Young people are finding it harder and harder to access the labour market after graduating. Far too many young people are caught up in unpaid jobs during the day but then, in order to support themselves, take up paid night time jobs in order to support themselves. Others are stuck in a vicious cycle of one unpaid internship after another as they find it impossible to find quality, paid work.
It's simple: Interns Work. Pay your Interns.
Since the 2008 Global Financial Crisis, working for free has become increasingly common. In certain sectors, entry level positions have been replaced by unpaid internships. In others, unpaid interns are given little learning experience. This is not a coincidence. It is the results of employers taking advantage of the high youth unemployment rate in Europe and treating young people as cheap or unpaid labour force. Unpaid internships are an exploitative, unjust and discriminatory practice. We're calling on the EU to ban unpaid and low-quality internships at an EU wide level.
Unpaid internships perpetuate social inequality. Young people who do not have the privilege of financial security, parental support or cheap housing cannot take up unpaid internships, finding it even harder to enter the labour market.
Businesses, institutions, NGOs and all other employers should pay interns for their work. Young people deserve the ability to build a prosperous future for themselves. We need laws to make sure employers don't exploit their employees.
I demand that interns are adequately paid for their work. The EU must ban unpaid internships and improve the quality of internships at an EU wide level. That is only fair.
Unpaid internships are an exploitative, unjust and discriminatory practice. They perpetuate social inequalities among young people all over Europe. Young people deserve the ability to build a prosperous future for themselves. It starts with banning unpaid internships.
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A warning bell has been ringing: global warming needs to be limited to 1.5°C as soon as possible. Any additional warming, even by half a degree more, will further increase the threats of drought, floods, excessive heat and poverty for hundreds of millions of people in Europe and worldwide. As you know, already several European regions are facing more and more extreme weather disasters, which are occurring with increasing frequency and intensity. Events such as the ones that took place in countries such as Italy, Portugal, and Greece are only examples of the urgent need to address this issue in order to prevent any further negative impact on the lives of European citizens. This is an unprecedented wake-up call that the EU Member States can no longer afford to ignore.
The CO2 emissions resulting from the use and the consumption of fossil fuels are still playing a significant role in global warming. Europe can and must do something to contribute to reverse this trend by adopting concrete measures leading to rapid and effective shifts in sectors such as energy, industry, and infrastructure.
Therefore, I call on the European Commission and the European Parliament to introduce an EU legislation that could strengthen and complement the current rules on climate and energy, with the aim of discouraging the use of fossil fuels in all sectors and stimulate the use of renewable sources and energy saving.
In particular, I urge you to:
- Introduce a minimum price on CO2 emissions that can range from €40 per tonne of CO2 produced by 2020 up to €100 by 2030.
- Abolish the current system of free allowances for polluters.
- Introduce a border adjustment mechanism for third countries imports to compensate for the lower price on CO2 emissions in the exporting country.
The Nord Stream 2 pipeline is being built in order to transport more gas from Russia to Europe through the Baltic Sea, fueling climate change, increasing Russian leverage vis-à-vis Ukraine and the EU and funding Putin’s regime for decades.
This is not what Europe needs. Members of parliament from across Europe have come together to make this message clear to Angela Merkel, who has the power to pull the plug from the pipeline.
We must not allow to let the rift between EU Member States to deepen at a time when the EU needs cohesion more than ever.
Join the letter and add your name!
Transport emissions are one of the biggest causes of climate change. Even though trucks make up less than 5% of vehicles on the road, they are currently responsible for about one quarter of all road transport CO2 emissions in the EU. Yet there are no CO2 rules on trucks. That's ridiculous.
In order to tackle climate change and meet our commitments under the Paris Agreement, CO2 emissions need to be restricted in our trucks. Furthermore, our lack of action on trucks come from corporate interests and manufacturing lobbyist trying to evade their environmental responsibility. Our politicians need to step up. CO2 needs to be restricted everywhere.
Demand the European Parliament to set ambitious target to reduce CO2 truck emissions in order to fight climate change!
The age of unlimited emissions of carbon dioxide should end. NGOs, and other transport stakeholders have called for ambitious emission reduction targets. Our transport sector needs to be less carbon-intensive. We did it with cars, let's do it with trucks. That's why we're calling on the European Parliament to make CO2 restrictions on trucks stronger.
Dear Prime, Minister Boyko Borissov
Dear Minister of Energy, Asen Vasilev
I’m writing to you to express my deep concerns about the decision of our government to scrap the 2012 suspension on the construction of Belene Power Plant project. As you know, the suspension on the construction of the nuclear power plant of Belene was adopted by the Bulgarian government and the National Assembly due to concerns about the high seismic risk at the site where Belene is located.
The decision to reopen the construction of the Belene nuclear power plant would represent an unacceptable nuclear hazard and a significant risk to the lives of not only Bulgarian citizens, but also of all European citizens and neighboring countries. A potential accident at the Belene nuclear power plant, such as a destructive earthquake, would have huge environmental, health and economic consequences for Bulgaria and the EU Member States.
Recently the European Commission has stated that the Belene power plant project has to be considered as a new project, rather than a continuation of an already existing project. This means that the Bulgarian government will have now to follow the correct procedures, in line with EU regulation for the building of this plant, and re-submit the notification for the construction of Belene Nuclear Plant.
