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"Bearing in mind that more than 50% of current jobs will be automated in the near future with no guarantee that new jobs will be created, what efforts can the European Union make in order to ensure "The Right to Work", following Article 23 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is upheld?"

By Artur Chichorro (PT)

Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL)

1. The topic at a glance

The technological developments that profoundly impact the world in which we live grant us new unexplored possibilities as well as challenges. Self-driving cars, machines that cook complicated meals for us, algorithms that automatically respond to emails and even stores that are capable of selling products without any type of human interaction with the customer are all types of automation. All these technologies increase our productivity and improve our lives. Yet, many are concerned about the fact that their use will substitute work activities currently performed by humans. According to Article 23 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, everyone has the right to work. With automation, the basic viability of this proposition is questioned. How can we be sure that every human will be able to work knowing that automation threatens to replace such a significant percentage of the workforce? As a society, it is our job to decide and come up with policies and solutions about how we should integrate these technological developments in our industries. Are we finally being outcompeted? Knowing that the European Union is leading the global race towards automation, how will it adapt to this new chapter of the history of employment?

2. Facts

  • → 45-60% of all European workers could see themselves replaced by automation by 2030;
  • → Theoretically, about 50% of all jobs could be automated with already existing technology;
  • → If given adequate training, it is estimated that 96% of all workers at threat from technology could find similar or better work;
  • → Workers with a lower secondary degree education will be most affected by automation;
  • → For about 60% of occupations, at least 30% of the constituent activities could be automated;
  • → Unemployed people are twice as likely to suffer from psychological problems than employed people;
  • → While there are fewer new jobs created directly by technological progress, one additional technology job creates around five new, complementary jobs in the local non-tradable sector.

3. Key Actors and Institutions

*Check “OECD (March 2018): Putting faces to the jobs at risk of automation”

4. Key Conflicts or Key Challenges

The scale in which 21st century automation is impacting employment is regularly compared to the scale of shifts resulting from agriculture or manufacturing that we have seen in the past. In the past century, human labour has been constantly replaced through different innovations, often introduced through the means of technology. Automation has been an ongoing trend and the concerns of it replacing jobs go all the way back to the Roman Emperor Vespasian who refused to make use of a labour-saving machine in order to protect the workforce. In general, automation affects employment either negatively - by replacing workers - or positively - by increasing the demand for labour or by creating new jobs. When automobiles were introduced, even though horse related jobs were reduced, a lot of other jobs were created not only in the transportation sector, but also in other sectors with the introduction of drive thrus and motels, for example. In general, the long term impact that automobiles had was positive for employment since it increased productivity and generated more labour than what it displaced. With this in mind, one question is constantly asked: is the impact of 21stcentury automation indeed positive? To answer this question, it is important to note that Artificial Intelligence (AI)’s disruption of society is happening ten times faster and at 300 times the scale when compared to the 18th century Industrial Revolution. It is hard to measure if this is the time when we finally get outcompeted by our tools. Either way, it’s still up to us and to our policies to decide how we integrate these developments in our societies.

One argument in favour of this 21st century wave of automation and AI is that it actually makes our jobs more human. This results from the argument about how only some of the tasks of our jobs will actually be replaced by automation and that these will mostly be the repetitive and mundane tasks. Since creativity and sensing emotions are core to the human experience and difficult to automate, this time saved can be used for workers to develop their skills further and produce more meaningful work.

With simpler tasks being automated, the remaining tasks will require more social and emotional skills and more advanced cognitive capabilities. This might result in a decline in the number of low-skilled jobs with some reports claiming that 50% of low-skilled jobs will be automated. Other reports claim that not only low-skilled jobs are threatened by automation. Middle-skill jobs might initially require more training, but just like low-skilled jobs, after the skill is learned, it will eventually stop involving a lot of critical thinking. Examples of this are machine operators and office clerks. This makes them easier to automate and therefore, it is likely that middle-skill workers end up displaced. This raises many issues: job loss is an involuntary life event that deeply impacts the life and career of a worker. It might result in family disruption, social withdrawal and more far-reaching psychological damage. Not only would the displaced individual be severely affected, with the decline of low-skilled and middle-skilled jobs, but automation might also contribute to increasing inequality. After all, who owns the robots?

There are dozens of studies published online about the impact of automation on employment. Many advocate that automation will be destructive of our jobs, and that millions of people might go unemployed because of it. Others advocate that our tasks will simply change within many of our current jobs. Accordingly, the description of the impacts of automation differs between studies by different authorities, complicating the debate in the area significantly.

It is hard to predict if we are indeed facing an old issue, or if automation has finally reinvented itself to the point in which the shift is too major to bear. Is AI going to take most of our jobs or will it only make them change? Will new jobs be created now that our tools are so significantly different? Will low and middle-skilled work disappear? Will big corporations increase in size threatening humanity’s common goal to achieve equality? Will the 23rd article of the Universal Human Rights Declaration be internationally upheld?

5. What has been done so far?

The European Pillar of Social Rights is focused on granting equal opportunities and access to the labour market, fair working conditions and social inclusion for all Europeans. It is through it that the EU safeguards the rights regarding labour of its citizens.

One major focus of the EU is to close the skills gap. This will allow low and middle-skilled workers to seek training and develop new skills that will hopefully bring them enough expertise to stay in the labour market. Considering that it is predicted that automation will increase and create many high-skilled jobs, it is important to widen the skillsets of europeans so they can accurately adapt and respond to automation. More than this, it is also likely that with the rise of automation, humans will have to perform multiple jobs throughout their careers, thus requiring a wider set of skills. This process has already been started as it is proven that more and more people tend to switch jobs on a more frequent occasion than before globalisation. To close the skills gap, the EU promotes the New Skills Agenda for Europe which consists of 10 different actions to make the right training available to EU citizens. More than this agenda, the EU also makes country specific recommendations to guide Member States into designing their own concrete policies. These policies are then put into practice thanks to EU Funding from funds such as the European Social Fund, the EU programme for Employment and Social Innovation or even Erasmus+. are then put into practice thanks to EU Funding from funds such as the European Social Fund, the EU programme for Employment and Social Innovation or even Erasmus+. Just like the EU, the OECD also promotes national skills strategies to promote economic prosperity and social cohesion.

The EU’s European Employment Strategy (EES) aims to create more and better jobs throughout the EU. It is based on employability, entrepreneurship, adaptability and equal opportunities. Each year the Member States draw National Action Plans on Employment and are obliged to provide the European Commission reports about their implementation. The EES is in itself a part of European 2020 growth strategy which sets goals and targets for 2020 and for the Member States to aim towards.

The EURES is the EU’s jobs mobility portal. It is formed by public employment services and aims at facilitating the free movement of workers within the European Economic Area. This allows European citizens to easily apply their skills where they are most required within the union, facilitating social mobility.

6. Videos & Additional Links

  • → Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael A. Osborne: (September 2013) The Future of Employment: How susceptible are jobs to computerisation?
  • → MIT Technology Review, David Rotman: (February 2017) The Relentless Pace of Automation
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"In an increasingly technology dependent world, less than 30% of the world’s researchers working in science and technology are women, and an even smaller percentage of women reach senior positions across all industries. What should be done in order to promote female representation in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and to decrease the gender gap amongst senior positions?"

By Martyna Szumniak (SE)

Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM) I

1. The topic at a glance

In 2019, women are still greatly underrepresented in the job market. Science-focused jobs and senior positions across all industries are still dominated by men, with only 17% of senior positions in the EU being filled by women.

Additionally, there is a big gap in fields related to science, technology, math and engineering. While women dominate all levels of tertiary education (apart from doctoral level studies) and graduate at a higher rate (57.6%) than men, there are twice as many male graduates in science, mathematics, computing, engineering, manufacturing and construction, than female graduates.

As the world is increasingly becoming more digitised, there is a high demand for high-quality leadership, and gender gaps amongst leadership positions in STEM fields are the main villains in preventing the optimisation of potential in the job market.

2. Facts

  • → The European Commission estimates that by 2020 over 900,000 additional employees will be needed in the IT sector. In the entire STEM sector, seven million new jobs are predicted by 2025;
  • → Women account for a little over one quarter of board members of publicly listed companies in the EU (27%), and accounted for less than a fifth of senior executives (17%) in 2018;
  • → Closing the gender gap in STEM is predicted to contribute to an increase in EU GDP per capita by 2.2 to 3.0% in 2050. This means an improvement in GDP by €610 - €820 billion in 2050;
  • → At EU level, 17% of senior executives are women, which is 5% more compared with five years ago (12% in 2013);
  • → Globally, 72% of scientific researchers are men. Only one in five countries achieve what is called“gender parity,” meaning that women make up 45%-55% of researchers;
  • → While on average, in the EU, 41% of scientists and engineers are women, the numbers vary from 25% to 57% for each specific country.

3. Key Actors

Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and local organisations - NGOs and local organisations are often big actors in spreading awareness amongst societies and citizens, reaching more personal levels and in some cases stronger impact due to their bottom-up approach. Examples of such organisations are European Women’s lobby and Karat.

The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) and BUSINESSEUROPE - two umbrella organisations which together represent 20 million companies and 82 trade organisations in Europe.

Individual companies and employers - The actions, frameworks and decisions of individual businesses largely influence the direction of the job market. As company culture and reputation are important factors when choosing a workplace, big players in specific industries, such as STEM, often have a big influence on how attractive the industry is for people of specific genders.

4. Key Institutions

Local governments - In many countries, social policies and frameworks dictate the opportunities women have to build and maintain a career and in what areas they are more likely to succeed. For example, due to ambitious social and welfare policies, nordic countries lead in many areas within gender equality.

Educational institutions - Institutions such as universities and schools play a big role as the STEM gap often starts at a higher-education level where women are far less represented in STEM subjects.

European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) - EIGE is an autonomous body of the European Union. It was established to strengthen the promotion of gender equality across the Union. This includes gender mainstreaming in all EU policies and the resulting national policies, and the fight against discrimination based on sex, as well as to raise EU citizens’ awareness of gender equality.

The European Commission - The European Commission is the executive arm of the EU, which is responsible for all legislative proposals, upholding existing treaties and day-to-day business of the Union. It decides on the political and strategic direction of the EU.

Key Conflicts or Key Challenges

Gender stereotypes - while the gender gap in science is constantly decreasing, gender stereotypes and stereotypes surrounding “male” vs “female” jobs and careers are still hindering women from entering male-dominated industries. This is also applicable to education, where a high representation of men within subjects such as engineering, maths and sciences, sometimes discourages women from applying to or attending courses due to the small percentage of female peers.

Social and legal frameworks - frameworks regarding areas such as parental leave, sick leave and flexible working often hinder women from reaching certain positions or having certain jobs, due to their family commitments.

