Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 32 n° 312

Posts Tagged ‘crisis’

The response to the current COVID-19 crisis must make the EU more resilient

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 18 ottobre 2020

Bruxelles. Recovery should reduce economic divergence and boost the EU’s long-term social and environmental targets, the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee said on Thursday. In their vote on Thursday on economic policies needed in the euro area to tackle the crisis created by the pandemic, MEPs from the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee stressed that EU countries’ economies are strongly interconnected. An incomplete recovery in one country would therefore spill over to all the other countries and dampen economic growth everywhere.MEPs also said that the governments’ spending decisions following the COVID-19 crisis should focus on putting more funds into reversing climate change and boosting digitalisation. These measures should also foster social, economic and environmental resilience and include investments, especially in SMEs. At the same time, MEPs suggest that the Commission should explore how to better finance the Just Transition Fund, designed to alleviate the socio-economic effects of the transition to a climate-neutral economy.The Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee is concerned about the negative and uneven impact of the COVID-19 crisis on government deficit and public debt in the EU. MEPs agreed that issuing European Commission bonds helps member states cover the costs related to measures taken in response to the pandemic.Furthermore, the committee calls on EU leaders and the Commission to take a bold decision and urgently put in place new own resources, at least as of 2021. This would not only boost the recovery but also allow loans to be repaid under the Next Generation EU, during the next long-term budget.The committee demands that those receiving state aid, EU funds or other public money due to the COVID-19 crisis, must sustain jobs, pay their fair share of taxes, commit to sustainability objectives and refrain from paying out dividends. MEPs recalled that tax evasion and tax avoidance at EU level amount to up to EUR 160-190 billion each year, constituting missing revenues. They stressed that it is vital to fight tax fraud, tax evasion, tax avoidance and money laundering, at both national and EU levels.Finally, MEPs pointed out that linking the Recovery and Resilience Facility to the European Semester process in order to monitor the progress made in implementing investments and reforms could help EU countries with their recovery.The resolution was approved by 29 votes to 11, with 11 abstentions. It is scheduled for a plenary vote during the next plenary session, 19-23 October.

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Citizens call for a bigger EU budget to tackle crisis, new survey shows

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 18 luglio 2020

A majority (56 %) says the EU should have more financial means to overcome the impact of the pandemic. Public health tops the priority list, with economic recovery and climate change.In a new survey commissioned by the European Parliament and conducted in the second half of June 2020, nearly seven out of ten respondents (68%) want a stronger role for the EU in fighting this crisis. More than half (56%) believe this requires greater financial means for the EU, which should be directed primarily at tackling the impact of the pandemic on the health sector and the economy.More than half of respondents (53%) remain dissatisfied with the solidarity shown between EU Member States during the pandemic, although more people now have a more positive view than was the case in April (+ 5 points).Three out of four European citizens (76%) have heard about the various EU measures proposed to fight the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. 36% of respondents, an increase of three points compared to the first survey of this kind in April, also know what these measures are. Of those who have heard about the EU measures against COVID-19, 49% are satisfied with them. A clear increase of almost 7 points on average (compared to 42% in April) confirms the growing public support for the proposed measures, many of which have still to be implemented.While just over half of respondents across the EU (53%) are not satisfied with the solidarity shown between EU Member States during the pandemic, 39% of EU citizens on average say that they are satisfied. This is an average increase of 5 points since April 2020, most notable in Portugal and Spain (both +9 points), Germany, Greece, Romania and Slovakia (all around +7 points).Around two-thirds of respondents (68%) agree ‘the EU should have more competences to deal with crises such as the Coronavirus pandemic’, backed by an absolute majority in 26 Member States. The strongest support for more EU competences comes from respondents in Portugal and Luxembourg (both 87%), Cyprus (85%), Malta (84%), Estonia (81%), Ireland (79%), Italy and Greece (both 78%), as well as Romania (77%) and Spain (75%).56% of Europeans believe the EU should have greater financial means to be able to overcome the consequences of the Coronavirus pandemic. In 15 EU Member States, an absolute majority of respondents agrees with this claim, led by Greece (79%), Cyprus (74%), Spain and Portugal (both 71%).Asked about the policy fields where this enlarged EU budget should be spent, public health tops the priority list for European citizens. 55% of respondents find spending on public health to be the most important, coming first in 17 EU Member States. Following this top priority, economic recovery and new opportunities for businesses (45%), employment and social affairs (37%) as well as the fight against climate change (36%) follow suit. In Italy (58%), Slovenia (55%) and Lithuania (54%), funding the economic recovery comes first. Citizens in Austria (48%) and Denmark (45%) see the continued fight against climate change as the EU’s top priority, while in Slovakia (63%), Croatia (58%) and Finland (46%) the most mentioned response is employment and social affairs.A clear indicator showing how important it is to make the necessary decisions for the Recovery Package as soon as possible is the worrying personal financial situation of European citizens since the beginning of the pandemic. Nearly unchanged since April, 57% of respondents say that they have experienced personal financial difficulties. Most mentioned is the ‘loss of income’ (28%), as a key issue in 21 Member States, with highest returns in Hungary and Spain (both 43%), Bulgaria and Greece (both 41%) as well as Italy (37%).

