A few weeks ago Nobel Prize recipient Muhammad Yunus was in Brussels. He accepted to sit down with #EusprYng to speak about youth unemployment in Europe and how the whole concept of “wanting to get a job” is wrong. According to the PhD in economy and father of microcredit, human beings and young ones in particular are creative and full of potential. A potential they/we should not waste on taking orders from someone else. On the contrary each and every one of us should come up with a business idea and then try to make it happen with the support of the society we live in. But see that is the tricky part, because if Pr Yunus could set up a structure that can help young people make their business idea true, in Bangladesh, unfortunately in Europe it is very difficult, not to say practically impossible for a youngster to get funds from a public institution not to say a bank to launch its own business. But I believe the Professor has a point. Why should we all be job seekers when we, or at least some of us, could be jobs creators? Why should we “settle” for helping a big (or medium company) get where it needs when we could apply our talents to create and grow something we believe in. Obviously not everybody wants to be his/her own boss or even be in charge of other people means of living. But since #EusprYng started he is the only one who stated such an idea and I believe it’s worth thinking about!
Dario Castañé, the Pirate
Dario Castañe is 28 years old he’s from Barcelona in Cataluña and number one on the list for the Confederación Pirata in Spain. He works as a system administrator (i.e. computer geek, well he’s a Pirate after all!) and during his free time he likes to create websites to spread information about politics, free culture and tools to improve the world. He’s also a Twitter addict so don’t hesitate to engage with him on the social media!
According to him, Member States of the European Union need to cooperate more instead of competing with each other. He feels like by bringing together different views and turning those into viable policies, Member States can tackle EU’s main issues. “The EU’s spirit fits this feeling and works towards it”. He envisions the United States of Europe as a common project to improve the world.
He was always interested in politics as he grew up reading newspapers and magazines, learning about society and its issues. But he really jumped into it four years ago when his mother got sick and saw for himself how the system (social & political) in Spain wasn’t working for her. He then joined the Pirate party in Cataluña. He choose that party because… well he likes being a Pirate! On the serious side of things, it’s because they have the kind of internal democracy other parties don’t. Plus he believes that “traditional” parties are more interested in peoples’ vote than in their voice or solving their everyday problems.
He’s our pirate!
Luis Cereijo, the Lobbyist
Luis Cereijo is 27 years old and a student in Spain. He was elected chairperson of CREUP, the Spanish Students Union, last February. Before that he was elected president of his University’s Local Union, in Alcalá University. He decided to run for Students’ representative positions because he wanted “to change things, to try to cooperate [with other universities] and make a better university in my city, my region and my country”. According to him “now, it’s time for commitment, it’s not the time to sit still at home but time to speak up and to fight!”.
CREUP represents the 800,000 students of the Spanish Public Universities. It stands for students rights and finding ways to improve the public university system. CREUP is also part of the European Students Union or ESU (lien). As such they are going to lobby candidates from all political parties running for the European parliament elections and ask them to pledge to their “Vote for Education” manifesto.
Spain has one of the highest youth unemployment rates in the Eurozone. Despite that fact there have been major budget cuts in education, grants and social services for young people. And over the past three years while university fees doubled! Those cuts pushed many young Spaniards to leave their country to try and find better living conditions elsewhere in Europe and the world.
“We young people” from Spain, declares Luis, “we are not willing to give up on our future […] and our dreams”.
He’s our lobbyist!
If you had the opportunity to hear the propaganda around the European Parliament elections, to be held on May 22 or May 25 depending on the country, you probably already know that the punch line this year is: “this time, it’s different”.
Indeed, under the new Lisbon Treaty (yes I know I’m getting technical!) when Heads of States and Governments will choose the new president of the European Commission, yes if you didn’t know it, it is they whom in fact nominate the Head of the institution and therefore choose its political colour, well they will have to take into consideration the result of the European parliament elections! What a joy…
This means that if the left gets the most seats in the Parliament, the President of the Commission will be / should be “awarded” to the candidate presented by the left, or more specifically in our case, to the group of the Socialists & Democrats or S&D like the cool kids say! But what’s a group you say?!
A political group in the European Parliament is composed of at least twenty-five members from a quarter of the Member States of the European Union. For 28 countries it means 7, just so you’re clear.
The candidate for the Socialists & Democrats group is the current President of the European Parliament, the German Martin Schultz.
Meanwhile, the centre-right or EPP group has Jean-Claude Juncker. He is the former Prime Minister of the Grand-Duchy of Luxemburg and former President of the Eurogroup also my former personal hero… Yes the crisis destroyed more than jobs, but let’s stay on point.
The youngest candidate presented by a group is our guest this week, the German Ska Keller. But as the Greens believe in dual leadership, she is part of a ticket with José Bové a French Member of the European parliament. Two for one! But is that really sustainable?!
And if you have no idea who you are going to vote for take this quick but efficient quiz. It will tell you (almost) everything you need to know before going to the voting booth.
Presentation: #EusprYng is an on-line experience on the Y generation facing the 2014 European Parliament elections, #EP2014, inspired by the Arab spring.