Democracy online or on the line? During the COVID-19 pandemic, Member States increasingly replaced physical processes with online portals and mobile apps, despite 10% of EU citizens never having used the internet. Considering the need for inclusivity in the political process, how can the EU best support the secure digital transformation of Member States and ensure its accessibility to all citizens?
For the language of the unheard: Despite being home to more than 50 million citizens belonging to linguistic and national minorities, the EU has often been criticised for a lack of comprehensive legislative action that would promote cultural diversity. Considering the momentum behind citizen initiatives such as the ‘Minority SafePack’, what steps should the EU take to effectively safeguard linguistic minority rights whilst ensuring language equality?
Better have my money: With the COVID-19 pandemic increasing the uncertainty around citizens’ incomes and national job retention schemes proving largely unsustainable, the concept of a Universal Basic Income (UBI) has gained more traction across Member States. Considering the results of UBI trials before and during the pandemic, what stance should the EU adopt towards such a scheme to provide an adequate economic safety net for its citizens?
Here to Learn: Despite studies for the Council of the EU showing that 25% of female students have experienced gender-based violence in academia, this issue is still receiving limited attention by European institutions and actively harming women’s educational prospects. What measures should the European Union and Member States take in order to ensure a safe future for women in higher education?
Fair and Square: Thanks to their commitment to providing a sustainable standard of earning for farmers in developing countries, Fair Trade arrangements have gained widespread global popularity and attracted a large number of companies worldwide. Considering the lack of common definitions and credible quality assessment for Fair Trade labels, how can the EU continue supporting this initiative while adopting a clear strategy on International Fair Trade?
Total Eclipse of Energy: The EU Energy Poverty Observatory is reporting alarming instances of EU-wide energy poverty and limited access to affordable energy, with 32 million Europeans struggling to keep their houses warm due to high energy costs. Considering the European Commission’s 2020 Recommendation on Energy Poverty, how can Member States implement strategies for energy efficiency and explore alternative resources to decrease the economic burden on vulnerable households?
It’s a bird, it’s a plane: The European Parliament has urged Member States to adopt a common position on the use of armed drones, while international actors such as the Council of Europe have condemned targeted drone strikes as violating human rights. With Member States increasingly adding armed drones to their arsenals and employing drone strikes abroad, how can the EU uphold its Defence Policy while combating human rights violations?