Entries by YEE

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Inside the European Parliament: Country Breakdown of Major Political Groups

Inside the European Parliament: Country Breakdown of Major Political Groups

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Good to know

During the elections, you are going to vote for a national party and usually, they are also going to be part of one of the major European groups with representatives from different countries.

Learn more about EU Groups in the European Parliament, their principles and ideology, and their view on the environmental issues!

What is the European Parliament

The European Parliament is composed of Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) who are organised into several political groups, each representing a spectrum of ideologies. These groups are not based on nationality but on political affiliation.

Here’s a brief overview of the major political groups:

  • EPP – Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats)
  • S&D – Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats
  • Renew Europe – Renew Europe Group
  • Greens/EFA – Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance
  • ID – Identity and Democracy Group
  • ECR – European Conservatives and Reformists Group
  • The Left – Confederal Group of the European United Left/Nordic Green Left
  • NI – Non-Inscrits” (Non-Attached Members)

Overview of the major groups in the European Parliament by country

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Inside the European Parliament: A Closer Look at the Political Groups Shaping EU Legislation

Inside the European Parliament: A Closer Look at the Political Groups Shaping EU Legislation

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Good to know

During the elections, you are going to vote for your national party and usually, they are also going to be part of one of the major European groups with representatives from different countries.

Learn more about your national parties and their current position in the European parliament!

What is the European Parliament

The European Parliament (EP) is one of the legislative bodies of the European Union (EU) and one of its seven institutions. It works alongside the Council of the European Union (also known as the Council) to adopt European legislation, following proposals made by the European Commission.

The European Parliament is composed of Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) who are organized into several political groups, each representing a spectrum of ideologies. These groups are not based on nationality but on political affiliation.

Here’s a brief overview of the major political groups:

  • EPP – Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats)
  • S&D – Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats
  • Renew Europe – Renew Europe Group
  • Greens/EFA – Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance
  • ID – Identity and Democracy Group
  • ECR – European Conservatives and Reformists Group
  • The Left – Confederal Group of the European United Left/Nordic Green Left
  • NI – Non-Inscrits” (Non-Attached Members)

Each group has its own set of core principles and policies, and they work together to influence legislation and policy within the European Union.

Overview of the major political groups

The Group of the European People’s Party (EPP) is a political group in the European Parliament composed of center-right and Christian-democratic parties from across the EU. It is one of the biggest and most influential groups in the Parliament, with 182 seats as of 2019 and Manfred Welbeg as its president. Hence, it holds the presidency of the European Parliament.

The 44 group’s members come from various European countries and represent a diverse range of political ideologies within the center-right spectrum. The EPP promotes European integration and cooperation while prioritizing issues such as economic growth, security, and stability.

Overall ideology

The EPP advocates for conservative and center-right policies, focusing on economic liberalism, social conservatism, a strong European Union, and sustainable development as their main values.

What are their environmental convictions? 

The official EPP’s 2019 environmental vision called for a 50% reduction in emissions by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2050, prioritizing ambitious climate targets. To encourage the reduction of emissions, they backed carbon pricing, emissions trading, and sustainable economic policies. Their main goals included developing a circular economy, sustainable agriculture, and the shift to clean energy. Global leadership in sustainability, social considerations, and green innovation were also highlighted. In general, the EPP aimed to strike a balance between economic prosperity and climate action, placing a strong emphasis on social responsibility, innovation, and collaboration when addressing environmental issues.

The Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D) represents the center-left. As a significant faction in the Parliament, it advocates for policies that focus on social justice, equality, and sustainability. With a focus on issues like workers’ rights, social protection, environmental sustainability, and inequality, the S&D group aims to promote a socially conscious Europe. Thus, social democratic, socialist, environmental, and labor parties from throughout the European Union are among their values. With Iratxe García Pérez as their president, the group’s members come from diverse national backgrounds and share a common goal of advancing policies to build a more equitable society.

Overall ideology

The S&D seeks to balance economic growth with social welfare, advocating for policies that protect vulnerable groups in society.

What are their environmental convictions? 

S&D advocates for immediate action to combat climate change and envisions comprehensive environmental values centered on the Green Deal. Sustainable policies were highlighted, such as investments in clean energy, support for agriculture, and restoration of the environment. Prioritising a just transition, S&D struck a balance between social equity, environmental protection, and job preservation. They supported laws that set aggressive goals for reducing emissions, such as the European Climate Law and the Nature Restoration Law. In addition, they put forth a zero-pollution plan and attempted to harmonise fisheries and agriculture policies with climate goals. In order to achieve a sustainable and socially just future, they placed a strong emphasis on social cohesion and worked to enact environmental regulations in conjunction with the European Pillar of Social Rights.

