All people of all genders have the right to bodily autonomy. Denying women the right to safely and legally terminate a pregnancy is incompatible with the right to bodily autonomy. All women, regardless of their personal circumstances, should be empowered to make their own decisions about their pregnancies without external interference or condemnation. LYMEC therefore supports the provision of abortion upon request up to and including the 22nd week of pregnancy. In cases of rape, severe fetal abnormality or risk to the mother’s health, abortions should continue to be available after the 22nd week.
We are alarmed by growing interference by some European governments in the field of higher education and academic research. Freedom of speech and thought are core liberal values, and it is clear that these values are not always being respected within the EU. We call on the EU to take greater measures to support and respect academic freedom and research, as long as such research adheres to ethical guidelines.
Interest in the Arctic and the economic possibilities which it offers is growing. LYMEC calls for mandatory risk and environmental impact assessments as a prerequisite for any economic activity launched in the Arctic region. In particular, it is vital to respect and protect the Arctic’s indigenous populations and their ways of life.
Additionally, a proper EU strategy towards the Arctic is vital; emphasis should be placed on research and cooperation between Member States and third countries, to ensure that activity in the region is conducted responsibly and in a sustainable manner.
We deplore the authoritarian government led by Aleksandr Lukashenka and its repression of young activists. We recognise the protests sparked by recent elections and wholeheartedly support the rights of the Belarusian people to self-determination and self-governance. We therefore call upon the European Union, its Member States and the MOs of LYMEC to increase cooperation and communication with civil society in Belarus, especially with the democratic opposition in and outside the country. Additionally, we urge the EU to apply targeted sanctions on Lukashenka and those surrounding him. Finally, we call upon the EU to provide visas and asylum status to victims of the regime whose lives and liberties are under threat.
We regret the decision taken by the United Kingdom to withdraw from the Erasmus+ programme, particularly as this withdrawal contradicted a pledge by the UK Government that UK universities would continue to participate in the scheme. Additionally, the Brexit process resulted in the UK withdrawing from the European Medicines Agency, Europol and Euratom. While recognising that Brexit is unlikely to be reversed in the foreseeable future, we at LYMEC nevertheless call on the EU and the UK to construct and maintain the closest possible relationship, in particular one that involves the UK re-joining Erasmus+, Europol and Euratom, as none of these schemes require EU membership as a prerequisite. We urge both sides to come to a resolution on the democratic deficit in Northern Ireland, and to respect and protect the rights of UK citizens living in the EU and EU citizens living in the UK.
LYMEC is alarmed by the increasingly repressive and authoritarian nature of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). We are particularly concerned over recent escalations in the region, including China's crackdown on civil liberties in Hong Kong, China's repeated attempts to undermine the sovereignty of Taiwan and its unlawful detention of Uyghurs, Kazakhs and other religious minorities. These actions, added to the decades-long illegal occupation of Tibet, are deeply troubling and expose the autocratic roots of the CCP. LYMEC stands in solidarity with these repressed groups and with all liberals in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and beyond who are standing up to the CCP's regime. LYMEC will also continue calling on the EU and its democratic allies to safeguard the liberal world order and hold China accountable.
LYMEC calls on an urgent global response to address climate change with more tangible actions to match the commitments made under the Paris Agreement. Europe’s leaders should ensure increased international cooperation, diplomatic pressure and staying united on the efforts to tackle climate change. New, creative solutions and innovations should be sought in order to save our environment. Therefore, LYMEC wants to strengthen the European Emission Trading System by expanding it to all carbon-emitting sectors.
Common Agricultural Policy
LYMEC supports the aims of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and its vision for a fairer and more sustainable method of farming. Since its introduction in the early 1960s, LYMEC has supported reforms to minimise surpluses and incentivise environmentally sound farming practices. Despite our support, LYMEC believes that the European Commission should develop and implement a safeguard system to ensure that the effects of the CAP do not undermine the positive intentions of the EU’s development policy.
Common Fishery Policy
The state of most fish stocks in the European waters is alarming. Although the EU has had exclusive competence in the area of conservation of biological resources of the sea, the CFP has not been a viable tool to conserve the resource it seeks to govern. LYMEC calls for the next reform of the CFP to include the introduction of an EU-wide system of Individual Transferable Quotas, and a general change in the EU’s external position on this matter.