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COVID-19 crisis is a potential geopolitical game-changer, warn MEPs

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 22 giugno 2020

A global pandemic needs global solutions, and the EU has to be at the centre of this response, said High Representative and Vice-President of the European Commission Josep Borrell in a plenary debate on the consequences of the COVID-19 crisis on EU foreign policy, on Thursday.To this end, the EU has launched a Team Europe response to support its partner countries in facing the pandemic, said Mr Borrell in his introductory speech. It is vital to boost sustainable and green investment in the EU’s partner countries worldwide, he added. “This crisis will be a crisis of biblical consequences”, warned the EU foreign affairs chief, stressing also the importance of extending the European Union’s programmes for refugees.The pandemic has brought about changes of tremendous dimensions and will be a potential “geopolitical game-changer”, MEPs pointed out, be it due to the deterioration of democracy and fundamental freedoms in many parts of the world, increasing disinformation campaigns, cyber-attacks, or isolationism instead of multilateral cooperation.They supported strong and coordinated measures that would clearly show solidarity to EU partners throughout the world.Recalling the EU’s ambitions to be a global player, MEPs called for unity in facing the crisis. They pointed out that in the absence of the US as a global leader, Europe should step in and take on this role.Several MEPs called for an adequate EU response to China, saying that the country has not acted as a reliable partner and accusing its government of human rights breaches, a state-led economy, spreading fake news and an inability to fight the pandemic transparently.

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MEPs deeply concerned about looming social and employment crisis due to COVID-19

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 14 maggio 2020

MEPs on Thursday discussed the social and economic impact of the COVID-19-pandemie and its consequences on the workplace with the Directors of EU-OSHA and Eurofound.Opening the discussion held within the Employment and Social Affairs Committee, committee chair Lucia Ďuriš Nicholsonová (ECR, SK) raised the issue of the hundreds of thousands seasonal – and cross border workers in the EU who are in a specifically vulnerable situation in the context of the COVID-19-crisis. The Chair has written to the European Labour Authority to inquire if the Agency has information on the alleged failures to correctly apply and implement the relevant EU rules on labour mobility and social security coordination by the member states concerned and if they have data on the numbers of the cross border workers concerned.
Executive Director of European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) Dr. Christa Sedltaschek presented EU-OSHA guidance for businesses and workers on how to prevent and slow the spread of the coronavirus at workplaces and support their safe and healthy return to work. Dr Sedltaschek also presented research on biological agents and work-related diseases as well as guidance to make home-based telework as healthy, safe and effective as possible
Various Members paid tribute to the frontline workers and pointed to the specifically difficult situation of health care workers. They asked what EU-OSHA could do to avoid long-term mental health issues caused by the COVID-19-crisis and wanted to know if the agency recommends including mental health for health care workers in the new occupational and health strategy. Other MEPs underlined the need for more data on mental health disorders and the impact of teleworking on occupational health.
Members also wanted to find out more about the data collected on the measures taken in the member states to resume economical activities, and if this is being done in a way to protect all workers. EU-OSHA could act as a facilitator and disseminate best practices, they said.Many MEPs asked for more details on the situation of cross border, seasonal and posted workers and expressed concern about unsafe working and living conditions, especially because these workers were often already faced with precarious conditions before the coronavirus-outbreak.On the Biological Agents Directive, several members wanted to know in which category Covid-19 would be classified.
Eurofound Executive Director Juan Menéndez-Valdés presented the first findings of the large-scale online survey “Living, working and COVID-19” conducted in the EU and beyond to which over 85,000 respondents participated so far.The survey shows that 60 % of respondents are experiencing feelings of insecurity and fear of losing their job.Members underlined that the COVID-19-pandemic and the measures taken to curb its spread have severely affected the way people live and work, affecting their physical and mental well-being in a profound way. Almost all Europeans are feeling the far-reaching and lasting consequences in different sectors of the economy, in the form of job and income losses or significantly modified working conditions.Members wanted to know which specific groups of workers need special protection and support. They stressed the importance of social dialogue and special measures to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on the most vulnerable people in society, such as people with disabilities, children and elderly people.MEPs underlined the difficult situation of platform workers and the self-employed.Questions were also asked regarding the monitoring of the digitalisation of services and work. MEPs underlined that digitalisation must be user-friendly so that no one is left behind, with special attention for the elderly.