Renew Europe supports policies that emphasize individual freedoms, human rights, democracy, and the rule of law, alongside environmental sustainability and digital innovation. The group advocates for an open economy with fair competition, aiming for a balanced approach that fosters economic growth while ensuring social justice and protection for all citizens. Within the Parliament, it promotes a centrist agenda that aims to bridge the gap between the left and right. Renew Europe’s influence in discussions on EU governance includes areas such as the digital single market and climate change, advocating for reforms and regulation.

Overall ideology

The Renew Europe Group is a political group in the European Parliament representing a coalition of liberal, centrist, and pro-European parties from across the EU.

What are their environmental convictions? 

Renew Europe’s environmental agenda emphasizes fulfilling the objectives of the Paris Agreement and promoting the shift to a society that is climate neutral by 2050. They underlined that in order to mainstream environmental and climate objectives and expedite the ecological transition, coherence across all EU policies is essential. Innovation, environmentally friendly sectors, and international climate leadership were given top priority by Renew Europe. They demanded bold legislation to increase emission reduction targets, such as an updated European Green Deal and an efficient Climate Law. They also stressed the need to preserve the environment, move toward a circular economy, and guarantee the quality of the air and water. Renew Europe promoted innovation, sustainable production, and renewable energy while attempting to incorporate environmental goals into trade, agriculture, and fisheries policies.

The Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance (Greens/EFA) is composed of green, regionalist, and minority parties from across the European Union. This group, with its 74 seats in 2019, is known for advocating for environmental protection, climate action, and sustainability, pushing for policies to combat climate change and preserve biodiversity. The Greens/EFA prioritise stances on social issues, including human rights, gender equality, and social justice, reflecting a commitment to creating a more equitable and inclusive society, while also supporting a transition to renewable energy, sustainable transport, and a circular economy. The group emphasizes transparency, democracy, and civil liberties within the EU, advocating for citizen participation in European decision-making. Through its work in the European Parliament, the Greens/EFA seeks to influence EU policy and legislation towards sustainable and socially responsible directions.

Overall ideology

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What are their environmental convictions? 

The Group’s environmental agenda aims to limit global warming to below 2 degrees. They advocate for increased renewable energy targets, simplifying administrative processes for renewable projects, and promoting electric vehicles while opposing liquefied natural gas in transport. They also call for the end of free emissions allowances, integrating aviation and shipping emissions into the Emissions Trading System, and implementing a Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism for imported goods. Additionally, they focus on addressing energy and transport poverty through the Social Climate Fund, supporting emissions reduction targets in forestry and land use, and advocating for stringent ecodesign requirements for vehicles, along with a ban on new petrol and diesel cars within the next decade.

Established in 2009, the ECR was founded on the principles of Eurorealism, advocating for EU reform, decentralization, and the respect of national sovereignty over deeper European integration. With its 62 seats, the group emphasizes free market economics, individual liberty, and reducing the power of the EU institutions in favor of giving more control back to member states. Accordingly, the ECR has advocated for the preservation of traditional values, stricter immigration laws, and a strong stance on law and order. The group actively engages in the legislative process to influence policies that align with its vision of a more flexible and decentralized European Union, despite its eurosceptic position.

Overall ideology

The European Conservatives and Reformists Group represents a political grouping of conservative, eurosceptic, and right-wing parties from across the European Union.

What are their environmental convictions? 

The European Conservatives and Reformists prioritise initiatives like the EU’s Emission Trading Scheme to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while safeguarding European industries. ECR-led efforts focus on improving air quality through cross-border collaboration and setting stringent emissions ceilings. They address the illegal wildlife trade by outlining challenges and proposing solutions. In fisheries, they advocate for sustainable practices balancing environmental protection, consumer demand, and the livelihoods of fishermen. ECR stresses the importance of science and technology in farming and fishing for sustainable resource management. They aim to protect the environment while ensuring economic prosperity and food security.

The Identity and Democracy (ID) Group in the European Parliament is composed of nationalist and eurosceptic parties from the European Union (EU). Established in June 2019, following the Europe of Nations and Freedom (ENF) group, ID consists of parties that focus on national sovereignty and express concerns about the EU’s approach to federalism. ID advocates for a model where EU member states cooperate on an intergovernmental basis and seeks a reevaluation of powers between the EU and its member states.

Overall ideology

ID represents a perspective in the European Parliament that prioritizes the interests and sovereignty of individual nations, aiming for a more decentralized EU structure. 

What are their environmental convictions? 

On their website, they remain silent.