Social and biological pressures - by nature, many women become pregnant in their 20s-30s, meaning that they need time off from work or university. Due to a lack of supporting structures, they are often unable to pursue careers at the same time as stereotypes and expectations often influence the opportunities presented to them. For example, younger women are less likely to be hired, as managers fear they will possibly need maternity leave.

The “right way” to go about this issue - while some believe that as society evolves, gender gaps will naturally close in the job market, others believe that the best way to combat the issue is by implementing quotas on various levels of businesses and education, outlining specific percentages of how many women need to fill certain positions and industries.

6. What has been done so far?

In the EU, there is a variety of frameworks and initiatives in place to encourage gender equality and increase female participation in the labour market. The Strategic Engagement for Gender Equality is a framework for the European Commission's future work towards full gender equality, focusing on five priority areas, including female representation in the labour market and reducing the gender pay gap. The maternity leave framework written in the 1992 Pregnant workers directive is to be maintained as EU institutions are set to approve a new legislation on work-life balance and minimum paternity leave in 2019. While the “She Figures 2018" statistics outline progress made towards gender equality in research and innovation in the European Union, there is a lack of strict frameworks for gender representation in various areas of the labour market. In 2012, the European Commission proposed legislation to increase the number of women on corporate boards by 40% in publicly listed companies, and has proposed a variety of initiatives, however there is a lack of specific legislation and frameworks in place.

7. Further Links

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"The fashion of destruction - With the textile industry being the second most prominent polluter worldwide, what measures should the EU take to lessen and prevent further environmental pollution of the textile industry and its negative impacts on society?"

By Alenka Gosarič (SI)

Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI I)

1. The topic at a glance

The textile and clothing industry is one of the biggest polluters in the world and due to its rapid growth, it’s industrial pollution is also on a rapid rise. Predictions say that pollution and waste production of the industry are bound to increase by 50% by 2030. It’s detrimental societal and environmental effects are already felt all around the globe. The effects are noticeable at the very beginning of the production cycle, staying present throughout the item’s usage and far surpassing its lifespan. Most items end up being incinerated or dissolved in landfills presenting an imminent ecological threat to soil, air, and water systems as well as human physical and mental wellbeing. If the suggested solutions are not implemented accordingly and new methods are not developed, the industry will play a big role in the decline of life as we know it and will continue to prevent the improvement of living conditions across the world.

2. Facts

  • → Globally only 1% of clothes and textiles are recycled into new ones, the rest ending up in landfills or being incinerated;
  • → In 2015, the global textiles and clothing industry created 79 billion cubic meters of wastewater, 1.2 billion tons of CO2 emissions and 92 million tons of material waste;
  • → There are more than 1900 chemicals used in the production of clothes, 165 of which are labeled as hazardous to health or the environment by the EU;
  • → The textile industry employs 1.7 million people in the EU which comprises 6% of all manufacturing jobs in the EU;
  • → The EU’s textile and clothing industry is mostly constituted of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs);
  • → In 2017 the EU had a turnover of 181 billion euros through the textile and clothing industry;
  • → The amount of industrially manufactured clothes rose by 40% within the last few decades;
  • → In the last 15 years, global clothes utilisation has decreased by 36%.

3. Key Actors

Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) - have 50 or fewer employees even though they comprise 90% of EU’s Textile and Clothing workforce.

European Textile Services Association (ETSA) - is an association for textile rental companies and national textile services associations in Europe, committed to cater the changing needs of textile consumers, ensure environmental sustainability of products, and maintain a socially responsible business model.

EURATEX - the European Apparel and Textile Confederation which represents the interests of the industry in front of the EU institutions. It provides them with data and tools for the making of policies. Focusing on industry’s policy, research and innovation support, free and fair trade, and sustainable production.

European Environment Agency (EEA) - is an EU agency that provides reliable and independent information concerning the environment, to help policymakers achieve improvements through the legislature.

European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) - is the EU information agency for occupational health and safety, providing data for policy creation. Their aim is to create a safer, healthier and more productive workspace in the EU.

4. Key Institutions

European Commission (EC) - represents the executive branch of the EU. It has the full initiative power to start the legislation and budgetary process by proposing it to the Council of the European Union and European Parliament.

The Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (ESME) - was established by the European Commission to manage and fund programmes for SME support and innovation, environment, climate action, energy, and maritime affairs.

Directorate-General on Environment (ENV) - is responsible for proposing and implementing the EU's environmental policies, that ensure the protection of the environment and living quality in the EU

The European Commission - The European Commission is the executive arm of the EU, which is responsible for all legislative proposals, upholding existing treaties and day-to-day business of the Union. It decides on the political and strategic direction of the EU.

Key Conflicts or Key Challenges

Employment opportunities VS working conditions

The industry employs a high number of workers through the process of production. It plays a big role in the EU’s income as it is the second-largest exporter of clothing and textiles in the world, with 48 billion euros worth of products. Behind those figures hide the workers of Eastern and southern Europe who are paid a minimum wage to work over hours for big brands in detrimental conditions. Most common results of working in the European textile and clothing industry are high numbers of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) in workers. There is an undeniably high risk of accidents and exposure to chemical, biological and physical agents, dust and fibres which have a significant impact on the workers, some especially harmful to women who comprise more than 70% of the EU's textile work force. There is a recorded higher risk of nasal, laryngeal and bladder cancer, allergies and respiratory disorders, and hearing damage. Fast-paced and repetitive work with no influence can cause stress and psychosocial issues in employees. The EU imports 121 billion euros worth of textiles, 70% of that from Asian countries, with high exploitation rates of workers, who work in much more hazardous conditions.

Production

Fibre production is highly polluting, as it has serious ecological and societal impacts. Excessive usage of pesticides and synthetic fertilisers, harmful to the environment, workers’ and locals’ health. Furthermore, the production causes soil exhaustion and destruction of self-regeneration capacity, disturbance of water balance and usage of land suitable for agriculture. Dyeing and finishing of the products is also gravely polluting due to large consumption of water and energy, usage of more toxic chemicals, such as AOX, formaldehyde and heavy metals, to dye fabrics, using up to 150 liters of water per kilogram of fabric. The aforementioned chemicals are dangerous to workers’ health, are highly non-degradable and the main culprit for polluted wastewater. At the stage of clothes production, 15% of fabric ends up as waste. Many times companies do not appropriately or realistically “care label” their products.

Natural VS Manmade materials

Natural fibres have the biggest impact on the environment. Cotton accounts for more than 43% of the materials used on the EU market. While the production of cotton uses 3% of the world’s arable land, it is responsible for 24% of insecticides, 11% of pesticides and 20,000 liters of water for only one kilogram of cotton. Such water consumption contributes to excessive water scarcity. Other natural materials such as silk and wool cause depletion of natural resources and contribute greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. However, the industry is trying other natural fibres such as linen, nettle, hemp, flex and sustainable cotton, whose production is greener. While polyester production requires smaller amounts of water it is not biodegradable but can be recycled into virgin fibres. The industry has recently been experimenting with biobased polyester. One of the promising solutions is the natural man-made cellulosic (MMC), renewable and biodegradable, however, with a short-lifespan.

Low clothing utilisation VS Consumer use

On average EU citizens yearly buy 9.5 million tonnes of new clothes and textiles. Meanwhile, more than 30% of clothes in their wardrobes have not been used for at least a year. Convincing consumers to buy less could have grave impacts on the business profit and economy as the EU is a top market for textiles and fashion with a high rate of consumption per capita. This phenomenon is the result of a decrease in prices, fast transportation and fast fashion chains presenting high numbers of different collections every year. By doubling the average number of times a garment is worn, GHG emissions would be 44% lower. However, the up-keeping of clothes has the biggest environmental footprint in the life cycle of textiles, due to high usage of water, energy, chemicals and shedding of microplastics into water. As one laundry of polyester, nylon and acrylic clothes discharges 700 000 toxin releasing microplastic fibres into the environment.

End of life VS Continuity

Data shows that a maximum of 20% of all used textiles and clothes are gathered in the EU. Out of these only 50% are recycled, while others are most commonly incinerated or end up releasing methane in landfills. Some clothes, however, do continue their lives in second-hand shops. The problem of gathering textiles in the EU is the lack of consistency between Member States, as some gather large quantities, others barely any. The reason for gathering textiles is to, later on, recycle them and support the case of circular fashion. The other cause for the low amount of recycled clothes, is lack of recycling technology. As clothes are a big polluter, adequate technology to recycle and turn them into virgin fibres is highly needed. For now, the majority of recycled clothes are being mechanically down-cycled, cut up or shredded, losing 75% of their original value. Current technological advances make it possible for polyester and nylon to be chemically recycled into high-quality virgin fibres.

Fast fashion VS Slow Fashion

Rise in buying big amounts of clothes and their low utilisation is the cause of fast fashion. The low price for consumers is a high price for oftentimes exploited workers and low levels of sustainability. The fast transport of products to the EU accounts for 2% of the industry's climate-changing impacts, the bigger problem is the excessive packaging. The multinational fast-fashion chains have recently started their sustainability campaigns and research for new technologies. Slow fashion which is to be sustainable is on a slow rise, with its prime idea to buy less, better quality and for longer, proposing a change in the economic model of selling clothes. Its benefits also threaten the economic survival of the producers, therefore, the prices are higher and affordability lower. Oftentimes this turns off the big consumers, alongside with the less polished style and the notion of recycled clothes being of lower quality.

6. What has been done so far?

Standards and Criteria

The European Standard CEN/TS 16822:2015: are a set of standards for textiles and clothing, which relate to performance and environmental aspects, created by the European Committee for Standardization (CEN). They are a technical specification which establishes guidelines for the development and use of self-declared environmental claims for textiles, products and their components.

Commission Decision 2014/350/EU: is an ecological criteria, created by The EU Ecolabel, a voluntary certification program, of the EC, for clothing and textiles. It guarantees a limited use of harmful substances, reduction in pollution and extension of clothes’ lifespan.

Green Public Procurement (GPP): is a set of EU criteria for textiles, established by the ENV, which facilitates the inclusion of green requirements in public tender documents. Its implementation is not obligatory.

Textile regulation: presented by the EP and Council provides rules for labeling and marketing of textile products, naming textile fibres and obliges to state the full fibre composition at all stages.

Disposal

EU circular economy package: is created out of four directives, three of which have relevance to textile waste. The first being the Waste Directive, which requires all Member States to set up schemes, which will ensure separate gathering of textiles, by 2025 the latest and urges the EC to consider whether targets for textile reuse and recycling should be introduced. The Packaging waste directive introduces targets for recycling of all packaging as well as material-specific targets, while the Landfill directive introduces targets for all Member States to decrease the municipal waste landfill.

Eco TLC: is the only public authorised organisation allowed to organise a collective collection system for textiles in France, which is the only Member State that has an extended producer responsibility (EPR) law for clothes.``

H&M: is one of the companies in Member States that voluntarily collects and accepts any clothes in their shops in exchange for a small reward.

