After CoFoE – What's Next for Digital Democracy in the EU?

It all began four years ago, in March 2019, when French President Emmanuel Macron launched the ambitious idea to chart a transformative course for the European Union’s future with the establishment of a “Conference for Europe”. The plan was to gather feedback from a wide range of stakeholders, including EU citizens and civil society representatives, on the EU’s way of working and, perhaps, to lay the groundwork for a revision to EU treaties.

Fast forward to 2020, Macron’s proposal was backed by

SOC Group joins PACE in firmly condemning the appalling deterioration of human rights in Russia, Belarus and Turkey

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), during the 2021 spring plenary session, has once again expressed its concerns on the worrying human rights situation present in Russia, Belarus and Turkey In fact, when expressing its vision of the Council of Europe's strategic priorities for the future, the Assembly reminded that a key point is “to remain the pillar of democratic security, the guarantor of human rights and rule of law, as well as platform for genuine multilateralism in Europe.”

The 2020 Václav Havel Human Rights Prize rewards the effort to protect women’s rights

During the opening of the Assembly’s spring plenary session, the 2020 Václav Havel Human Rights Prize was awarded to Loujain Alhathloul, a prominent women's rights activist and one of the leaders of the Saudi feminist movement. She has been arrested and released on several occasions due to her opposition to the ban on women driving in Saudi Arabia. In May 2018 she was imprisoned on the charge of "attempting to destabilise the kingdom" and this February she was finally released, but she is still subject to a travel ban and forbidden from speaking to the media.

Fight towards gender-equal, democratic and transparent Europe

During its summer 2021 plenary part session, the Assembly celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (the Istanbul Convention) with a High-Level Panel on the topic. Moreover, the session was also an occasion to discuss other key themes related to Europe’s challenges for a democratic and transparent society, including media freedom, racism and xenophobia, the pandemic’s side effects on our socio-economic situation and clarity over donations to political parties.

“The most effective thing for solving the climate crisis is to adopt better policies and to hold the biggest polluters accountable” – Ecosprinter

Bas Eickhout is a Member of the European Parliament for the Greens since 2009. Currently, he is the deputy chairman of the Greens–European Free Alliance group, as well as the vice-chair of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, and a member of the Delegation for relations with the People’s Republic of China.

Interview with MEP Ska Keller

JEF Brussels Secretary-General Luca Arfini interviewed Ska Keller, co-president of the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament and former Spitzenkandidat in both the 2014 and 2019 European Parliament elections. In a role as co-chair for her group, she is a member of the Conference of Presidents, or rather the governing body within the Parliament. She has been working at the EU level since the age of 27 when she was elected for the first time as an MEP.

Damian Boeselager MEP: “Our goal is the development of a European parliamentary democracy.”

The New Federalist interviewed Damian Boeselager, a co-founder of ‘Volt Europa’ who now sits as the party’s only MEP. He is a member of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs and of the Delegation for relations with Canada.
JEF Brussels Secretary-General Luca Arfini sat down with him to discuss how he started his political career, the main challenges he had to face when founding Volt and his plans for the 2019-24 term.

European University Students And Social Media. How Do They Talk About Online Disinformation In View Of The 2019 European Parliament Elections?

European students see misleading news as a threat to younger generations but consider themselves immune as they are confident in their ability to detect unreliable web content. This is one of the findings of this master thesis, which examines students' attitudes towards social media and disinformation online.

Interview with Katalin Cseh, One of the Founders of Momentum Movement – Libel

Meet Katalin Cseh, a young liberal from Hungary, who is fighting to represent youth both at the national and European level. In 2015, Katalin co-founded the pro-European and liberal Movement Momentum with eight other young Hungarians. Currently, she is a Member of the European Parliament and one of the eight vice-chairs of the Renew Europe political group. Our Communications Officer, Luca Arfini, discussed with her how she got started on her political path.

Interview with Geir Finnsson, One of the Founders of ‘Viðreisn’ – Libel

Meet Geir Finnsson, a 27-year-old young liberal from Iceland, who, despite his young age, has already played a crucial role in shaping liberalism in his country. Not only was he among the founders of the Icelandic liberal party ‘Viðreisn’, but also of its youth organisation ‘Uppreisn’. Currently, Geir is involved with the Reykjavik city council on behalf of Viðreisn, as well as being the Vice President of the National Youth Council of Iceland. Our Communications Officer, Luca Arfini, spoke with him about his career and experience in Icelandic politics.

Salvini and Di Maio harshly attack Italian journalists on social media − but in different ways – Le Taurillon

The 2018 data of the Council of Europe Platform for the Protection of Journalism and Safety of Journalists, a tool built to monitor and report serious concerns about media freedom and safety of journalists in 2015, show an overall decrease in media freedom all over Europe. The number of alerts has generally increased in most Council of Europe member States, with a particularly dramatic situation in Italy, where they have more than tripled from 2017 to 2018, passing from 4 to 13, and are six times higher than in 2015.

Does the Erasmus program really contribute to the construction of a solid EU identity?

Right now, in a period of several crises challenging the EU’s stability, the sense of belonging that the EU citizens have towards the European Union matters more than ever. Migrations are influencing Europe and the European identity of its citizens, yet there is not only one type of migration.

Was ancient Athens a real democracy?

I think it is important to reason about the concept of democracy nowadays, in a period in which all countries should be more open and with more rights for their members than in the past. In this article, I will try to explain why Athens should be considered a democracy.

The term democracy comes from the Greek language, and it is composed of the words “demos”, which refers to the entire citizen body and “kràtos” which refers to the concept of power; so it means “rule by the people”.

Opinion article: Are Schools Gender-Biased?

In this article, I want to discuss the role that gender plays in the school arena. It is common to look only at the barriers that girls face in school due to the prevalence of heteronormativity in this environment; However, I also want to focus on the barriers boys have to overcome to maintain masculine behaviour if they want to be accepted. Indeed, for some men who display attitudes generally associated with girls, it can be difficult to integrate the label established by the common idea of ​​masculinity that the school tends to impose.

The reason the world showed limited empathy to the Orlando victims

On the 12th of June this year Omar Mateen committed a terrible massacre against the LGBT community. He entered the Pulse, one of the most famous gay clubs in Orlando, Florida, and he started shooting against the crowd, killing 49 people and injuring another 53. This attack has awakened fear among the LGBT community, which was preparing to celebrate pride month with parades and the anniversary of same-sex marriage legalization in the US.
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