Established in 1995, the group focuses on reforms in the EU related to social justice, workers’ rights, environmental sustainability, and wealth redistribution. GUE/NGL emphasizes peace, democracy, solidarity, sustainable development, and a transition towards renewable energy. With 41 seats in the Parliament, GUE/NGL participates in policy discussions, aiming to influence EU policies in the direction of social, economic, and environmental considerations.

Overall ideology

The Left group consists of left-wing, socialist, communist, and anti-capitalist parties from the European Union.

What are their environmental convictions? 

The Left emphasises environmental justice, advocating for nature conservation, protection of biodiversity, and strict regulation of toxic chemicals. They prioritise animal rights and welfare alongside sustainable agricultural and fisheries policies, emphasizing support for small communities. They scrutinise trade agreements like the EU-Chile AFA; they highlight concerns over environmental degradation, indigenous rights, and corporate interests. The Left currently calls for trade policies aligned with fairness, solidarity, and ecological integrity, rejecting deals favoring corporate profits over sustainability. They also focus on legislative efforts like the Nature Restoration Law, pushing for strong measures to restore ecosystems. They also address issues such as GMO authorisation and food price crises. They emphasize safety assessments, consumer choice, and fair pricing, advocating for policies benefiting both people and the planet.

Independent MEPs in the European Parliament, often referred to as non-attached members, are those who do not belong to any of the recognised political groups. They may choose to be independent for various reasons, such as differences in ideology or political strategy.

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Nature Restoration Law: Youth needs your support

Nature Restoration Law: Youth needs your support

YEE and other youth organisations have sent this letter to European Parliament Members, ahead of the plenary vote on the Nature Restoration Law on Tuesday, February 27, 2024

On behalf of European youth, we are reaching out to you as a coalition of youth organizations representing more than 20 million young Europeans with the European environment at heart. On Tuesday the 27th of February, the European Parliament plenary meeting will take place in Strasbourg. We want to underscore the absolute necessity to vote in favor of the provisional agreement on the Nature Restoration Law, for our future, and the future of our and your children.

As young people, we are inheriting a degrading environment and climate which makes us currently see a gloomy future ahead of us. Every day, we witness more species becoming extinct and ecosystems continuing to degrade. It is proof that existing measures so far have been critically insufficient. We are even more worried due to the recent and ongoing watering down of environmental policies and laws at the EU and national level. 

This EU Nature Restoration Law is the only opportunity for us to get the chance to see nature improving across Europe and benefit from a healthy environment and climate. 

Opposing or further weakening the law would mean condemning our future and fully ignoring all the good things that nature brings to our society. It would mean that young people and future generations, the least responsible for the current crises, will have to address environmental emergencies at a great cost and risk. This is extremely unfair from an intergenerational equity perspective.

On Tuesday, you will cast a vote on our future. The outcome will greatly impact generations of Europeans to come, so we need your vote in favor of the Nature Restoration Law. 

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Call for Finance Coordinator | Part-time Opportunities

Call for Finance Coordinator

to join our Finance team.

20 h/ week

26k CZK/month

Prague, CZ

Onsite

Start 1st April 2024

YEE is seeking a Finance Coordinator

YEE is excited to announce the opening of a part-time Finance Coordinator (20 hours/week) from April 2024 to April 2025 (potential extension) to join our Finance team.

Responsibilities include financial reporting, grant management, budget monitoring, and data management. The selected candidate must have language proficiency in English and Czech. Ideal candidates have experience in budgeting, grant management, nonprofit accounting, and strong communication skills.

Remuneration is 26 000 CZK/month gross salary.

Your responsibilities

  • Prepare accurate and timely financial reports, including income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements. Present financial information to the Coordination team and the Board, offering insights and recommendations for strategic planning.
  • Monitor grant budgeting and reporting processes to ensure compliance with funder requirements. Work closely with project managers and department managers to align financial activities with project goals and objectives.
  • Monitor budget vs. actual performance for various projects and programs. Identify variances and communicate findings to the Finance Manager
  • Organise and archive financial documents, reports, and supporting documentation for audit and compliance purposes.
  • Assisting in ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements, organisational policies, and grant agreements. Supporting internal and external audits by providing requested documentation and explanations as needed.
  • Assisting the financial manager with the travel arrangements such buying tickets, booking accommodations and reimbursements when required.


Apply now

Candidates we are looking for

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Speeding up history in the face of war: How the invasion of Ukraine has shaken up the EU’s energy transition plan

Speeding up history in the face of war: How the invasion of Ukraine has shaken up the EU’s energy transition plan

The war in Ukraine has highlighted the significance of energy policy as a major power issue. It is an opportunity to break toxic dependence in geostrategic and climate terms.