By deciding to suspend the 2012 decision on the construction of Belene Power Plant project, you are forgetting the 120 victims who died in 1977 Vrancea earthquake. That day, less than 10 kilometers away from the site where Belene nuclear power plant is set to be built, the earthquake killed many loved ones and decimated one-third of the buildings in the nearby town of Svishtov. What do you think would happen if there was also a Nuclear Power Plant in the middle of it all? Nuclear power plant and its disasters know no border and its consequences concerns all of us.
I would also like to remind you that nuclear energy has become less and less economically viable in the energy sector. Nuclear power plants are becoming more expensive and more dangerous for public health and the environment. The future of the energy lies in the renewable energy that has become much more dominant and long-term providers for energy production.
Therefore, I call on you to abandon the Belene Nuclear power plant project as it poses huge environmental, health and economic risks to the Bulgarian citizens and the EU Member States.
To Members of the European Parliament
I am deeply concerned about the lack of regulation on CRISPR-CAS9 (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) gene drives and the ecological, cultural and societal threats they pose.
Gene drives are a controversial new genetic manipulation technology that threatens the balance of our delicate ecosystems. It allows scientists to modify, delete or insert DNA into organisms that ensures the human made mutations are inherited to all its offspring. This mutation eventually spreads throughout the population with every generation of new offspring.
In theory, scientists argue that they could create populations of malaria-resistant parasites. In practice, without careful consideration, unleashing mutated species modified by gene drive technology could devastate entire ecosystems. The risks of these GMOs breeding with local wild or cultivated population creates biosecurity risks that are contrary to aims laid down by Convention on Biological Diversity. We’ve seen this before with invasive species killing off local wildlife. With gene drives, we could speed up that invasive process.
There is a severe lack of knowledge, data or understanding on the potential impact of gene drives on biological diversity. What’s worse is that big agricultural lobbyist and corporations have begun to appropriate and test this technology for commercial gain, whilst the US Defence Advanced Research have been considering to use it for bioweaponary. In the wrong hands, our biosecurity and food security would be under threat. That’s why we call on the European Parliament to call for an international moratorium on gene drives.
Over 160 civil society organizations from six continents have joined the call already: we don't want gene drives. We’ve seen plenty of rushed scientific experiments creating more ecological problems. Look to the GMO created superweeds in America immune to pesticides reeking havoc in local fields. Therefore, I call on the the European Parliament to promote an international moratorium on the release in the environment of organisms modified by gene drive technology.
To Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs
More than 40 days have passed since the writer Jamal Khashoggi was killed. The world is still shocked by what the Saudi regime's killers have done to him inside the Saudi consulate. There must be accountability and full justice for Jamal Khashoggi.
According to Turkish investigators, the journalist was most probably tortured, and his body being cut into pieces inside the consulate.
Jamal Khashoggi arrived at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul for a pre-arranged appointment to obtain a document he needed to marry his fiancé. After entering the consulate, he was never seen again.
We expect the truth and justice over the case. The European Union must aim to obtain this true from the Saudi authorities. Federica Mogherini, as our High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs, I urge you to call for an international, independent and impartial investigation board that can provide an insight on the disappearance of the journalist, and make sure that the perpetrators of this horrific crime will be held accountable to justice.
As you know, despite Saudi government promise to promote reform in the country, the world is well aware that the Saudi Arabian authorities have been repressing freedom of expression and dissent, by arresting people who speak out against the policies of the government. Such people are often subjected to unfair trials, enforced disappearances, torture, and long prison sentences. Some may even face the death penalty. This need to end.
The European Parliament has recently voted for stricter CO2 targets in the car and van industry. This is because transport is still one of the largest sources of CO2 emissions in Europe, factoring for one-fifth of emissions. Now the final decision lays at the feet of the Council to decide our CO2 targets.
Currently, Germany, France, Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria are being influenced by rich car manufacturers to lower these targets. Our representatives should listen to us, not lobby groups. Let the Environment Ministers of Germany, France, Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria know that Europe wants a reduction of CO2 emissions of cars and vans by 40% by 2030. It's up to us to let these Environment Ministers know that we want higher emissions reduction targets to work towards a decarbonised renewable future.
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The Białowieża Forest is one of last and largest remaining fragments of the immense primeval forest that once stretched Europe. It is part of UNESCO's World Heritage Site and has to be protected from destruction by human intervention.
The Polish State Forest Holding has now started the construction works of the Narewkowska Road, laying asphalt to cover a 400-metre stretch of the road fifteen kilometers every day. These construction operations are taking place despite the European Commission's decision to suspend the construction of the road. The European Commission have asked the company to comply with Europe's environmental standards and provide and environmental impact assessment before construction is done.
But this has not happened.
A stronger reaction from the European Commission is of highest importance to prevent further environmental damage in Białowieża forest.
Therefore, we call upon you to ensure that European laws for the protection of nature are respected and that further environmental damage in Białowieża forest is prevented. The unique ecosystem needs our protection.
We strongly urge the European Commission:
- to firmly demand that the Polish authorities stop the further construction of Narewkowska Road until proof of compliance with EU legislation is provided.
- in case the environmental compliance cannot be demonstrated, we urge you to definitely halt the asphalt work of the road.