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Young European Greens on State of the Union: Do Not Let Us Down

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker held his State of the Union speech today. The Federation of Young European Greens sees some positive points on climate and youth employment, but also deplores the lack of solidarity with refugees and the pursuit of trade agreements that, if concluded, will have detrimental effects for generations of Europeans.

We, too, think that youth unemployment is a major issue that must be dealt with at the European level. Extending the Youth Guarantee is something we believe will have positive effects for young people across Europe. We demand that the appropriate level of funding for the Youth Guarantee will thus be secured - not cut as seems to be planned. We are interested in establishing a European Solidarity Corps, under certain conditions, as it should not replace paid work. And we think that Europe needs investments, not austerity. Doubling the capacities of the European Fund for Strategic Investments is a step in the right direction, provided that these investments benefit the environment and young people.

On the other hand, we are highly concerned by President Juncker's proposal to set up a European Defence Fund at the end of this year in order to "turbo boost research and innovation". Europe does not need to sell more weapons, but less. The refugees at our doors are a very concrete and tragic proof of that.

President Juncker's focus when it comes to migration and asylum is not what we need right now. What is needed is better and more functional relocation schemes, not more border guards.

The Commission's messages regarding regulating the power of corporations are mildly put mixed. We welcome recent measures against tax evasion and look forward to more concrete action from the Commission in order to make taxation fair. Nevertheless, we cannot but deplore that President Juncker is still trying to push through disastrous trade agreements that millions of Europeans are fighting against for very good reasons.

Finally, we welcome President Juncker's appeal to EU Member States to ratify the Paris Agreement. It is not only embarrassing that the EU has failed to do so yet, it is also of utmost importance for the future of all young people on this planet.

Do not let us down.


Image by Theophilos Papadopoulos / Creative Commons