Written by

Disclaimer

The views and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of YEE.

Contents

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In its latest report, the International Energy Agency shows that the geopolitical context since the war in Ukraine has had an unprecedented impact on the energy transition. While a number of changes had already been initiated, such as those concerning renewable energies, the war in Ukraine seems to have accelerated them. In addition, European sanctions have massively reduced Russian gas imports into Europe. Under European sanctions, Russia reduced the flow of its gas pipelines to the EU by around 80%, prompting European states to find alternatives in a short space of time. This episode was an opportunity for many member states to reflect on their energy policy and, above all, the energy transition. 

The war in Ukraine revealed that energy policy is a major power issue. This is illustrated by the expression “war ecology” defined by Pierre Charbonnier. According to him, the war in Ukraine is an opportunity to break a toxic dependence, both in geostrategic terms and in terms of climate policy. Achieving energy sufficiency would kill two birds with one stone, by aligning the imperative of coercing the Russian regime with the imperative of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

According to the International Renewable Energy Agency, “the period 2020-2021 was marked by a radical shift in the balance of competitiveness between renewables and existing fossil fuel and nuclear energy options”. So let’s take a look at how the war in Ukraine has affected the energy transition – has it accelerated or slowed it down?

What responses has the EU put in place? 

First of all, there is a desire at the European level to promote the EU’s independence, while also attempting to take account of the climate objectives set out in the European Green Deal.

This is illustrated first and foremost by the introduction of the RePower EU plan. What does this plan consist of? This plan, proposed by the EU a few weeks after the Russian invasion of Ukraine and in line with the demands of the 27 member states, aims to massively reduce Russian gas imports, to do without them altogether by 2027. This strategy is based on four pillars: saving energy, replacing Russian fossil fuels with other hydrocarbons, promoting renewable energies and investing in new infrastructures such as liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals.

We can therefore see that the EU Commission, while wishing to reduce member states’ dependence on Russia, also aims to achieve the Green Deal’s climate objectives. The strategic objective is linked to the climate objective. Through this plan, it is proposing to increase the EU’s renewable energy target from 40% to a minimum of 42.5% by 2030. To reach this objective, at the end of the year, the EU adopted a regulation aimed at speeding up the procedure for granting construction permits for renewable energy projects. 

Through the RePower EU plan, the EU has also decided to bet on hydrogen, setting a target of 10 million tonnes of domestic production of renewable hydrogen and a similar figure for imports by 2030. The creation of a European Hydrogen Bank is also planned, with the task of investing 3 billion Euros to develop this market on the continent, as announced by Ursula Von Der Leyen during her State of the Union address last September.

Are there any concrete examples of the successful implementation of this plan?

Yes, especially when it comes to the development of renewable energies. After the war, the use of renewable energies rose sharply. Between 2022 and 2023, European renewable energies increased by 57.3 GW. This figure is set to rise further, given that the RED III directive, the result of the RePower EU plan, calls for doubling the share of renewable energies in European energy consumption to 42.5% by 2030. This increase in investment in renewable energies has helped bring prices down. However, their role in heating, and especially in transport, is still limited, although growing.

It’s worth noting that this increase in investment in renewable energies has not been confined to Europe alone, as it is China that has increased its renewable energy production capacity the most (+ 141GW)

What initiatives have been put in place at national levels?

Many member states have also taken steps to reduce their dependence on Russian gas imports. In 2022, for example, Lithuania declared its autonomy from the gas pipeline linking it to Russia, thanks to its LNG terminal and links with its neighbours. Shortly afterwards, Poland was able to put the suspension of Gazprom supplies into perspective, thanks to its LNG terminal and cross-border gas pipelines. Co-financed by the EU, the various cross-border gas pipelines have proved invaluable in times of crisis, embodying the principle of solidarity proclaimed in the Treaty of the European Union.  In coastal areas, LNG terminals, previously under-utilized, have made it possible to diversify supplies, even if technical constraints remain between certain member states. 

States have also sought to find other countries that can provide them with energy. So there has been a revival of confidence in nuclear power throughout the EU. Italy and Germany have also sought to establish or renew bilateral partnerships. However, the diversity of national energy mixes and the differing levels of vulnerability between member states could well lead to a situation where each country is left to its own devices.

Finally, the war in Ukraine was also an opportunity for many states to review their position on nuclear energy, as was the case with Germany. 

Can the EU afford the energy ambitions proposed in its RePower EU plan? 