Working conditions

Council directive 89/391: was introduced to encourage improvements on the working conditions in the EU, focusing on health and safety of workers, through creation of safety mechanism on the foundation of prevention and protection.

Resolutions of the European Parliament on textiles and environments

Resolution on sustainability in the global cotton value chain: welcomed global initiatives to minimise the industry’s environmental impact.

Resolution on the second anniversary of the Rana Plaza building collapse and progress of the Bangladesh Sustainability Compact: called for the creation of a legal obligation of due diligence for EU companies which had their production stations in third countries.

Resolution on implementation of the 2010 recommendations of Parliament on social and environmental standards, human rights and corporate responsibility: called for corporate responsibility for human rights, social and environmental standards, in terms of trade diplomacy.

Resolution on the EU flagship initiative on the garment sector: focused on labour and environmental issues of the textile industry in third countries. It called for the Commission’s promotion of the use of ecological and sustainable raw materials, as well as the re-use and recycling of textiles in the EU. It calls for funding in areas of research and development in recycling and proposes the creation of legislation on due diligence for supply chains as well as highlights the importance of consumer information.

Funding

LIFE funding: was created in 1992 by EASME as a funding programme for the environment and climate action. For the current period of 2014 - 2020 it has been granted a budget of 3.4billion euros, which provided funding to the European clothing action plan (ECAP), a project worth 3.6million euros, with the aim of reducing clothing waste and the realisation of applying the circular economy approach. It ended in March 2019 and gathered great amounts of data which are continuing to be published.

7. Further Links

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"Bearing in mind that more than 1 million people in Europe still do not have access to clean drinkable water due to economic and infrastructural barriers, what steps should the EU take to ensure all citizens have this fundamental right?"

By Filip Konić (HR)

Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety III (ENVI III)

1. The topic at a glance

The EU is the world’s largest donor in the water sector, granting access to improved water supply and sanitation facilities to millions in developing countries. However, 1 million people in Europe lack access to clean drinkable water, mostly due to economic and infrastructural barriers. This prompted demands for universal access to water and sanitation services to all the EU’s population, such as those by European Citizens Initiative (ECI) Right2Water in 2012. However, six years after the campaign, the EU institutions still have not addressed all the requests. Furthermore, it is projected that around 100 million Europeans may face water scarcity in the near future due to overconsumption of water, but also due to water quality problems, such as point source pollution, single identifiable localised sources of pollution. This requires not only increased access to water but also preserving it for those who already have it.

2. Facts

3. Key Actors

World Health Organisation (WHO) - the United Nations’ agency that is concerned with international public health. It keeps track of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) access in the world and publishes guidelines and recommendations on water safety and quality.

European Environment Agency (EEA) - the EU’s agency providing independent information on the environment through its website, assessments and reports.

Scientific Committee on Health and Environmental Risks (SCHER) - European Commission’s science committee which provides opinions on health and environmental risks related to pollutants in the environment, such as water quality.

European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) - an organisation representing 8 million members of trade unions in the public service sector in the EU.

European Citizens Initiative (ECI) Right2Water - ECI was launched by EPSU, but is being supported by many other organisations and around 1.7 million citizens of the EU. Right2Water’s aim is to protect water as a universally accessible public good.

4. Key Institutions

European Commission (EC) - the executive body of the EU, which proposes legislation and acts upon requests of successful ECIs. It uses the help of its agencies for scientific input. Its Cohesion and European Regional Development funds may be used to improve and expand water management and infrastructure.

Directorate-General for Environment - the European Commission’s department responsible for EU policy on the environment. It cooperates with the Member States, especially on official reporting requirements of EU water legislation.

Member States - build and maintain water infrastructure, mostly at the municipal level. They are a critical part of the Drinking Water Directive, regulating water supply systems and reporting on drinking water quality.

Key Challenges

Employment opportunities VS working conditions

While a large majority of the EU population enjoys reliable access to clean drinking water, 1 million of them lack this essential provision. This is mostly due to lacking infrastructure in remote areas, which requires a large upfront investment into plumbing or other sources of water supply. In addition, poor people may face a lack of funds to regularly pay for their water, leading to being cut off from the network. The ageing infrastructure, especially in less developed Member States, contributes to water leaks, pollution of the system by harmful substances etc.

Drinking water has to be clean, safe and wholesome, not containing unallowed concentrations of microorganisms, parasites or harmful substances that could pose a danger to human health. Thus, ensuring proper water quality is essential. Water suppliers and public health agencies of Member States monitor drinking water to ensure it complies to these microbiological and chemical standards. While the EU can act on certain aspects of the water industry, such as public health and environmental protection, most decisions on water provisions remain in the hands of national and local governments.

Occasionally, large groups of people temporarily do not have reliable access to drinking water, due to point and diffusive sources of water pollution. Leaks of chemical waste, greywater or other agents or improper treatment of wastewater may lead to increased concentrations of chemical substances and microorganisms, making it unsafe for human consumption. Certain environmental hazards, such as floods and droughts, may also lead to problems with water supply. Ensuring reliable access to clean drinking water is, therefore, a question of environmental protection and proper risk management.

Finally, as human activity continues contributing to global warming, increasing water abstraction compared to its supply may lead to water scarcity in large areas of the EU, affecting millions of Europeans. Some of the largest consumers of water are agriculture, nuclear and coal electric plants and industries. Many such applications unnecessarily use drinkable water. Water reuse is underutilised, mostly due to limited awareness of potential benefits and lack of supportive and coherent framework. Furthermore, old piping may leak up to 50% of water on its way to end users.

6. What has been done so far?

European water legislation exists since the 1970s, with standards for waters used for drinking water abstraction and binding quality targets for drinking water. In 1998, Directive 98/83/EC - Drinking Water Directive (DWD), reviewed the quality standards. It applies to water intended for human consumption: all distribution systems serving more than 50 people, drinking water from tankers, in bottles and food processing. It laid out a total of 48 microbiological, chemical and indicator parameters which must be monitored and tested regularly, using the WHO’s guidelines and SCHER’s opinion as the scientific basis. Its main principles are planning, regulation, monitoring, and information and reporting. Member States may regulate additional parameters or set higher standards than those in DWD. Additionally, they have to ensure the information on drinking water quality is available to the consumers and submit a report on the quality of water to the European Commission every three years.

In 2000, the EU Water Framework Directive expanded the scope of water protection to all surface waters and groundwater, introduced “polluter pays principle” to encourage sustainable use and combined ecological protection and quality standards. It establishes water management based on river basins - the natural geographical and hydrological units. Its main principle is “Water is not a commodity”.

EC’s 2007 Communication - Addressing the challenge of water scarcity and droughts in the EU recognises major challenges caused by water scarcity and medium- or long-term droughts. Identified causes are lacking implementation of the Water Framework Directive, inefficient land-use planning and waste of water.

In 2010, the UN General Assembly recognised the human right to water and sanitation and acknowledged that access to clean, sufficient, affordable and physically accessible drinking water and sanitation are essential to the realisation of all human rights.

In 2012, the EC launched Blueprint to Safeguard Europe's Water Resources, a strategy emphasising the need to increase water efficiency, conserving water quantity, while not endangering water quality.

In 2012, European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) Right2Water, organised by EPSU, demanded guaranteed and universal (global) access to water and sanitation for all in Europe and no liberalisation of water services. The emphasis was on water as a human right, enshrining that idea in all EU official documents, protecting the water environment over commercial interests, and providing complete transparency and insight to the public, thus treating water as a public good. It became the first successful ECI, gathering more than 1.6 million signatures. This resulted in EC’s Communication, public hearing in the EP, EP’s resolution and revision and proposal of several acts.

In 2014, Slovenia amended its constitution, declaring access to water a fundamental right and becoming the second Member State to do so, after Slovakia.

In 2014 the EC launched an EU-wide public consultation on the Drinking Water Directive focusing on improving access to quality drinking water. The public requested more transparency, and revision of derogation regime and monitored parameters according to new scientific evidence. In 2015, DWD was amended to improve the monitoring of drinking water.

In 2017, the European Pillars of Social Rights were proclaimed. One of them is access to essential services, among which is good quality water, marking a step to guaranteed access to water.

After a study supporting revision and impact assessment, the EC proposed a revised Drinking Water Directive in February of 2018. It reflected the demands of Right2Water, such as improving the water quality and safety by updating the list of criteria for determining water safety by including new pathogens and substances, in line with WHO’s latest guidelines,improving access for all people, especially for vulnerable and marginalised groups and providing the public and easy, online access to information about the quality and supply of drinking water in their living area. The European Parliament adopted a stricter version of this proposal. EPSU regretted that EC stopped short of recognising the human right to water and sanitation in its proposal, while Right2Water was disappointed by the watered-down general approach taken by the European Council.

In May of 2018, the EC proposed new regulation to stimulate and facilitate water reuse in the EU for agricultural irrigation, setting minimum requirements for reclaimed water, combating over-abstraction of water and water scarcity.

Finally, several technological developments may help in combating water scarcity, such as membrane-based desalination, various water reclamation and reuse projects and better water management in agriculture. European Innovation Partnership on Water helps in facilitating the development of such solutions.

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"The United States’ inability to detect and disrupt the interferences in the 2016 presidential election was a demonstration of how new information technologies might affect our decision-making. How should the EU and its Member States work against information warfare and ensure the stability of our democracy?"

By Matias Mäkiranta (FI)

Committee on Security and Defense II (SEDE II)

1. The topic at a glance

Information warfare is a term which involves the battlespace use of information and communication technologies. There are several examples of information warfare and disinformation campaigns. During the 2016 US presidential election, Russia hacked the Hillary Clinton campaign, released politically damaging information and spread fake news and propaganda on social media. However, Russia is not meddling only in the United States. There have been several pro-Kremlin disinformation cases in the Eastern Partnership countries and in the European Union. According to the Action Plan against disinformation, Russia’s information warfare poses the greatest threat to the EU, but reports suggest that already over 30 countries are using disinformation campaigns. For example, there is evidence of China’s interference in Taiwan. Information warfare can give foreign outside actors a possibility to interfere with free elections and therefore threaten democracy and its legitimacy by manipulating the public opinion. Free elections are at risk if the outcome of the elections can be effected with information warfare. Disinformation campaigns and information warfare are often part of hybrid warfare involving cyberattacks and hacking of networks, which can not only destabilize our democracy but also build mistrust and polarization.

2. Facts

3. Key Actors

Social media companies: Fake news spread online, especially on social media. Social media is mainly owned by big companies such as Facebook, Twitter and Google and the co-operation with these companies is necessary in order to fight fake news.

The European Union: The EU can implement new regulations in order to force social media companies to be more transparent or improve cybersecurity. The EU can also start new initiatives to tackle disinformation.

The Member States: Many Member States have their own units or task forces that work against disinformation and information warfare. One way to address this is through education: for example Finland launched an anti-fake news initiative in 2014.

