our actions in even more dangerous situations( such as illnesses). I think that school programs should teach children how to mentally take such critical situations and how to act in one, what are the social boundaries that we should respect, what should we do to prevent ourselves. On the other hand, I suggest that EU should support young people( above 18years old) which want to help during such rough times. Also, Not only EU but the whole world should invent a method of keeping our life and economics vivid during pandemic in order to avoid the bankruptcy of small businesses, because all of that has an enormous impact on young people who want to build their future in different business and markets. For instance all people who want to study abroad were in extremely difficult situation during the pandemic. Which has caused a lot of problems which people were not able to avoid. EU should establish the communication between countries.
Moreover, In my opinion EU should invent a new way to encourage young people to help in crisis times. It may create a new professional teams for help and teach them how to be useful and how to act in beneficial way .

Irene
26 May 2020

I believe young people should be at the center of Europe’s codiv19 recovery, unlike what happened in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, where they were mostly seen as collateral damage.

The outcomes of initiatives such as the European Youth Event, in this year's online version, and any other inputs collected from youngsters should be taken into consideration and given substance to, in the form of policy and legislative proposals. So many excellent and diverse insights and ideas have been shared; it would be a real pity not to follow up on them with concrete initiatives.

I think EU institutions can start from here to get young Europeans' personal and professional future right. Also, they should make sure that appropriate follow-up to EU measures is given by Member states, where the prime and ultimate responsibility for youth policy implementation truly lies.

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.

Alexandros Kazakos
26 May 2020

One of the most fundamental issues "How to enhance the European feeling?"
1) A European Parliament Channel in every EU country with projection of the procedures of the European Parliament and documentaries regarding European Integration to make people more knowledgeable about our common roots.
2)Adoption of a common EU language, preferably English (as its the most spoken non-native language in Europe) next to the national languages for EU citizens who want to move and live in another EU country, providing them with the possibility to receive all government documents and job contracts in this language.

Alexandros Kazakos
26 May 2020

I think that one of the biggest fundamental challenges that the EU faces at the moment is the rise of Euroscepticism. Though a very big part of the European people believes in the European project, this doesn't make them really feel Europeans. Instead we are still divided among French, German, Italians, Polish, Greeks, Portuguese, etc. This is mostly visible to older generations, but also a big part of the youth. In my point of view, the most serious issue that Europe faces is how to enhance the European feeling among its people, how to make them feel truly Europeans and part of something bigger without at the same time erasing their national feelings. To that extent, there are a lot of measures that can be adopted. For example, there should be more information about the European Parliament's role and its procedures. Creating a European Parliament Channel to every single EU country, as the national parliaments have one, could help towards this direction. Not everyone has access to live streaming online, but also a channel would give the opportunity for projection of documentaries and other historical facts of European integration, therefore making people more knowledgeable about our common roots. Another measure could be the adoption of a common European language next to the national languages. This language could be used by EU citizens when they are moving to work or study in another country. Myself, coming from Greece, but living, studying and working in the Netherlands have found it very hard to live in another EU country. Even though everyone in the Netherlands speaks English fluently, all the documents, contracts, etc, are in Dutch. Of course, we can all learn new languages, but this doesn't really help people who want to move and live in different EU countries for a short period of time and explore different aspects of the European culture. Having the possibility to choose in which language would you like to receive governmental documents and job contracts would make it extremely easy for people to move freely within the EU. Of course, there are still way more measures that can be adopted in this direction and which I cannot enumerate here, but I think that these are some of the most basic ones.

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.

Kathy
25 May 2020

I think we should move toward a post-growth economic system. Growth doesn't lead us anywhere anymore. Air pollution, burn outs, deforestation, increasing inequalities, ... I don't want that system anymore.

Instead of implementing austerity measures again (which, by the way, didn't work after 2008 so don't expect them to work this time either), we should think and move towards a sustainable economic, social & environmental system

Gheorghe Mihai-Andrei
25 May 2020

Unity. Progress towards becoming a single country to more easily focus resources on common goals, such as: avoiding climate change, which in my opinion is the most pressing matter, considering that leaving the issue unaddressed could lead to extinction. In conclusion I believe unity is needed in order to more efficiently tackle the problems that humanity is facing

Emil
25 May 2020

Help all the interests of the countries and left none behind, all Europe should work together and prove that we are stronger together!
A more proactive approach should be made across all the countries to resolve their specific problems.
We should all decide together and carry the burden together.

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