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COVID-19: Stepping up EU’s response to alleviate the effects of the crisis

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 20 aprile 2020

MEPs adopted additional measures so that EU funding can be granted immediately and with exceptional flexibility to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.In Friday’s extraordinary plenary session, the European Parliament endorsed the “Corona Response Investment Initiative Plus” (CRII+) package proposed by the European Commission on 2 April by means of an urgency procedureThe approved proposals are: Specific measures so that EU funds can be used flexibly. The adopted measures will allow member states to transfer resources between the three main cohesion funds (the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund and the Cohesion Fund), between the different categories of regions and between the funds’ specific priority areas.Exceptionally, it will be possible to fully finance cohesion policy programmes related to COVID-19 through 100% EU funding during the accounting year starting on 1 July 2020 and ending on 30 June 2021. The measures also simplify programme approval to speed up implementation, make financial instruments easier to use and simplify audits.New rules will allow farmers to benefit from loans or guarantees at favourable conditions to cover their operational costs of up to €200.000. They will also free unused agriculture-related rural development funding to fight COVID-19.The proposal was adopted with 689 votes in favour, 6 against and one abstention.Specific measures to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak in the fishery and aquaculture sector. Measures include supporting fishers that have to temporarily stop operating, financial aid for aquaculture producers when production is suspended or reduced, support to producer organisations for temporary storage, as well as a more flexible reallocation of national operational funds.MEPs also approved, following informal agreement with the Council, a series of improvements that will allow support to be given to new fishers and fishers on foot (i.e. those fishing without a boat). These improvements will also adapt provisions for outermost regions to deal with the crisis, as well as providing budgetary flexibility to help countries that have exhausted all allocated funding. The amended proposal was adopted with 671 votes in favour, 10 against and 15 abstentions.Specific measures to guarantee the continued functioning of the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD). Measures include the possibility to finance the provision of protective equipment for workers and volunteers, the temporary 100% co-financing from the EU budget and lighter reporting and audit measures during the COVID-19-crisis.Following informal agreement with the Council, MEPs also approved changes that allow for aid to be delivered using new methods, such as through electronic or paper vouchers, to ensure the safety of everyone involved in the operations and to reach the most vulnerable and excluded. The approved measures aim to protect the most vulnerable people from falling victim to COVID-19 and to ensure that food aid and basic material assistance still reaches them, while respecting social distancing and personal protection. The amended proposal was adopted with 686 votes in favour, 7 against and 3 abstentions.
The Council has to formally approve Parliament’s position. The adopted measures will enter into force once published in the Official Journal of the European Union in the coming days.

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COVID-19: Addressing the crisis, reshaping Europe beyond the unthinkable

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 19 aprile 2020

Brussels The European Federalists welcome the resolution approved by the European Parliament with a set of proposals for the European Union to address with united and determined actions the COVID-19 crisis and its immense economic and social impact. The European Parliament’s proposals significantly raise the level of ambition of the deal proposed by the Eurogroup last week, in particular with respect to the creation of a new Recovery Fund funded by European Recovery Bonds issued by the European Union and guaranteed by the EU budget to support the European economy and cohesion among member states and citizens. The European Parliament is showing leadership in supporting an ambitious deal by the European Council next week. We now expect the same leadership from President von der Leyen – who yesterday said that in this time of important choices she takes inspiration from Altiero Spinelli, one of the founders of the federalist movement – and from the leaders in the European Council. At the same time, the European Parliament should open a reflection on how to move from addressing the emergency to reshaping the European Union in a way that it has the means and powers to stand future crisis. Sandro Gozi, President of the Union of European Federalists, stated: “The Recovery Fund is a new crucial tool to enable the European Union to help re-building our economies devastated by the crisis. The European Recovery Bonds, issued by the European Union, as proposed by the European Parliament today, are the only way to make available fresh resources of the size that the US and China are deploying for their economies. We trust that the European Council next week will adopt these proposals and make the Fund and the Recovery Bonds operational as soon as possible. At the same time, we need to reflect seriously on the European Union itself. President Macron is right: the European Union can’t keep moving from crisis to crisis, every time inventing new European instruments, often after bitter divisions among national governments that reverberate through our societies. We need structural solutions that make the European Union able to act fast, to mobilise its own resources rapidly when they are needed for European actions, and without burdening member states, as in every federal structure: European funds, for European common goods, managed by the European level. His call in the interview on the Financial Times yesterday must be taken up by the EU member states and all EU institutions, starting from the European Parliament: we really must address the future of the European project “thinking the unthinkable”. It is time to address the knot of the European Union as a true political union, breaking taboos that have blocked further European integration in the past decade. The European Parliament should take the lead proposing to revitalise the project of a Conference on the Future of Europe and fast track its outcome to produce a new constitutional pact for a federal Europe with its own financial autonomy.

