POLITICO | Overview of the General Assembly: Everything You Need To Know

To finish off the week, all delegations, CPs and Presidents came together to meet at the University of Tallinn, where the General assembly took place over two days. At this assembly, resolutions were debated over, and amendments were presented. Votes from each delegation decided if each committee’s resolution passed or not.

Over the course of two days, five resolutions were up for debate and voting on each day. First up being the Committee of TRAN/ENVI on improving environmentally-safe transport. An amendment was presented by a Greek delegate from the Committee of ECON. In this amendment, they called for the complete removal of clause 10, arguing for the lack of efficiency. With a counter argument from the committee, the votes were cast, and the amendment did not pass. With further debate from delegations, a speech against the resolution, and a speech from the committee to close up their argument, the GA moved on to voting on the resolution. The resolution of the Committee of TRAN/ENVI passed.

The GA moved swiftly onto the AGRI resolution with the clauses read and the opening speech made by a delegate from the UK and a delegate from Spain. The amendment for this resolution was presented by a delegate from Hungary and called for the rewording of OC number 2. However, when the committee’s delegate from Norway presented the speech against this resolution, it was revealed that there was unanimous agreement for this amendment. The amendment passed with 67 votes in favour. The resolution however did not pass, and applause was not in order.

The next committee was FEMM. There was plenty of speculation from delegates around this resolution, with it being the most hated committee for their weak resolution. The resolution was read by the Maltese delegate, and the opening speech from the Spanish delegate on why this resolution is so important. The amendment was presented by a delegate from Cyprus on OC number 13, arguing it encourages manipulation from social media companies, and called for the change of the OC to make it more transparent. With 23 votes for and 74 votes against, the amendment did not pass. During the open debate,  Spain questioned OC number 1, with a follow up question then from Germany. During the debate, confusion from the German delegate and the committee caused the president, out of annoyance, to shout “please stop”. After the opposition speech from an Austrian delegate and closing speech from the committee’s delegate from the UK, which was so passionate that he knocked the microphone off, the GA moved to voting. With 55 votes against and disapproval from the CPs due to a “resubscription to OnlyFans”, the resolution didn’t pass, making it the 5th year of none of FEMMs resolutions passing. 

Next was the Committee of CULT, aiming to handle the problem of teacher shortages across Europe. The resolution was read by the Greek delegate, and the opening speech by the Australian delegate pointed out the problems in education and the reasons for the importance of their resolution. Presented by a delegate from the UK, the amendment regarded OC number 3, subclause ii, providing the argument that teachers should not be reliant on AI while teaching. However, the assembly struggled to hear the proposed amendment as the UK delegate was speaking so close to the microphone he may as well have eaten it! After questions, a speech was given by the committee from the delegate of Denmark arguing that AI was incredibly useful for teachers and that it would not be relied on wholeheartedly. The votes were cast, and the amendment did not pass, with 61 votes against. The GA moved on to debate and closing speeches. The resolution passed, followed by applause from the assembly.

After a long day, the final resolution of day one was presented by LIBE/JURI. The presidency accepted two contextual changes for OC number 7 and OC number 21. Afterwards, the German delegate did the reading of the resolution, and the opening speech was presented by the delegate of Denmark. A delegate from Germany presented a speech concerning OC number 23, asking for it to be deleted from the resolution. After questions and a counterspeech from Finland, the vote was opened. The amendment did not pass with 59 votes against. A delegate from Denmark spoke against the resolution, arguing the resolution made crucial mistakes, and OC number 18 was corrupt, contradicting the law. The closing speech was presented by a delegate from the Czech Republic. With 51 votes against the resolution, it did not pass and there was no applause.

After a good night’s sleep for the delegations, everyone was back at the University of Tallinn for Day 2 of the GA. The resolution from SEDE started the second day. Their resolution was read out by the delegate of Lithuania and their opening speech by the delegate of Slovakia, outlining the problems faced in cybersecurity, delving into how Estonia can be exposed to huge cyber attacks, and that it needs to be improved on. Factual questions were asked and then, the assembly moved onto the first amendment of the day. Suggested by the delegate of the Czech Republic, the amendment was calling for the strike of OC number 13, arguing it would make the EU a military organisation. The floor was opened to questions on the amendment by the president, followed by the speech against the amendment by a delegate from Norway. With 64 votes against, the amendment did not pass. During the open debate round, a delegate from Norway presented a speech calling for the resolution not to be passed as the clauses were flawed and outdated, but with a very passionate speech from the delegate from Spain (SEDE), the resolution passed with 60 votes in favour and only 27 against. The assembly congratulated the committee with a round of applause.

