Young people demand the election of the President of the European Commission remains democratic

Statement from political party youth organisations on discussions by Heads of EU Member States to block the “Spitzenkandidaten” process of electing the President of the European Commission. 

The 2014 European elections were the first time voters were able to have a say on who should run the European Commission, with the five main European political parties putting forward candidates who became known by the German term “Spitzenkandidaten”. The main European political party youth organisations have strongly defended this democratic system following reports[1] that almost all EU Heads of States or Government are planning to revert to the previous system, under which they decide on the President behind closed doors.

The European Union is facing challenges on multiple levels, and clear European leadership is essential if Europe is to act cohesively to solve its existential issues. It is vital, therefore, for the EU’s future that it strives to be ever-more democratic and transparent. The process of European elections determining the next President of the Commission has been a hugely positive step in empowering citizens to choose the direction of the EU, adding transparency and more democratic legitimacy to the process. Reversing this would be a regressive step in the democratising trend that has been ongoing in the EU for several decades, especially at a time when the citizens already feel that the EU lacks legitimacy.

The Spitzenkandidaten process gave a face to European leaders. It helped to open up EU democracy, which often seems to be very distant from citizens, especially for young people. In 2014, the European Youth Forum, along with the University and City of Maastricht and Euronews, organised the first-ever televised debate between these Spitzenkandidaten. This debate, broadcast live to millions of viewers, focused on youth issues. Over the course of the elections, the Spitzenkandidaten process contributed to bigger media coverage and, in several Member States, it stopped the tendency of continuously decreasing participation rates.  A regressive move back to the old system would risk further alienating voters, particularly young voters, who are often sceptical of engaging in traditional politics. To secure more popular support, the European Union needs to be more democratic, not less.

It is in the interest of our national leaders to support the continuous opening up of European democracy. Therefore we demand that they follow the recent call from the European Parliament to secure and develop theSpitzenkandidaten process.[2]

After all, is it not better that one of the key leadership positions of the EU is decided on by its 500 million citizens rather than just by 28 heads of state?[3]

 

YFJ – European Youth Forum

YEPP – Youth of European People’s Party

DEMYC- Democrat Youth Community of Europe

FYEG – Federation of Young European Greens

EFAY – European Free Alliance Youth

LYMEC – European Liberal Youth

JEF – Young European Federalists

IFLRY – International Federation of Liberal Youth

IUSY – International Union of Socialist Youth

YES – Young European Socialists

YDE – Young Democrats for Europe

AEGEE-Europe / European Students’ Forum

[1] http://www.sueddeutsche.de/politik/eu-parlament-mitgliedsstaaten-wollen-macht-der-waehler-beschraenken-1.2971462

[2] http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-%2f%2fEP%2f%2fTEXT%2bTA%2bP8-TA-2015-0395%2b0%2bDOC%2bXML%2bV0%2f%2fEN&language=EN

[3] Not all 508 million Europeans have the right to vote. In some MS citizens have the right to vote from the age of 16, in others only at the age of 18.

 

Here you can see the statement in the YFJ website:
http://www.youthforum.org/pressrelease/young-people-demand-the-election-of-the-president-of-the-european-commission-remains-democratic/

CALL FOR COORDINATORS FOR IUSY WORKING GROUPS

Deadline for applications extended to the 20th March

 

CALL FOR COORDINATORS FOR IUSY WORKING GROUPS

We would want to inform you about the availability to apply for becoming coordinator for the following working groups:

 

– Feminist Working Group

– LGBT Working Group

– Student Working Group

– Pool of Trainers Working Group

 

The coordinators main role is to plan (together with the IUSY presidium) and conduct the work of the working group. The Coordinators will have a close contact with appointed Vice Presidents who will be responsibility for the groups and the coordinators will also be invited to the IUSY Presidium meetings. However, IUSY will not be able to provide any travel reimbursement for the coordinators for the presidium meetings.

 

To apply for becoming coordinator you should send us:

 

1. Letter of motivation where you describe why you are interested and your ambitions for the working group you want to coordinate. Furthermore, we would also like you to provide us with your previous engagement in the area of interest, since we would very much be interested in previous experience on the fields.

 

2. Nomination letter from your national organization.

 

Deadline for application is set for 20th March. Send your application to iusy@iusy.org. **Please share widely**

The Violation of Human Rights of Kurds in Turkey Must End Now!

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The situation in Turkey’s South-East region is continuing to escalate. The latest escalation of conflict between the Turkish government and Kurds in Turkey is both alarming and critical for Turkey, Europe, the Middle East and the rest of the world.

 

A full-blown attack against the Kurdish population is taking place under the label of “fighting terrorism”. For several months now curfews have been imposed to many Kurdish towns and villages. In cities such as Cizre and Diyarbakir the outcome has many times led to the death of dozens of people. On the 8th of February 2016, 60 Kurds were killed in the city of Cizre by a Turkish military operation while in Diyarbakir at least 23 Kurds were killed. Human rights activist groups have also condemned the government for demolishing thousands of Kurdish villages and leaving as many as 1 million people homeless.

