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.