The plan will cost 210 billion euros, and major investments are needed. That’s why InvestEU, the EU’s flagship investment program, was created. Its original aim was to finance a green and digital revival, but with the crisis in Ukraine, the plan is now part of Europe’s drive for emancipation from Russian oil and gas. At present, the EU’s dependence on Russian fossil fuels costs 100 billion euros a year. To free itself from this, an investment of 210 billion euros is required by 2027. However, the EU has already far exceeded 210 billion euros: the 27 countries have spent a combined total of 314 billion euros, bringing the EU’s bill to almost 450 billion euros.

Will Europe emerge stronger from the energy crisis? 

While the oil shocks saw European states reacting in a scattered fashion (not necessarily contradictorily, incidentally), the gas crisis provoked by Russia has confirmed the timeliness and effectiveness of a European approach. This energy crisis has made European countries realise the strategic importance of energy supply and has been the starting point for in-depth reflection on the importance of ensuring their independence.

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Call for volunteers | AWG

Call for volunteers | AWG

The YEE Advocacy Working Group is the perfect opportunity to become an influential young leader.

7-10 h/ week

EU/Europe

Remote

Start February

Contents

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Have questions? Get in touch!



YEE’s Advocacy Working Group is looking for 8 motivated, passionate volunteers to join the team!

About YEE Advocacy Working Group

The Advocacy Working Group (AWG) is a leadership program intended to equip volunteers with the necessary skills, knowledge, and mentorship to effectively advocate for environmental concerns during their tenure with YEE, and beyond. Volunteers are being mentored and engaging in peer-to-peer learning; while supporting the Advocacy Team in shaping YEE’s external advocacy positions.

What will you get:

This volunteer position offers valuable insights into working for a large European network of youth-led environmental NGOs, as well as in-depth knowledge of relevant organisations and institutions.

It also provides access to a network of young green activists and professionals and helps develop transferable skills such as time management, organization, and communication, which can boost your CV.

About Liasion Officers (LOs)

The Liaison Officer is a volunteer position of one year term (January 2024 – January 2025). All liaison volunteers will report to and be supported by the YEE Advocacy staff and the External Relations Officer. While committed to specific and diverse tasks within their thematic portfolios, the volunteer liaison officers would effectively make a team – the Advocacy Working Group – intended to support each other. The average commitment would be between 7-10 hours a week, including meetings every two weeks.

Some of the work tasks expected include strengthening communication and advocacy with our partner organisations as well as creating projects and campaigns of their own.

About Regional Contact Persons (RCPs)

The role of the RCPs is to connect and develop communities of YEE’s member organisations on the regional level and work together to strengthen the connections of young people through YEE.

They act as the point of contact between YEE and the member organisations in their region, hosting meetings for the representatives of the member organisations, and linking them with any relevant projects and opportunities from YEE. They also work to strengthen YEE’s presence in and knowledge of their region, contributing with invaluable information for our expanding network.

Application deadline:

28th January 2024

Volunteering positions available

The Liaison Officers on Biodiversity will work in a small team composed of 2 Liaison Officers and the Biodiversity Manager. The aim of the portfolio is twofold. On the one hand, we aim at building capacity on pressing biodiversity issues through a series of workshops and the publication of easily accessible knowledge materials, potentially in collaboration with our Member Organisations (MOs). On the other hand, the LOs will follow first hand the biodiversity advocacy initiatives we are pursuing together with other youth NGOs, such as GYBN, GCE and EU Young Rewilders, and NGOs we are members of, such as CAN-E.

One of the most important examples of such collaboration is the #restorenature campaign.

The LOs will also be the contact persons for the CoE Bern Convention, YEE is an observer of.

The main tasks will include:

  • 🟢 Help our members to engage with our work on biodiversity, through liaising and working on our relationship with MOs and partner organisations (e.g. working on our newsletter and organising collaborative events);
  • 🟢 Work on content creation, such as articles and explainers;
  • 🟢 Represent YEE at the Bern Convention processes (either online or onsite, pending fundings);
  • 🟢 Contribute to the YEE’s biodiversity advocacy strategy, such as through participating on behalf of YEE to legal campaigns and external events.
  • 🟢 Follow the opportunities stemming from our membership to IUCN (tbc, pending approval of application).

The primary role of the Liaison Officer on Climate Justice will be to continue and strengthen YEE’s engagement in UNFCCC processes, in which YEE holds observer status, throughout the year. The Liaison Officer will carry out research and gain expertise on selected UNFCCC negotiation items of interest to them (such as Loss & Damage, Finance, Art 6, Action for Climate Empowerment, or others), engage with our MOs and other youth organisations who are active in UNFCCC processes and/or on the topic of climate change (including NEYCA – the Network of European Youth NGOs for Climate Action), and work to build stronger connections with marginalised persons and organisations active in climate advocacy, particularly those based in the so-called Global South. Great part of this collaboration will be undertaken under the project “Global Dialogues for Climate Justice”, YEE is implementing with our partner WAT-GP.

