LXX Magazine ǀ Issue 2

The melting pot that never stops

By Sandra Harney (IE)

The world truly is a wonderful place. Our natural wish to travel, see, experience, feel and get to know new places and people has created a wondrous melting pot of cultures and nationalities. Not only can one see these differing nationalities and cultures inside the borders of a country but also within individual people.
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Losing jobs and losing faith

By Aida Grishaj (AL)

Being young means being idealistic, dynamic and optimistic, at least when one is young and has a job. Nowadays, it has become a bit difficult for this to be the case. The UN considers the unemployment rates among young people to be dramatic, especially in the countries most affected by the crisis. This drama is not only related to the short- and mid-term economic consequences these financial difficulties will have. The current situation is reshaping our everyday life, our character and our perceptions and therefore will have impacts, which will extend further than in a near future.
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EYP from a rational point of view

By Jonathan Engel (DE)

There are many possible ways to explain EYP to someone who has never heard of it. It is highly likely that the alumni refer to the so-called EYP spirit, an abstract term for a remarkable intertwining of unique experiences. But what if one is asked to approach the presentation of EYP from a more analytical point of view?
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Freedom or Harmony – two sides of the same coin?

By Jan Nedvidek (CZ)

The basic belief of any democratic society is based on the libertarian maxim as
presented by J S Mill – ‘’I should be allowed to do whatever I wish as long as I do not
harm others.’’ Liberalism and democracy go hand in hand, and freedom of expression
is a pre-requisite of a functioning political system. As V. Havel, former Czechoslovak
and Czech president observed in his essay The Power of the Powerless, if we are not
allowed to say what we think, we deteriorate as humans beings. The question is – should
an individual be allowed to say and do whatever he wants, even if it might offend
others?
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Gaia is aching

By Elisa Martinelli (IT)

“Save the planet.”
How many times have we heard this sentence? It has become so overrated that the Earth is really
the last thing we care about. Creating highly functional cities, where everything is easily accessible,
is what society wants to invest in.
Can we really blame ourselves? We have this urge to constantly improve our living conditions and
have more and more comforts. It seems to be our nature; we cannot fight it.

On the one hand, our lifestyle is getting more sophisticated, shaped by our more elaborate needs; on
the other hand, our planet is slowly dying.
Humanity was once aware of the importance of our planet Gaia, of its needs and its resources. It
was actually treated as a goddess, as a living being.
This ancient perception of the Earth led the British chemist James Lovelock to elaborate a scientific
but controversial hypothesis.

The “Gaia Theory” states that all the organic and inorganic components of the Earth developed
together creating a single living and self-regulated system.
Although this specific assumption may seem queer, Mr. Lovelock actually confirmed most of the
theory’s points through scientific experiments. From regulation of the salinity of the water to the
variation of oxygen by more than 5% from the 21% for the past 200 million years, almost all have
been proven. The most interesting hypothesis is the self-regulation of global surface temperature.
Even though the energy provided by the Sun has increased by 25% up to 30%, the planet has
maintained its conditions of habitability. If this had not happened, life would have slowly faded
away, every organism been burnt by the heat of the Sun.

Gaia is situated beyond a position called the “Third Rock from the Sun”, which means we are
located in a precarious equilibrium between freezing and burning up. Our only shelter is an ozone
layer and its chemical composition has already started deteriorating.
If Planet Earth is structured as a human being, this it’s middle-aged by now. As our skin starts
wrinkling with years, Gaia’s soil begins cracking. As our body fails us when we reach our
maximum life expectancy, Gaia falls apart from the inside. It is multiple organ failure.

Earth is not perceived anymore as our own cocoon, we just put it on the background of our
existence. What if it is really going to burn? What if deserts will actually reach Paris and sea waves
destroy Japan?
We are given the privilege to have a ratio decidendi and all the knowledge necessary to let our
home survive or at least postpone the inevitable. We know how to recycle, how to use natural
resources instead of polluting substances and how to reduce the emission of carbon dioxide.
Our planet needs surgery; scrub in.

Exporting Democracy

By Saki Shinoda (CH)

The ‘ASEAN Way’, aside from being a rather obvious pun, is the pride and joy of the
Association of Southeast Asian Nation. This non-confrontational, collaborative style of
governance is a deliberate counter to the oppositional, formal bureaucracy of Western
organisations and governments. Based on supposedly traditional Asian principles, the ASEAN
way focuses on peaceful co-operation, discreteness, consensus building, indirect action and
informal discussion, with the main objective of brokering harmony in the region.
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Grasp the opportunity!

“Travel and change of place impart new vigour to the mind.” – Seneca

By Arnolds Eizenšmits (LV)
Various initiatives, projects and exchanges, the most well-known being Erasmus, have ensured
that every year an increasing number of young Europeans are moving abroad to study or work.
Moreover, cheap airlines like Ryanair or EasyJet have made Europe far more accessible. For
example, at the time this article was being written, the author was able to book a flight from
London Stansted to Warsaw Modlin for a mere 10 EUR. Living in a foreign country, while
challenging at times, is an enriching experience, which will let you discover a lot. Still high
school or university already, you should certainly consider it.

