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Blog of YEPP's board

 

Last Sunday I wrote an opinion in one of Malta's newspapers on the outcome of the EPP Summit and Congress held a few weeks ago. Indeed, it was a historical summit as the decisions made by our leaders will perhaps change the way we think when it comes to the euro and EU fiscal policy. We all have come to realise that a decision taken in Athens effects the markets in Germany. But perhaps we all knew this - and failed to take the necessary actions. Had this been the case, the EPP Congress would not have been historic and there would not have been the need for historic decisions to be taken.

The majority of Member States have now accepted the fact that failing to respect the 3% annual deficit and 60% debt will lead to automatic sanctions. Some Member States adhered to these thresholds without the need to have sanctions implied directly upon them - it is evident however, that others failed to do so. As to the latter, today's peoples have to make good for wrong decisions which have been taken in the past. Today's decisions will ensure that tomorrow's people will not need to pay for wrong decisions we take today - simply because these decisions are right, just and responsible towards a sustainable future.

 
Intergenerational Justice

 
Centre of European Studies (CES), organised a panel discussion on the future of the Euro in the EPP Congress in Marseilles. Prime Minister of Finland, former YouthEPP board member, Jyrki Katainen and Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orban were both talking about the importance of saving the Euro and solidarity. As the representative of the YouthEPP I had to ask a question about intergenerational justice and the then upcoming European Council meeting. Since I'm studying in the UK, and as you all must know, the UK has imposed some heavy austerity measures, and rightly so bearing in mind that their deficit was close to Greece's deficit, well over 10%. Large budget cuts were imposed on all Government Departments, usually between 10-20% but the cuts on Higher Education were quite considerably higher, around 40%. This led to the fact that, tuition fees in British Universities will go up from the current £3400 up to £9000 in the autumn of 2012. When solidarity is mentioned, we should not only think about solidarity between citizens or people within the EU but solidarity and justice between generations. 

 

It was a great experience to participate in the founding Congress of PSDB, the biggest opposition party in Brasil, where I was invited to share my experience and thoughts on the political situation. As sister countries they are familiar with our work in Portugal at the level of the Party and JSD and our practices are always a useful example for their initiatives. Brazil plays a very important role in global politics, being the leading country of the South American League. The President of Brazil, Dilma and her party are facing numerous corruption problems.

The other 2 international guests were Juan Carlos Martinez, one of the youth leaders of Primero Justicia, Opposition Party in Venezuela, and Collin Jergens member of Barack Obama's campaign team.

 

"Dear Mr. President, Dear Delegates,

This congress is rightly devoted to the need for renewal. We can only agree that the EPP has a clear commitment to give a new momentum to the European project. However, we also have to make it clear, that this is not possible without the support of the generations to follow.

The youth are among those who are most affected by the crisis in Europe. The rate of youth unemployment exceeded 20 percent, and we are largely exposed to the consequences of high public deficit. Let me recall that an average European citizen faces a debt of around 20.000 euros. That sum that to be paid back mostly by the future generations.

This is a heavy burden that might have serious consequences: political apathy or more openness to political extremism. Therefore, the proposals to fight against debts, the struggle for more financial discipline and the creation of new jobs is something that is very much in the interest of the future generations as well. Solidarity must prevail not just between countries, but also between generations.

 
Alexander Milinkewitsch and Vice President of YEPP Benedict Pöttering Marseille

Alexander Milinkewitsch and Vice President of YEPP Benedict Pöttering

France. During the Congress of the mother party of YEPP, the EPP, in Marseille members of the YEPP have had plenty opportunities to meet and talk to various political leaders and strong personalities also of non EU countries. During a short chat with Aljaksandr Milinkewitsch, one of the leading persons of the opposition in Belarus, Benedict reassured Aljaksandr Milinkewitsch that YEPP supports the opposition movement in Belarus and especially the young people who are fighting for human rights and freedom in their country day by day.

 

Just a small note to begin with: The European Youth Forum (YFJ) is the official platform of all Youth Organizations in Europe, consists of National Youth Councils and International NGOs and is a recognized partner of the European Commission, the European Parliament, the Council of Europe and the United Nations.

I had the opportunity last weekend to represent YEPP at the Council of Members on the occasion of the CoE Advisory Council elections. Together with Duarte and Emanuele, we attended a number of meetings, policy commissions, working groups and plenary sessions. On our first night discussion with our friends from the sister Organizations DEMYC and EDS, we decided be as participative as possible. The centre right "trio" had a candidate for the elections so we wanted to create a positive impression.

For those of you who have attended our Council Meetings - believe me - it's a completely different experience. With 200 young europeans, all with their very own view on every issue, it's practically impossible to reach any kind of consensus. Endless information on countless topics with background knowledge that takes months - if not years - to get full knowledge on. Hundreds of abreviations that you have to remember because they are used in every sentence. In other words, not easy.

 

 
The past 20th November a huge majority of the Spanish decided to finish with the socialist government and granted absolute confidence in the party led by Mariano Rajoy. With a 44.62% of votes the PP has now the responsibility to carry out all the necessary reforms to Spain to leave the crisis and begin a new phase of economic recovery and job growth.
 
Unfortunately, the young people has been the most affected by the socialist politics, with almost 45% of youth unemployment. Due to that fact, they have been extremely participative in this campaign, which has been reflected in social networks, as Facebook and Twitter. Nuevas Generaciones, the youth organization of PP, has developed an online campaign which have been followed by millions of young people.
 
We hope that  the Partido Popular’s victory will be the beginning of the change for Spain.   

 

Last night was remarkable, the victory, the historic numbers of this result for Partido Popular, but especially the responsibility shown by Mariano Rajoy and his 'inner circle' during the victory speech. Despite this astonishing result, and the consequent defeat of PSOE, PP leader has shown to all country that is now the President of all Spanish citizens, no matter who they voted for, no matter their political views. Everybody is needed to put Spain back on track and to get the country growing again.

Being present on a day like this, in the PP headquarters was a true honor for me thanks to the huge efforts of Maria Fuster who introduce me to all PP leading figures. I felt at home, in our EPP family. I was present at the very beginning of a new era, of a new opportunity for Spain, for the EPP political family, a new beginning for Europe itself.

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