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EUROPE IN SPACE

The EYD Table on Space Politics will offer a place to converse and discuss about the future of Europe in the space sector.

Space is a remarkably interesting and important sector that will weigh heavily on Europe’s future. Given the fierce competition in the space economy that evolved in these last years, it is vital that Europe is not left behind in investments and opportunities. To protect the European interests, it will also be fundamental to be able to safeguard satellites, space stations and strategic technologies. The European policy also must consider sustainability both on Earth, regarding the amounts of fuel and resources used, and in space, regarding satellite de-orbit and burns.

During this debate, we will discuss core parts of European policies and strategies and be open to new options and solutions. At first, we will be focusing on the economic side of space policy, to find ways to foster innovation with new infrastructures, create more jobs in the sector and keep a balance between cooperation and competition with non-European space agencies and companies. In the second part, we will investigate the strategic decisions that will be needed to defend militarily European interests. Eventually, in a third part, we will assess European law and what kind of framework will we need to control and monitor the actors involved in space politics.

 

ENERGY OF EUROPE

In 2019, the energy sources available in the European Union were mainly five: petroleum products (including crude oil), natural gas, renewable energy, nuclear energy and solid fossil fuels. At the same time, the energy dependence of the EU reached an all-time high of 60.5%. Considering the 2030 EU objectives of emissions reduction and the current geopolitical events challenging European energy dependence, Energy is a theme more present and controversial than ever. For this reason, we decided to constitute a table dedicated to this theme.

In detail, the debate will focus on two trending topics that are directly connected to European Energy. Firstly, we’ll examine the factors that led to the current energy crisis as well as its consequences. On the one hand, geopolitical aspects will be discussed, such as Europe’s extreme reliance on Russia while, on the other hand, important environmental aspects will be taken into consideration, such as the urgent need to transition to renewable energy. Secondly, we will address the issue of sustainable finance, focusing on the EU Green Deal and on Green Bonds. Lastly, we will reach a conclusion by proposing measures that the EU can implement in order to be more independent and achieve the decarbonisation of its economy.

 

CLIMATE AND DEVELOPMENT

How can the EU act as a role model for Developing Countries regarding the climate issue while at the same time providing them aid? Developed Countries set the goal of mobilizing $100bn of climate finance annually for Developing Countries. Delivering this $100bn goal is a totemic issue of international climate action and negotiations but such an amount of money hasn’t been delivered yet.

In the final COP 26 agreement, the Glasgow Pact, Developed Countries reaffirmed this idea of a money transfer mechanism. This, in order to help Developing Countries in facing the consequences of climate change and helping them grow sustainably. Furthermore, in the past years the idea of climate justice has been growing in popularity among younger generations and victims of climate change, the so-called MAPA (Most Affected People and Areas).

Therefore, we want you to debate around two main ideas:

  • How can the EU participate in delivering the $100bn and help Developing Countries in reaching a more sustainable condition?

  • How can the EU act as a role model in the fight against climate change (through Mitigation and Adaptation strategies) while maintaining a certain level of economic performance?

We want debaters to specifically focus on both financial and political collaboration (i.e., climate diplomacy) between countries. Moreover, we would like participants to discuss which economic means could be used in order to reach the goal of a 1.5°C rising temperature limit (e.g., new technologies, CO2 market, taxation, decarbonization, etc.).

 

THE FUTURE OF ENLARGEMENT

Even though the European Union appears to be covering the European continent for a large part, it still shows substantial gaps in the Balkans and Eastern Europe. This has also been recognised by the European Commission that published its Strategy for the Western Balkans to ensure “A credible enlargement perspective for and enhanced EU engagement with the Western Balkans”.

Given that the Union experienced an increase of Euroscepticism among its core members and the unprecedented case of a loss of one of its Member States, i.e. the United Kingdom, the political environment seems to be less favorable towards further expansions. Currently, the EU has five open accession applications coming from Turkey (2005), Montenegro (2012), Serbia (2014), North Macedonia (2020) and Albania (2020).

Our roundtable wants to address the main issues concerning the enlargement of the EU and come up with policy proposals on how to ensure the best possible integration of future members. More precisely, our table will evaluate previous enlargements and derive learnings from them. Furthermore, we would like to analyze opportunities and obstacles that new potential members provide. Eventually, we intend to conclude with the geopolitical implications of the EU‘s enlargement, addressing questions of accession requirements in the face of prevailing animosities in Europe. Finally, we aim to map our vision for the future enlargement of the European Union.