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The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
The week started on a positive note, with László Andor presenting the current state of play of the Youth Employment Initiative at the European Parliament in Strasburg. Behind the good news about the financial framework and the support of the Member States who will add to the 6.4 billion budget, is the message that investing in education and training is an investment which pays off and is more than just symbolic. (Read the roll-out here)
Gaza’s Reconstruction: step up efforts for social justice!
SOLIDAR and its members organized a webinar to discuss with PNGO-Palestinian Non-Governmental Organizations Network, Amjad Shawa (PNGO director Gaza), the current living and working conditions in Gaza after the war. At the webinar Mr. Shawa underlined the need for urgent action by the European Union to support the Palestinian people – and in particular young people – and enable socio-economic development and social justice to those 60.000 people that are living precarious lives as a consequence of the war. In particular, he urged to setup a national commission for Gaza’s reconstruction.
This Sunday 800 people trying to reach Europe are dispersed in the Mediterranean Sea. A boat packed with up to 250 migrants trying to reach Europe has sunk off the Libyan coast. According to the latest information available, only 36 of them have been rescued. Some 500 people are missing and feared drowned after people smugglers sank a boat carrying them last week 300 miles off the coast of Malta. For the umpteenth time, a human tragedy happened just at the borders of the European Union. And this while the Italian government has just declared it will end its rescue operation, Mare Nostrum and leave it to a division of the border agency called Frontex Plus, although funding and missions of the new operation are still unclear.
New Juncker Commission – Excitement, Opportunities, Threats
The Tweet of Martin Selmayr, head of the transition cabinet of Commission President-elect Juncker, on Monday evening indicating that there will be surprises in the attribution of portfolios to the Commissioners designated by the Member States, was promising and exciting. As a result, so many people wanted to witness the live broadcasted press conference of Juncker that the Commission server had difficulties yesterday midday.