The next committee was AFET, who were focusing on rebuilding Ukraine in the midst of the ongoing war. The presidency accepted one contextual change to this resolution concerning OC number 9 to remove the word “immediate”.  To start, the committee’s delegate from Estonia read the resolution, and the Greek delegate presented the opening speech. Factual questions were asked by the delegates of Finland, Hungary, Austria, and Slovenia. A delegate from Cyprus then presented a speech for the chosen amendment, which focused on changing clause 5 and therefore enhancing the resolution. Questions on this amendment were taken, and then the committee’s delegate from Cyprus also presented a speech to vote against the amendment, stating their fellow delegate missed the entire point of the clause, and followed up by saying that if delegates didn’t support Ukraine, they should retire from the assembly. The vote was then opened after the speech and with a staggering 85 votes against, the amendment did not pass. After the open debate, and questions from delegates such as Australia, Spain, Slovenia, Malta, Italy, and many more, a Lithuanian delegate presented a speech against the resolution. He pointed out the flaws in the resolution with its “critical inconsistency”. Followed then by the closing speech from SEDE, delivered by the Bulgarian delegate, where he even went as far as saying that if some delegates did not vote for this resolution, they were voting in support of Russia! With 41 votes against and closely following behind with 38 votes for, the resolution did not pass.

Up next was JURI/LIBE, focusing on the freedom of the press and solving the problems around lawsuits against journalists (SLAPP cases). With one contextual change regarding OC number 5, the assembly quickly moved onto the reading of the resolution by a Maltese delegate and then an opening speech from the Swedish delegate, outlining the problems with SLAPP cases, and why action is needed. After factual questions, the amendment for this resolution was presented by a Bulgarian delegate calling for OC number 14 to be deleted, arguing that the clause is going against EU law, making it illegal. Questions on this amendment were taken, and then the delegate of Italy (JURI/LIBE) presented the speech against the amendment, further pushing the need to protect journalists. With 69 votes against, the amendment did not pass. Again, the assembly moved onto the open debate, taking some really interesting questions from delegates of Lithuania, the Netherlands, Estonia, Italy, Belgium, and many more. The speech against the resolution was given by a delegate from the UK, going over each problem of each OC in the resolution, outlining the overall problem of the resolution, and only having anything good to say about OC number 13. After the tough speech from the UK, the delegate of Norway (JURI/LIBE) presented the closing speech, calling for support for the resolution. With a close vote, the resolution passed with 42 votes for and 30 against. Applause was given to the committee on the success of their resolution.

Up next, almost nearing the end of the GA, was the Committee of INTA/AFET. The presidency accepted one contextual change regarding this resolution to OC number 3 subclause ii. The delegate from Sweden read the resolution to the assembly, and the delegate from the Netherlands presented the opening speech. After the factual questions, coming from delegates from Belgium, Finland, Poland and more, the assembly moved onto the chosen amendment. Focusing on clause 13, the amendment called for the clause to be deleted from the resolution, arguing that it would be espionage to investigate China’s trade without their permission. After questions concerning the amendment, the delegate of the UK (INTA/AFET) presented the counterargument, calling it ridiculous to assume espionage. After a vote however, the amendment passed with 55 votes in favour. After the open debate around the resolution, a delegate from the Hungarian delegation presented a relatively weak speech against the resolution. The Maltese delegate from the committee then presented the closing speech, calling for support of the resolution in order to defend democracy of the EU. With an incredibly close vote, with it even reaching ties at certain points, the resolution did not pass, with only 3 votes deciding, with 40 votes for and 43 votes against.

Finally, after two long days, the final resolution from ECON was up for debating and voting. After two contextual changes for clause 1 and clause 20, the committee’s Austrian delegate did the reading of the resolution. The opening speech was given by the delegate of Finland, calling for the need for growth of all EU economies. Following factual questions, an amendment was proposed to change clause 23. The Slovakian delegate that put forward the amendment gave a speech on why clause 23 should be changed, and then questions regarding this change were taken. The delegate from Montenegro (ECON) then gave a speech against the amendment calling it “short-sighted at best”. After the vote, the amendment did not pass with a landslide 79 votes against and 17 votes for. The floor was opened for the last time by the presidency for an open debate. Questions were asked by delegates of the UK, Cyprus, Australia, Estonia, Denmark, and many more. A Belgian delegate presented the final against speech for this resolution, and then the closing speech from the committee was given by the delegate of the Czech Republic. And for the last time at the 59th iMEP, the vote was opened for this final resolution. With 55 votes against and 25 votes for, the resolution did not pass.

However, even with committees whose resolutions did not pass, this 59th iMEP has shown the talent of the young political minds of our generation. The sheer political understanding from all committees to create such detailed resolutions is an incredible achievement in itself, whether those resolutions passed or not. Well done, everyone!


Author: Ruby Longley

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