 

Furthermore, we see a worsening situation as far as tolerance of free and independent media and opinions of opposition politicians are concerned. Journalists are being convicted for criticizing the government’s activity. Opposition parties and their leaders, as the Pro-Kurdish Party leader Selahattin Demirtaş, are being threatened to be prosecuted for “collaboration with terrorism” and “violent uprising”. Imposing prosecutions on academics, politicians who declared their demand for peace or journalists questioning the Turkish government’s armed support to Daesh (ISIS) is incompatible with the values of human rights, freedom of speech and press as well as democracy.

 

Turkey is one of the closest partners of the European Union and its Member States, as well as a NATO member. The European Union should not let Turkey use its involvement in addressing the current refugee crisis as leverage to act undisturbed in a manner suppressing the aforementioned liberties. Moreover, the European Union and its Member States should not be prevented to use diplomatic means to contribute towards putting an end to this ongoing violence, because of the current refugee crisis.

 

The civilian casualties and escalation of violence in Turkey must come to an end now and must be replaced by peace and dialogue. Turkey should be diplomatically pushed to participate in the struggle against Daesh, for a reconciliation in Turkey and follow a human rights-based policy in which the European Union, OSCE and the Council of Europe should play a leading role.

 

We therefore call for:

 

  • an immediate ceasefire between the Turkish government and the Kurds in the Turkish Parts;
  • a retreat of the Turkish army from areas populated by civilians;
  • an international monitoring and peace-keeping mission in Turkey’s South-East region;
  • an international independent investigation into human rights violations in Turkey’s South-East region.

 

Human Rights are universal rights – for each people and in every region in the world!

 

Bashir Wardini, Chairman, IYDU- International Young Democrat Union

Evin Incir, Secretary General, IUSY- International Union of Socialist Youth

Javier Hurtado, Chairman, DEMYC- Democrat Youth Community of Europe

Laura Slimani, President, YES- Young European Socialists

Laura Carlier, Spokesperson, Federation of Young European Greens

Teo Comet, Spokesperson, Federation of Young European Greens

 

Supported by:

YFJ- European Youth Forum

IUSY CONDEMNS THE MILITARY COUP IN BURKINA FASO

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Along with the fall of the dictator, Blaise Compaoré, in Burkina Faso during last year there was a stream of hope for an equal an democratic country.

 

A democratic process was set in place to prepare fair and free elections in the 11th of October this year. However, less than one month before the elections where supposed to take place, the military forces, the same that endorsed the fallen dictator, dissolved the transitional government and detained the heads of the government. 

 

IUSY condemns the unlawful detention of the leadership of the transition government in Burkina Faso, as well as the unlawful seizure of power by the military forces. We had a lot of hope in the process of a democratic transition. 

 

This transition that meant the return to democracy for the people is now seriously threatened. No military group nor a dictator must be able to take on power by force. The power belongs to the people. We demand the restoration of order and resumption of the electoral process scheduled for 11th October. The coup is an affront to Democracy and the rule of law, it can’t be tolerated by all peace loving organizations and nations. We stand in solidarity with all progressive forces and our comrades in Burkina Faso in this critical moment! 

 

IUSY calls on the International Community and all the nations to not stay silent. The people of Burkina Faso have had enough! It is time for democracy and equality for all!

IUSY CONDEMNS THE MILITARY COUP IN BURKINA

B1Lu5EOCEAAqaZG

Along with the fall of the dictator, Blaise Compaoré, in Burkina Faso during last year there was a stream of hope for an equal an democratic country.

 

A democratic process was set in place to prepare fair and free elections in the 11th of October this year. However, less than one month before the elections where supposed to take place, the military forces, the same that endorsed the fallen dictator, dissolved the transitional government and detained the heads of the government.

 

IUSY condemns the unlawful detention of the leadership of the transition government in Burkina Faso, as well as the unlawful seizure of power by the military forces. We had a lot of hope in the process of a democratic transition.

 

This transition that meant the return to democracy for the people is now seriously threatened. No military group nor a dictator must be able to take on power by force. The power belongs to the people. We implore –demand- the restoration of order and resumption of the electoral process scheduled for 11th October. The coup is an affront to Democracy and the rule of law, it can’t be tolerated by all peace loving organizations and nations. We stand in solidarity with all progressive forces and our comrades in Burkina Faso in this critical moment!

 

IUSY calls on the International Community and all the nations to not stay silent. The people of Burkina Faso have had enough! It is time for democracy and equality for all!

#Refugees are Welcome #Les réfugiés sont les bienvenus #Bienvenidos Refugiados

Refugees Welcome

The Progressive Alliance and the International Union of Socialist Youth (IUSY) to the European Leaders on the Occasion of the Extraordinary Justice and Home Affairs Council on 14 September 2015 in Brussels:

 

Refugees are Welcome – Towards a Progressive Refugee Policy

 

 

L’Alliance progressiste et l’Union internationale de la jeunesse socialiste (IUSY) aux chefs d’Etat et de gouvernement européens à l’occasion du conseil “Justice et Affaires intérieures” extraordinaire du 14 septembre à Bruxelles:

 

Les réfugiés sont les bienvenus – Vers une politique progressiste d’immigration

 

 

 

La Alianza Progressista y Union Internacional de Jovenes Socialistas (IUSY) hacia los lideres europeos, en referencia a el acontecimiento del consejo extraordinario de justicia y aferes domesticos en el 14 de Septiembre de 2015 en Bruselas:

 

Bienvenidos Refugiados – Hacia una política progresista para refugiados