The situation in Belarus has become a matter of grave concern. After last Sunday's Presidential elections, Alexander Lukashenko and the Belarussian authorities must stop the repression against the Belarus people and open negotiations with the wider society. Over the last months, the Belarusians have clearly shown that they long for democracy and respect for human rights. A substantial political change is a precondition for further development of the relations between the EU and Belarus.
The aspirations of young people around the world need to be at the core of our political, social and economic development debate. Protecting and fighting for youths’ equal rights, particularly in developing regions, contributes to a fairer and more sustainable development. On the International Youth Day, the EU highlights the importance of giving voice to the young people and empowering them to better address the challenges of the future.
We are celebrating the World Day against Trafficking in Persons, raising awareness for an issue many times invisible, but still present in our societies. The EU has been working on the prevention and fight against human trafficking through its actions on the ground and through the collaboration at local and international levels.
A faster and solid recovery relies on the empowerment of the youth. As the entire world suffers from the Covid-19 pandemic, developing regions are more exposed to its consequences. On the World Youth Skills Day, the EU acknowledges the importance of upskilling the youth to build a more prosperous future for all.
“Demography is destiny” said the sociologist Auguste Comte: the basic idea is that population trends and distributions determine the future of a country or region. Recently, my colleague Dubravka Suica, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for demography and democracy, provided us with an analysis of the foreseeable consequences of the demographic changes underway in Europe and globally. This work deserves our full attention, because this subject is both central to the Union's internal affairs and for its place in the world.