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Populism and the spread of misinformation is one of the biggest threats currently facing Europe. Much of this resentment stems from socio­economic problems that exist in each Member State, problems which have only been magnified by the 2008 economic crisis, the resulting EU sovereign debt crisis, as well as the mismanagement of the migration crisis.

Populist parties across Europe have channeled the legitimate frustrations of the people against the European Union, using it as a scapegoat, in order to gain influence and power. The European Union and the vast numbers of pro­Europeans have been complacent in the face of this threat. We believed it would never really amount to anything. We were wrong.

The decision by the British people on the 23rd June 2016 to leave the European Union shows us how wrong we were. We cannot, therefore, continue with business as usual. History has shown us the dangers of populism, and we would be foolish to believe that it is a phenomenon particular to the United Kingdom. Anti­EU sentiment is ripe across Europe, and with stronger manifestations in some countries such as France and the Netherlands.

It is within this context that LYMEC and its member organisations have a key role to play as a counterweight to the populist parties in Europe.

The Fight Against Populism Working Group will aim to put together a comprehensive strategy that LYMEC and its member organisations (including the IMS) can follow in order to tackle this populism.

The process will include, but not be limited to, the following points:

● Identifying the socio­economic causes of anti­EU sentiment;

● Identifying the causes of these socio­economic issues, and their potential solutions;

● Identifying priority countries where populism is rampant and where thus action is necessary;

● Formulating a strategy to combat populism (communication tools, events, etc.)

● Creating a guidance mechanism to help member organisations and the IMS implement the strategy

This strategy will be presented at the 2017 Spring Congress. This strategy will include a guidance mechanism which will be set in place to help member organisations with implementation.

Timetable

July 2016: Working Group is launched; C​all for members;

August: First Meeting

September: Second Meeting

Start October: Third Meeting

End October: Fourth Meeting (Write report)

November: Tallinn Congress (face­to­face meeting beforehand) Objective: present report

January 2017: Fifth Meeting

February: Sixth Meeting

March: Seventh Meeting

April: Eighth Meeting (strategy complete)

April/May: Spring Congress (face­to­face meeting beforehand) Objective: present strategy

June: Ninth Meeting (evaluation and guidance)

August: Tenth Meeting (evaluation and guidance)

October: Eleventh Meeting (evaluation and guidance)

November: Autumn Congress (Final report)

This is a preliminary timetable subject to considerations; the dates in bold, however, are not;

The Working Group will be led by Jorge de Jesus
Meetings will take place via Skype; dates will be chosen beforehand to suit all those who participate in the Working Group;
Input from any and all of LYMEC’s member organisations is encouraged;
Contribution to the Working Group is based on the ability and availability of each member to contribute;
Tasks are assigned within the Working Group on a voluntary basis.

If you are interested in joining the working group, please send an email stating your interest and motivation to [email protected] by August 5th.

Do not hesitate to contact the office if you have any questions.

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