More than a band-aid: Despite the majority of European countries having pledged to contribute at least 0.7% of their gross national income to development aid, the vast majority of countries have consistently been missing this mark. With developmental aid being a central element of the common foreign policy, what steps can the EU take to meaningfully assist sustainable economic development on a global scale?
ChatGPT, what is my diagnosis?: With one in two EU residents aged 16-74 searching for health information online, the risks of self-medication and self-diagnosis are becoming increasingly prevalent, posing a threat to public health. How can Member States ensure that every citizen has access to a just and effective healthcare system while balancing the risks and potential benefits of self-care?
Women get sicker, men die quicker: In Europe, 71.6% of men report very good or good health, compared to only 66.6% women. Women’s morbidity disadvantage is in part influenced by social and institutional factors reducing the accessibility and quality of healthcare that women receive. As no Member State is yet to achieve gender equality in health, what steps should the EU take to move towards health equity and improve the quality of women's lives?
MINDful shift towards sustainability: With the uptake of environmentally friendly lifestyles among the European population failing to reflect the increased prevalence of customer-aimed sustainability interventions, such as the EU Ecolabel initiative, how can the EU utilise the latest psychological findings to facilitate this uptake, and improve the design of existing sustainability initiatives?
Cold Shoulder: The rise in gas and oil prices has left an estimated 34 million Europeans in a state of fuel poverty, with Member States such as Bulgaria, Lithuania, and Cyprus being the most heavily affected. Exacerbating this problem is the reliance of many Eastern European States on imported, mainly Russian, oil and gas, with countries such as Latvia sourcing 93% of their gas supply from Russia. What can the EU do to reduce not only fuel poverty within its Member States but also reduce their reliance on imported energy?
Euphoria: Following Portugalʼs complete decriminalisation of all drugs with its purpose of reducing crime and overdoses, the decriminalisation of drugs has become an ongoing debate on the European level. Considering the increasing rates of drug usage and dependence throughout Europe, what stance should the European Union take on the legal status of drugs?
Frequent flyers: Although European penitentiaries generally provide adequate living conditions for their inmates, the recidivism rate in Europe is still alarmingly high. Given the significant stigma faced by ex-inmates when reintegrating into society, what steps can the EU take to support their successful reintegration?
Independent, or Abandoned?: A 2021 report of the Council of Europe has showcased the worsening conditions of independent media within Europe, highlighted by the continuous erosion of media freedom and the increase in killings and imprisonment of independent journalists. How can the European Union better protect independent journalism across the continent and prevent further degradation of fundamental rights to information and free speech?
It is always darkest before the dawn: The decline of fossil fuels and heavy industry in many European regions has resulted in significant economic challenges, with local economies struggling to transition to new sectors. What actions can the European Union take to support sustainable regional development and enable former industrial regions to transition sustainably into new economic powerhouses?
Pax Europaea: With the invasion of Ukraine, many Member States increasing their military spending, and Finland joining NATO, international tensions are at a peak. Keeping in mind the ongoing discussions about a joint EU military, what further steps should the EU take to ensure the safety of its citizens, foster global peace and reassert its position as a primary player in military affairs?