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The right answers?
Between hectic diplomatic moves to build an international coalition to fight DAESH, increased security measures and the desertion of public spaces, the political questions remain on the table: how to fight the enemies of democracy without undermining democracy itself? How to stop the new “youth culture” of Jihad from recruiting more and more followers whose sole aim seems to be taking pleasure in killing themselves and those who want to enjoy life?
New ENP should be more about human rights and less about security!
Last week, the joint communication on the review of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) was launched, setting out a new basis for the relations between the EU and its Neighbours.
While the communication addresses the common challenges of socio-economic development, youth employability, good governance, democracy and the rule of law, SOLIDAR is concerned about the strong focus given to “hard” security (which features in both the energy and migration sectors), and little focus given to the progressive realisation of ESCRs, and all human rights in general. Also, while the communication ensures that the EU will engage with all partners in an inclusive dialogue on human rights and democracy issues, it still doesn’t clarify how human rights conditionality will be implemented in the context of a re-negotiation of the Association Agreements with partner countries.
Solidarity Beyond Borders – call for a European day of Action on 18 December
On 21 and 22 November, SOLIDAR participated in a meeting in Thessaloniki (Greece) with many grassroots organisations working to provide support and humanitarian assistance to migrants along the Western Balkan route as well as several European networks such as Migreurop, European Alternatives, Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network and European Civic Forum. On the first day of the meeting participants visited the refugee camp in Eidomeni on the border with Macedonia. The situation along the Western Balkan route changed dramatically after the increased security measures put in place by border control police after the terroristic attacks in Paris. In particular, since last week the Macedonian border has been closed to migrants, with the exception of Syrians, Iraqis and Afghanis. This selection procedure based on nationality is in contrast with international legislation on asylum and is creating a lot of tension and protests among the migrants stuck at the Macedonian border. Therefore, participants at the meeting agreed to consolidate the communication flow among civil society organisations working along the Western Balkan route in order to share information and improve the capacity to provide solidarity responses to the needs emerging from the changing situation.
Education, Youth, Culture and Sport Council meeting: need to step up integration efforts
Ministers of Youth and Education for EU Member States met on 23-24 November 2015 in Brussels for the ’Education, Youth, Culture and Sports’ Council. Following the tragic events in Paris on 13 November 2015, the Ministers underlined the relevance of the Paris declaration of 17 March 2015 on promoting citizenship and the common values of freedom, tolerance and non-discrimination through education. Moreover, the Council informed that it will launch, in the framework of the Erasmus+ programme, a specific call for proposals in this field with a budget of 3 million euros in November.