European Democrat Students http://www.edsnet.eu EDS is the official student organisation of the European People’s Party (EPP). Thu, 15 Oct 2020 16:48:35 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 http://www.edsnet.eu/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Projekt-bez-tytułu-1-150x150.png European Democrat Students http://www.edsnet.eu 32 32 EDS statement supporting YRPA http://www.edsnet.eu/2020/10/eds-statement-supporting-yrpa/ http://www.edsnet.eu/2020/10/eds-statement-supporting-yrpa/#respond Thu, 15 Oct 2020 16:47:19 +0000 http://www.edsnet.eu/?p=1969 Read more]]>

EDS stands with our Member Organisation YRPA Armenia and strongly condemns the nowadays aggressive facts. What took place on the 27th of September where the Azerbaijani side launched active missile attacks along the entire line of contact targeting military positions as well as the peaceful settlements, the peaceful civilian population of Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh) including the capital Stepanakert, is unacceptable and turns the area many decades back, where cold war existed.

The aggression was massively supported by Turkey which has its military presence and which has been showing its unilateral support to Azerbaijan and continues his offensive rhetoric of invading after the EU continent also to EU partners. We call on the international community to contribute and to prevent any attempts of the ceasefire violation, which will destabilize the situation in the region. As well as to express its readiness to assist efforts for immediate de-escalation in the area.

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Statement on the Presidential Elections in Belarus http://www.edsnet.eu/2020/08/statement-on-the-presidential-elections-in-belarus/ http://www.edsnet.eu/2020/08/statement-on-the-presidential-elections-in-belarus/#respond Tue, 11 Aug 2020 15:55:54 +0000 http://www.edsnet.eu/?p=1918 Read more]]>

 

Presidential elections took place in the Republic of Belarus on 9 August. Several organisations such as the OSCE, have criticised the lack of a fair and free voting system in Belarus and the clear government ignorance to include independent observers in the election process. We can only agree with this position.

Two nights already are marred with disproportionate and unacceptable state violence against peaceful protesters. During the last two days of protests against fraudulent presidential elections, one young man was killed, many injured and an enormous three thousand people were detained.

We condemn the violence and call for the immediate release of all detained during the last two days. We urge the Belarusian authorities to stop the unacceptable violence against dissenting election results and to ensure that the fundamental human rights including the right of peaceful assembly are respected.

We stand together in solidarity with Belarusian people to defend their democratic rights and ask for the release of the actual results of the elections which have been kept secret so far.
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EDS Summer University 2020 – Online Conference http://www.edsnet.eu/2020/08/eds-summer-university-2020-online-conference/ http://www.edsnet.eu/2020/08/eds-summer-university-2020-online-conference/#respond Mon, 03 Aug 2020 07:00:32 +0000 http://www.edsnet.eu/?p=1914 Read more]]> The EDS Summer University 2020 took place from 23rd to 26th of July. Because of the international COVID19 situation, the Summer University was conducted fully as an online event, to not put the participants in any unnecessary danger. Despite all of the new challenges that the Bureau and the Council needed to face, it was a great success that the attendance of member organisations held the usual level.

The Office of the Secretary General was not hesitant to take on the extra work required to make sure that this new format would be satisfying for everyone involved. All the sessions of the online event were done using the “Zoom” software.

On Thursday, 23th July, the event started with a conference call with the members of the Council and the Bureau. The Secretary General gave a walk-through of the more sophisticated technical issues, that would come up during the several voting procedures.

In the late morning the first webinar panel discussion of the Summer University 2020 saw

Mr. Carlo Angrisano, Chairman of EDS,  

Mr. Ivan Botoucharov, Vice-Chairman of EDS

and Sir David Roy Lidington, Former Minister of the United Kingdom

leading a conversation on “The future of UK relations with the rest of Europe in a post COVID world”.

The interests of guests and council members were high, extending the webinar session way over the estimated time-frame.