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World Jewish Congress Urges Solidarity in Face of COVID-19 Crisis

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 27 marzo 2020

NEW YORK – As communities around the globe grapple with the health, economic and social impacts of the novel coronavirus, World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder issued a video message, assuring the more than 100 WJC-affiliated Jewish communities that the World Jewish Congress is here to support them. Noting that “the coronavirus has completely upset our daily lives in ways we never imagined possible,” and that “our lives have changed overnight,” Ambassador Lauder urged Jews around the world to focus on our shared heritage and values and to come together to support each other.“We are one people,” he shared. “What makes the Jewish people strong, what has always sustained us, is our faith in God and our trust in each other. This situation, I believe, has unintentionally made that abundantly clear. “The coronavirus does not distinguish between Orthodox and Conservative. It does not distinguish between Reform and secular Jews. All Jews, indeed, all of humanity, are the targets of this disease. That is why now, more than ever, we must discard any divisions in our community. This should be an unexpected opportunity for all of us to embrace each other as one people. Challenges can bring out the best in us, and that’s what we need now.” Ambassador Lauder closed, “Stay safe, act prudently have courage, support those around you who may need help, and always remain optimistic. And remember, we will get through this all together.”
The World Jewish Congress (WJC) is the international organization representing Jewish communities in 100 countries to governments, parliaments and international organizations.

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Governments still showing little sign of acting on climate crisis – Climate Action Tracker

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 12 dicembre 2019

Madrid In the face of the growing climate emergency, governments seem determined to continue embracing fossil fuels, and even meeting their Paris Agreement pledges would see warming of 2.8˚C by the end of this century, according to the Climate Action Tracker’s 2019 annual update, released at COP25 in Madrid today.Under government real-world action (current policies), global temperature is set to rise by 3˚C and the most optimistic policy scenario would be 2.8˚C. “We are not seeing the kind of action you’d expect from governments facing a climate emergency,” said Prof Niklas Höhne, of CAT partner organisation NewClimate Institute. “Since last year’s update, our temperature estimate has not improved from climate action, and many governments are still failing to meet their often insufficient targets.”While all governments agreed to update their climate targets with more ambition by 2020, the CAT’s new Climate Target Update Tracker has only one country on its list of those that has done so, and only one full draft proposal – from Chile.Coal is still playing a major role in government energy planning, despite the fact it’s now way more expensive than renewables. Governments continue to plan and build new coal plants, especially in Asia, where China, Japan and South Korea, who are also funding coal offshore.An example of such offshore coal-funding is the proposed Lamu coal-fired power station in Kenya, that would be both Chinese-funded and built. Kenya it is set to meet its Paris pledge with renewables, and gets a CAT rating of “2˚C Compatible” but if both the Lamu plant and another proposed coal plant were to go ahead, its emissions would rocket up. “Gas is a major concern. Governments are acting as if this fossil fuel is somehow clean – yet gas was responsible for half the increase in CO2 emissions from fossil fuel consumption in 2017-18,” said Bill Hare, CEO of Climate Analytics.“But let’s be clear: for a 1.5˚C pathway, emissions from gas need to peak before 2030, halve by 2040, and be only a tiny part of global electricity demand by 2050.”On a positive note, the growth of renewables is expected to soar: almost 2,400 GW was installed in 2018, a doubling of capacity in ten years, and is expected to increase by another 50% (1,200GW) in the next five years. This acceleration needs to increase if CO2 emissions are to peak soon and reduce rapidly to at least 45% below 2010 levels by 2030, and to do this governments need to stop supporting fossil fuels in the market.

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Climate crisis demands more government action as emissions rise

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 21 giugno 2019

Bonn. Amid growing public concern as climate impacts start to bite, governments must take bold action to address the rise in greenhouse gas emissions, but most of them are not, said the Climate Action Tracker at the Bonn climate talks today, as it released its latest update of government action.The CAT has updated its assessments of 21 of the 32 countries it rates (see page 8 of the briefing for key countries).“We are seeing an increasing number of Governments beginning to talk about net zero emissions by or before 2050, but we also know that we must halve global emissions by 2030 in order to keep the 1.5˚C goal alive, and most governments are nowhere near the action they need to take,” said Professor Niklas Höhne of NewClimate Institute.Last year, energy-related carbon dioxide emissions reached an historic high, with more than a third of emissions from coal, but the fastest-growing source is from natural gas, which grew 4.6% from 2017 to 2018.The US, India and China were responsible for 85% of the global rise in energy-related carbon dioxide emissions over the past year, and renewable energy additions have stagnated after 20 years of strong growth. Methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, has accelerated in recent years, likely due to increasing emissions from oil and gas production. “Public concern is rising fast, with global movements like Fridays for Future and Extinction Rebellion pushing governments toward action as people take to the streets. As we turn from climate change to a climate crisis, the public priority is rising, and we expect Governments to take bold action,” said Höhne.There are key governments – the EU, China and India – who are likely to meet or exceed their Paris targets and can increase their action substantially as they haven’t reached the level of ‘highest possible ambition’ as stated in the Paris Agreement.“Although the overall picture is not good there are signs of progress with a number of countries moving forward, including Costa Rica, Chile and the UK with new zero emissions targets and other actions,” he said.
It has been reported that up to 80 countries may announce new targets later this year at the UN Secretary General’s Summit in September, which is in preparation for 2020, when countries are expected to increase the ambition of their Paris Agreement targets.
“On a positive note, the growth in electricity produced from renewables grew 7% from 2017 to 2018, more than twice as fast that from fossil fuel-sourced power,” said Hare.