LYMEC considers that conscription is incompatible with modern liberal values: additionally, it infringes on the rights of individuals to choose their own employment and pursue their own interests. We stand in total opposition to any form of mandatory military or public service in all European countries.
Cyber warfare and attacks are a growing but under-recognised problem. There is a real risk posed by attackers to critical infrastructure and services, and increasingly, free and democratic elections are also vulnerable to cyber attacks. LYMEC calls for greater recognition of this problem by the EU, and for urgent, close and sustained cooperation between Member States to react to and tackle cyber threats. In particular, we call for greater competence and funding to be awarded to the European Union Agency for Cyber Security (ENISA).
Policymakers must remain alert to the challenges and threats to privacy posed by society’s increasing reliance on data. The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union recognises an explicit right to protection of personal data, but the question of what constitutes a justified interference or limitation to this right is not satisfactorily answered, leaving the door open to possible abuses. There is an unacceptable lack of transparency surrounding the existence and activities of mass communications surveillance programs such as PRISM and Tempora, and the EU must lead a more open conversation about the threat to citizens’ rights posed by these programs. Additionally, although GDPR has in many ways come to represent an international standard for the data privacy of individual users, it maintains a status quo which is arguably no longer serving the best interests of individuals. In particular, new models of individual consent to data processing need to be explored and implemented.
The geopolitical situation is becoming increasingly complicated. The individual capacities of Member States are not enough to meet those challenges. LYMEC firmly believes that the European Union needs to increase its common defence capabilities, as a safer EU requires a defense union, a strengthened border agency and a better-coordinated Interpol. LYMEC calls for member organisations of the ALDE party to support the creation of a European defense force subject to parliamentary control.
We consider that development policy is an important pillar of EU foreign policy and that it should ensure social and economic development; peace and reconciliation; and sustainable and good governance. We therefore call for a comprehensive development aid strategy which combines financial assistance, trade and capacity building. Additionally, we demand that agricultural subsidies must do as little harm as possible to developing economies. Finally, we propose that there should be mechanisms and oversight bodies which ensure that development aid funds are properly monitored and distributed.
Digital Single Market
Building a digital infrastructure that is inclusive will enhance digital market competition and improve the quality of life for Europeans. The Digital Single Market enhances growth and allows start-ups to develop, avoiding unnecessary regulatory burdens. LYMEC believes the Digital Single Market must be completed and global trade partners need to be looked for. LYMEC calls for the increase in the use of the structural investment funds to improve internet connectivity in the regions with inadequate or no access. Completing the Digital Single Market has the potential to add about €415 billion to the European GDP as well as creating hundreds of thousands of jobs. Finalising the Digital Single Market will ensure digital consumer rights are protected.
LYMEC believes that the repressive model of drug regulation has failed: in response to criminalization of many drugs, cartel activity has soared, and abuse of prescription drugs is widespread. The EU and its Member States must rethink their attitude towards drugs, and focus more on regulation, harm prevention and rehabilitation, rather than simple prohibition.
Economic and Monetary Union
The economic and monetary union (EMU) is a trade bloc combining features of the common market, customs and monetary union. LYMEC believes that the convergence criteria of the Maastricht Treaty must be adhered to strictly and exceptions due to political reasons should not be allowed under any circumstances. The EMU encourages member states to uphold and fulfil its criteria and enables EU enlargement efforts. Member states remain autonomous in economic, fiscal and budgetary policy and LYMEC believes the EMU could improve in these areas.
While recognising that the diversity of Europe’s education systems is to some extent a good thing, LYMEC is strongly in favour of a greater harmonisation of educational standards and the establishment of common values. Foreign language education should begin at the earliest possible age; schools and universities should place greater emphasis on critical thinking skills; educational institutions should do more to foster a sense of European values among young people; and there should be greater standardisation in the tertiary education sector, to allow for students to move easily between different providers and experience life in other countries.
