FEPS Newsletter 7 July 2023 – Renewable energy, UK Labour, Visegrád countries, Just Transition and 9th Oxford Symposium

07/07/2023

🌱 FEPS Newsletter: Renewable energy, UK Labour, Visegrád countries, Just Transition and 9th Oxford Sympos ium
Biodiversity & climate emergencies, Just transition, Social democracy, criticalities of the EU proposals….
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Upcoming Events
This week, we analyse the impact of renewables’ deployment on biodiversity and argue that the trade-off between the two must be reduced to the minimum. We discuss the challenges and opportunities ahead for progressives in the UK and in the Visegrád countries. The state of social democracy was also the main concern of the 9th Oxford Symposium, the flagship event of the Next Left Research Initiative, even though we focused mostly on the EU. And then, we examine the EU’s proposals for regulating AI and online child sexual abuse material.

Finally, we’ll meet in 🇪🇸Valladolid to put back Just Transition at the centre of the political debate. Stay tuned!

Biodiversity and climate emergencies must be tackled together. Trade-offs between renewable energy and biodiversity can and must be reduced to an absolute minimum.
Drawing on case studies from Romania, Slovenia, Estonia and Latvia, our new policy study, published in collaboration with Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES), CEE Bankwatch Network and Institut Emile Vandervelde, shows how selected EU member states plan to use recovery funds to speed up renewable energy deployment. Pippa Gallop, Southeast Europe Energy Advisor at CEE Bankwatch Network, then analyses the impact this deployment will have on nature and provides policy recommendations. Read more.
Lessons for Labour from Europe
Edited by Iggy wood and Ania Skrzypek

With the 2024 election slowly creeping into view, a revitalised Labour party under Keir Starmer looks set to register its first victory in nearly two decades. But having spent such a long time out of power – at least in Westminster – how can Labour ensure that it brings about change as effectively and efficiently as possible?

Building on the discussion that took place during the FEPS-Fabian new year conference, the policies expounded in this collection bring together insights and advices from all across the EU. They can serve not only as a blueprint for a future Labour government, but as an inspiration to all of us – reminding us that, when progressives are in power, they can reshape society for the better. Read more.
This book analyses three decades of political developments within the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia. It explains the rise, the fall, and the fight for the perseverance of the center-left in post-transition countries, and investigates the roots of the vulnerability of representative democracies in post-transition countries. László Andor, FEPS Secretary General, wrote the foreword of the book. Read more.
11 July – Valladolid, Spain

In the framework of the two upcoming Spanish and Belgian Presidencies of the Council of the EU, FEPS, SOLIDAR, Movimiento por la Paz (MPDL) and Asamblea de Cooperación por la Paz, will gather representatives of civil society organisations, trade unions, think tanks and foundations for a timely exchange of views on acting together for a Just Transition.

At the event, a call to action by civil society organisations and other stakeholders will be presented to the ministers present, including Teresa Ribera (Spain) and Zakia Khattabi (Belgium), which will give impulse for further actions to advance a Just Transition.
3-4 July – Oxford, UK

The 9th Oxford Symposium, organised with the support of Progressive Britain and KarlRenner-Institut, gathered Shadow Cabinet members, front
bench politicians and renowned high-level academics, as well as pollsters and civic society leaders, to discuss the state of social democracy in Europe, its challenges and the choices to be made.
Much attention was given to defining “social progress for all”, the framework of poly-crisis and its limitations, the coalition building within the current political landscapes, and the mission to safeguard and promote democracy. An additional background was offered to all in the shape of the Next Left book series – volumes 12, 13 and 14.
MEDIA
By Gerard Rinse Oosterwijk
In an article published on the digital media Social Europe, Gerard Rinse Oosterwijk, FEPS Policy Analyst on Digital, talks about the efforts to regulate AI undertaken by the EU. Not just the AI Act but also the Platform Work Directive will be critical for human controls on automated management.
AI will affect many jobs in Europe, and the EU needs to grasp this opportunity to set the rules for a human-centric approach in line with European social values and workers’ rights. Mitigation of algorithmic management’s health-and-safety risks could be sought, borrowing from the proposals to safeguard platform workers, with the two files in trilogue in the coming months under the Spanish presidency. Read more.
Photo credits: Shutterstock/ Antonello Marangi
Child sexual abuse material is a horror, causing long-term harm to victims. Numbers are increasing: the US National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, collects and shares child sexual abuse material evidence with authorised parties.
In 2021, it reported 29 million cases of online sexual exploitation. This is a factor of 10 increase over 2011 and a 40 per cent increase in Internet videos of child sexual abuse between 2020 and 2021. Yet most computer security experts and privacy advocates strongly oppose the EU proposal that online providers must recognise and remove all known child sexual abuse material, detect new abuse materials and ‘grooming’ (enticing and luring a minor into a sexually abusive situation). There simply is no technology to do this. Read more.
Photo credits: Shutterstock/ Andrew Angelov
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