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LessonApp: Resolving the Learning Crisis with the Help of Education Technology

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 19 febbraio 2019

Global education is in crisis. Majority of children do go to school, but the learning results are poor. Teachers in many countries are lacking quality teacher training.
“The reality struck us when we were travelling in emerging countries to train teachers. Many of the teachers we met were doing their best, but they didn’t have the resources or skills to develop their teaching competence,” Ellimaija Ahonen, Co-Founder and CEO of LessonApp says.“During this era of unlimited flow of information and efficient communication technology, how is it possible, that we cannot offer basic pedagogical knowledge and tools for every teacher around the world?” Johanna Järvinen-Taubert, teacher trainer and Co-Founder of LessonApp questions. “Coming from Finland, a land of excellent learning results and a strong ethos of equality, this seemed fundamentally unfair to us.” To tackle this challenge, a mobile lesson planning tool for teachers called LessonApp was developed.Team LessonApp aims to equip teachers with the understanding of the learning process and, with the tools provided by the app, to help teachers plan efficient and inspiring lessons themselves. The ultimate purpose is to offer quality education for all and increase the joy of learning in classrooms – for both students and teachers.LessonApp Premium was launched on Saturday 16th February 2019 in Malta. “This pioneer collaboration with Ministry for Education of Malta provides every primary teacher an access to LessonApp Premium. We are excited and looking forward to hearing the results and feedback,” Johanna Järvinen-Taubert summarizes.

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European public opinion and the EU following the peak of the migration crisis/Les opinions publiques européennes et l’UE après le pic de la crise migratoire

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 9 luglio 2017

European public opinionAt the end of 2015, the difficult rise of favourable attitudes to the EU suddenly stopped, along with the development of a major migration crisis. How have these attitudes changed since then? What is the state of the public opinion one year on? What are the attitudes of citizens in European countries with regard to immigration?In this Policy Paper, Daniel Debomy, director of OPTEM and Alain Tripier, director of Sereho, start by providing an overview of opinion on the European Union in its various member states, analysing the results of the European Commission’s Eurobarometer surveys, in addition to some aspects based on data from the European Parliament’s Parlemeter surveys.Analysis of opinion in the different countries confirms the observation of a great disparity within the EU; however, a majority of citizens are not breaking away from the European project even if they are increasingly expressing dissatisfaction and concern.As the peak of the migration crisis passed, despite a decline in 2016, immigration clearly remains the most important concern for the EU in citizens’ opinion, and a problem for their country amid other economic and social concerns. The analysis conducted on these points does, however, highlight highly contrasting attitudes.
À la fin de l’année 2015, la difficile remontée, après la crise économique, des attitudes favorables à l’UE avait connu un coup d’arrêt, en parallèle du développement d’une crise migratoire de grande ampleur. Comment ces attitudes ont-elle évolué depuis lors et quel est leur état un an plus tard? Quelles sont les attitudes des citoyens des pays européens à l’égard de l’immigration? Dans ce Policy Paper, Daniel Debomy, directeur d’OPTEM et Alain Tripier, directeur de Sereho, font d’abord le point sur l’état de l’opinion à l’égard de l’Union européenne dans les différents États membres, en analysant des résultats fournis par les enquêtes Eurobaromètre de la Commission européenne, complétés sur certains aspects par celles du Parlemètre du Parlement européen. Les analyses de l’opinion dans les différents pays confirment le constat d’une grande disparité au sein de l’UE ; néanmoins, dans leur majorité, les citoyens ne rompent pas avec le projet européen même s’ils expriment de façon croissante insatisfactions et inquiétudes.Le pic de crise migratoire passé, malgré un certain repli en 2016, l’immigration reste clairement le problème le plus important pour l’UE aux yeux des citoyens, et un problème pour leur pays au milieu d’autres préoccupations de nature économique et sociale. Les analyses effectuées sur ces sujets mettent toutefois en évidence des attitudes très contrastées. (Photo: European public opinion)

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Taking the ‘crisis’ out of migration: integration in the EU