EU enlargement has been the most effective EU policy for spreading the Union's values and norms as well as for consolidation of the EU's global and regional role and influence. The European Union must develop a comprehensive strategy for cooperation with, and accession of, the European countries which are not members of the EU yet. LYMEC reaffirms its commitment to support enlargement of the EU to its maximum viable boundaries.
LYMEC is deeply concerned by rising levels of atmospheric CO2, widespread pollution and environmental degradation, and the growing prevalence of extreme weather events. We call urgently on the EU to prioritise the transition to a carbon neutral economy and to impose higher standards on private bodies whose operations contribute to the problem. Strategies such as the European Emissions Trading System must be strengthened, and an urgent plan on reducing plastic consumption is needed.
The Erasmus+ programme offers unparalleled opportunities for young people, championing education and skills, social mobility, and global cooperation efforts. As an organisation which has personally benefited from the Erasmus+ grant, LYMEC has long held that Erasmus+ is the key to unlocking a more interconnected and youth-mobile Europe - a key reason why LYMEC has championed the expansion of the programme to include the United Kingdom, Kosovo, Montenegro and other non-participant, non-EU countries.
In general, we believe that the composition of the European Commission does not sufficiently reflect the political composition of the European Parliament. Additionally, there is a concerning lack of transparency surrounding the appointment of the President of the Commission. We therefore strongly support the development and introduction of a new process to appoint the Commission President and College of Commissioners, involving a greater input from the political groupings of the European Parliament.
European Military Cooperation
While recognising the successes of the European Common Security and Defence Policy, LYMEC believes that the focus of the European Union should turn to the creation of a European Defence Force, which would allow the Union to better address the security and defence challenges of the 21st century. In particular, such a force would allow for greater focus on conflict prevention and would also provide extra support to civil authorities in times of humanitarian crisis or natural disaster.
European Neighbourhood Policy
LYMEC considers that the European Neighbourhood Policy has been largely unsuccessful in promoting democratic development in ENP countries, and that there has been a failure on the level of the European Council to liberalise visa arrangements and promote free trade. We strongly favour a revitalised Neighbourhood Policy, including sufficient funding for student and cultural exchanges; building links between European and ENP countries’ infrastructure; removal of trade barriers; and renewed focus on the promotion of democracy and the rule of law.
European Railway Authority
LYMEC is highly supportive of the establishment of a new European Railway Authority, which would be tasked with the planning and construction of a high-speed, low-carbon railway network connecting major European cities and urban areas. Affordable and reliable rail travel would drastically cut carbon emissions by offering an attractive alternative to flight, and such a major infrastructure project would create valuable employment opportunities.
LYMEC is in favour of the introduction of voluntary euthanasia in specific and carefully controlled situations, where a patient’s suffering is incurable and second medical opinions have been sought. However, we believe strongly that there should never be any duty placed on medical professionals to perform euthanasia.
Fake news is any piece of information that is pushed forward into public discourse by entities who have an interest in inoculation of misleading opinions. A joint effort of all European member states is highly required to fight any kind of fake news with effective measures inside and outside the internet. The EU and the member states should work together on this issue: fake news and malign foreign interventions have to be fought by the international community.
When fossil fuels are combusted, a large number of materials like sulphur-oxide, carbon-dioxide and nitrogen-oxide are discharged. Unless dramatic policy decisions are made and implemented, the demand for fossil fuel sources will continue to rise. LYMEC believes that a conscious decision of the world community to implement a drastic reduction of polluting fossil fuel technologies and replace them with clean, non-emitting technologies, is essential.
Free Movement of Labour
LYMEC regards free movement of labour as being a positive force for both ‘sending’ and ‘hosting’ countries; moreover, it is one of the fundamental freedoms of the EU. We believe that transitional restriction periods for new EU member States should be abolished, and call upon all liberal organisations to promote free movement of labour.
Additionally, LYMEC calls upon Member States to simplify hiring and firing procedures within their economies, and on the EU to develop and promote flexibility in the labour market, while ensuring security for job seekers. Finally, lifelong learning should be promoted throughout the EU, both among jobseekers and the employed, to support European competitiveness on the global stage.
Freedom of Belief
LYMEC believes that respect for freedom of thought and belief is a core liberal value and that discrimination based on religious belief or background is never acceptable. However, freedom of speech must include the right to question, criticise or satirise any and all religions. Moreover, states and governments should be strictly secular on all religious matters.