In the afternoon the second webinar panel discussion took place. On the topic of

“Future of work trends post-COVID19” the discussion was led by

Mr. Tomasz Kaniecki, former Secretary General of EDS,

Ms. Roberta Metsola, Member of European Parliament for Malta

and Mr. Beppe Galea, Secretary General of EDS

With the insights of active and former active members of EDS in this conversation, the participants were able to benefit of a multitude of different perspectives.

On Friday 24th of July, the participants of the Summer University 2020 were invited to take part in the third and final webinar panel discussion.

Invited to lead the conversation on “New era of Digitalisation after the Pandemic” were

Mr. Kyriakos Pierrakakis, Minister of Digital Governance of the Hellenic Republic

Dr. Fotis Fitsilis, Head of Scientific Service of the Hellenic Parliament

Mr. Luca Beccari, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of San Marino

Mr. Vasileios Kesides, Vice-Chairman of EDS

The largest of the three webinar panels, the discussion on future digital work produced many questions from the participants, which highlighted the importance of Europe’s readiness on innovation.

On Saturday 25th of July, the online Council Meeting of the EDS Summer University 2020 started, with almost all the member organisations present from the very beginning. The last session of council of the working year was presided by the former Chairman of EDS Giorgos Chatzigeorgiou.

With all the opening remarks having been given and the member organisations accounted for, the debate on the motion papers and the conference resolution could commence. With a lively debate on all the motion papers, the members of the council proofed once again their high interest in improving the policies of the EPP family, especially on the topics regarding Higher Education in Europe. The online voting system worked properly at all times, and was overlooked by the elected tellers of the council.

The members of the Bureau were then asked to give their reports on their activities for the now ending working year. While the Chairman, Carlo Angrisano, gave a broad insight into the work of an EDS Chairman, with the responsibilities of this office toward the EPP and a lot of outside representation of our organisation, the eight Vice-Chairwomen and Vice-Chairmen presented their work with the tasks that were given to them by the Chairman at the beginning of the last working year. The limited possibilities of activity during the height of the COVID19 outbreak, were a recurring topic in the Bureau Reports.  As always, the members of the Bureau stood ready for questions by the council members, to ensure the level of transparency that has always been important to EDS as a whole. With the unanimous exoneration of the Bureau, the working year of 2019-2020 came to an end.

In the afternoon of the day, the election process of the new EDS Bureau for the working year 2020-2021 began. With an amendment of the EDS statutes at the Winter University in Berlin, the Chairman and the Secretary General would need to be elected in the same voting process on a combined ticket. Mr. Carlo Angrisano and Mr. Beppe Galea had been nominated to the council once again, to take on the responsibilities of EDS Chairman and Secretary General, respectively. With well received candidacy speeches to the council, the voting process worked smoothly and both candidates were elected with a clear majority of the votes.

Beginning the voting of the eight Vice-Chair positions, the conference leadership recognised 11 candidates that had been nominated by member organisations of the council. Seven of the former Vice-Chairs were eligible for re-election, and all seven of those Vice-Chairs were nominated again. The candidacy speeches and questioning rounds of all candidates took up a lot of time, in order to fulfill the traditional EDS level of seriousness and fairness.

With the necessary quorum of votes for election called out by the Secretary General before the beginning of the voting process, the first round saw seven of the eight Vice-Chair positions elected with a majority of the council votes. By order of their election results, the new EDS Vice-Chairwomen and Vice-Chairmen elected in the first round were

Mr. Ivan Botoucharov

Mr. Thomas Belligh

Ms. Valentina Podesta

Mr. Karlo Kolesar

Mr. Iacovos Iacovou  

Mr. Vasileios Kesidis

Mr. Benjamin Welling

All successful candidates accepted their election results happily.

With one spot left open, the second round of voting was proposed for the next day, since the evening had already become late. There were no objections to this proposal.

On Sunday 26th of July, the EDS Council began the day with a role call of all present member organisations by the Secretary General. The leadership of the conference opened the second round of voting for the last open Vice-Chair position for the working year. The successful technical procedure of the day before was used again, with the Tellers overlooking the count of the votes.

