Answers from EPP

About EPP:

The abbreviation EPP stands for “European People’s Pary”. It considers itself as centre-right oriented political group.
For more information, visit the website of EPP 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?

We want to create a Europe in which everyone feels at home and accepted. Democracy, human rights and dignity, pluralism, and tolerance are core European values. Hatred, misogyny, racism, and antisemitism have no place in Europe. We will launch a pact against antisemitism by fighting hate speech and establishing a common EU definition of antisemitism based on the IHRA definition. We also believe that inclusive societies need strong parliamentary democracies. This means strong parties and strong parliaments — at all levels — representing in the truest sense the people on the ground. We want to see an equal number of women and men making up the next Commission.

  • 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?

We believe that Europe can play a bigger role globally in solving crises and helping people. We are already the world’s leading provider of humanitarian assistance, yet we are convinced that we must do more to help those forced to leave their home countries. We want to have a stronger and more united European foreign policy to act more decisively at the global level and help to solve and avoid conflicts. At the same time, we are committed to supporting European Neighbourhood Countries to build stability, but we also want to commit more funds to helping countries in Africa to develop and create opportunities for their citizens. We envision a true Marshall plan for the African countries to work as partners, helping and supporting them to create prosperity and cooperation.

  • 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?

The European Union plays an important role in fighting poverty in Europe. During the last 4 years we have created a social pillar for Europe which strengthens our social rights. Through cohesion funds and other EU financial instruments, we support the Member States in fighting poverty. We want to create an inclusive Europe in which no one is left behind. For us to be successful as a continent, we need everyone’s efforts and for this, we are strongly committed to the idea of equal opportunities. At the same time, we believe that you need to create jobs to fight poverty and offer economic opportunities to everyone, no matter which part of Europe you are in. Therefore, we are committed to creating 5 million new jobs over the next years to make sure that everyone can improve their situation.

Sustainability

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

To safeguard our planet’s future, we believe that we must perform a well-managed transformation in Europe and globally. This will entail continuing to be committed to the global accords of Paris and Katowice to limit global warming but we must also recognise the need to build on these accords because alone they are not enough. We must invest in developing new, sustainable and low-carbon solutions in a socially responsible way. We are convinced that Europe can be the one who invents and develops the sustainable and low-carbon technologies which will make the whole world transform to low-carbon mobility and production in a socially sustainable fashion.

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

We believe that we must invest in innovations and technology. We will work towards low-carbon mobility and build a true Energy Union to support the growth of renewable energy sources. We are convinced that we can revolutionise mobility and its environmental impact by developing the necessary engine and fuel technology to
minimise the impact. This would also be important for the rest of the world because by creating these technologies, we would not only provide sustainable low-carbon mobility in Europe, but also for the rest of the world.

  • 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?

We defend the Paris Climate agreement and the Katowice COP24 goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by 2050. We will ensure an effective CO2 price with a well-functioning emissions trading system and further incentivise GHG reductions.

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

As the first provider of development and humanitarian assistance worldwide, the EU must continue to lead the fight against poverty and the efforts to achieve sustainable development globally. One way we will do this in our own neighbourhood is through a new Marshall Plan with Africa.

Youth exchanges, youth work & youth mobility

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

We believe that NGOs play an extremely important role in our vibrant societies. We must ensure that NGOs have sufficient funding from either national or EU sources, that processes to access funding are straightforward and efficient, and that Member States respect the independence of NGOs. We are strongly in favour of tripling the Erasmus+ budget so that more young people can study, train, gain international experience, and volunteer in Europe.

  • 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 are committed to cutting red tape for everyone, not only farmers and entrepreneurs but also for NGOs. Once we are elected, we will evaluate the European body of law and modernise legislation to allow people like farmers, entrepreneurs, and NGOs to focus on their core activities and minimise the time spent on dealing with red tape without jeopardising the standards and integrity of our system.

  • 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?

We support youth exchanges and building more understanding between young people from different parts of the world. We must work together with the Member States to reform their visa rules to not hamper the efforts of international youth organisations.

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

We believe that Erasmus programmes have been extremely successful and popular. That is why we will expand Erasmus programmes, especially for non-academics. Additionally, we believe that 18-year-olds should have an opportunity to discover our continent and what binds us together as an Union. Therefore, we are committed to expanding DiscoverEU Interrail for all 18year-olds. We are also in favour of tripling the budget of Erasmus+ so that many more young people can study, train, gain international experience, and volunteer abroad.

  • 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 non-formal education is extremely valuable and complements formal education. It offers our youth opportunities in managing projects, learning social skills, leadership skills, and being innovative – all qualities we will need in the future to succeed as a continent. We believe that more must be done to encourage recognition of non-formal education by employers.

  • 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?

We are committed to improving transparency of EU decisionmaking and bringing our Union back to the people. This will also mean our group is committed to evidence-based policy-making and we are always open to meeting the experts, listening to their advice and learning from them.

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?

We have been very impressed by the clarity and content of the 11 EU Youth Goals. We believe that we are strong partners and allies in realising the goals. We are committed to bringing Europe back to the people to foster participation and joint ownership of the European project. We are strongly in favour of inclusive societies in which all people are provided with a security net, educational opportunities, and offered economic opportunities to realise their dreams. We want to ensure that all people, whether urban or rural dweller, have economic opportunities. That’s why we will invest in strengthening all of our regions and we will create five million jobs over the next years. We are the party that is putting health on the EU’s agenda and we are committed to battling diseases by combining our strengths and that’s why we want to establish a European Masterplan against cancer. We believe that we must leave the planet in a better shape to our children and that’s why we are fully committed to Paris and Katowice climate accords.

  • 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 believe that we must help our youth by offering them better economic opportunities and support them in reaching their personal development goals. Youth Goal 9 can be an important facilitator by offering our youth more chances to learn and participate in leading something of their own. We must evaluate what the EU programmes can do to facilitate this but we are also convinced that we need a strong buy-in from the national and, especially regional and local levels, to fulfil this goal.

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

We want to defend and strengthen Human rights and children’s rights in Europe. Children are our future and we are a continent based on values. We will continue to support programmes that support and defend children’s rights in Europe but we also want to take this one step further. We demand that we take a bigger role in the global fight against child labour. In the future, we will demand that a ban on child labour will be part of every trade agreement and we will step up the enforcement and supervision of the ban.

Diversity, peace & respect

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

We strongly condemn all forms of discrimination, hate speech, and violence. These are completely unacceptable in a civilized, tolerant, and inclusive society. We must ensure that Member States enforce existing anti-discrimination legislation and we must challenge demagogues and populist spreading hate, lies, and conspiracies. We are a party based on values and we will always speak up and defend freedom, respect for human dignity, democracy, equality, the rule of law, and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minority groups.

We will fight against fake news and ensure access to quality information. We want social media platforms to take more responsibility for countering disinformation and hate speech and to increase fact-checking in cooperation with journalists’ associations.

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

We believe that the EU must protect civil society to ensure that we have vibrant democracies in the EU. We must do this using the two avenues open to us: enforcing commonly agreed rules and ensuring sufficient funding for civil society. We believe that the Commission must challenge national legislation when it undermines civil society to ensure that all Member States respect and follow our common rules and legislation. We also believe that we can help civil society through funding. Therefore, we strongly support establishing a European Values Instrument as part of the next EU budget to provide sustained funding to civil society.

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