Freedom of Speech
We consider freedom of speech to be a core liberal value and one that must be rigorously defended. To this end, we urge all Member States which maintain lèse-majesté and/or blasphemy laws to repeal them, as standard laws against libel and defamation are all that is necessary.
LYMEC recognises the opportunities offered by globalisation and the maximisation of free trade. In general, protectionism and free trade barriers serve only to prop up unviable industries and support state budgets: they do not benefit consumers and do not facilitate sustainable economic development. We thus believe that the EU must embrace globalisation by taking the necessary steps to develop into a dynamic, information and knowledge-based economy, which will in turn render emerging economies in other regions an opportunity, rather than a competitive threat.
Health Crisis Management
To deal with future public health crises, a much faster and harmonised response is necessary. LYMEC therefore calls for agencies such as the European Centre for Disease Control to be awarded new powers to intervene more rapidly. Additionally, we support the creation of an EU Infection Protection Regulation which would empower the European Commission to implement travel restrictions regarding entry into the European Union. Finally, we call for greater solidarity between Member States in health matters, including the coordination of effective future vaccination strategies for all European citizens.
We condemn the human rights violations and the curtailment of basic democratic freedoms which have been committed in Hong Kong in recent years. We call for the international community to regard any breach of the Sino-British Joint Declaration of 1984 as a breach of international law, and to implement sanctions accordingly. We urge the EU to guarantee political asylum for protesters whose freedoms are threatened by the Chinese state, and for the EU to support pro-democracy activists and representatives however possible, especially those in exile.
LYMEC considers that the current rules surrounding asylum applications create a catch-22 situation for asylum seekers, even those in a genuine humanitarian crisis. This increases demand for dangerous and illegal trafficking services, resulting in enormous human suffering and even death. We therefore call on all EU Member States to commonly introduce a “humanitarian visa system”, which would allow refugees to enter the EU territory legally and thus be able to seek asylum on humanitarian grounds upon arrival. All Member States should adopt common criteria for these humanitarian visas. There should be EU-level cooperation to allow asylum seekers to apply for asylum in all Member States.
LYMEC has repeatedly expressed its commitment to continue to work for a united Europe that guarantees freedom, democracy and human rights. LYMEC has previously emphasised the need for a shared constitution to achieve clarity. LYMEC calls upon the EU to only fund projects that are compatible with the core values of the European Union; the human rights perspective should be an imperative part of future free-trade agreements, and the ECJ should have the necessary resources to speed up cases concerning the violation of human rights.
The free movement of people in the EU requires a robust strategy to combat human trafficking. LYMEC calls for the EU to do more to prevent human trafficking, including appointing impartial rapporteurs and doing more to tackle the issue at its roots.
Although not a Member State of the European Union, Iceland is closely integrated with the EU through its participation in the EEA, its membership of the Schengen Area, and its participation in social and cultural programmes, including Erasmus+. If the Icelandic people express a desire to join or further integrate with the EU, LYMEC calls for establishing a clear and concrete path towards such integration.
LYMEC is strongly in favour of the introduction of uniform biometric ID cards for countries within the Schengen zone. This would facilitate travel within the zone and strengthen cross-border security.
Integration of migrants
Although the need for integration and inclusion measures for third-country nationals residing in the EU has been recognised by the European Institutions, LYMEC considers more work needs to be done in this area.. We call on the Union and Member States to allocate more funding and resources to integration schemes and practices, especially those targeted at children and young people. There should be an emphasis placed on establishing swift procedures for the recognition of training and qualifications of migrants to ensure quick labour market integration and to fill skills shortages.
Since its establishment in 1976, LYMEC has defended the cornerstone liberal principles of equal justice and adherence to the rule of law. Whether in the context of protecting media freedoms, privacy rights, minority rights, judicial independence or calling out corruption, LYMEC strongly believes that the rule of law is central to the governing of a strong, flourishing, democratic society.