With one candidacy withdrawn, three candidates gave short speeches toward the members of the council to gain support. After an open debate of the council on the merits of the candidates, the voting was opened. After votes were counted by the Tellers, the presiding Chair announced that

Ms. Benita Czirkl

had been elected as Vice-Chairwoman of EDS for a second term.

With the elected members of the Bureau complete, the Council was tasked with the confirmation of the Deputy Secretary General, nominated by the Chairman. After the Council decided to have a secret ballot for the confirmation, the result showed a clear majority for

Ms. Christie Maike

as new Deputy Secretary General of EDS.

This left the council on deciding on two Auditors that would report on the financial bookkeeping of EDS for this working year. With this important position traditionally elected with experienced members of EDS, the council voted for

Mr. Tomasz Kaniecki

and Mr. Robert Kiss

to take on responsibilities for this important task.

With extensive reports on their activities during the last working year by the member organisations of the council, Mr. Angrisano gave the closing remarks on the historic online EDS Summer University 2020.

The European Democrat Students have shown, that in every crisis we are able and willing to overcome the obstacles presented to us, to not be stopped in our continuous work for the students and all people of Europe.

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50 PARTICIPANTS FROM 32 EUROPEAN COUNTRIES ATTEND THE EDS COUNCIL MEETING http://www.edsnet.eu/2020/06/50-participants-from-32-european-countries-attend-the-eds-council-meeting-2/ http://www.edsnet.eu/2020/06/50-participants-from-32-european-countries-attend-the-eds-council-meeting-2/#respond Mon, 08 Jun 2020 12:40:37 +0000 http://www.edsnet.eu/?p=1900 Read more]]> On Saturday, 30 May, the European Democrat Students held its last Council Meeting of the Working Year 2019/2020 online for the first time. 50 participants from 32 European Countries were able to actively discuss and present motions on the current pandemic and also on topics related to the European Crisis recovery for the next months. As the official student association of the European People’s Party, these proposals will be passed on to the EPP to develop student-centred policies for the years.

EDS called for the optimal protection of students throughout the EU and especially for those currently enrolled in Erasmus programmes, highlighted the need of coordinated digitalisation and pointed out the economic impact of the crisis on young people for future years. Furthermore, EDS lead the fight against the rise of domestic violence during quarantine, stood its ground for the protection of the rule of law during the pandemic and discussed relocation of manufacturing industries.

On Thursday, in the run up of the Council Meeting, two Webinars were organised with high profile speakers. For these Webinars, EDS invited high profile speakers with experience in the economic policy making to share the knowledge with our network of students  coming from various European Universities.

The EDS Chairman Carlo Giacomo Angrisano Girauta hosted the Minister for Foreign and European Affairs of Croatia, Gordan Grlić-Radman, for the first Webinar and discussed the “Lessons from Covid-19 Crisis Management”. Later in the afternoon, the theme of Economic Reconstruction of Europe after Covid-19” was discussed with Alex Stubb, Former Prime Minister of Finland, Ivan Pilip, former Minister of Finance and Education of the Czech Republic, and Ivan Miklos, former Deputy Prime Minister of the Slovak Republic.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, four EDS policy papers were submitted to the EPP Dispatch. The papers submitted to the EPP called for the optimal protection of students throughout the EU and especially for those currently enrolled in Erasmus programmes. EDS  also highlighted the need of coordinated digitalisation and pointed out the economic impact of the crisis on young people for future years. Furthermore, EDS lead the fight against the rise of domestic violence during quarantine, stood its ground for the protection of the  rule of law during the pandemic and discussed relocation of manufacturing industries.