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 16 marzo 2017

scuolaRisk of school segregation, discrimination and restrictions to political participation can form insurmountable barriers to the integration of migrants in EU society, as a new report from the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) shows. It examines integration strategies across the EU, providing clear evidence of the successes and failures of current policy and recommending changes in order to build a stronger and more cohesive Europe.“The migrants living in the EU are not part of a ‘crisis’, but an integral part of our society. We need a new narrative that stresses the benefits that migrants, their children and their children’s children bring to our societies,” says FRA Director Michael O’Flaherty. “Integration is key to our security and to our democracy.”
There are some 20 million non-EU citizens living in the EU. Many have settled and started families. However, despite efforts from 2004 to follow common principles to guide and improve integration across the EU, Member States have widely different approaches to guide and improve integration and inclusion across the EU.The report Together in the EU: Promoting the participation of migrants and their descendants identifies and compares policies across the EU in areas important for successful integration. These include:
Education: Migrant pupils face some form of school segregation in around half of EU Member States, often despite efforts by the authorities to prevent it. This depicts a worrying reality of migrants and natives living in divided societies.
Youth: Fewer than half of Member States have action plans or strategies explicitly addressing youth with a migrant background, even though they can be important to avoid marginalisation, alienation and radicalisation.
Discrimination: 16 Member States do not protect migrants against discrimination on the basis of their nationality or status as migrant, refugee or foreigner, which can mask ethnic and racial discrimination.
Language: Few Member States provide courses to all residents with limited language proficiency, including citizens of migrant background. At the same time, language learning programmes are rarely linked to employment, and job-specific or on-the-job language training courses are uncommon.
As well as examining the national integration policies and strategies across the EU that determine the social and political participation of migrants and their descendants, the report also identifies examples of good practices that can be used or adapted for use in other national contexts.

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Terrorist threat and refugee crisis: French and German answers/Menace terroriste et crise des réfugiés : réponses franco-allemandes

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 24 gennaio 2017

tribuneOn the anniversary of the Franco-German Treaty of the Elysée we issue a declaration from the “Think Tanks Tandem”, series of meetings organised between representatives of French and German think-tanks.
The challenges created by the threat of terrorism and the migrant crisis are so important that they could affect Franco-German relations, on a governmental level as well as on citizen level, especially if the the populist and anti-European actors from the two countries manage to provoke closure reflexes using these challenges in interior politics.
The necessity for tight cooperation is therefore more obvious today than ever before. If our two countries become closer the cooperation in the face of these challenges could consolidate not just Franco-German relations, but also the cohesion of the European Union.
Tribune par Yves Bertoncini, Gilles Finchelstein, Marcel Grignard, Julie Hamann, Ronja Kempin, Guillaume Klossa, Nicole Koenig, Martin Koopmann, Jean-Paul Maulny, Marc-Olivier Padis, Sophie Pornschlegel, Dominic Schwickert, Stefan Seidendorf, Hans Stark
Texte intégralTexte intégral. À l’occasion de l’anniversaire du traité franco-allemand de l’Elysée, nous vous adressons une déclaration issue du “Think Tanks Tandem”, série de rencontres organisées entre des représentants de think tanks français et allemands.
Les défis que représentent la menace terroriste et la crise des réfugiés sont à tel point importants qu’ils pourraient affecter les relations franco-allemandes, tant à l’échelon gouvernemental qu’à celui des citoyens. A fortiori si les acteurs populistes et anti-européens des deux pays parvenaient à attiser des réflexes de repli en instrumentalisant ces défis sur le plan de la politique intérieure.
La nécessité de coopérer étroitement est donc plus évidente aujourd’hui que jamais. Si nos deux pays font un pas l’un vers l’autre, la coopération face à ces défis pourra consolider non seulement les relations franco-allemandes, mais aussi la cohésion de toute l’Union européenne.(photo: tribune)

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Reboot euro: lessons learned from European Economic Governance

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 13 giugno 2016

Lieven TACKFor roughly half of its existence, the euro has been struggling to overcome the most serious financial and economic crisis since the establishment of the European Community in the 1950s. In particular, unemployment in the eurozone rose rapidly from 7.6 percent at the start of the crisis in 2008 to a record high of 12 percent in 2013. In addition, public debt grew from 70 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2008 to 94 percent last year. These record numbers will remain in our memory for a long time to come.
The response of the European Union and the eurozone to the crisis has focused on three areas: In response to the drying-up of the financial markets after the toxic bubble of unbridled securitisation burst, monetary easing flooded markets with excessive amounts of cheap credit. Hopeless as ever, the European Central Bank (ECB) reached deep into its toolbox and launched impressive asset buying operations (Securities Market Programme, Outright Monetary Transactions and Targeted Long-Term Refinancing Operations).Simultaneously, ECB president Draghi drastically lowered interest rates, soon followed by commercial rates tumbling to practically zero percent. Several spending programmes were launched within a relaxed state aid regime, largely aimed at the recapitalisation of the banking system. Southern European Member States in distress were sustained on a drip thanks to a brand new Treaty-based permanent rescue fund worth 700 billion euro (the European Stability Mechanism). Another European fund, totalling 315 billion euro, was set up for investments in infrastructure, research, innovation and the business sector (the European Fund for Strategic Investments).
An ambitious package of structural reforms in labour and product markets was agreed upon (Europe 2020). In addition to this long-term growth strategy, rigorously enforced rules for maintaining public deficits and debts (the Sixpack and the Twopack)[5],[6] and economic imbalances (the Macroeconomic Imbalance Procedure) below specific limits are part of the EU’s ‘new economic governance’. This new surveillance system for budgetary and economic policies focuses on anti-cyclical government finances and is coordinated and monitored in the context of the ‘European Semester’.The whole set of anti-crisis measures will pave the way for the achievement of a deep and genuine Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) by 2025. The roadmap for this fully fledged EMU includes two stages. The first step aims to create an economic union, a fiscal union and a financial union (including the Banking Union).It will be followed by a Commission White Paper in Spring 2017 that will put forward proposals for a more binding convergence process and a euro-area treasury.
In conclusion, the future of our common currency strongly depends on the willingness of our politicians to implement the reform agenda of a politically and economically divided continent. This is only realistic insofar as EU leaders show unity and courage to press the reboot button ‘Ctrl-Alt-Del’: Ctrl = control the current crisis and protect us against inevitable future shocks; Alt = focus on change and step up structural reforms; Del = get rid of imbalances and bridge socio-economic divergences. The euro is staring into an abyss and concerted and decisive action is urgently needed to pull it back! (photo: Lieven TACK)