The Eastern Partnership: The Eastern Partnership countries (Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Moldova) are threatened by pro-Kremlin trolls. During the past year there have been more pro-Kremlin disinformation cases in Ukraine than in the whole EU combined.

Non-governmental organisations: Due to the rising amount of misinformation, fact-checking has also become more and more important. Several non-governmental organisations have their own projects and initiatives against misinformation.

The users: The users of online and social media have a major impact on how misinformation spreads in the internet. Media literacy and cybersafety skills are important skills for online users.

4. Key Institutions

The European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA): ENISA is the centre for cybersecurity expertise in the European Union. It works together with the Member States by creating recommendations and supporting policy making and implementation.

The European External Action Service (EEAS): The European External Action Service is the diplomatic service of foreign and defense ministries in the EU. The EEAS East Stratcom Task Force analyses disinformation trends, exposes disinformation campaigns and raises awareness of disinformation coming from the Russian state. Another important EEAS cell is the Hybrid Fusion Cell which works to tackle hybrid threats including information warfare.

Key Challenges

Information warfare is a complicated issue with multiple stakeholders including private companies, countries and agencies which makes it difficult to tackle the whole issue.

Firstly, information warfare tactics are constantly evolving. Information warfare tactics include flooding the information zone with fake bots and websites, deep-fake videos, manipulating search results, spreading hacked or wrong information and encouraging groups that use polarising narratives. The tools to spread disinformation evolve rapidly which means that the response against them needs to evolve even more quickly.

Secondly, it is difficult to fight against fake bots, since some people do not even see the difference between a fake account and a real person. People are bad at spotting fake news and eventually ordinary citizens end up sharing disinformation on social media. This makes it even harder to find out the source of disinformation. Sadly, not a lot of research has been done in this field to be able to fully understand and grasp the causes of people not being able to differentiate fake from real news.

Thirdly, we have to address cybersecurity. If confidential information gets into the wrong hands, it can be a powerful weapon as was seen during the 2016 US presidential election. Preventing hacking attacks and proactively identifying new threats in technology is extremely important.

Yet another issue is the lack of transparency in the data that the government and the social media companies gather. Transparency in general is an important part of the issue. In a highly transparent society it is harder to spread fake narratives than in a society where trustworthy information is hard to access. A threatening view is also that people spreading disinformation might cooperate with political groups. For example, Russia has supported populist groups that they believe would weaken the unity of the European Union.

To conclude, constantly evolving tactics, the actions of users, lack of transparency and flaws in cybersecurity are among the main issues which make tackling information warfare more difficult and challenging.

The video below shows how Russian trolls spread disinformation on the internet:

6. What has been done so far?

Cybersecurity Act: The European Union’s Cybersecurity Act reaches to strengthen the cybersecurity in all the Member States and it also gave a permanent mandate to ENISA. This stakeholder is now an independent center of expertise that is responsible for supporting Member States in case of cyberattacks, helping in policy development and raising awareness about the issue.

Action Plan against Disinformation: In 2018 the European Commission also launched an Action Plan against Disinformation. The Action plan is based on four pillars, which include improving the Unions capability to detect disinformation, strengthening coordinated responses to disinformation, mobilizing private sector to tackle disinformation and raising awareness about the issue.

The European External Action Service East Stratcom Task Force: The Task Force was created in order to fight the disinformation spread by Russia. It analyses and exposes disinformation campaigns, but also raises awareness. The Task Force is also the organisation behind the EU vs Disinformation campaign, which gathers information on pro-Kremlin disinformation cases. The Task Force uses mainly the budget for EU Strategic Communication, but in 2018 it was granted 1,1 million and in 2019 3 million in order to address Russia’s disinformation.

Education initiatives: Several Member States have also come up with different ways to battle fake news. One way to address the problem is through education: for example, the Finnish government launched an anti-fake news initiative already in 2014. It aims to teach citizens the difference between fake and real news. In a study including 35 countries, Finland ranked first out in resilience to the post-truth phenomenon. Other countries close to Russia are also trying to educate their citizens about the problem and Ukraine is another example of doing so. A Ukrainian initiative reaches to have media literacy training for 8th and 9th graders. The results have been promising: students were twice as likely to detect hate speech and 18 percent better at identifying fake news than students who weren’t on media literacy lessons.

Initiatives by private companies: Most of the fake news spread around social media, which means that private companies are also trying to find more effective ways to battle fake news. In fear of new regulations or sanctions, companies like Facebook have had to increase efforts to battle disinformation. Between October 2017 and November 2018 Facebook alone took down 2,8 billion fake accounts.

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"Modern slavery: In 2016, the number of registered victims of human trafficking was over 11,000, more than 56% of them being trafficked for sexual exploitation. What strategy should the EU develop to ensure the freedom of Europeans and ensure preservation of human dignity within its borders?"

By Patryk Sapała-Niedzin (PL)

Committee on Human Rights I (DROI I)

1. The topic at a glance

Human trafficking is a phenomenon involving the intentional exploitation of people against their own will by forcefully making them work, prostitute, give away organs for sale or beg. It is a grave violation of human rights, specifically prohibited by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. Prevention of this criminal activity is especially challenging due to the wide variety of factors contributing to a particular person being likely to become a victim of trafficking. This is currently the second largest source of illicit income after drug dealing, and it is often associated with other forms of organised crime. The necessity for providing adequate help for victims further adds to the complexity of the issue, as they often come from outside of the EU (with 58.5% of all victims of trafficking registered in the EU in 2016 coming from outside of its borders). Appropriate assistance must be case-specific, as factors such as age, gender, health, and nationality play a vital role in identifying the proper means of treatment of victims. Human trafficking is a multi-layer issue where human lives are at stake.

2. Facts

  • → The purpose of trafficking a victim is often gender-specific with women most commonly being subjected to sexual abuse, and men to forced labour. Less frequent forms of trafficking involve forcing the victim to beg or selling their organs on the black market;
  • → Women become victims of trafficking more frequently than men, as they constituted 62% of all registered victims in the years 2015-2016, and girls constituted 17%;
  • → Human trafficking is a form of organised crime and is the second largest illegal source of profit in the EU after drug dealing;
  • → The UN Office on Drugs and Crime approximates that there are 2.45 million people trafficked annually around the world, 1.2 million of whom are children;
  • → Victims are often chosen by the traffickers based on their vulnerability stemming from their economic circumstances, ethnic background, age, gender or the political situation in their country;
  • → Many countries’ policies are inadequate, rendering the likelihood of catching a trafficker low;
  • → The demand in wealthier countries or urban areas for prostitution and cheap labour force intensifies the rate of occurrence of trafficking;
  • → In the years 2015-2016, 58.5% of all registered victims of human trafficking in the EU were non-EU citizens.

3. Key Actors

Member States are in charge of implementing adequate legislation, and creating bodies to prevent human trafficking and fight against it. The situation varies from state to state as different countries play different roles in the trafficking system. Some tend to be mainly sources of victims, while others act as transit countries. The latter include Poland due to its geographical location between Western and Eastern Europe. An example of such a body acting on a national level is the Committee for Combating and Preventing Trafficking in Human Beings in Poland. It aims to develop and adopt legislative acts outlining the approach law enforcement and public administration should take to minimise the issue of trafficking. It is an advisory body available directly to the Prime Minister.

The EU’s power in this matter is limited to the supportive competences, which means that the EU may not pass legislative acts binding to Member States, and it is up to them to implement any legislation. The EU may only facilitate this process by creating guidelines, plans or institutions to monitor it and further help Member States develop policies. An example of such assistance would be passing the Directive 2004/81/EC or Directive 2011/36/EU by the European Commission.

4. Key Institutions

Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA) is a specialised group of experts from different fields and different countries, whose task is to publish reports evaluating measures taken by Member States to fulfil the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings by the Parties.

EU Anti-Trafficking Coordinator (EU ATC) is responsible for facilitating cooperation between major EU bodies, EU agencies, Member States, and international actors in terms of fighting against human trafficking. The Coordinator also oversees the implementation of EU legislation against trafficking, namely the EU Strategy towards the eradication of trafficking in human beings 2012-2016 and the December 2017 Communication stepping up EU Action to address trafficking in human beings

Key Challenges

Prevention - while solving existing cases of trafficking is important, it is also crucial for the EU to ensure no more people will be trafficked in the future. Many factors are at play when it comes to one being prone to becoming a victim, including age, sex, ethnic background, economic circumstances and state of health. Vulnerable people, often unaware of the risks associated with trafficking, are more likely to accept seemingly appealing job opportunities or other offers from traffickers and are thus forced into the system. Furthermore, jobs such as the sex industry and prostitution are considered high-risk factors as well. Many countries in the EU have undertaken preventive measures, such as the campaigns for raising awareness among students, teachers, and people present in areas associated with trafficking in Croatia. However, other Member States need to adjust their legislation to achieve the objectives set out by the EU. For example, Romanian authorities and legal bodies do not have sufficient power to take action in this area. Police are not allowed to conduct unannounced workplace inspections, while the government cannot punish recruitment agencies for trafficking-related crimes, despite both of the listed competences being potentially effective.

Prosecution of criminals - human trafficking is a form of large organised crime, with a network of criminals working together to facilitate the movement of people, sell their services, and take control of new victims. Not prosecuting and not punishing the criminals leads to a further increase in both the demand for and the supply of trafficked people. This applies to criminal proceedings against both people responsible for trafficking, and those knowingly using the services provided by the former. Data collection during the criminal proceedings may also be obstructed due to the Stockholm Syndrome sometimes displayed by the victims. Due to the crime being international, and characterised by a large number of people involved in trafficking a single person, the prosecution of them is hard to conduct by one country alone, and Member States policies tend to focus on their national level only, omitting cross-border cooperation, but even the action taken on the mentioned level is inadequate in a number of cases. There is a need of improving existing information exchange structures so as to increase the efficiency of data collection, and providing specialised training for police officers and judges because of their lack of insight and proper sensitivity towards trafficking cases, as has been reported in regard to Romania.

Appropriate treatment of victims - taking an adequate approach to treating victims is a case-specific issue. The same factors that contribute to the vulnerability of a victim are playing a vital role in adjusting the actions taken after setting them free. Additionally, their experiences from the time being trafficked should also be taken into consideration. Appropriate treatment entails refraining from unnecessary victimisation, ensuring access to proper health care, providing legal counselling, and safeguarding unassisted children. Appropriate treatment is crucial if the victims are to come back to their regular life. The effects of trafficking can be both short-term, and long-term, varying from physical to psychological damage. Victims may also lose their jobs due to the long periods of absence, or be forced to commit crimes, registering them as criminal offenders. Since those offences are committed under threat and not under normal circumstances, the victims should not be held accountable for them. Although some Member States do comply with the regulations set by the European Commission, there is considerable room for improvement among others. For instance, Romania is a significant source of victims with nearly three quarters of victims in 2015-2016 being recruited there. Nevertheless, their policies in all areas of this topic are lacking, with their victim protection legislation not providing reimbursement for the medical care or for more than one mental health counselling session. Most of the actions in regard to their treatment are taken by NGOs, but the national law prevents the government from financing them, with the result of this country not meeting the EU expectations in this matter.

