Barbora Tallová and Luca Mariano Mariano
The European Union ‘is ready to play its part in Syria’s reconstruction and reconciliation, as soon as a genuine political transition is firmly underway’. More than ten years into what continues to be described as the most devastating humanitarian crisis of our time, the EU still struggles to articulate clear policies towards Syria. Throughout the conflict, its efforts have been hindered by the need to balance the member states’ political and economic sensibilities, pressures exerted by foreign actors, and failure to transpose its rhetoric into action. Today, Europeans continue pursuing the unfeasible dream of implementing democracy through regime change, leaving the Syrians with yet another policy approach ill-suited for current realities—while war still lingers, Syria’s leadership has already been decided in favour of the al-Assad regime. The EU should aim to create conditions that allow a Syrian civil society to emerge by addressing the damages of war and restoring the country’s deteriorated social fabric. We argue that for the political transition to be made possible, the European ‘more’ of the ‘more for more’ approach needs to come first.
Read the full paper here.
Read the short version of the paper here.
The importance of local political activism in reducing the rise of extremist parties: the impact on young people and migrants - Iman J. ShaikhRead Now
Iman J. Shaikh
King's College London
European Student Policy Competition, April 2020
This policy paper outlines the relevance and importance of local political activism in reducing the rise of extremist parties, and what the EU can do to encourage its Member States to have greater success in this area. It details why policies implemented in the past, whilst being a good start, are not comprehensive enough, and nor do they offer sufficient scope for local policymakers to implement effective changes directly within their communities. The threat that extremism faces to society is undeniable, and thus this paper outlines two methods that can be utilised to best mitigate its effects by focussing primarily on the most vulnerable groups: young people and migrants. Overall, it calls for the EU to continue encouraging local action and training as outlined in RAN,1 but in addition to this, utilise social media to effectively engage the youth, and provide linguistic and cultural education for migrants, and make these measures compulsory action for Member States.
Full policy paper can be found here.