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The refugee crisis: A European call for action

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 26 marzo 2016

refugee crisisThe leaders of the seven think tanks and foundations that are involved in the Vision Europe initiative have addressed an open letter to the President of the European Council, the President of the European Commission and to the Prime Ministers of the 28 EU member states to stress the need to act in unity at the European level as a matter of urgency.The Jacques Delors Institute takes part to the Vision Europe project, a consortium of think tanks and foundations collaborating to address some of the most pressing public policy challenges facing Europe. Through research, publications and an annual summit, we aim to be a forum for debate and a source of recommendations to improve evidence-based policy-making at both a national and EU level and to foster as appropriate European integration. In 2015 we commonly worked on “The Future of the Welfare State”; for the year 2016, the Vision Europe initiative will developing innovative policy recommendations on how to improve the response to the crisis of migrants and refugees in Europe.(photo: refugee crisis)

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Syria must not be a silent crisis for women and girls says IPPF

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 6 febbraio 2016

siriaIn reaction to yesterday’s pledges made from donor governments to Syria’s aid conference in London, IPPF Director General Tewodros Melesse said more action should be taken to ensure that sexual and reproductive health and rights are at the centre of humanitarian efforts.Mr Melesse stated that “We have seen some great progress today and we must celebrate that governments have come together to tackle one of the largest humanitarian crises we have seen in a long time. But we must not forget that in the response, sexual and reproductive health services should also be a top priority.Women and girls are disproportionately influenced by humanitarian crises exposed to early marriage, trafficking, rape, forced pregnancies, unattended service delivery during complicated pregnancies and delivery.We could save lives by putting money and efforts into an integrated comprehensive package on reproductive health into the standard humanitarian response. IPPF has been doing this for years, our staff work on both sides of the border and on the frontline. Beyond the immediate crisis, we also work with those affected, for the long term”.In Syria 46,500 women will suffer gender-based violence, including rape, as a result of the ongoing conflict. This shows a great need to ensure that the human rights of women and girls are protected and able to access sexual and reproductive healthcare.
IPPF Member, the Syrian Family Planning Association is on the front line when it comes to dealing with the less-reported consequence of every war- sexual and reproductive health and rights.Syrian Family Planning Association Executive Director Dr. Lama said ” When a woman comes to our services they are typically lost and without hope. Our indicator of success is that we help the hopeless to have hope.”
Over the last 10 years, IPPF has reached millions of people during floods, conflicts, earthquakes, cyclones. When health care often collapsed, our Member Associations continued to reach the underserved, which makes up three quarters of IPPF clients.

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European filmmakers deliver refugee crisis appeal to European Parliament

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 22 ottobre 2015

European Parliament President Martin-schulz, Civil Liberties Committee Chair Claude Moraes and Culture Committee Chair Silvia Costa received an appeal today by European filmmakers on the current refugee crisis in Europe – “For A Thousand Lives: Be Human”.The delegation of European film directors and actors of various nationalities called on the European Union to take measures to ensure that member states respond to the refugee crisis by acting jointly, in solidarity, and with humanity, in accordance with the EU’s founding values.After receiving the filmmakers’ appeal, President Schulz said: “I welcome very warmly this initiative. The majority of Europeans favours helping refugees. With this initiative and many others by civil society, we show that we stay mobilized to find a fair solution in a spirit of solidarity and humanity”.”European filmmakers came to the Parliament today because they understand the power of images and that the European Union is also a Union of values in the midst of the refugee crisis. For this reason, they are right to speak out on refugees, as the winter sets in, to call on member states to shake off their complacency and populism, and focus on a practical, organised, compassionate action in place of inertia”, added Civil Liberties Committee Chair Claude Moraes. “Cinema, creativity and culture have a crucial role in raising citizens’ awareness and the responsibility of national and European institutions. We are delighted to have received at the European Parliament the call from directors and actors who, with their valuable work, can give a voice and eyes to the dramatic situation of refugees. We share with them the goal of a more cohesive and inclusive Europe”, concluded Culture Committee Chair Silvia Costa.
Claude Moraes and Silvia Costa held a press conference at 14.30 with French director Michel Hazanavicius (5 Oscars, 6 Césars, 7 Baftas, and 3 Golden Globes for “The Artist”), Italian actress and director Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, German cinema icon Hanna Schygulla, French director Laurent Cantet (Palme d’or for “Entre les murs”), and Polish actor Andrzej Chyra.

