News Wep: 'MEPs question European Council on unpaid internships at the institution'
One hundred MEPs questioned the European Council this Sunday about the existence of unpaid internships at the institution, in an initiative by the social democrat Lídia Pereira.
The request for explanations sent to the European Council was signed by 101 MEPs, members of all political groups, and condemns the practice of unpaid internships in the institutions, bodies and agencies of the European Union.
A PSD communiqué in the European Parliament states that MEPs believe that unpaid internships promote “a cycle of privilege” since only “middle and upper-class young people can carry out these internships”, and argues that this cycle should be broken in the European institutions and in the Member States.
In this sense, the approximately 100 MEPs demand explanations about what the Commission and the Council are doing to correct this injustice.
“The European Union has a duty to lead by example, as it already does in the fight against climate change, in the promotion of human rights in trade agreements and in many other dimensions”, says Lídia Pereira, leader of this initiative.
The Social Democrat MEP, a member of the European People’s Party, stresses that “as political decision-makers we cannot go outside Europe promoting an agenda for decent employment, while maintaining a policy of unpaid internships within our own institutions”.
In the statement, the PSD reports that, in the European Parliament, unpaid internships are prohibited and the institution recently demanded a reinforcement of the Youth Guarantee program, recommending the creation of a legal instrument to ensure that all internships are remunerated fairly.
MEPs want to know what efforts are being made to ban unpaid traineeships at the Council of Europe and how this institution ensures that unpaid trainees can adequately support themselves.
The question sent to the European Council was signed by all Portuguese PSD MEPs, Paulo Rangel, Lídia Pereira, José Manuel Fernandes, Maria da Graça Carvalho, Álvaro Amaro and Cláudia Monteiro de Aguiar, who were joined by MEPs Sara Cerdas, Maria Manuel Leitão Marques and Margarida Marques, from PS, Nuno Melo, from CDS-PP, and former PAN Francisco Guerreiro.
Also in an initiative by PSD MEP Lídia Pereira, 74 MEPs questioned the European Commission about excluding trainees from EU institutions, bodies and agencies from scholarships paid under the Erasmus programme.
“I don’t understand why trainees in European institutions do not receive the Erasmus grant, considering that if they train in any other institution or company they are eligible to receive it”, says Lídia Pereira.
The subscribing members consider this measure to be discriminatory, since in all member states, whether the internships are paid or not, everyone is entitled to receive the Erasmus grant.
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