The Next Generation, Please! panel, organized by Bozar to bring young people, politicians and artists together, was joined by Saskia Bricmont, Belgian MEP candidate for Ecolo, Alan de Bruyne, One Brussels candidate for the Flemish Parliament, and Ariane Wautelet, MEP candidate for PS.
The panelists highlight the need for more inclusive education systems in Brussels, as well as all over Europe. Alan de Bruyne insists on the eurocentric content taught in schools and on the fact that most teachers do not know how to deal with the diversity that is found in their classes. He believes that education systems need to be reorganized in order to nurture individual talents and be more inclusive. To this, Saskia Bricmont adds that schools should be truly free, as well as the food served in schools, in order for the education systems to stop reproducing the inequalities of society. She also promotes a transition to alternative methods allowing schools to adapt to each and every profile. Furthermore, the MEP candidate for Ecolo wants to expand the Erasmus programme funding so it becomes accessible for everyone. She also suggests the development of new programmes following the same model but destined for children, teachers or actors of the cultural sector.
On the subject of climate change, Ariane Wautelet believes action needs to be taken at the European level. She insists on finding solutions that are socially fair. As for Saskia Bricmont, she believes that the main goal when it comes to fighting climate change should be to become a carbon neutral society by 2050. In order to achieve this, we need to drastically change our economic and production models, rethink our consumption habits and work on the ban of pesticides and plastics. She mentions solutions such as the taxation of fuel energy, the regulation of the big industries’ lobbying and investments in alternative transports. The panelists also point out the importance of developing sustainable housing, which can be achieved by requisitioning empty buildings, investing in quality public housing and implementing, at the EU level, minimum standards in terms of energy regulation of buildings.
The panelists also explain the importance of taking culture into account in other sectors, such as economics, education and work. Culture needs to be integrated in policies in a transversal way.