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Young Greens on the State of the European Union

Yesterday, European Commission President Juncker held his State of the Union speech. Despite voicing concerns on migration social inequality and climate change, the call for more trade was the strongest one. Focussing on trade agreements that benefit businesses and harm people and the environment, is not the way to go.

No more trade agreements that ignore people and planet

We are happy to hear that the President requests more transparency when it comes to negotiating trade agreements, both from the European Commission as from the Council. Focussing more on trade agreements, such as CETA which will go into force shortly, however brings a lot of issues with them. Trade agreements always have big business at the heart, rather than the people of Europe or our environment. A focus that we want to see shifted. Both for the current as future generations.

Europe must take the Paris Agreement seriously!

Juncker wants Europe to be the leader when it comes to the fight against climate change and the European Commission will soon present their plan to reduce the impact of the transport sector within Europe. We expect the European Commission to stop funding the treacherous car industry and focus on real solutions, such as high quality train-infrastructure all over the union. Unfortunately that won't be the only way we can commit to the Paris Climate Change agreement. We will need more efforts in all part of our society to protect our future and make sure we stay under a temperature rise of 1.5 degrees. Stop protecting big polluters!

Stop the tragedy in the Mediterranean and on its shores

We support the President’s call for more legal ways to reach Europe and look forward to seeing this in concrete policy proposals from the Commission. At the same time, we cannot but deplore the President’s cynical comments about the declining number of migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean. The pushbacks to Libya and the appalling conditions for migrants there, which have been documented plentiful , is not something that Europe can swipe under the carpet We expect concrete action from the Commission and from the Member States in order to ensure safe passage to Europe and an end to the dying in the Mediterranean Sea and the Sahara desert. The European treatment of lifesavers in the Mediterranean Sea is a disgrace and needs to stop immediately.

A more democratic Europe is always a good idea!

We embrace the mission of the President to create a more democratic Europe. The European elections shouldn't just be a sum of national campaigns. Transnational lists and leading candidates are a vital component of such a Union. And let's not forget who we need within this democracy. Opening up membership for the Western Balkans is a positive first step. And while we make Europe more democratic, why not lower the voting age to 16. Because in a real democracy, everyone should have a voice.

So, President Juncker, to sum up

Focus on people, not on business
Take the Paris Agreement seriously
Make concrete progress in creating legal ways to reach Europe
Fight for more democracy, also for youth