The EU is as busy as ever! The new President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen just announced the nominations for the new Commissioners, who will shape the course of Europe in the next five years (if approved, of course). Facing an unprecedentedly fragmented European Parliament at home and unpredictable allies as well as enemies abroad, there are many difficult tasks ahead.
The challenges ahead
The new EU leadership will have to try to heal the divides that have opened between member states on issues such as migration, rule of law or fiscal deficits, while insisting on adherence to the EU’s core values and principles.
Maintaining a united front will particularly matter for Brexit; the British Parliament seems unlikely to be able to reach a sensible agreement by the latest deadline and so it will be up to European leaders to decide whether they want to prolong the Brexit torment by another couple of months or to deal with the consequences of the UK exiting on October 31 without a deal.
With the impending trade war between the United States and China and the US’s increasingly reluctant support of the North Atlantic alliance, Europe has to start fending for itself. But while the EU has championed free trade agreements with countries around the globe, the plans for European Defence Union have stalled. In innovation, Europe has been lagging far behind China and the US, while foreign tech companies have reaped benefits from having access to the single market without paying the corresponding price in taxes.
Europe has striven to become a leader in sustainable growth and fight against climate change, but diverging interests of different member states may yet thwart these efforts. In her speech to the European Parliament, Von der Leyen promised to make European Green Deal a priority of her agenda. But will she have what it takes to push it through? And is Europe ready to step up?
Where we come in
All these issues are of vital importance for young people in Europe. They will continue to impact our lives for years after the people who are now in charge are long gone. It is therefore our duty to keep ourselves informed on what our representatives are planning and get ourselves directly involved in Europe’s agenda if we can.
For these reasons, European Generation wants to be a place where young people come to learn about how the EU works, the problems that it is facing and the results it has accomplished. By discussing their views with their peers, our members come to appreciate issues from many different sides and make their opinions more well-informed. By connecting young people with experts and policy makers, we encourage the new generation of Europeans in becoming active citizens.
This year we are planning plenty of events where you will be able to meet with other students who are passionate about Europe. We are inviting experts from both academia and business as well as public officials to give us insight into the issues that are defining Europe today. Every week we will publish articles on a topic that has captured our attention and you will be able to read what our writers have to say about it.
We encourage members to actively participate in European affairs and that’s why next semester we are organizing the European Youth Debate. For the fourth year in a row, 100 young people from all over Europe will gather in Milan for three days of discussions, networking and fun, proposing a resolution which will be sent to the European Parliament and other supporting institutions.
We have our work cut out for us. Will you join us in our mission?
To speak with us in person, stop by our stand during Associations On Display on Thursday September 12, where we’ll be ready to answer any questions you may have, or come to our Open Meeting, which will be held next Wednesday on September 18.
If we’ve already convinced you to join us, fill out the application form here!
European Generation Executive Board