Answers from GUE-NGL

About GUE-NGL:

The abbreviation GUE-NGL stands for Confederal Group of the European United Left/Nordic Green Left which brings together left-wing MEPs in the European Parliament.
For more information, visit the website of GUE-NGL where you can also find the political parties from your country that are part of their group.

Social inclusion

  • How do you imagine an inclusive Europe? And what do you want to do to realize this vision?

Our group works under the theme ‘Another Europe is possible’. Our vision is a Europe of equality between all human beings regardless of gender, race, nationality, ethnicity, ability, sexuality or wealth, and environmental sustainability. To achieve this, we work towards better quality jobs and higher salaries, better funding for public services and welfare, environmental sustainability, open borders for refugees and migrants and peaceful diplomatic participation in conflicts. This requires changing current policies and insisting that the rich and multinational companies pay their taxes, massive reduction of CO2 emissions, ending weapons sales and military intervention in conflicts, ending policies of austerity and changing cultures of discrimination. A Europe for the millions, not the millionaires.

More information about all our policies is available in 11 languages and a list of the political parties currently in our group is on our website.

  • Do you think Europe does enough to help the children and young people who were forced to flee from war, persecution and hunger? How do you want to help them?

No. The European Union needs to radically change its policies to support – rather than punish – refugees and migrants. Since the last election in 2014, thousands of innocent people have drowned in the Mediterranean while trying to reach safety in Europe. We have consistently and unwaveringly supported the rights of refugees and migrants under international law. We do not support the EU’s policies of trying to keep refugees and migrants out of Europe by paying other countries (some of which are run by dictators and militias) to ‘process’ them. People have the human right to arrive and seek asylum in Europe. We work for safe and legal pathways for immigration, respect for all people and open borders. Fortress Europe must end and governments must show the same real solidarity that millions of Europeans have demonstrated when supporting refugees and migrants in crisis.

  • Do you think Europe does enough to help the children and young people in Europe who are forced to live in poverty? How do you want to help them?

No. Millions of children in Europe still live below the poverty line. Current policies of austerity cut public funding to schools, welfare programmes and social services that help the most vulnerable children. We must change this by funding public services and ending austerity. Migrant children are especially vulnerable to poverty, so we must also change migration policies that leave them in instability by granting more permanent visas to these children and their parents, as well as providing additional public services to assist with social integration.

Sustainability

  • Young people in  Europe demand more climate action. What do you want to do to meet their demands?

We support the youth climate strike. We proposed a European Parliament resolution that recognises their efforts and demands. In April 2019, our MEPs launched the Climate Emergency Manifesto in response to the youth climate strike and the latest IPCC report. In it, we detail our vision and policies to avert climate catastrophe. We were the only European Parliament political group to answer the protesters with a concrete proposal.

  • How do you want to make travelling in Europe more sustainable?

Our MEPs played a leading role in the Emissions Measurements in the Automotive Sector Commission of Inquiry in the European Parliament. We exposed the collusion between the Commission and the car industry, and proposed concrete measures to hold car manufacturers accountable. 

We defend a binding global scheme for aviation emissions. We want to democratise access to clean rail travel across Europe. We therefore oppose privatisation. This explainer about the First and Second Road Mobility Package explains our position in detail. 

  • What do you want to do to make sure that the European Union and its member states meet the climate goals they have agreed upon in the Paris Agreement?

Our Climate Emergency Manifesto states our position in detail. This video states our priorities for COP24.

  • Which concrete actions do you propose in progressing the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals in the next term?

We want that all trade agreements the EU signs with developing countries have a clause to commit the parties to meet the Sustainable Development Goals. Likewise, we want developing countries to have the resources to meet Goals. As such, we address the injustice of the EU’s tax treaties that deprive developing countries of much needed revenues.

Youth exchanges, youth work & youth mobility

  • How do you want to support the work of (international) youth organizations?

We start by listening to people who are affected by European policies, and this includes listening to young people. More details are provided under the following questions.