6. What has been done so far?

Directive 2004/81/EC on the residence permit issued to third-country nationals who are victims of trafficking in human beings or who have been the subject of an action to facilitate illegal immigration, who cooperate with the competent authorities, published by the European Commision, grants victims coming from outside the EU borders a “reflection period”, during which they cannot be forcefully sent back to their country of origin, and are offered access to medical help in order to recover. They are also able to cooperate with the authorities, and thus obtain a temporary residence permit, enabling access to the job market, vocational training, and education.

European Commission’s Directive 2011/36/EU on combating and preventing trafficking in human beings and protecting its victims is an extensive, key component of the European legislation aimed at combating trafficking in humans. The approach of the directive is victim-focused, setting clear goals in regard to their treatment through means such as special assistance for children, preventing unnecessary victimisation during the criminal proceeding, offering guardians for unassisted minors, and legal counselling. It also sets the direction Member States should take to reduce the underlying causes of trafficking and calls for cross-border cooperation between them. It also specified the responsibilities of the EU ATC.

EU Strategy towards the eradication of trafficking in human beings for the period 2012-2016 was an act published by the European Commission directly following the Directive 2011/36/EU, and building upon its approach. It focused on the strategy of 4 P’s - prevention, protection, prosecution and partnerships, as well as outlined the means of spreading awareness about the issue at hand.

Global Action to Prevent and Address Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants (GLO.ACT) is a joint initiative carried out by the EU and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). It helps thirteen selected countries around the world to develop comprehensive national solutions to the issue, as well as works with the authorities to ensure assistance for victims (especially children), and facilitates trans-regional cooperation in this subject.

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"Despite ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), students with disabilities still face challenges due to lack of individualised support measures. What measures should the European Union take to encourage a higher level of inclusive education among its Member States?"

By Adna Softić (BA)

Committee on Human Rights II (DROI II)

1. The topic at a glance

Let us take the example of Maria, an EU official, whose nine-year old son Jonas has an intellectual disability. As a part of the EU staff, she has a right to enrol her son in a European School without any costs. His application was rejected three times. Jonas is now attending a special school for children with disabilities. He is one of the many students forced to leave “mainstream” education, as investigated by Human Rights Watch.

Despite the fact that inclusion of children with disabilities into mainstream education has gained an increasing support over the past two decades, access and participation are still considerably restricted. Around 15 million children from all over the EU are estimated to have Special educational needs (SEN), though the prevalence might be much higher due to different national definitions. Leaving school without adequate qualifications, these children are more likely to become economically inactive and unemployed later on in their life, having the poverty rate by 70% higher than the EU average.

School officials often pressure parents to remove their children from schools, despite the limited alternatives for inclusive schooling. Despite legal obligations the countries have after signing the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, accommodations and other support measures are not thought to be systematic, moreover, for the ordinary EU citizen - they depend on the willingness of the school officials. As education is the responsibility of each Member State individually, education agendas and issues related to inclusive education also vary from one country to another. Some of the greatest obstacles include lack of adapted teaching materials and trainings, individualised professional support such as assistive technologies and lack of accessibility.

2. Facts

  • → It is estimated that between 93 and 150 million children worldwide live with disabilities, with one out of five children developing SEN during school years;
  • → Failed mainstream initiatives have led to a great number of children with SEN dropping out of school and either not pursuing their education or moving to segregated schools;
  • → This issue is especially visible in countries such as Greece, Ireland and Portugal. In Greece, it is estimated that 180,000 children with SEN are excluded from education, the vast majority of children completing only primary education;
  • → The European Commission is currently ensuring funding for around 70 children with SEN to attend private schools, some of the fees being as high as 50,000 euros per year. However, this only applies for children from EU officials. While efforts have been made in order to improve the conditions of schooling for children with SEN, it is important to examine the flaws behind the strategy, which is often criticized for encouraging private schooling;
  • → While there is a positive trend for children with physical disabilities, children with intellectual disabilities are often completely denied access to education due to lack of supportive measures. Italy is the only Member State where almost all (over 99%) of children with disabilities attend mainstream education;
  • → Many EU Member States have shown efforts to decrease the number of segregated schools over the past few years. However, mainstreaming children with SEN into general schools does not always imply that appropriate support measures have been implemented to satisfy their needs;

3. Key Actors & Institutions

European Commission - While it withdrew from the role of monitoring the implementation of the Convention, the European Commission shapes and suggests strategies which can be implemented throughout Member States. The current monitoring framework includes: the European Disability Forum, European Ombudsman, European Parliament, and FRA.

The EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) - Identifies practices Member States have conducted in order to implement the convention. Moreover, it examines potential legal and social barriers.

Disability Intergroup of the European Parliament - An informal grouping of MEPs from all nationalities and political groups interested in promoting disability policies in their work. As one of the oldest intergroups in the EU, it has been a vital figure in advocating and advancing the rights of persons with disabilities.

National governments - As there are no legally binding EU documents in the field of education, it is the responsibility of Member States individually to implement different measures which would benefit the inclusion of students with disabilities. However, the EU can complement and support national agendas and action plans. European Schools stand as an exception to this, as they are directly managed by the European Union, and not the national governments of the Member States.

European Agency for Special Needs and Inclusive Education - An independent organisation, established in 1996, which acts as a platform for collaboration between ministries of education in 31 countries within the EU. It aims to improve educational policies and practices by providing evidence-based information and guidance for implementation, therefore, ensuring higher quality inclusive learning.

4. Key Challenges

Absence of universally applied definition of SEN - Not only is it difficult to estimate the number of children with SEN, but it is also often unknown what support measures in mainstream education are needed, as certain disabilities and impairments might not be recognised by the national definition, hence cause problems when identifying the possible solution approach.

High costs of implementing the Convention - Mainstream schools often do not have the funds to provide all assistance needed for inclusive learning due to a large number of forms of adaptation. Such adaptations might include quiet spaces, sensory rooms and wheelchair access.

Schools labelling children with SEN for their own financial benefit - As schools might receive funding in improving the quality of inclusive schooling, this increases the risk of schools labelling children with SEN only for the purpose of their personal benefit, rather than truly providing needed accommodations and support for its students.

Lack of education and training for the teachers - Taking into account that there is lack of education and training, teachers along with other school staff often do not have the skills and knowledge to teach and handle diverse class. The number of programs offered depends on the decisions made by national governments in the legislative area of public schools.

Engaging all physical actors - Rather than solely focusing on obtaining financial means, it is important to engage different social groups (such as teachers, parents, students and communities) in order to fully exploit the knowledge needed for improved teacher participation. All of said actors already pose certain levels of knowledge, however, these capacities are rarely being exploited and used in the process.

The conflict between two prevailing systems: inclusive and segregated schools - A belief that children with SEN cannot be a part of general school environments is still highly prevalent in Member States. While segregated schools are more likely to provide support measures such as assistive technologies, they also spread a stigma that these students cannot be a part of the mainstream education. Countries such as Portugal have tried implementing law regulations to close segregated schools, however, without putting much effort into ensuring mainstream schools are inclusive enough for students with SEN to attend.

5. What has been done so far?

United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) - First internationally binding human rights treaty, aiming to ensure the protection of basic human rights and dignity of persons with disabilities. All EU Member States signed and ratified this convention, which entered into force in 2011, and have the responsibility of submitting individual implementation reports.

European Charter of Fundamental Rights - Legally binding charter of the EU, prohibiting any discrimination on basis of disability. It states that “the EU recognises and respects the right of persons with disabilities to benefit from measures designed to ensure their independence, social and occupational integration, and participation in the life of community.”

European Disability Strategy 2010-2020 - A policy instrument launched by the European Commission, laying out the strategy to implement the UN CRPD in eight areas including education. It also complements European Charter of Fundamental Rights.

Council of Europe Disability Strategy 2017-2023 - A strategy seeking to encompass all civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of persons with disabilities, in line with Council of Europe Strategy for the Rights of the Child 2016-2021 and the UN CRPD.

European Schools - Unlike other schools, this network of 13 schools is jointly controlled by the governments of the EU Member States and European Commission, primarily aimed for children of staff of EU institutions. Nearly 4% of the school population receives support for SEN, but even they are not adequately equipped for children with SEN.

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"With rapid technological advancements in counter-terrorism, such as the use of Artificial Intelligence, how should the EU detect and prevent terrorism in a way that does not infringe on human rights, particularly with the innovative use of technology?"

By Claudia Quinn (UK)

Committee on Security and Defense I (SEDE I)

1. The topic at a glance

The threat of terrorism in the EU continues to increase, with 205 attacks either prevented, failed, or carried out in 2017, compared to 142 in 2016. At the same time, Member States’ methods of counter-terror have infringed upon, not just the rights of suspected terrorists, but of everyday citizens. Racial profiling, both consciously and unconsciously, continues to be used by police, most notably in ‘stop and search policies,’ where the Arab population is 7.6 times more likely than the white population to be stopped and searched by police. As well as this, detention without trial and other human rights’ violations can be seen more commonly in terrorist cases, and Member States are currently relying on indiscriminate data retention and sharing to detect terrorists. For instance, the UK Parliament passed the so-called ‘Snoopers’ Charter’ in 2016, requiring service providers to retain all internet users’ internet connection records for one year.

The number of terrorist attacks either prevented, failed, or carried out in the EU (below) Source: TESAT 2018 (EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report

Technology is currently changing the face of both terrorism and counter-terrorism. Just as technology makes communicating and obtaining information far easier in our everyday lives, it is also a cheap and easy-to-integrate medium for terrorist groups that nullifies geographical barriers. However, because terrorism cases without a ‘digital footprint’ are increasingly rare, technology also presents new opportunities for efficient and effective counter-terror. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is being used to detect and remove terrorist propaganda on social media platforms, and hashes, digital fingerprints of terrorist propaganda, can be shared between different social media platforms to better detect propaganda that is circulated on multiple sites. Technology can also be used to disseminate counter-narratives, messages that can come in various forms to deconstruct, discredit, or undercut extremist ideology. Though these newer methods may have the potential to shift towards a less invasive counter-terrorism strategy, it is important to remain cautious. The shortfalls of these methods, both in terms of their effectiveness and the ways in which they may instead curtail rights, must be considered.

2. Facts

3. Key Actors

Terrorist groups across the ideological spectrum play an important role in extremist recruitment and radicalisation, such as by disseminating terrorist propaganda. They are also important in planning and carrying out some terrorist attacks, though there is an increasing number of ‘lone wolf’ incidences.

