Forum Topics Started
We must protect the planet from degradation. Cities can and do play a key role in that – I am witnessing it first hand at the COP23. Their role as policymakers should be further developed, as their inputs are incredibly valuable. European cities should work together and share their experiences with cities from all over the world; but they should also learn more from examples from outside the Continent. A new, ambitious, urban agenda should be created. Innovative structures for urban mobility should be created: car and bike sharing and automated vehicles both could dramatically decrease CO2 emissions. Besides, the European Union and its member states should commit even more in the promotion of electrical vehicles, an eco-friendlier solution than fossil fuel-based cars. Besides, public transport should be strengthened: shared mobility isn’t a treat to it, they are complementary measures that can help us with climate mitigation. Finally, cities should provide an increased number of bike pathways, following, for example, the Dutch model: citizens, when good infrastructures are provided, are definitely willing to leave their car at home.
The recent financial and economic crisis has led to more economic exclusion: EU’s answer, mainly austerity measures, has proven to be unsuccessful in several occasions. This should be rectified: Europe needs a strong integrated market, but at the same time workers’ rights shouldn’t be put aside. Besides, the problems that newer generations face should be taken in account more seriously: in a globalized word, Europe offers highly specialized jobs, but it has not been able to create a system that provides the necessary education to everyone. High tuition fees exclude part of the population, creating – on the short, medium, and long run – economic exclusion. To conclude, the European Union and its members must implement new policies and promote reforms that can strengthen European workers’ rights. However, the peculiarities of the various member states should be respected: “one-size-fits-all” models are rarely successful.