LYMEC is a proud supporter of journalistic freedoms and has always stood in solidarity with journalists standing up to repressive regimes who seek to undermine the free press. Over the years, we have called on numerous investigations and urged the European Parliament to adopt a regulation condemning the persecution and torture of journalists and activists and monitor the compliance of individual EU member states.
LYMEC recognises Kosovo's 2008 independence and claim to statehood. We also recognise the immense challenges it has faced in the years since independence and the decades following the end of the Kosovo War with Serbia. We call for renewed EU efforts to engage with Kosovo and promote a peaceful and cooperative dialogue with Serbia. Additionally, LYMEC urges the five EU Member States who haven't recognised Kosovo's independence - Greece, Romania, Spain, Slovakia and Cyprus - to do so and provide the political momentum needed to further integrate Kosovo into the EU.
The use of one’s own language is a basic human right, and one that is recognised in both the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and the Treaty on European Union. Multilingualism is beneficial on both a societal and an individual level, and should be promoted throughout Europe. At LYMEC, we support the creation of a European framework to protect minority languages. We urge France and Italy to ratify the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, and reject the characterisation of regional and minority languages as historical relics. Finally, we call upon the ALDE party and to reject the linguistic and cultural centralism adopted by both the EPP and S&P groups.
Western societies are immensely divided by issues related to asylum and migration. The challenge for young liberals today is to defend the core values of open society and liberal democracy. LYMEC calls for a harmonised immigration and refugee policy, while the EU should further strengthen the role of the European Asylum Support Office.
The Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities (1992) defines a minority as persons belonging to a "national or ethnic, cultural, religious and linguistic identity". LYMEC would expand this definition to include gender, sexuality, and people with disabilities. LYMEC calls on the EU to ensure the protection of minority rights and to actively promote the protection of minorities abroad, and calls upon the Commission to develop a mechanism to monitor the respect for minority rights within member states.
LYMEC recognises the NATO military alliance's invaluable role in securing Europe's security. Given the alliance's security benefits, LYMEC supports expanding the security cooperation to include new Eastern members.
LYMEC considers that the European Neighbourhood Policy has been largely unsuccessful in promoting democratic development in ENP countries, and that there has been a failure on the level of the European Council to liberalise visa arrangement and promote free trade. We are strongly in favour of a revitalised Neighbourhood Policy, including sufficient funding for student and cultural exchanges; building links between European and Neighbourhood Countries’ infrastructure; removal of trade barriers; and renewed focus on the promotion of democracy and the rule of law.
Nord Stream 2
LYMEC is concerned by the construction of Nord Stream 2 for a number of reasons. Significantly, increased European dependence on Russian gas gives the Russian Government a heightened degree of influence in European affairs. Additionally, European economies should be decarbonising and reducing their reliance on fuels such as natural gas. We call for the Nord Stream 2 project to be abandoned, and for European governments to invest in solutions which allow Europe to minimise its involvement with the Russian Government, especially as the war in Ukraine continues.
As the global population continues to rise, so too will the demand for affordable and reliable energy. Even if fossil fuels could meet this rising demand, continuing to rely on them will have catastrophic impacts on the environment and must be ruled out. Although LYMEC supports the transition to renewable energy sources such as solar and hydropower, it is important to be realistic. These sources are less reliable, and unaffordable for many people. Nuclear power offers the means to cheaply and efficiently meet energy demands, while carrying minimal environmental risk. Nuclear technology is constantly improving and becoming safer. We call for greater investment in nuclear energy in Europe and for European governments to recognise the necessity of urgently moving away from fossil fuels.
Organised crime’s activities undermine all values liberals believe in. It violates the liberties of citizens in many ways, from extortion to human trafficking. It tampers with the free market by recycling money in seemingly honest activities connected to the criminal groups. It favours and practices corruption of the political representations, slowly eroding away democracy.
Research into outer space has developed technologies that have greatly benefited mankind. Space is the final frontier for mankind, and thus also the future of it. LYMEC calls on the EU to take action on the growing issue of space debris through an international effort, and to aggressively deter any states to employ anti-satellite weaponry through the harshest diplomatic tools at its disposal, thus becoming a main actor in outer space affairs.