Social media platforms: Social media platforms are especially important because it is the place where terrorist groups can communicate and plan attacks, disseminate propaganda for recruitment purposes, and fundraise. Social media platforms are developing AI to detect and remove terrorist content and sharing hashes with other social media companies so that propaganda posts can be recognised and deleted more quickly on various platforms. It is important to note that, though the social media giants, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, are commonly used by terrorist groups, smaller or newer social media platforms should not be neglected. Telegram remains the platform of choice for al-Qaeda and ISIS sympathisers.

Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs): NGOs, such as the Counter Extremism Project and the Active Change Foundation are important for a number of resources such as providing research, front-line assistance, and possibly developing policy with the EU and the Member States.

4. Key Institutions

The European Commission: The Commission is particularly important as it is responsible for proposing new EU legislation that can be adopted by the parliament to tackle terrorism. Currently in counter-terror, one of the commission’s main roles is to provide assistance and research to Member States so they can develop their own effective counter-terror policies, in accordance with the goals the Commission sets out. The Commission is also important in cooperating and coordinating work with other key stakeholders, such as other countries and social media companies.

Member States: Member States, particularly local law enforcement, are a key stakeholder. Often, local law enforcement are the first to deal with cases involving terrorist activity, and social and community workers may be on-hand to deal with at-risk individuals. The EU shares competences with Member States over security, and it is often Member States that have the greatest control over the implementation and specifics of EU counter-terror strategies. Member States have very different approaches to counter-terror. Whilst the UK takes a more hard-line stance, allowing for the longest maximum time for pre-trial detention in Europe for terrorist cases, Denmark’s ‘Aarhus Model’ takes a softer approach, aiming to reintegrate returned fighters into Danish society and placing a premium on the inclusion of radicalised youth in society.

Key Conflicts and Key Challenges

→ Individual rights, primarily those of freedom of speech and privacy, conflict with the collective right of security. It is important to consider whether EU measures already in place, such as those for intelligence-gathering that involve a great deal of data collection and sharing, sufficiently protect rights to privacy in pursuit of security. Rights are also contentious when it comes to terrorist propaganda and communication online. For instance, ‘grey areas’ of terrorist propaganda raise questions about the dividing line between an exercise of freedom of speech and terrorist content.

→ Technology is constantly evolving, which has several implications. Firstly, this means that capabilities for terrorists are constantly increasing and diversifying, which is something policy-makers must account for in order to achieve a dynamic counter-terror strategy. For instance, terrorist groups are turning to cryptocurrencies and illegal money transfer systems, such as hawala, which means that tracing the flow of terrorist funds is becoming increasingly difficult. Secondly, evolving technology also presents new opportunities to carry out counter-terror more effectively. However, there are issues with using this new technology in counter-terror, which may be ineffective initially, or take time to develop. For instance, AI is a promising, but very new measure. Machine-learning is used so AI can recognise extremist propaganda, which may be time-consuming and leads to questions about what classes as extremist propaganda. Indeed, the majority of terrorist propaganda does not actually make reference to violence, so there are numerous ‘grey areas’ where AI could be less effective, or even delete the posts of human rights activists by mistake.

→ The need for cooperation with and regulation of social media companies can cause difficulties, as these are private companies, often with headquarters and offices outside the EU. There are also issues with smaller companies, which may lack the resources of tech giants to deal with terrorist content or communications on their sites.

https://www.judiciary.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/lbth-v-b-160713.pdf

6. What has been done so far?

Intelligence sharing and gathering

The Schengen Information System (SIS) allows for information sharing of security and border management in Europe. National authorities can enter and consult alerts on persons or objects if they are thought to be missing or related to criminal, including terrorist, offences. In 2016, the European Commission proposed to strengthen the SIS through including a greater emphasis on counter-terror, including biometrics, and allowing Europol to access all alert categories.

Four new information-sharing tools are being developed by the Council of the European Union so authorities can better access and share information across the EU. These include the European search portal, the biometric matching service, the common identity repository, and the multiple identity detector.

Terrorist recruitment and online communications

The EU internet referral unit was established in July 2015 by Europol. It aims to coordinate and share the flagging tasks of terrorist content online with relevant partners (mostly local law enforcement and social media platforms), carry out referrals to these partners, and advise both Member States and the private sector by providing strategic analysis on how best to detect and remove terrorist content online.

The European Commission set out the 2018 State of the European Union rules, which aim to counter terrorist activity online. For social media companies, strong penalties are set out for systematic non-compliance with removal orders for online terrorist content, such as 4% of a company’s global turnover in the previous year. A key proposal is the ‘one hour rule,’ where the Commission sets out a legally binding one-hour deadline for social media companies to remove terrorist content following the receipt of a removal order issued by national authorities. Hosting service providers are also required to inform users when their content is taken down, have an effective complaint mechanism in place, and use human oversight where automated detection tools (such as AI) are used. Member States are also required by the Commission to guarantee the right to challenge removal order.

Terrorist funding

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) are currently recommending several proposals to cut off financing for terrorist groups.

De-radicalisation

The European Commission created the EU Internet Forum in 2015. It works in cooperation with the internet industry and social media platforms to offer a framework that reduces access to terrorist content on the internet and provides ‘counter narratives’ online.

The Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN) was established in 2011. It employs over 4,600 front-line practitioners to work with local communities to identify early signs of radicalisation, offer practical experience and knowledge, and develop suggestions for policymakers.

7. Further Links

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"While migration and free movement of people is developing within the EU, it is estimated that 500 000 women will face the lack of access to health services during the first months of their pregnancy. What actions should the EU take to grant equal access to maternal healthcare and midwifery to all?"

By Hanna Karwowska (PL)

Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM II)

1. The topic at a glance

Freedom of movement is considered one of the fundamental rights of the European Union (EU). Around 3.8% of citizens in the working age live in a different Member State than where they are legally assigned. Furthermore, 22.3 million people, which is 4.4% of the whole population of all Member States do not have EU citizenship. Since at the beginning most of them do not possess a proper legal status, their rights are limited and they may fear being reported. Thus, they rarely seek help in health services, which has an especially strong impact on pregnant women, who are afraid to use maternal healthcare as well as midwifery.

Midwifery is one of the principles of health and well-being of women and infants. In the Scandinavian countries, there is a strong midwifery practice, midwives provide primary care and there is an emphasis put on positive birthing atmosphere. There is a contrast regarding the Eastern Europe (e.g., Hungary, Czech Republic), as there the maternal healthcare is described as rather weak, and some midwives were even sentenced to prison, while conforming to the international laws. There are existing problems with childbearing in Europe including growing poverty and social inequalities, connected with increased migration and widely available services would help to reduce health inequalities.

It is proven that migrant women experience higher maternal mortality and morbidity rates. They often have more complex health needs, which is a result of their difficult circumstances, including cultural backgrounds (e.g., negative attitude to contraception), as well as the obstacles met during escaping the country of origin. There is a lack of clear policies and information regarding their entitlement to healthcare services, thus seeking help by them is significantly harder than for the EU citizens. Additionally, there are crucial language and communication problems, followed by a lack of financial capacity to cover the fees of medical assistance. The Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality in found in its 2019 report that the only way to improve the situation is to grant the migrant women access to maternal as well as reproductive healthcare, including better family planning, antenatal and postnatal services, followed by the research into maternal morbidity and mortality.

2. Facts

  • → According to UNHCR, 141 472 refugees arrived in Europe in 2018, either by sea to Italy or sea and land to Greece and Spain.;
  • → Around 55% of migrants and refugees are women with children. Furthermore, approximately 10% of women arriving in Europe are pregnant;
  • → It is estimated that almost half of the pregnant refugee or migrant women do not have proper access to maternal healthcare;
  • → Migrant women are checked less often for issues including cervical and breast cancer, as well as have worse access to family planning, maternal and gynaecological care and experience poorer pregnancy outcomes and higher infant and maternity morbidity;
  • → France, Poland, Malta and Italy are said to be lacking sufficient interpretation services, no standards regarding operating procedures as well as staff not qualified enough to tackle the problems of migrant groups;
  • → In 2010 only five of the Member States (France, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain) granted undocumented migrants access to the same services as the native population.

3. Key Actors

Migrants - People who change their country of usual residence, thus may experience treatment different from citizens, coming from their legal status. They should be provided with fundamental human rights, including health, however, migrant women experience many problems when it comes to midwifery and maternal health.

Alliance for Maternal Health Equality - core group, uniting national, EU and international level of private, civil, and public society organisations, policymakers and healthcare professionals. Their goal is to address the issue of maternal health and ‘place it permanently on the map of Europe’.

European NGO Platform Asylum and Migration (EPAM) - a platform of European non-governmental organisations and networks, which works for the development of migration and asylum policies within the EU. Its members meet in order to exchange information and views on the aforementioned topics, as well as to coordinate the advocacy actions. They also debate informally with the European Commission and Parliament representatives on legal improvements.

European Public Health Association (EUPHA) - an umbrella organisation co-funded by the EU Health Programme. It connects 40 public health associations and institutes, as well as 19 000 health experts who grant professional exchange and collaboration within Europe. It aims to reduce inequalities between all of the Europeans in the medical sector. EUPHA works with intergovernmental and non-governmental bodies in order to achieve their goals.

4. Key Institutions

European Commission - one of the main bodies of the EU, responsible for drafting legislation. All legal documents concerning the issue would be put into action by the European Commission. Furthermore, as it was mentioned before, they grant funding to 35 midwifery and maternal health programmes, such as OptiBIRTH, or EPICE, which help the patients directly, while tackling the issues connected with the health of an infant.

Key Challenges

Fear of being reported to the authorities - migrants without a legal stay permit claim to fear being deported to their country of origin, thus they do not seek medical help, as there is often a need to confirm the identity. Due to their status, their access to proper health assistance is highly limited. It leads to dangerous activities such as self-medicating or contacting settled at their fatherland doctors, which cannot provide them with a proper physical check, rather than seeing a professional in the place of current residence. In Denmark it was proven that illegal migrants attempted to borrow the health insurance cards from the Danish citizens, in order to use their legal status. In some countries, reporting is obligatory by health professionals (e.g. Sweden, Slovenia, the UK), while in others it is prohibited (e.g. Portugal, Spain, France).

Language or communication obstacles - as the migrants come from different language speaking countries, there are multiple problems regarding communication on the line between the doctor and the patient. The barriers occur mostly when medical terminology is needed. France, Poland, Malta and Italy are said to have insufficient interpretation services, as well as lack of qualified staff in the area of identification and treatment within vulnerable groups. In 2002 - 2005 in UK 10 out of 14 women who died during pregnancy were classified as refugees and more than half of them did not know English.