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EDS urges the Albanian Government to release Belind Këlliçi Immediately http://www.edsnet.eu/2020/05/eds-urges-the-albanian-government-to-release-belind-kellici-immediately/ http://www.edsnet.eu/2020/05/eds-urges-the-albanian-government-to-release-belind-kellici-immediately/#respond Sun, 17 May 2020 10:26:44 +0000 http://www.edsnet.eu/?p=1875 Read more]]>
  • Albania’s National Theatre, constructed in 1938 by Giulio Berté unexpectedly destroyed by the Albanian government amid COVID-19 pandemic
  • Belind Këlliçi, President of the Youth Democrats, and dozens of activists have been brutally arrested by the police overnight
  • The European Democrat Students strongly condemn the arrests by the socialist government in Albania of Belind Kellici, chairman of FRPD Albania, and another number of peaceful civil society activists and artists.

    The destruction of Albania’s century old national theatre coupled with police brutality, especially during this global health crisis, is an act of violence that goes beyond the principles of freedom and democracy we pride ourselves in as a European society. This sudden act of violence by the Albanian authorities, puts the Albanian society and beyond at great risk of COVID-19 and any subsequent outbreak would be a direct responsibility of theirs.

    For over two years and a half, activists have stood their ground in trying to stop the socialists from destroying a monument of great historical value both in Europe and Albania. The issue of the national theatre should have been resolved via the proposed methods of Albania’s international partners, such as the proposal of EU Commissioner for Culture Mariya Gabriel, that urged the Albanian prime minister to enter negotiations with the theatre’s protectors rather than unilaterally decide to destroy it. We call for the immediate release of all those politically imprisoned by the rule of Edi Rama, and mass condemnation of his repressive policies by all our partners.

    Press Release in PDF

    The moment Belind Këlliçi was arrested.

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    Relocating the manufacturing industry to Europe http://www.edsnet.eu/2020/05/relocating-the-manufacturing-industry-to-europe/ http://www.edsnet.eu/2020/05/relocating-the-manufacturing-industry-to-europe/#respond Sun, 03 May 2020 17:52:02 +0000 http://www.edsnet.eu/?p=1866 Read more]]> The world is experiencing a deep transformation in the way how people work. People are forced to stay at home and to work from there whenever possible, and asked to limit their physical contacts to the minimum. All these circumstances lead to a significant decrease in economic activity and, accordingly, a decrease in the economic performance of the affected countries.

    Japan has decided to allocate $2.2 billion to encourage its companies to return their production facilities to Japan. Before the crisis, China was Japan’s largest trading partner, but since mid-February the supplies of the necessary components have dropped dramatically, causing Japanese companies to significantly shrink their output. With the return of some of its companies, Japan’s dependence on China will diminish, and so, in future crises, the reduction in the economic indicators could be less outspoken. 

    The step implemented by Japan to enable their companies to return to their country will allow them to create new work positions. For example, people who have lost their jobs in the third sector due to the pandemic from COVID-19, will be able to take advantage of the new positions in the second sector. If such a policy is put in place and a similar fund is created in the European Union, it could create many jobs once the crisis is over.

    As several sources highlight, one of the most affected areas is Eastern Europe: “The slump in Eastern Europe is of particular importance for the German economy. This is because the Visegrad countries Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia alone had a greater importance for the German economy in 2019 with a trade volume with Germany of 303 billion euros than China with 205, 7 billion and the USA with 190.1 billion euros. Germany’s total trade with Eastern Europe was 453.7 billion euros, which made up a fifth of Germany’s total foreign trade. Some countries in Eastern Europe, especially Bulgaria, Romania, and Ukraine, are also suffering from the drastically declining remittances of compatriots actually working in western countries.”

    According to a Eurostat survey, the European Union exported goods to China for EUR 198 billion and imported goods for EUR 362 billion. This results in a so-called trade deficit of EUR 164 billion. In addition, 54% of imported goods are machinery and vehicles, i.e. € 195 billion. If at least 10% of these last goods were made in Europe (estimated at over €19.5 billion), this could create more jobs for European citizens, more tax income for the European Union and an opportunity to those who have lost their job during the coronavirus pandemic.