  • The sources of structural funding for youth organizations (especially on the international level) are limited. Application writing consumes a lot of volunteering time. What do you want to do to make the funding for youth organizations more sustainable? Where do you see chances to clear time for active volunteering rather than administrative overload?

We have supported increased funding for youth-led initiatives and would be likely to support future measures to reduce bureaucracy and administrative burdens on youth organisations.

  • As FIMCAP we invest a lot of energy to make a fruitful exchange and a productive cooperation across continents possible. Unfortunately, often delegates and participants of youth exchanges supported by European funds are denied a visa. How do you want  to make it easier for young people from other parts of the world to get visas for attending at international youth exchanges?

Our group consistently works towards policies of more open borders. We have voted against all policies and measures of the European Union that make it more difficult for visitors and migrants to gain visas. 

  • What are your plans for the future of the Erasmus+ programme, especially concerning the support of youth exchanges and international youth work?

We support access for all young people to EU exchange programmes. We voted for the new Erasmus+ programme (which is the main EU programme for education, training, youth and sport) and to triple the budget of the Discover EU programme (which enables young people to travel around Europe by train).

We also supported increased financial support for actions dealing with vocational training and adult education. In addition, we supported enabling more young people, especially those with fewer opportunities including people with disabilities and special needs to participate.

Regarding the European Solidarity Corps programme (which enables young people to volunteer or work in projects that benefit communities and people around Europe), we aim to ensure that this programme only engages young people in the activities of non-profit organisations and that these volunteers are not exploited as a substitute for paid employees.

  • In (international) youth organizations young people gain various valuable skills and competences. What do you want to do to improve the recognition of youth work and the work of youth organizations?

We believe that young people deserve decent paid jobs, just like everyone else. Our group stands alongside young people in defending their rights to high quality, well-paid and stable employment and other social protections. We insist that young people, like everyone else, should not be subjected to the unjust impacts of austerity policies, precarious employment and unpaid internships.

  • Working together with young people at all levels, youth organizations are experts about the needs of young people. How do you want to make sure that  the expertise of youth organization will be included in your work?

Our group has several of the youngest MEPs in the European Parliament. This indicates that young people are heard and prioritised by the political parties within our group and their voices are raised to the highest level of political representation. We also welcome long-term structures for listening to youth organisations just like all other citizens representative organisations such as trade unions, NGOs and social movements.

Youth goals & children’s rights

  • 10,000s of young people have developed within the Structured Dialogue of the European the EU Youth Goals.[1] How are you going to integrate the framework of the youth goals in your work in the European parliament?

Our MEPs have advocated for most, if not all, of the EU youth goals. For example, our group consistently pushes for policies and action to tackle gender discrimination, gender-based violence and unequal pay. We also want more and better support for young people in rural areas.

  • Youth Goal 9 calls for providing youth-led physical facilities and infrastructures called youth spaces defined by being autonomous, open and safe, accessible to all, offering professional support for development and ensuring opportunities for youth participation. What do you want to do to create such spaces?

We want more investment in youth schemes and infrastructure.

  • What do you want to do for guaranteeing the implementation of the children’s rights in Europe?

Some of our MEPs are supporters of the Child Rights Manifesto. Recently we took a stand to guarantee equal child social security standards across the EU.

Diversity, peace & respect

  • Many young people suffer from the consequences of hate speech. What do you want to do to combat hate speech?

We support the outlawing of neo-fascist and neo-Nazi groups and tough action against hate speech and incitement to violence. We have proposed and succeeded in approving a European Parliament resolution that detail steps to tackle the phenomenon.  

  • Youth organizations like FIMCAP and its member organization strengthen the civil society. What do you want to support them to fulfill this important function?

As the Left group in the European Parliament, we are accountable to the people and civil society plays a key role in enabling this. We are against corporate lobbies. We believe good policy is done through direct consultation with citizens and civil society. We regularly hold policy forums, through debates we host in the European Parliament and study visits to member states, and we have supported legislation to strengthen civil society. 


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