Culture and faith - a vast number of migrants, include Muslim refugees. The problems arising from that include their sexual practices, which affect reproductive health. Abortion is permitted, but before the 120th day, so any operation needs to be planned beforehand, no matter of country’s approach. Medics from not culturally diverse countries, such as Poland, where there are only 350,000 Muslims for 38 mln people, are not used to those aspects and may mistreat them. Furthermore, doctors may generalise based on their own assumptions and assign them characteristics they may not have, just because of the faith, thus a person-centered approach is recommended in this case.

6. What has been done so far?

European Union Charter of Fundamental Rights - a document within which there are drafted political, social, and economic rights of the European citizens. Article 35 states that ‘everyone has the right to access preventive health care and the right to benefit from medical treatment under the conditions established by national laws and practices’. This means that national modifications in healthcare system are possible. However discrimination coming from national origin, migration, or residence status should be banned EU-wide.

European Union Health Programmes - during the First (2003 - 2007) and the Second (2008 - 2013) Health Programmes under Spanish and Portuguese Presidencies there was a large emphasis put on the access to equal healthcare by migrant groups. In 2010, the World Health Organisation noted that immigrant health status is indeed improving because of an inter-sectoral and collaborative effort between stakeholders such as governments, civil society, etc. Within the current, Third Programme (2014 - 2020), one of the principles is justice and fundamental rights (fighting against health inequalities), what may be indeed helpful to fight against discrepancies between the Member States.

Public Health Aspects of Migration in Europe (PHAME) - a project established by the WHO Regional Office for Europe in order to strengthen health capacities and hence meet the needs of mixed populations. It provides ad hoc technical assistance to Member States, strengthens health information (e.g. by migrant health training for health and non-health staff), as well as supports migration-sensitive policies regarding medical issues (based on WHA Resolution 61.17 on Migrants’ Health).

Directive on Cross-border Healthcare - a legal document established in 2011, stating that ‘EU citizens have the right to access healthcare in any EU country and to be reimbursed for care abroad by their home country.’ It is limited only to the citizens of the Member States. It grants access to things such as information about available healthcare within the country of stay, as well as alternative healthcare options and/or specialized treatment.

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"With the recognition of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) as a major current public health threat, possibly leading to devastating social and economic consequences, what measures should the EU take in order to prevent the spread of AMR?"

By João Costa (PT)

Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI II)

1. The topic at a glance

The introduction of Penicillin, in the first half of the 20th century, was the first step into the “golden era” of antimicrobials, more specifically, antibiotics. Such medicines have saved millions of lives from once-lethal infections. However, the negative impacts of such a medical phenomenon have finally shown themselves. The overuse and misuse of antimicrobials and poor infection control practices have led to a rising number of microorganisms resistant to treatments.

Microorganisms developed resistance through mutations or acquisition of new genetic information. They adapted to the new environment and to many of our previously effective treatments. Even instances of infections resistant to multidrug therapies and last resort treatments have significantly increased within the EU.

The World Health Organization (WHO), now considers AMR a major threat to human and animal health worldwide. “This serious threat is no longer a prediction for the future, it is happening right now in every region of the world and has the potential to affect anyone, of any age, in any country." The approach to this issue has been commonly linked to the ‘One Health’ concept, which recognises the link between humans, livestock and environment regarding the evolution of AMR.

2. Facts

  • → It has been estimated that AMR might cause more deaths than cancer by 2050, 10 million per year worldwide;
  • → The World Bank has warned that, by 2050, drug-resistant infections could cause global economic damage on a par with the 2008 financial crisis;
  • → Since 1962, only two new classes of antibiotics have reached the market;
  • → Between 2010 and 2030, global consumption of antimicrobials in the livestock sector is projected to increase by about 67%;
  • → Globally, it is estimated that only half of antibiotics are used correctly;
  • → Only 25% of countries worldwide have implemented a national policy to tackle AMR;
  • → Globally, two billion people cannot access the medicine they require, with millions in low- and middle-income countries dying each year from diseases because the vaccines, medicines and diagnostic tests that they need are either unavailable or unaffordable.

3. Key Actors

The World Health Organization (WHO): The institution, with 194 Member States, works worldwide promoting public health, with the goal of ensuring universal health coverage. Its core global functions include monitoring and enforcing international norms and standards, assuming an essential role in the achievement of common health goals.

The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO): A specialised agency which leads global efforts to defeat hunger. It is also responsible for ensuring food security for all, since it plays a connector role between governments, producers and traders. This role enables it to have a great impact on AMR, by leading different stakeholders to adopt measures to minimize the use of antimicrobials.

The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE): The intergovernmental organisation responsible for animal health worldwide. With 182 Member countries, the OIE has the ability to set the standards regarding animal health and zoonotic diseases. With the support of WHO and FAO, as the tripartite coalition, it has taken the lead in the fight against AMR.

Industry: The private sector can be a powerful ally in the One Health approach to AMR.It has the means to invest in the development of promising alternatives to antimicrobials and to reduced availability issues. Furthermore, the threat of losing productivity on the food sector and animal husbandry motivates private investors to join the fight.

3. Key Institutions

Member States: ‘Protection and improvement of human health’ are considered a supporting competence, which means EU institutions may only support and encourage measures, while Member States are completely responsible for their priorities in the field.

European Parliament and the Council: The EU bodies may also adopt incentive measures, since AMR is considered a major cross-border health scourge . Addressing the matter requires effective and consistent measures on the EU level and on each Member State’s health programme, establishing the EU as a best practice region.

5. Key Challenges

Accessibilty

Global Public Health is under threat, the rise of AMR challenges the core of modern medicine leading to several worldwide stakeholders attempting to constrain its development. The view that the total consumption of antimicrobials is the critical factor in the increasing resistance to antimicrobials is supported by much of the evidence we have, however this is not a simple correlation. The paradox inherent to AMR is that the lack of access to antimicrobials in some areas of the globe, poor-adherence and sub-standard medicines also contribute to the development of resistance.

Research

The increase of resistant strains has not been matched by the discovery of new therapeuticals. The discovery, development, manufacture and marketing of new antimicrobials has significantly slowed down in the past 20 years. The lack of a sustainable and predictable economy forced the Pharmaceutical Industry to stepback from antimicrobials. Due to health professionals taking a more responsible approach and prescribing fewer antibiotics, and certain bacteria strains developing resistance, the profit companies earn making antimicrobials has staggered. While the antimicrobials sector seems less appealing, the investment on chronic diseases’ treatments appears as safer options. The current economic model prevents the Industry from increasing its efforts on tackling AMR.

Health Care Professionals

From the health care workers to patients, everyone has a key role in the development of resistance. Inadequate prescribing can be a consequence of medical staff lacking up-to-date information, having reduced access to effective diagnostic tools to identify the type of infection, yield to patient pressure to prescribe antibiotics, or benefit financially from supplying the medicines. Furthermore, in most countries, antimicrobials can even be bought without prescription, and the poor quality of such medicines worsens the effect it may have on pathogens.

Industry

Regarding the Industry related to animal husbandry, a common practice is feeding the animals with antimicrobials. The goals are to preserve the livestock health and to promote its growth. In comparison, extensive and smallholder livestock production use fewer antimicrobials than industrial companies. The use of antimicrobials as growth promoters leads to an increase in profit, however it enhances the emergence and spread of AMR, since most of the antimicrobials used end up on the environment unmetabolized.

6. What has been done so far?

Political Approach

In June 2017, the European Commission strengthened its position on the matter, by adopting the EU One Health Action Plan against AMR. The plan is built on three main pillars: making the EU a best practice region; boosting research, development and innovation and shaping the global agenda. It stands as a symbol of political cooperation and contains concrete interdependent actions, it’s success relies on a combined effort from all the Member States and EU Institutions.

Since AMR was considered a global threat, the WHO has made a wide variety of efforts to lead the fight against it. The most recent is the Global Action Plan, endorsed in May 2015. It is considered a step towards the harmonisation of an immediate action on a global scale. The need for a ‘One Health approach’ is emphasized on the plan, urging the coordination among sectors such as human and veterinary medicine, agriculture, finance, environment, and well informed consumers. The tripartite: WHO, FAO and OIE is a collaboration that serves as a role model for the multi sectoral approach needed.

Research & Development

The Davos Declaration, signed by more than 100 companies, sets the motto for an effort of the Private sector. The AMR Industry Alliance brings together biotech, diagnostics, generics and research-based pharmaceutical companies. The aim is to guide the life-science industry in: investing in Research and Development (R&D) to meet public health needs; improving access to high-quality antibiotics; working to reduce the development of antimicrobial resistance and supporting measures to reduce environmental impact from the production of antibiotics. The Alliance is also focused on the need of creating a sustainable and predictable market.

A public-private partnership, called The Innovative Medicines Initiative, was created in 2007 between the European Commission, and the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) with the goal of improving the competitive situation of the European Union in the field of pharmaceutical research. Its programme New Drugs 4 Bad Bugs is an unprecedented partnership, with a €700 million budget. The project addresses AMR on covering basic science and early stage drug development, clinical trials, and economics.

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Committee on Environment (ENVI)

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Phasellus porttitor, ante a ornare condimentum, nisl nunc feugiat metus, laoreet aliquam ligula mi quis dolor. Nullam dictum porta suscipit. Mauris mi nisi, porta vitae turpis quis, porttitor sagittis eros. Ut porta ac orci sit amet auctor. Proin pharetra vehicula nunc vel pulvinar. Sed malesuada ornare sagittis. Phasellus hendrerit tellus vitae odio consequat, id imperdiet est volutpat. Duis quis lectus sit amet erat lobortis accumsan at non odio. Cras feugiat vehicula pulvinar. Integer commodo augue odio. Integer pellentesque odio mollis, ornare dui et, tempor purus. Integer sed volutpat nunc. Nullam ac magna at metus aliquet tincidunt. Morbi a ipsum velit. Vivamus varius elit at vestibulum suscipit.

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Phasellus porttitor, ante a ornare condimentum, nisl nunc feugiat metus, laoreet aliquam ligula mi quis dolor. Nullam dictum porta suscipit. Mauris mi nisi, porta vitae turpis quis, porttitor sagittis eros. Ut porta ac orci sit amet auctor. Proin pharetra vehicula nunc vel pulvinar. Sed malesuada ornare sagittis. Phasellus hendrerit tellus vitae odio consequat, id imperdiet est volutpat. Duis quis lectus sit amet erat lobortis accumsan at non odio. Cras feugiat vehicula pulvinar. Integer commodo augue odio. Integer pellentesque odio mollis, ornare dui et, tempor purus. Integer sed volutpat nunc. Nullam ac magna at metus aliquet tincidunt. Morbi a ipsum velit. Vivamus varius elit at vestibulum suscipit.

Nulla elementum tincidunt nulla vitae consectetur. Praesent eros nunc, luctus vitae sagittis vitae, ornare non ex. Nunc dignissim, velit et scelerisque sollicitudin, nunc mauris scelerisque magna.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Duis sed nibh nibh. Vivamus sit amet iaculis enim, eu accumsan felis. Nulla metus mi, aliquam ultricies purus eget, rhoncus tincidunt erat. Nulla laoreet, nulla sit amet faucibus porta, nibh elit vestibulum libero, at gravida arcu mauris eu ligula.