Firstly, you will most likely get a profound understanding of the country you are moving to
– its culture, history, cuisine and people. Depending on the length of your stay and level of
motivation, you might also master a foreign language. Furthermore, it would be a pity not to
travel around the country or make new friends. Admittedly, being away from home can help you
to truly discover yourself. For instance, you might consider yourself to be very easy-going and
then realise that, in fact, you are more of an observer. In addition, being exposed to unfamiliar
situations can help you to appreciate your strengths, while indicating weaknesses one should
work on. Surprisingly, it will help you to comprehend what the advantages and disadvantages of
your home country are – make sure to eat lots of that pudding your grandmother prepares the
next time you visit!

As with everything, some negative aspects could be named, too. For example, moving can be
expensive. What keeps most from leaving the cosiness of their home, however, is fear of losing
friends. It is true, indeed, that your relationships will change. However, it may well be for the
better. A girl that spent five months in Spain praises the fact that, although she might have lost
contact with some people due to her experience, it made her realise who her true friends are.
Furthermore, you need not worry about your EYP friends – nothing should change between you,
regardless of where you reside. Even more, it is likely that friends from EYP could be your help
when building up a new network of contacts.

With increasingly affordable travel costs and ever more educational opportunities, your
circumstances are favourable. Take advantage of it, challenge yourself, be daring and explore.
This motto embodies the spirit of a true EYPer, does it not?

Estonian identity – where do they belong?



By Arnolds Eizenšmits (LV)

Not only foreigners, but even Estonians themselves can at times get confused when
trying to describe who exactly they are and what the Estonian identity is like. This
confusion mainly stems from the very complex history – Estonians have not been lords
of their own land for more than seven centuries, fully regaining independence only 21
years ago.
Continue Reading…

Losing jobs and losing faith

By Aida Grishaj (AL)

Being young means being idealistic, dynamic and optimistic, at least when one is young and
has a job. Nowadays, it has become a bit difficult for this to be the case. The UN considers
the unemployment rates among young people to be dramatic, especially in the countries most
affected by the crisis. This drama is not only related to the short- and mid-term economic
consequences these financial difficulties will have. The current situation is reshaping our
everyday life, our character and our perceptions and therefore will have impacts, which will
extend further than in a near future.

According to a study of the UN, there are more than 75 million young people all over the world
that do not have a job. The situation in Europe is particularly alarming. A third of the Italians
and Portuguese under the age of 25 are jobless and over half of Greek and Spanish youth
are without a work. This means less production, less income for this group of the population, a
weaker buying power, less taxes being collected and more social benefits for the unemployed
being paid. At the same time, seeing the big number of incentives fail and big enterprises
go bankrupt, many youngsters hesitate when it comes to taking risks. Of course, not taking
risks means not failing, however, it also means not succeeding. The chain of economic
interdependencies in Europe helps in accelerating uncertainty, since many countries fear they
will be next in requiring bail-outs and starting with the austerity measures. This slows down
economic growth and recovery.

Politicians and policymakers have failed so far to ease the hard situation of many citizens and to
assure sustainable solutions. This has caused frustration and disappointment. Young people do
not believe that the elected politicians will bring the change needed these days. This was also
reflected in the last European Youth Poll organised by the European Youth Parliament. 58,3%
of the young people taking the poll expressed their disbelief in the political class and declared
that they do not trust that their representatives will find a way to solve the crisis. Interesting
results came out also in a survey done with some of the delegates attending this session.
Unanimous was some sort of anger against the media, which, according to the delegates, is
spreading pessimism and making the situation even darker than it actually is.

Concerning their future, the answers varied from country to country. The ones coming from
countries such as Sweden, France or Estonia were rather optimistic about their chances of
getting jobs, whereas delegates coming from Romania, Greece or Ireland for instance believe
that the future will be much harder than the current situation. Losing faith in the national
governments and in the European structures might have a very dangerous result: radicalisation
of the youth. Unfortunately, we are experiencing the return of the extreme right parties in many
countries in Europe, such as France, Finland, Belgium, Norway, Greece etc. Many people think
that these parties offer the alternative of strong governments giving meaningful solutions. The
neo-Nazi party “Golden Dawn” received impressive and dangerous support in Greece, even in
the parts of the country, which during the Second World War have fought fascism the most.

Beyond the political and economic problems, much worrying is the risk of Europe, especially
Southern Europe, having a lost generation in the future. The pressure and the stress caused
by the fears of being the next to lose the job, living on a reduced income, paying higher taxes
and not receiving the benefits of the investments made either in studies or in other fields, are
creating a pessimistic spirit across Europe, with young people losing their hopes and dynamism.

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Tallinn Media ǀ Blog is the website by the Media Team of Tallinn 2012, 70th International Session of the European Youth Parliament and keeps you up to date on the session.

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