    According to a 2019 Eurostat survey, there are EU countries with an average labor costs below 10 euros. These are Latvia (9.9 euros per hour), Hungary (€ 9.9 per hour), Lithuania (€ 9.4 per hour), Romania (€ 7.7 per hour) and Bulgaria (€ 6.0 per hour). According to a survey made by statista.com, the average labor costs in China amount to $ 5.78, or € 5.32. Even though this cost is lower than the labor costs in Bulgaria, EU member states  can still be competitive if some form of financial compensation is provided as an incentive.

    By implementing a fiscal policy that promotes the relocation of manufacturing plants to Europe, many of the negative effects of COVID-19 could be overcome. These policies should not only enable the relocation of the manufacturing sector to Europe, but also ensure that the differences between Chinese and European workers are taken into account. If these measures are adopted, they could be very helpful in rebuilding the European economy, with regard to the labor market.

    We, the European Democrat Students, the official student organization of the European People’s Party (EPP), call upon European lawmakers to:

    • Establish a fiscal policy framework to enable the relocation of the second sector (manufacturing), especially those activities related to machinery and other products, which within the EU can provide added value to the economy.
    • Cooperate with Member States where labor costs are lower to implement the fiscal plans.
    • Prioritise the relocation of manufacturing to those Member States where labor costs make it possible to compete in the international markets.
    • Engage in dialogue with companies, think tanks and national industry associations to make sure that the specific measures taken in the context of relocation support the EU industry, EU employment and the global economy as a whole.
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    Position Paper on Students During the COVID-19 Crisis http://www.edsnet.eu/2020/05/position-paper-on-students-during-the-covid-19-crisis/ http://www.edsnet.eu/2020/05/position-paper-on-students-during-the-covid-19-crisis/#respond Sun, 03 May 2020 17:51:23 +0000 http://www.edsnet.eu/?p=1864 Read more]]> COVID-19 has adversely affected students and the academic community across the European Union. Sadly, the response to this crisis has too often lacked a pan-European approach. We, the European Democrat Students (EDS), on behalf of students across Europe, have identified five areas where students are particularly affected and urgently call for maximum European co-operation therein. First, challenges relating to their studies, second; problems with their finances, third; challenges to their health, fourth; problems relating to their accommodation, and fifth; we see a chance for this crisis to allow Europe to take full advantage of its student population, to this end, our final area relates to opportunities in volunteering.

    Following the Austrian example, the introduction of a neutral semester can ensure students relying on student grants to not drop out of their programs. Essentially, the current semester should not be assessed or to be a requirement for the support in student grants. This means that students would not need proof of study success for the ongoing semester to apply for or confirm already received grants and scholarships. Additionally, an extension of their entitlement period by one semester and the possibility of repeating a semester free of charge with no repercussions should be made possible, if needed. Any deadlines, e.g. for the admission to a subsequent Master’s programme, should be extended.

    It is clear, now more than ever, investment in digitalising higher education should be made and online classes should be organised wherever possible. Courses should be taught on cross platform software so that they can become more accessible. To ensure the quality of courses, active participation should be encouraged in online classes and students should be asked for feedback during online studying. Since no student can study without the internet and necessary technological devices, free WIFI should be provided to all students and tablets or computers for students who have none and ought to for studying. Students must also have access to online libraries, or at least a scan-on-demand option for academic resources to be able to study. The provision of Assistance and help needs to be continued by adapting all student services to telecommunication, e.g. by introducing a telephone line for the online library or admissions office. 

    One of the biggest challenges for higher education institutions (HEIs) is the format and planning of online examination. Examinations should be held within the academic year and solutions found for exams with mandatory physical attendance. Additionally, more oral exams should take place and defending a thesis via online live sessions should be made possible. It is advisable to give more importance to parts of curriculum that were taught before the crisis in the exam. Furthermore, there should be a possibility of postponing the exam periods of this academic year to summer or autumn semester 2020 if no alternative is possible without impacting graduation deadlines. Wherever possible, commencement of professional practice should be postponed. In health and medical studies, volunteering in corona crisis could count as part of the overall practical hours needed for qualification.

