The kids are (not) alright: While young Europeans are politically engaging for ends like Fridays for Future or Black Lives Matter, the minimum age to vote - a basic aspect of political participation - remains 18 in almost all Member States. Considering that the European Parliament already recommended lowering the voting age in 2015, how can the EU finally enhance these rights for young people?
Edu technology: A significant disruption in the educational systems, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, expedited the transition to remote learning and drew attention to the role of digital technologies in education. With artificial intelligence (AI) currently high on the political and research agenda, how can the EU rationally prepare its Member States' educational systems for such technological development, balancing both the threats and opportunities surrounding AI?
What goes around, comes around: The European Commission adopted the new Circular Economy Action Plan (CEAP) in 2020 as a part of the European Green Deal. Bearing in mind that the transition towards a circular economy is necessary for the EU to reach its 2050 climate neutrality target, how can the EU move forward from a linear model of production and consumption toward a more sustainable future?
Home, cheap home: Irish taoiseach Micheál Martin called housing the “most urgent social issue facing our country” but all across Europe, from Dublin to Athens, more and more people struggle to afford the rising costs of housing, especially young people. How can the EU ensure access to decent and affordable housing as a human right for all Europeans?
Can you pay my bills? Based on the 2020 Resolution of the European Parliament, a long-standing discussion about unpaid internships seems to still be asking questions about whether they are a necessary bridge between education and employment or an opportunity for businesses to take advantage of free labour. Should the European governments take further steps and act to protect the working conditions of stagiaires and interns across the continent?
Moving to post-COVID health: With the current pandemic, healthcare faced increased difficulties in accommodating patients and delivering the care needed to citizens. Aware of the importance of a resilient health sector, how can the EU further strengthen the healthcare infrastructure while ensuring a better prevention of future health crises?
#LawForShe: In September 2021, Members of the European Parliament suggested making gender-based violence a crime under EU law, which would allow for common legal definitions, standards and minimum criminal penalties throughout the EU. With the number of women who lose their lives to domestic violence every week in the EU increasing during lockdown and restrictions making the reporting process even more difficult, how can a better EU framework be created across Europe to successfully combat gender-based violence?
Face not recognised: While the EU’s 2021 Artificial Intelligence (AI) Act aims to regulate AI technology, human rights groups say that it is leaving citizens vulnerable, for example to discrimination. How can the EU become ready for the digital age, while also upholding European values and fundamental rights?
Unbreaking the news: the press and media in the EU are under threat from political interference and takeovers by media giants. As media freedom and pluralism are fundamental EU values, the European Commission plans to enact a Media Freedom Act later in 2022. With details still being developed, how should it ensure independence and resilience for the EU media market?
All in this together?: Regional inequalities remain a pervasive problem in European cohesion, with disparities in income, wellbeing, and living standards existing both between and within Member States. As the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) focuses on building a more competitive and greener future for Europe in 2021-2027, how can the EU ensure this future is enjoyed equally across the European regions?