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The Roundtables

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European Energy (R)Evolution

The issue of energy security in Europe remains a critical challenge for the European Union. Fuelled by the recent uncertainty of energy supply, macroeconomic and political instability, as well as the global climate crisis, this multidimensional problem is a core concern for all European states. The Energy (R)Evolution roundtable will target two main dimensions of energy security: a just green transition and differentiation of secure energy resources. 

A sustainable and feasible energy independence of Europe requires a high emphasis on green transition. Many steps have been taken by the EU to achieve this goal, such as the REpowerEU plan and the EU Green Deal. Driven by the necessity to diversify suppliers and the future energy concerns the climate crisis brings, these initiatives are the main components of a sustainable energy evolution in Europe. This year's EYD aims to discuss the EU’s decarbonisation and energy security concerns, as well as to highlight the societal drawbacks this transition could bring. The discussion focuses on possible challenges of the transition such as job loss and the inequalities between different EU countries.

Secondly, we encourage discussion of differentiation options in regards to the EU’s energy generation. This roundtable aims to develop a policy proposal that includes ideas concerning electricity generation, renewable energy usage, and considering different resources such as nuclear power to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 while also taking into account funding and infrastructure debates and presenting suggestions of EU involvement in this transition.



The development of digital and, more recently, AI technology is set to disrupt the way we go about life: from the value we place on our privacy, to the reliability of our electoral processes, to how we will be able to develop our careers. 


The widespread scope of the consequences that AI will have on society has drawn the attention of regulators. In the EU, several acts regarding the welfare of citizens have already been elaborated and approved, with the most notable examples being the GDPR, covering the privacy and security of users’ data, and the AI Act, regulating the admissibility of AI technology in a wide range of activities.


It is crucial to understand that the challenges we will have to face are multifaceted and ever-evolving, as technology becomes increasingly capable and sophisticated, and thus call for a continuous regulatory effort. At the same time, we must recognise the productivity-enhancing potential of AI, and account for the governance strategies that our allies and our rivals will employ, to make sure the EU can stay competitive. 


The Digital & AI Policy Roundtable is therefore the place to come up with and jointly discuss policy proposals that will allow the EU to strike the delicate balance between growth and security, developing an institutional environment that fosters innovation while controlling for who will bear the positives and negatives of the AI revolution. The discussion shall revolve around the following three macro areas of citizens’ life: individual rights, political rights, and economic rights. 



In recent years, the international situation worsened: global tensions and uncertainty are rising. With the war in Ukraine still raging, the regime changes in Africa, the increase in violence in the Middle East, the threat of a new conflict in the Chinese Sea and the risk of US withdrawal from NATO, a common European Security and Foreign agenda is needed more than ever.

Nowadays, the EU has to face its structural inefficiencies. With the current mechanisms of governance, the consolidated security mechanisms in Europe seem to be impossible, while the defense forces of member states remain uncoordinated. In addition, heavily importing strategic goods, such as microchips, the EU cannot secure its stable position in the world. Finally, the foreign partnership networks of the EU are shrinking, while the influence of its competitors is spreading.


In this context, our roundtable focuses the debate on policy areas emerging with the aim to cover the main problems behind the actual European strategic situation described.


We will hence cover this issue working firstly on the Strategic autonomy and how can the EU become more independent from other global players in its defense choices and actions. Being this the precondition to open a discussion on reforming the decision-making process of the European defense system. We’ll analyse the introduction of a common European defense agency as a mean to coordinate the national armies while guaranteeing member states’ sovereignty. Lastly we will discuss over the possible coordinated actions and missions  to ensure a reprisal of European Foreign influence, guaranteeing the safety of European foreign relations.



Is the European Union failing to respond to humanitarian crises effectively? 


For many people, immigration is the issue dividing the European Union. Following conflicts across the Middle East and North Africa, many immigrants have tried to enter Europe. Although the EU has signed a problematic agreement with Turkey to keep refugees out, immigration remains the top issue concerning the Member States, boosting the support for far-right parties across the continent. Apart from the issue of immigration and its consequent social impacts, women’s rights is another topic that the Union has been struggling with. Gender-based violence and femicide are complex matters that are deeply rooted in our patriarchal societies, and it is still too common across the EU. 


Moreover, democratic backsliding continues to threaten European democracies and damages mechanisms that ensure citizens’ rights. With the surge of populist regimes across Europe, more people started to face violations of their most fundamental freedoms.  Free speech is restricted, media institutions are targeted, and the polarising rhetoric maintained in regimes like Poland and Hungary raised serious concerns about people’s liberties. 


Therefore, our roundtable will focus on how the EU fell short of addressing immigration problems and gender-based violence while also drawing attention to the problem of democratic backsliding and how it facilitates human rights violations. 

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