The main tasks will include:

  • 🟢 Engaging with our MOs active on climate issues, NEYCA, YOUNGO, CAN-E, and other key partners to strengthen our participation in UNFCCC processes;
  • 🟢 Leading joint campaigns and drafting joint position papers in the run-up to UNFCCC processes;
  • 🟢 Contributing to the Global Dialogues for Climate Justice project, co-led by YEE and We Are Tomorrow Global Partnership (WAT-GP), which aims at building stronger connections between European and non-European youth with a view to advocating for climate justice at COP29;
  • 🟢 Leading strategic outreach to marginalised youth communities and youth organisations based in so-called Global South countries working on climate-related topics.

The Liaison Officer on Intersectionality will help the AWG keep a critical, intersectional perspective in all of its projects as well as to create events and campaigns that concern environmental synergies with gender, class, racial, disability and sexuality questions. This would also involve reaching out to and collaborating with organisations YEE may not yet be linked to that pioneer youth work in these areas. Moreover, the LO could choose to incorporate increased work with European Neighbourhood countries.

Key Themes and Questions for the Intersectionality Liaison Officer: 

  • How do environmental questions intersect with: 
    • Race and ethnicity
    • Gender and the livelihood of women
    • LGBTQ+, the topic of queer ecology
    • Disability issues, accessibility and ableism
    • Class disparities 
    • Regional disparities and privilege

The main tasks will include:

  • 🟢 Support the project lead of Empowering the Unheard in organising workshops on intersectional justice;
  • 🟢 Produce toolkits and other material to disseminate knowledge on intersectionality & climate change;
  • 🟢 Assist and work on partnership connections and links to further promote YEE efforts;
  • 🟢 Assist in the planning and execution of a social campaign for Empowering the Unheard.

The LOs on Environmental Policy will follow first hand YEE’s external advocacy, at EU and at International level. The portfolio aims at strengthening YEE’s advocacy on UN environmental governance and at empowering young people to understand and have an active role in the EU parliamentary elections 2024.

For the first time, we are recruiting two volunteers, one on EU and one on international affairs: however, their work is complementary and they will work together in a small team.

Environmental Policy – EU Affairs (1 person) 

The main tasks will include:

  • 🟢 Take over and develop YEE’s advocacy work towards (and beyond) the EU Parliamentary Elections 2024, including
    • Strengthen collaborations with the EEB and other key partners
    • Develop YEE’s strategy for the upcoming elections 
    • Coordinate a communication campaign with YEE’s member organisation with 2 main objectives: 
      • Advertise concrete local actions of the EU “What has the EU done for you?”
      • Call upon young people to go and vote on election day
    • Organise meetings and/or workshops with key EU representatives and leaders to ensure youth voice is heard
  • 🟢 Cover EU parliamentary actions after the election (i.e Appointment of the President of the European Commission, selection of the commissioners, future of the EU Green Deal etc.)
  • 🟢 Strengthen collaboration and work with EESC and its youth representative

 

Environmental Policy – International Affairs (1 person)

The main tasks will include:

  • 🟢 Represent YEE in the MGCY;
  • 🟢 Ensure strong commitment and participation to UN environmental meetings (e.g. UNEA);
  • 🟢 Contribute to the organisation of the RCOY Europe 2024, together with other NGOs YEE is already collaborating with;
  • 🟢 Collaborate with the Climate Justice LO to co-represent YEE in the NEYCA on drafting the EU youth NGOs position paper for COP29 and other international fora.

 

We are looking for three volunteers to join us in the mandate of RCP for the South (currently spanning organisations from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Italy, Kosovo, Portugal, Serbia, Spain and Turkey), North (currently spanning organisations from Sweden, Ireland and England) and East (currently spanning organisations in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Czechia, Georgia, Moldova, Poland and Romania) region.

Your tasks will include:

  • 🟢 Collaborating closely with the regional team, the Member Organisations Officer and the Member Organisations Coordinator to plan, enhance and implement our regional strategy;
  • 🟢 Organising and chairing online regional meetings with member organisations of your area four times a year;
  • 🟢 Keeping the Membership Officer informed about the situation in your region on a regular basis;
  • 🟢 Contributing to the written Annual Regional Report about the status of your region;
  • 🟢 Stimulating and supporting member engagement in YEE activities and projects;
  • 🟢 Reaching out to and enhancing collaboration with youth movements in your region.