Propaganda is a message designed to persuade its intended audience to think and behave in a certain manner. To ensure maximum transparency and objectivity, it is important to maximize the quantities of resources of information about propaganda measures and tools, its spread and distribution, influence and impact. Despite the levels of concern in European institutions, citizens of EU member nations experience a lack of transparency with regard to the usability of and access to information channels, tools, measures and documentation concerning propaganda.
LYMEC is a proud defender of Queer rights and is committed to rooting out hate in all sections of society. LYMEC has championed these liberties in denouncing the anti-LGBTQ+ and regressive policies of the Polish and Hungarian governments. To ensure an open, tolerant and liberal Europe, rooting out hate and celebrating diversity is pertinent.
Preventing radicalisation is a key step to preventing terrorist extremist and violence. We believe in the importance of tackling the root causes of radicalisation within our societies - causes such as poverty, social exclusion, racism and discrimination. We acknowledge that radicalisation can occur in any social, religious or ideological grouping, and believe that greater engagement, particularly with young people, is key to preventing it.
Since 2015, there has been a dramatic increase in refugees seeking shelter in the EU, often taking deadly routes to get into the Union. Member states have imposed strict rules for refugees and the European Court of Justice has ruled that refugees are facing unacceptable living conditions in many member states, having been sent to refugee camps with poor conditions on arrival into a new country.LYMEC has called for a common European policy concerning refugees and other irregular migrants which would grant them full voting rights, provide adequate legal protection and allow them to return to their home countries if and when safe to do so. It must be guaranteed that nobody is sent back against their will and that cooperation from all parts of society is ensured. LYMEC has called for all EU Member States to commonly introduce a “humanitarian visa system” allowing refugees - including climate refugees - to enter the EU legally, and thus be able to claim asylum upon arrival.
Belonging to a network Provider that offers services in multiple countries does not prevent you from paying their roaming fees. Roaming charges should be phased out: they are not compatible with the Internal Market principle and price setting stifles competition rather than promotes it. Therefore, LYMEC calls for eliminating roaming inside the European Union jointly within the European Economic Area, and with the rest of the European Free Trade Area members.
Rule of Law
The EU is not simply an economic union but a value union founded on humanitarian principles. Europe is facing several threats to its peace and security, and turning a blind eye to these cases is unacceptable . We insist that these values should be upheld by introducing an EU mechanism on democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights - applicable to all member states. Countries which do not support these principles cannot be part of the European Union.
LYMEC deplores Russia's genocidal war on Ukraine, a war that began with Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea. Russia's war in Ukraine symbolises the morally corrupt nature of Russia's leadership and their contempt for the rule of law, the principle of national sovereignty and international humanitarian law. That said, LYMEC will always stand in solidarity with those freedom fighters and liberal political activists in Russia who are risking their lives to oppose the tyranny of the Putin regime.
Discrimination against individuals based on sexual or gender orientation is incompatible with liberal values. LYMEC regrets that certain EU Member States still do not allow same-sex couples to enter marriage and that civil partnerships and other legally-recognised partnerships do not always confer the same benefits as marriage. We believe strongly that all forms of contractual partnership must be given equal status and confer equivalent rights as heterosexual marriage; furthermore, we urge the European Commission to amend the Founding Treaties to introduce same-sex marriage in all Member States.
We recognise that scientific research offers new possibilities and opportunities to both individuals and societies, and that it is crucial that Europe does not fall behind when it comes to the development of new technologies. We also recognise that academic freedom is an indispensable component of ethical scientific progress. We thus call upon the EU to respect and support the freedom of ethically acceptable research, and to ensure that religious, ideological and political interference are not permitted to stand in the way of work that offers a genuine chance at enhancing and improving human life.
The right to self-determination of all people is contained in, among others, the Charter of the United Nations. LYMEC calls upon all European Member States to recognise this right and to commit to solving questions of self-determination through peaceful and democratic means, always considering the importance of respecting the rule of law and fundamental human rights. We call upon the EU to act as a facilitator in cases where a dialogue between states and regions in cases where dialogue within a legal framework has collapsed.