    Without academic research, a way out of the current crisis would be inconceivable. We therefore urge that deadlines and modifications for research proposals are made more flexible if there is hindrance caused by the pandemic. Most importantly, setbacks caused by COVID-19 should not influence research funding, contracts or negatively impact working positions and the pay checks of PhD students, researchers and tenure lecturers.

    The pandemic has also impacted student finances. Student fees are often calculated according to special equipment or facilities used. Thus, where fees are higher and equipment is unusable due to COVID-19, they must be reduced and the fee payment deadlines revisited. The responsible authorities in member states should also make sure all scholarships and grants remain paid, despite the virus. This crisis, likely to last for some years, means that all effort must be made to secure students from any additional financial burden and therefore student loan interest and inflation rates must be fixed. It is perhaps also prudent to consider freezing the loan repayments until it is economically appropriate. Another possibility is to provide financial aid for students struggling with income. All student employment contracts at HEIs must be protected from suspension or termination. HEIs, governments and the Commission could also encourage donation campaigns, to those students most in need. In essence, however, they must make every effort to ensure that basic human dignity is respected, despite the crisis, so that no student is left hungry or destitute.

    We cannot however, in the absence of a vaccine or drug capable of dealing with COVID-19, simply go back to “life as it was” and must learn to live alongside the virus. Accordingly, we must practice good hygiene, meaning that HEIs must do regular disinfections of the campus, provide hand sanitation stations and practice maximum social distancing. Governments and higher education authorities should also work to provide all students with, mental health services, should they be necessary, and provide increased helpline services and support to students in abusive households. Local authorities must work on providing a support framework for students, should they be incapacitated by the virus.

    Unfortunately, some students have been evicted from their student accommodation due to COVID-19. Also, a great number of students face immense financial problems because of COVID-19. Governments and HEIs should thus provide specific emergency funds to help students pay their rent or at least postpone their instalments. Moreover, there should be a moratorium on rent to those students who, due to coronavirus, can no longer use their accommodation or pay their rent. For some exchange and international students the crisis has left them unable to go home and they are now in desperate need of help so they depend on good transnational crisis management. 

    Finally, many students have volunteered to help in the fight against COVID-19, for which they should receive recognition. In the UK for example, over 24,000 final year medical students are helping the National Health Service. All students, who volunteer, should receive a confirmation of service from the respective volunteering organisation. Where possible, HEIs should authorise recognition of practice equivalent to volunteered hours or students should be ECTS credited. Moreover, students who volunteer could be granted any other suitable alternative, upon proof of their service, to further incentivise volunteering.

    Therefore, we call upon respective HEIs, Member States and the European Commission to:

    • Introduce a neutral semester and if needed, allow for the possibility to repeat a semester free of charge. Any exams for this semester should be either held within this year or be postponed, if possible. Additionally, any professional practice due to start this semester should either be postponed or be undertaken with a suitable alternative;
    • Invest in a comprehensive, student friendly, digitalization of higher education, ensuring the quality of teaching and provision of general student services is maintained;
    • Protect all student employment at HEIs, research funding and increase the flexibility of research proposals;
    • Ensure students are supported financially;
    • Ensure that all HEI and student facilities follow all necessary protocols of good hygiene;
    • Increase the availability of mental health support to students and ensure students from abusive households have ready access to this or any other necessary support; 
    • Repatriate exchange and international students or, should they stay abroad, ensure that their basic needs are met;
    • Recognize all student volunteers.

     

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    EDS Position paper on the issue of domestic violence during the COVID-19 crisis http://www.edsnet.eu/2020/05/position-paper-on-human-rights-and-gender-equality-during-the-covid-19-crisis/ http://www.edsnet.eu/2020/05/position-paper-on-human-rights-and-gender-equality-during-the-covid-19-crisis/#respond Sun, 03 May 2020 17:48:41 +0000 http://www.edsnet.eu/?p=1862 Read more]]> According to the European Parliament statement, the lockdown measures European countries have implemented due to the COVID-19 pandemic have led domestic violence to rise by a third in some countries. Financial insecurity could play an important role in preventing victims from leaving their abuser. Women in disadvantaged groups tend to be more at risk of experiencing domestic violence, namely women with disabilities, migrant domestic workers, queer and transgender women, and asylum seekers. Although domestic violence is an issue which predominately affects women, in fact, according to the UN a third of women across the world has experienced a form of violence in their life, it is also a problem that affects men.