RCPs specific requirement: live in the region they are applying to become an RCP for (however, nationality doesn’t matter)​

Requirements

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National Energy & Climate Plans | Webinar

It's NECPs time!

Mobilising youth in the NECPs processes

It's NECPs time!

Mobilising youth in the NECPs processes

Practical information

  • When

    Friday 12th January 2024 at 16h CET

  • Where

    Online

  • How

    Register your interest

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Are you interested in a campaign to mobilise youth in the NECPs processes?

 
Join us on Friday 12th January from 16.00 to 17.00 CET for a session in which the YEE Environmental Law team will present the new initiative to launch a campaign to mobilise youth to demand more consideration of young people’s engagement in the NECPs processes.

During the session, attendees will have the opportunity to learn more about the campaign and how they can get involved. The YEE Environmental Law team will provide an overview of the NECPs processes and explain how young people can participate in them.

About NECPs

NECPs, or National Energy and Climate Plans, are an important part of the EU’s efforts to combat climate change. They set out each member state’s targets and policies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, increasing renewable energy, and improving energy efficiency.

Learn more about NECPs in our handbook.

Have questions? Get in touch!



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National Energy and Climate Plans | A handbook for youth participation

National Energy and Climate Plans | A handbook for youth participation

This handbook works as an explainer to the EU regulated National Energy and Climate Plans, and as a guide to how to participate in the process as a young citizen.

Each EU Member State is required to submit a National Energy and Climate Plan (NECPs), reflecting how various energy and climate targets will be achieved. According to EU regulations, these plans need to be open to public participation and consultation, yet the majority of Member States have failed to provide opportunities for the public to participate in the process.

These handbooks aim to shed light on the ways in which public participation can be improved, and how you as a young person can take part in the process!

This toolkit covers:

  • Explaining NECPs

    National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPS) are plans that each Member State of the European Union needs to prepare. An NECP should reflect how energy and climate targets will be achieved. But what does this mean in practice? What kind of information do NECPs contain?

  • Exploring the role of public participation

    According to EU regulations, all NECPs should be open to public participation and consultation. What is so crucial? And are all Member States fulfilling this requirement?

  • What we as young people can do

    Including the perspective of young people is important for well-functioning NECPs, but participation is not always easy. How can you as a young person take part in drafting NECPs? How can you make your voice heard?

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Youth Participation in the NECPs

The Legal Seeds project has been conducting interviews with young people from 4 different EU member states, in order to report on the status of youth participation in the NECP-process. We have compiled country-specific reports on youth involvement for Cyprus, Italy, Bulgaria (coming soon) and Greece (coming soon). These reports outline both the importance and legal requirements of public- and youth participation, while describing the current status of youth involvement in the NECP-process. These reports also highlight the shortcoming of the national processes, while also including suggestions on improvements to national governments.

Youth Participation in the Italian updated NECP draft

The report highlights issues with implementing the Governance Regulation in Italy, focusing on updating National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs), namely the lack of public participation in Italian climate and environmental policymaking , higlighting the bigger focus on administrative procedures rather than human rights.

Youth Participation in the Cypriot updated NECP draft

The report raises awareness about Governance Regulation shortcomings in Cyprus, focusing on updating NECPs in 2022/2023. Public participation is not there solely for the sake of participating - it is there to increase the acceptability of divisive policies and unite the Cypriot public.

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COP28 recap ​| Webinar

COP28 recap

Join our live webinar on COP28 recap with youth delegates, from Youth and Environment Europe (YEE) Generation Climate Europe (GCE) and European Youth Energy Network (EYEN), who were present at #COP28 in Dubai!

COP28 recap​

Join our live webinar on COP28 recap with youth delegates, from Youth and Environment Europe (YEE) Generation Climate Europe (GCE) and European Youth Energy Network (EYEN), who were present at #COP28 in Dubai!​

Practical information

  • When

    Friday 21st December 2023 at 15h CET

  • Where

    Online

  • How

    Register your interest

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Join our live webinar on COP28 recap with youth delegates, from Youth and Environment Europe (YEE) Generation Climate Europe (GCE) and European Youth Energy Network – EYEN, who were present at #COP28 in Dubai!

Did you miss the event?

Watch the recording or read the written summary!

Have questions? Get in touch!



Other upcoming events

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Health first: The IED cannot deprive pollution victims of their rights

Health first: The IED cannot deprive pollution victims of their rights

In 2023, toxic pollution has become the norm in Europe, with industrial complexes illegally polluting and causing harm to people's health. The Industrial Emissions Directive (IED), which governs emissions from various industries, is being updated by EU decision-makers. However, the draft law appears to be inadequate in protecting people from pollution.