Sexual and Reproductive Rights
We believe strongly that all people- including youth - have the right to make free and informed choices about their sexual and reproductive rights. This includes the right to access impartial information, supplies and services that enable these choices. We believe that tackling reproductive health issues is a crucial part of tackling global famine and poverty and building a more sustainable future. We therefore call for the provision of safe abortions for women with unwanted pregnancies, as well as the provision of reliable and affordable contraceptives.
LYMEC calls on the European Union to promote both the achievement of higher studies and the setting up of new businesses, as young people need a clear legal status to achieve their studies and work as an entrepreneur simultaneously, as well as advice in setting up their own business. The European Commission should officially recognize the "student-entrepreneur" status and inscribe this system in its Youth and Job Strategies.
We are shocked and saddened by the terror attacks which have threatened Europe and other parts of the world in the 21st century. However, we implore European governments not to use the undeniable terror threat as an excuse to curtail civil liberties and erode citizens’ privacy. We declare our fundamental belief that strength and safety are found in liberty and freedom and condemn the restriction of hard-won rights and freedoms in the name of fighting terror.
We recognise Tunisia’s transition to a stable representative democracy in the wake of the Arab Spring, and believe that the EU should make support for this nascent democracy a priority. We call for greater recognition among EU Member States of the importance of strong ties with the EU’s southern neighbours. LYMEC also emphasises the economic and environmental benefits to be reaped if Tunisia’s natural renewable energy resources can be properly harnessed.
Turkey has been a candidate for EU membership since the late 1990s: however, negotiations have been stagnant for many years. Although there is a significant degree of economic integration between the EU and Turkey, recent years have seen divergence in terms of values and respect for fundamental rights, thus making accession in the foreseeable future unlikely. LYMEC believes that it is time to call an end to accession negotiations, and instead move to ‘reset relations between Turkey and the EU.
Ukraine must be kept at the top of the political agenda. A sovereign, independent and stable Ukraine, firmly committed to democracy and the rule of law, is key to European security. LYMEC has called for Member States and NATO to send military supplies and humanitarian aid to those fighting on the front lines in Ukraine. Protecting Ukraine is to protect a border of the western democracy who stands for the same values as the EU; it’s a conflict between freedom and authoritarianism.
Against growing vaccine scepticism, LYMEC believes that the EU and its Member States must do more to encourage vaccine uptake among all populations. The EU and Member States must do more to combat the spread of false information regarding vaccinations and work harder to communicate the benefits of vaccinations to citizens.
LYMEC supports Votes at 16. The EU should adopt draft legislative acts and legalise voting in European Parliament elections from 16 years old in all EU Member States. Alongside this, LYMEC believes the EU should promote social and cultural exchange programmes to empower youth, educate them on the day-to-day functioning of the EU and strengthen a common EU identity.
LYMEC recognises a common desire on the parts of both the EU and the Western Balkan states for EU integration. We support a renewed focus on the Western Balkan states and call upon the EU institutions and Member States to increase their support for economic development in the Western Balkan region. In particular, we call upon the EU to support the development of a common market, as outlined in the Sarajevo Declaration, and we call upon the Western Balkan states to move forward with internal reforms and implement the Copenhagen criteria.
We believe that transparency and openness are key underpinnings of a truly democratic society. Consequently, lawmakers must take steps to protect those who draw public attention to irregularities and corruption. LYMEC, therefore, calls for a European legal framework protecting whistleblowers and supporting them in making their disclosures. In sensitive cases, this framework should make provisions for whistleblowers to demand asylum in other EU Member States if they fear prosecution in their home country due to their disclosures.
The global recession associated with the Covid-19 pandemic has hit young people the hardest and has had long-term consequences, especially on those without proper vocational education or those unable to compete due to discrimination or limitations. LYMEC seeks a liberal solution to the issue by advocating on a European level for the removal of barriers, working on mutual recognition of vocational and academic degrees and better support in the transition from education to the job market, sharing best practices on how the education system needs to reflect the change in the European population; backing the creation of more paid internship possibilities connecting young people all over Europe and offering them new opportunities.
LYMEC supports the EU's aims to have net-zero greenhouse gas emissions and become climate neutral by 2050. As part of this strategy, LYMEC calls for creating an EU market for Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) - a technological device with a proven record of mitigating climate change, especially regarding the most expensive emission reductions.