The work of the Open Dialogue of the House of Representatives with the civil society and especially with our young men and women, started today and was completed, in the context of the Conference on the Future of Europe. The Speaker of the Parliament, Ms. Annita Dimitriou, and the Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign and European Affairs, Mr. Haris Georgiadis, addressed greetings, while the event was greeted online by the Vice President of the European Parliament, Ms. Eva Kailis, and the European Commissioner for Health Stella Kyriakidou.
During the discussion on “Climate change, environment, health”, the rapporteurs focused on the current challenges facing civil society in these areas. Key environmental issues need to be addressed urgently by the European Union (EU) and the need for collective action by both the Member States and the citizens themselves to implement the Green Agreement has been highlighted, as its benefits far outweigh the benefits. the cost of its implementation, but also the need for timely and effective response to the environmental crisis.
In the field of health, the need to upgrade research and innovation in order to collect and exchange information, which could lead to the production of innovative medicines and therapies, was also highlighted. Among other things, the need for equal access to quality healthcare, the modernization and digitization of health systems, the importance of prevention for various diseases and the formulation of a European plan for the cultivation of a healthy lifestyle and healthy aging were stressed.
within the thematic unit «European democracy/values and rights, rule of law, security “, the participants focused on the issue of lack of information of European citizens and in particular young people about the functioning and role of the EU, as well as decision-making processes. The need to ensure the representation of society as a whole at EU level, without any form of exclusion, was emphasized. Reference was also made to the importance of equal representation in decision-making centers, as well as to ensuring the participation of young people. It was noted that due importance should be paid to the digital transition, including digital democracy, with a view to the more active involvement of all citizens in order to safeguard fundamental rights and freedoms. According to the participants, the elimination of all forms of discrimination is a necessary condition for the defense of the rule of law and the protection of human rights. Consequently, it was pointed out that the adoption of positive measures and action is crucial for the elimination of inequalities, discrimination and intolerance for the strengthening of the rule of law.
The discussion on the topic “Stronger economy, social justice and jobs/education, culture, youth, sport/digital transformation” focused on the main challenges facing civil society in these areas. In particular, reference was made to the impact of the pandemic on businesses, mainly small and medium-sized enterprises and households, as well as the need to legislate teleworking and the right of workers to disconnect, as well as tackling financial illiteracy. Furthermore, the key role of education in creating active and sensitized citizens and the need to reform the educational model from knowledge-based to people-centered, with emphasis on the development of skills and critical thinking, in order to provide young people with the modern market needs work. In addition, the importance of the participation of young people in decision-making centers was emphasized, as well as the implementation of their suggestions through feedback, as well as the imperative role that our young people must play in securing their European identity. On the subject of digital transformation, the importance of the ability of all citizens to use digital technology to further strengthen democracy in the EU was stressed.
The topic “Europe in the World-Migration” discussed, among other things, the mismatch between the EU's security and foreign policy capabilities as opposed to those in the economic field, as well as the EU's weaknesses in collective action, on the occasion of current developments in Ukraine. The question of the limits of the EU's strategic autonomy, the delimitation of the EU's relationship with NATO and other international actors, and the existence or non-existence of the gap between safeguarding national interests and the common foreign and security policy, and defense. The prospect of creating a European army as a tool to support the Union's foreign policy was also discussed. Various aspects of the issue of migration were also discussed, such as the social integration of migrants, the return of those who do not need international protection, the need to dismantle trafficking networks, and the Union's actions and omissions in the Mediterranean region that contribute to flows. Finally, the disproportionate burden borne by Cyprus and other first host Member States was emphasized, as well as the need to adopt a common European framework for the management of asylum and migration, based on the principle of solidarity between Member States and conventions. of human rights.
The House of Representatives will continue with such reciprocal initiatives to and from citizens as a necessary step and means of addressing small and large challenges but also of strengthening the rule of law and guaranteeing fundamental freedoms