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Refugees: MEPs call for humanitarian response and overhaul of asylum rules

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 8 ottobre 2015

turchia-ist3The new scheme to relocate asylum seekers from Greece and Italy to other EU member states, dialogue with Turkey on cooperation to stem and manage migration flows, and budget measures to respond to the unprecedented refugee crisis, were among the topics tackled in Tuesday morning’s debate with European Council President Donald Tusk and Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on the outcome of the 23 September informal EU summit.
MEPs regretted the European Council’s apparent lack of ambition to tackle the most serious refugee crisis since World War II. Some advocated reforming the Dublin rules (for determining which member state is responsible for handling asylum applications), opening legal migration channels and fighting smugglers criminal networks. Measures such as strengthening controls at the EU’s external borders and identifying, registering and fingerprinting migrants at the “hotspots” were also addressed in the debate.
Humanitarian concern for refugees as winter draws nigh
The humanitarian situation of refugees within the EU and neighbouring countries was the focus of a second debate with Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans and Luxembourg’s minister for relations with the European Parliament during the Presidency of the Council of the EU, Nicolas Schmit.
“The tough period is now, we can expect to see an increase in refugee flows before we are fully into the winter months. This is also a time when difficult decisions have to be taken to ensure the ‘hotspots’ are fully implemented and the budget is made available for the very EU responses the Council has committed to”, said the Chair of the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee, responsible for migration and asylum, Claude Moraes (S&D, UK). (full statement)
Migration will also be high on the agenda of the Justice and Home Affairs Council on 8-9 October and of the next European summit on 15-16 October.
Parliament and Council to co-decide on migration and asylum rulesThe European Commission’s current proposals under the co-decision procedure, on which Parliament and Council legislate on an equal footing, are for:a permanent relocation mechanism for asylum seekers within the EU – rapporteur: Timothy Kirkhope (ECR, UK),an EU common list of safe countries of origin – rapporteur: Sylvie Guillaume (S&D, FR),changes to the Dublin rules for determining which member state is responsible for processing applications for international protection of unaccompanied minors – rapporteur: Cecilia Wikström (ALDE, SE),a review of the EU Visa Code, including provisions on humanitarian visas – rapporteur: Juan Fernando López Aguilar (S&D, ES),a legal migration measure on entry and living conditions for non-EU students and researchers – rapporteur: Cecilia Wikström (ALDE, SE), andthe “smart borders” package, including a proposal for an “entry-exit system” to prevent overstaying in the EU, and thus irregular migration – rapporteurs: Agustín Díaz de Mera (EPP, ES), for the entry-exit system, and Tanja Fajon (S&D, SL), for the registered traveller programme (the Commission is expected to present a new “smart borders” package in late 2015/early 2016).

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Migration and refugee crisis: MEPs’ debate with UNHCR Guterres and EU Commission

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 17 settembre 2015

mediterraneoMeasures to deal with the migration and refugee crisis as well as the situation in transit countries in the Mediterranean region were debated at a joint hearing held by the Foreign Affairs, Home Affairs, Human Rights committees on Tuesday morning. MEPs expressed disappointment at the outcome of Monday’s Justice and Home Affairs Council meeting and urged EU to shoulder its responsibilities.
The debate began with contributions from by Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Elmar Brok (EPP, DE), Justice and Home Affairs Committee Chair Claude Moraes (S&D, UK), EU foreign chief Federica Mogherini, Commissioner for migration Dimitris Avramopoulos, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres and Human Rights Subcommittee Chair Elena Valenciano (S&D, ES) before members of the parliaments of Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia and Turkey as well as MEPs took the floor and voiced the views of their respective countries and political groups.

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EU pledges €450 million to Ebola affected countries

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 13 luglio 2015

virus-ebolaToday the European Commission will pledge approximately €450 million to support the recovery of the three countries most affected by Ebola – Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. This will be announced by Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid & Crisis Management and EU Ebola Coordinator, Christos Stylianides, at the International Ebola Recovery Conference taking place in New York and organised by the United Nations. Announcing the funding, Commissioner Stylianides said: “The emergency is not over until we are down to zero Ebola cases. With some new cases in Liberia we remain on high alert and our determination to eradicate Ebola is stronger than ever. Now is not the time to pull back.” A press release and a factsheet are available online.

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