September 2021 Session
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated existing inequalities within the EU and abroad. Throughout the crisis, a great transfer of wealth towards the 1% has been observed – with billionaires like Amazon’s Jeff Bezos’ net worth nearly doubling in 2020 and reaching $188 billion. Meanwhile, unemployment is rising, and austerity measures have weakened many sectors including the educational, healthcare, sports, hospitality, tourism and cultural sectors.
It is more necessary than ever to guarantee that inequality between different parts of Europe does not grow further with the crisis. Every employee has the right to enjoy fair working conditions, regardless of the type and duration of their contract. Through the pandemic, we have seen people reconceptualising the idea of work and its relationship with life, as well as interesting experiments with the 4-day work week and emergency basic income as well as other forms of Universal Basic Income (UBI).
How do we ensure a just recovery and work towards a truly social Europe, that cares for all people? And how do we ensure that no one is left behind in a post-Pandemic Europe?
As the Greens, we are working on ensuring that the social impacts of this crisis are reduced to a minimum. In addition to the financial stimulus, we have been demanding that the EU and its Member States guarantee further social policies to protect their citizens, in particular younger workers, whose rights were already weakened by austerity policies and the 2008 financial crisis. We also advocate for national experiments on Universal Basic Income and call for working-time reduction schemes and a 32-hour work week to be promoted in order to redistribute work among more people.
Film: 22 September at 00:00 CEST – 23 September at 23:59 CEST
In the small local school of Cheratte, a former mining town, 11-year-old students with an immigrant background are coming to the end of their primary school education with Brigitte. She is a dynamic teacher whose particular pedagogical approach aims to give these pupils a firm foundation to build on in this constantly changing world. Throughout the school year, the film follows these children. They are the grandchildren of miners who are mainly from Turkey, and also mainly Muslim. While some of their elders opt for identity closure, this film evokes the challenge awaiting these children to integrate into current society, in the face of terrorist attacks and harassment via social media.
Director: Pascal Colson and Thierry Michel
Access: Due to distribution rights regulation, this screening will exclusively be available for all the European countries.
Debate: 23 September at 19:00 CEST
Following the screening of “Children of Chance”, we hosted a debate on Thursday 23 September at 19:00 CEST. September’s Green Screen was dedicated to fighting inequalities through stronger social policies in Europe. Education is among the sectors hardest hit by the pandemic and one of the most underfunded public sectors in several countries in Europe. But education has a great potential to change communities. We discussed education as a tool of empowerment and equal opportunity for all citizens, and the difference ambitious educational programs can make in the lives of children today.
The panelists for this conversation were Anja Presnukhina, Student of Theology and Religious Studies, Helsinki, Vice Council Member of Kirkkonummi Town Council, Local Education and Culture Committee; Sebastiaan Rood, City Councillor for GroenLinks in Utrecht (the Dutch Greens), Spokesperson for Education, Sports and Buildings; Elias Verhalle, Secondary School Teacher in Merchtem (near Brussels, Belgium); Dr. Merike Darmody, Research Officer (ESRI) / Adjunct Assistant Professor (TCD); Dalibor Levíček, English Teacher, Head of Languages Department, Akademia Grammar School. Participant in the Futuropolis project and moderated by Dr Sam Murray, Music Lecturer and EGP Amendments Committee Member.
At the beginning of the debate, The Green Screen featured the artistic spot of visual artist and scenographer Pablo Ponce, who is creating a puppet theater with children in the Katwijk refugee camp located in the Netherlands.