Interdum et malesuada fames ac ante ipsum primis in faucibus. Cras eu leo sit amet urna scelerisque condimentum vitae eget dui. Sed accumsan nibh ac mattis bibendum. Phasellus pharetra, augue et pellentesque ornare, libero erat tincidunt diam, vel viverra risus elit nec enim.

Phasellus porttitor, ante a ornare condimentum, nisl nunc feugiat metus, laoreet aliquam ligula mi quis dolor. Nullam dictum porta suscipit. Mauris mi nisi, porta vitae turpis quis, porttitor sagittis eros. Ut porta ac orci sit amet auctor. Proin pharetra vehicula nunc vel pulvinar. Sed malesuada ornare sagittis. Phasellus hendrerit tellus vitae odio consequat, id imperdiet est volutpat. Duis quis lectus sit amet erat lobortis accumsan at non odio. Cras feugiat vehicula pulvinar. Integer commodo augue odio. Integer pellentesque odio mollis, ornare dui et, tempor purus. Integer sed volutpat nunc. Nullam ac magna at metus aliquet tincidunt. Morbi a ipsum velit. Vivamus varius elit at vestibulum suscipit.

Nulla elementum tincidunt nulla vitae consectetur. Praesent eros nunc, luctus vitae sagittis vitae, ornare non ex. Nunc dignissim, velit et scelerisque sollicitudin, nunc mauris scelerisque magna.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Duis sed nibh nibh. Vivamus sit amet iaculis enim, eu accumsan felis. Nulla metus mi, aliquam ultricies purus eget, rhoncus tincidunt erat. Nulla laoreet, nulla sit amet faucibus porta, nibh elit vestibulum libero, at gravida arcu mauris eu ligula.

Interdum et malesuada fames ac ante ipsum primis in faucibus. Cras eu leo sit amet urna scelerisque condimentum vitae eget dui. Sed accumsan nibh ac mattis bibendum. Phasellus pharetra, augue et pellentesque ornare, libero erat tincidunt diam, vel viverra risus elit nec enim.

Phasellus porttitor, ante a ornare condimentum, nisl nunc feugiat metus, laoreet aliquam ligula mi quis dolor. Nullam dictum porta suscipit. Mauris mi nisi, porta vitae turpis quis, porttitor sagittis eros. Ut porta ac orci sit amet auctor. Proin pharetra vehicula nunc vel pulvinar. Sed malesuada ornare sagittis. Phasellus hendrerit tellus vitae odio consequat, id imperdiet est volutpat. Duis quis lectus sit amet erat lobortis accumsan at non odio. Cras feugiat vehicula pulvinar. Integer commodo augue odio. Integer pellentesque odio mollis, ornare dui et, tempor purus. Integer sed volutpat nunc. Nullam ac magna at metus aliquet tincidunt. Morbi a ipsum velit. Vivamus varius elit at vestibulum suscipit.

Nulla elementum tincidunt nulla vitae consectetur. Praesent eros nunc, luctus vitae sagittis vitae, ornare non ex. Nunc dignissim, velit et scelerisque sollicitudin, nunc mauris scelerisque magna.

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Interdum et malesuada fames ac ante ipsum primis in faucibus. Cras eu leo sit amet urna scelerisque condimentum vitae eget dui. Sed accumsan nibh ac mattis bibendum. Phasellus pharetra, augue et pellentesque ornare, libero erat tincidunt diam, vel viverra risus elit nec enim.

Phasellus porttitor, ante a ornare condimentum, nisl nunc feugiat metus, laoreet aliquam ligula mi quis dolor. Nullam dictum porta suscipit. Mauris mi nisi, porta vitae turpis quis, porttitor sagittis eros. Ut porta ac orci sit amet auctor. Proin pharetra vehicula nunc vel pulvinar. Sed malesuada ornare sagittis. Phasellus hendrerit tellus vitae odio consequat, id imperdiet est volutpat. Duis quis lectus sit amet erat lobortis accumsan at non odio. Cras feugiat vehicula pulvinar. Integer commodo augue odio. Integer pellentesque odio mollis, ornare dui et, tempor purus. Integer sed volutpat nunc. Nullam ac magna at metus aliquet tincidunt. Morbi a ipsum velit. Vivamus varius elit at vestibulum suscipit.

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Interdum et malesuada fames ac ante ipsum primis in faucibus. Cras eu leo sit amet urna scelerisque condimentum vitae eget dui. Sed accumsan nibh ac mattis bibendum. Phasellus pharetra, augue et pellentesque ornare, libero erat tincidunt diam, vel viverra risus elit nec enim.

Phasellus porttitor, ante a ornare condimentum, nisl nunc feugiat metus, laoreet aliquam ligula mi quis dolor. Nullam dictum porta suscipit. Mauris mi nisi, porta vitae turpis quis, porttitor sagittis eros. Ut porta ac orci sit amet auctor. Proin pharetra vehicula nunc vel pulvinar. Sed malesuada ornare sagittis. Phasellus hendrerit tellus vitae odio consequat, id imperdiet est volutpat. Duis quis lectus sit amet erat lobortis accumsan at non odio. Cras feugiat vehicula pulvinar. Integer commodo augue odio. Integer pellentesque odio mollis, ornare dui et, tempor purus. Integer sed volutpat nunc. Nullam ac magna at metus aliquet tincidunt. Morbi a ipsum velit. Vivamus varius elit at vestibulum suscipit.

Nulla elementum tincidunt nulla vitae consectetur. Praesent eros nunc, luctus vitae sagittis vitae, ornare non ex. Nunc dignissim, velit et scelerisque sollicitudin, nunc mauris scelerisque magna.

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Phasellus porttitor, ante a ornare condimentum, nisl nunc feugiat metus, laoreet aliquam ligula mi quis dolor. Nullam dictum porta suscipit. Mauris mi nisi, porta vitae turpis quis, porttitor sagittis eros. Ut porta ac orci sit amet auctor. Proin pharetra vehicula nunc vel pulvinar. Sed malesuada ornare sagittis. Phasellus hendrerit tellus vitae odio consequat, id imperdiet est volutpat. Duis quis lectus sit amet erat lobortis accumsan at non odio. Cras feugiat vehicula pulvinar. Integer commodo augue odio. Integer pellentesque odio mollis, ornare dui et, tempor purus. Integer sed volutpat nunc. Nullam ac magna at metus aliquet tincidunt. Morbi a ipsum velit. Vivamus varius elit at vestibulum suscipit.

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Duis sed nibh nibh. Vivamus sit amet iaculis enim, eu accumsan felis. Nulla metus mi, aliquam ultricies purus eget, rhoncus tincidunt erat. Nulla laoreet, nulla sit amet faucibus porta, nibh elit vestibulum libero, at gravida arcu mauris eu ligula.

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Phasellus porttitor, ante a ornare condimentum, nisl nunc feugiat metus, laoreet aliquam ligula mi quis dolor. Nullam dictum porta suscipit. Mauris mi nisi, porta vitae turpis quis, porttitor sagittis eros. Ut porta ac orci sit amet auctor. Proin pharetra vehicula nunc vel pulvinar. Sed malesuada ornare sagittis. Phasellus hendrerit tellus vitae odio consequat, id imperdiet est volutpat. Duis quis lectus sit amet erat lobortis accumsan at non odio. Cras feugiat vehicula pulvinar. Integer commodo augue odio. Integer pellentesque odio mollis, ornare dui et, tempor purus. Integer sed volutpat nunc. Nullam ac magna at metus aliquet tincidunt. Morbi a ipsum velit. Vivamus varius elit at vestibulum suscipit.

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Interdum et malesuada fames ac ante ipsum primis in faucibus. Cras eu leo sit amet urna scelerisque condimentum vitae eget dui. Sed accumsan nibh ac mattis bibendum. Phasellus pharetra, augue et pellentesque ornare, libero erat tincidunt diam, vel viverra risus elit nec enim.

Phasellus porttitor, ante a ornare condimentum, nisl nunc feugiat metus, laoreet aliquam ligula mi quis dolor. Nullam dictum porta suscipit. Mauris mi nisi, porta vitae turpis quis, porttitor sagittis eros. Ut porta ac orci sit amet auctor. Proin pharetra vehicula nunc vel pulvinar. Sed malesuada ornare sagittis. Phasellus hendrerit tellus vitae odio consequat, id imperdiet est volutpat. Duis quis lectus sit amet erat lobortis accumsan at non odio. Cras feugiat vehicula pulvinar. Integer commodo augue odio. Integer pellentesque odio mollis, ornare dui et, tempor purus. Integer sed volutpat nunc. Nullam ac magna at metus aliquet tincidunt. Morbi a ipsum velit. Vivamus varius elit at vestibulum suscipit.

Nulla elementum tincidunt nulla vitae consectetur. Praesent eros nunc, luctus vitae sagittis vitae, ornare non ex. Nunc dignissim, velit et scelerisque sollicitudin, nunc mauris scelerisque magna.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Duis sed nibh nibh. Vivamus sit amet iaculis enim, eu accumsan felis. Nulla metus mi, aliquam ultricies purus eget, rhoncus tincidunt erat. Nulla laoreet, nulla sit amet faucibus porta, nibh elit vestibulum libero, at gravida arcu mauris eu ligula.

Interdum et malesuada fames ac ante ipsum primis in faucibus. Cras eu leo sit amet urna scelerisque condimentum vitae eget dui. Sed accumsan nibh ac mattis bibendum. Phasellus pharetra, augue et pellentesque ornare, libero erat tincidunt diam, vel viverra risus elit nec enim.

Phasellus porttitor, ante a ornare condimentum, nisl nunc feugiat metus, laoreet aliquam ligula mi quis dolor. Nullam dictum porta suscipit. Mauris mi nisi, porta vitae turpis quis, porttitor sagittis eros. Ut porta ac orci sit amet auctor. Proin pharetra vehicula nunc vel pulvinar. Sed malesuada ornare sagittis. Phasellus hendrerit tellus vitae odio consequat, id imperdiet est volutpat. Duis quis lectus sit amet erat lobortis accumsan at non odio. Cras feugiat vehicula pulvinar. Integer commodo augue odio. Integer pellentesque odio mollis, ornare dui et, tempor purus. Integer sed volutpat nunc. Nullam ac magna at metus aliquet tincidunt. Morbi a ipsum velit. Vivamus varius elit at vestibulum suscipit.

Nulla elementum tincidunt nulla vitae consectetur. Praesent eros nunc, luctus vitae sagittis vitae, ornare non ex. Nunc dignissim, velit et scelerisque sollicitudin, nunc mauris scelerisque magna.

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