    France, which has one of the highest rates of domestic violence in Europe, has seen a rise of 32%. Despite the fact that the government has put a number of measures in place, such as temporary support centers outside of supermarkets and agreeing to pay 20 000 overnight stays in hotels and shelters, few victims seem to have taken advantage of them so far.  

    Due to a spike in reports of domestic violence, two German states have announced a new hotline for male victims of domestic violence. In Belgium, the Flemish Helpline reported a 70% rise in calls for help in the third week of lockdown compared to the first week; the calls involved almost double the number of potential victims of violence. However, countries such as Italy or France have witnessed a steep fall in calls, as women are finding it harder to seek help in the times of lockdown. the time of the lockdown.

    In addition to this member states should implement additional measures which don’t rely on digital solutions, since access is not guaranteed, or victims are afraid of reporting domestic violence. For instance, France and Spain have launched a campaign to advertise an alert mechanism for women to seek help in pharmacies.

    Echoing the most recent Declaration by the Council of Europe on Combatting Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence during the COVID-19 Pandemic (April 20, 2020), we acknowledge the need for a coordinated European approach where countries share their data to ensure that the police and other support services are able to respond to the specific modalities of domestic violence in times of crisis. Also, keeping in mind that the preparedness for such an increase in case numbers may vary from one country to another, we urge for bold decision-making, not only on local national levels, but also on a European level.

    EDS therefore calls upon European policy makers to: 

    • Ensure that member states provide victims with flexible and creative tools to report abuse; increase the places in violence protection facilities and shelters with the appropriate measures taken to protect victims from the spread of the virus.
    • Ensure that member states reach out in a language which the victims will understand, i.e. pay attention to the specific needs of the victims which are particularly hard to reach.
    • Recognise the lack and need of a legally binding instrument with regard to eliminating domestic violence. 
    • Recognise the need for awareness campaigns to ensure that victims have information about the services they can access for emergency protection and support.
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    “The post-Coronavirus world will be a different place” – Chairman Angrisano http://www.edsnet.eu/2020/04/the-post-coronavirus-world-will-be-a-different-world-chairman-angrisano/ http://www.edsnet.eu/2020/04/the-post-coronavirus-world-will-be-a-different-world-chairman-angrisano/#respond Mon, 06 Apr 2020 20:01:23 +0000 http://www.edsnet.eu/?p=1854 Read more]]> Chairman’s Letter addressing the Coronavirus pandemic:


    To the members of the Council of European Democrat Students,

    Dear EDS Family,

    As you all know, Europe is currently facing an unprecedented threat. Earlier this month, the World Health Organisation declared Europe as the active centre of the Coronavirus global pandemic. Across the whole of Europe there are hundreds of thousands of confirmed cases of coronavirus. Even more dramatically, tens of thousands of infected patients are perishing, often alone and far from their families and loved ones. Furthermore, the consequences of the health crisis are that both our healthcare systems and our economies are on the edge of collapsing. Hospitals have enacted wartime triage to select which patients can receive their treatment. Armies are patrolling the streets and building field hospitals to tackle the emergency. Governments have announced lockdowns and 16 EU Member States have declared the State of Emergency (including France, Italy and Spain). Borders have been restored and Schengen is de facto suspended.

    This terrifying scenario will not improve much as the emergency goes away. Economic contagion is spreading as fast as the virus and no measures to stop this are compatible with fighting the disease. This crisis caught our institutions off guard and by now, the blow for real economy is impossible to foresee. The estimated forecasts for US unemployment last week raised up to 1.6 million. By now we know that this figure is actually 3.28 million. This is an unprecedented number, five times greater than the worst week in the global financial crisis of 2008. From this perspective, the initial assessment on the short-term future of the European labour market is fatalistic. We must brace for impact.