Written by

Bellinda Bartolucci, ClientEarth

Alexandros Kassapis, Youth and Environment Europe

Contents

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It’s 2023 and exposure to toxic pollution is the norm in Europe.

Across the bloc, people are living in the shadow of industrial complexes that are still polluting illegally, eroding their health, and claiming lives.

This is a rights issue. An estimated 10% or more of Europe’s cancer burden is suspected to relate to pollution exposure, while EU premature deaths related to excessive levels of air pollution chart in the hundreds of thousands each year –
including minors, whose small bodies register big and lasting pollution impacts.

It’s hardly the futuristic picture we’d hoped for.

EU decision-makers are on the cusp of finalising the update of the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED). It governs the emissions of over 50,000 installations, including steelworks, chemicals and plastics facilities, coal plants and factory farms all over Europe – and it needs to be the most powerful tool to protect people that it can possibly be.

But on the contrary – the draft law looks set to blow over in the wind. From strong beginnings, we’re left with a nearly empty shell as far as people’s rights are concerned.

So what do our lawmakers need to do?

On your doorstep – what does industrial pollution
look like in Europe?

Pollution exposure is not just about isolated incidents – the reality is more insidious. From ‘forever chemicals’ to heavy metals, there are dramatic cases of chronic industrial pollution across Europe. Their impacts are startling reminders that industrial operations can cause severe illness and kill, in 21st century Europe.

There are ample examples of European workers and local residents – particularly children – being impacted by industrial pollution. A 5-year-old has died in Taranto, Italy, from a brain tumour – metal and dust particles from the local steel plant (Italy’s largest) were found in his brain. The local waters can’t be used to raise mussels because of iron dust levels.

Those living near antiquated coal plants in Bulgaria and Poland complain of stinging eyes and report respiratory ill-health. Towns near coal complexes in Bulgaria have been blanketed with air pollution for years – coal regions in the country chart the EU’s highest levels of sulphur dioxide pollution. But the government gave one of the local plants ongoing permission to pollute far above EU limits. 

The above cases were from facilities operating within the law. So it goes without saying that, at least in cases of illegal pollution, anyone suffering from its impacts should be able to go to court and stand a chance of receiving compensation for the damage – no? 

They pollute, you pay – why we need a real route to justice

If a facility is polluting beyond the limits allowed by the law, people suffering from health issues due to this illegal pollution must be able to access the courts for compensation. But the legal set-up right now makes it very difficult for anyone to hold Member States or industries to account

The European Commission has acknowledged this injustice and the new IED was supposed to fix this. The law included a new compensation right for victims of illegal pollution. But throughout the process, the real substance of this right has been systematically dismantled over the course of the negotiations – by now, it risks becoming an in-name-only gesture, which contains no actual avenue for people to access their rights.

With the current wording, negotiators have given the chop to the possibility of NGOs standing for sick people in class actions – vital given that in extreme cases, claimants have passed away before they could complete their actions. The law also relieves authorities of all legal responsibility for failing to enforce laws and therefore enabling health damages. 

People across Europe have been pushing for their rights to be reflected in the law. But pressure has been too strong and conflicting information has emerged throughout the process to derail positive lawmaking. This has got in the way of what this law is for: keeping people safe.

Youth and Environment Europe (YEE) have written to EU representatives to urge them to “prioritise health over illegal pollution” and adopt a real, functional compensation right. Along with a host of legal and consumer organisations, we highlighted that an inadequate law would fail people’s fundamental rights – the European Court of Human Rights has confirmed that harmful industrial pollution can give rise to individual compensation.

A turning point for victims of illegal industrial pollution – will lawmakers deliver?

An effective compensation right already exists in competition, data protection, anti-discrimination and consumer laws. It works for all parties involved and it ups compliance from the outset. Why should health be protected less? Contrary to industry claims, none of these types of rules have ever led to excessive litigation. In the case of the IED, only illegal polluters are exposed to the risk of litigation. Companies adhering to the rules have no reason to worry – and will actually benefit from a level playing field across the EU.

There is no justification for failing to apply it in the IED for victims of illegal pollution. This is a no-brainer.

An IED based on justice goes far beyond environmental action –  it is about helping victims on the ground. This is a major opportunity to bring back justice and finally offer protection for citizens across Europe. Missing it would be a statement by EU lawmakers that lawbreakers have officially taken precedence over people’s rights. 

Brussels should take a deep breath and consider this before they give the IED their final seal of approval.