    Education is not free from disruption either. The containment measures, adopted around the globe, include the temporary closure of schools and universities. According to UNESCO´s studies, 80% of the world’s student population has been affected. The European Commission response will soon be available through the review of the Digital Education Action Plan. A smooth transition to digital education has not been possible due to the rapid adoption of containment measures. However, it is important to note that European cooperation and support to Member States has ensured that Europe was better prepared in the field of digital education than any other continent.

    Nonetheless, we are getting closer to a critical phase for senior years students, both at college and at high school. They are preparing for their final exams, whose outcome will play a major role in their professional future and the future of Europe. Amidst one of the worst environments for employment, the government’s decisions cannot come from political improvisation. We, as a student’s organisation, must side with students across Europe and ensure that their rights and obligations are diligently respected. Our strength is that we have always encouraged and believed in representation. Decisions regarding this academic year must come from a broad consensus that respects student’s representation.

    In this grave hour, we must not forget about our social role, aside from the field of education. We engaged in EDS because we care about students and because we advocate for a set of common values that we hold dear. Our organization is the largest European family for Centre-Right, Christian Democrats, Conservative and Liberal students. At the aftermath of this health emergency, we will be facing a number of fundamental questions which we will have to face with serenity and commitment in order to secure our future and that of Europe

    The post-Coronavirus world will be a different place.

    On the frontline of this war, our heroes are doctors, nurses, scientists and armed forces, among many others. They are putting their lives at risk to protect ours. We have faith in their work and our message shall be a unanimous “thank you”. They will win, and once they have, they must know that we will be here to support them.

    It would be naive to not recognise that a new strain of fear is rapidly spreading. To rise above it, our leaders will need to emerge with even more strength and determination. Once again in Europe’s history, our values and principles will be under siege and only a strong union will make the difference in defending them. To face these challenges we need a brave, committed and united political family.

    Allow me to finish by quoting Pope Francis Extraordinary Urbi et Orbi blessing, pronounced on the steps of St. Peters Basilica as a response to the epidemic:

    “Faith begins when we realise we are in need of salvation. We are not self-sufficient; by ourselves we founder: we need the Lord, like ancient navigators needed the stars.”

    May God help us all,

    Carlo Giacomo Angrisano Girauta
    EDS Chairman

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    EPP Political Assembly – Strengthening Connections and Boosting EDS http://www.edsnet.eu/2020/02/epp-political-assembly-strengthening-connections-and-boosting-eds/ http://www.edsnet.eu/2020/02/epp-political-assembly-strengthening-connections-and-boosting-eds/#respond Thu, 13 Feb 2020 12:35:25 +0000 http://www.edsnet.eu/?p=1839 Read more]]> As the official student wing of the European People’s Party, EDS was invited to attend the EPP Political Assembly which took place on the 3d and 4th of February at the European Parliament in Brussels.  

    The Assembly was attended by the leadership of the EPP, including the newly elected President Donald Tusk, as well as by the leaders of the centre-right parties and organisations which are members of the EPP. 

    EDS was represented by Chairman Carlo Giacomo Angrisano Girauta, Executive Officer Francesco Sismondini and Vice-Chairman Ivan Botoucharov. 

    President Tusk was pleased to see his counterpart in the student wing Chairman Angrisano Girauta and had a productive conversation on the future of the relationship. President Tusk praised EDS’s magazine BullsEye, reiterated that he will dedicate more time to EDS now that he is leading the EPP, and explained that he is very keen to work closely together.  

    Many further conversations took place with leaders of centre-right parties, such as with Petteri Orpo – President of Finland’s Coalition Party (as seen in the above photo). 

    Chairman Angrisano Girauta explained, „It is always a great opportunity to attend EPP events and to introduce the work of EDS as well as to boost connections for the benefit of the organisation. It is an honour to lead the largest student organisation in Europe and as a centre-right youth political association, we are thrilled to have the responsibility to represent 39 member organisations from 33 countries, as well as to provide unique opportunities to them and to their members.” 

     

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