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  • Discussion Regarding Incidents In the Republic of Istkalen


    I am here to discuss the incidents that are unfolding in the Republic of Istkalen as we speak. On May 29, 2023, we received the news that a coup d'etat has occurred in the country, with the Istkalenic military establishing the National Salvation Council (referred to as "the NSC" from now on). While the elected heads of government have not been overthrown yet, it is clear that the military holds immense power over the civilian government, with Ursula Orlich resigning shortly after the coup. The possibility of the military overthrowing the civilian government at any given minute is high.

    Additionally, according to the latest reports from Republic, a media piece from Istkalen, the NSC is planning to establish policies that blatantly go against The Constitution of the European Union, not mentioning the values of the Union.

    The relatively liberal cultural environment that has prevailed in Istkalen from the beginning of the occupation to the present day is also likely to end. A significant part of the reform involves a system of state patronage and censorship of the arts that promotes "national" projects, such as the development of folk music and nearly completely bans art deemed as "modern," "cosmopolitan," or "foreign." Where previously restrictions of this type applied only to "official" artists receiving state benefits through the National Cultural Association, these are intended to apply even to amateur artists and creators, from fanfiction writers to social media influencers.

    Section XVIII. Freedom of Expression
    I. Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression.
    II. This right includes the freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas through any media regardless of frontiers.

    A number of restrictions on public behaviour are also included in the reform. Public manifestations of "sexual and gender-based deviance," as well as support for the same "deviance" are to be prohibited. Unlike previous legislation which has placed restrictions on public activity, this prohibition extends not merely to the physical space but also the online world and the publication of media. The age of consent for same-sex relations is also to be increased to 25, and will no longer be equal to that of opposite-sex relations.

    Section II. Human Dignity
    I. All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
    II. All human beings also carry the responsibility of respecting the human rights of others.

    Section XIX. Freedom of Association
    I. Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.
    II. No one may be forced to belong to an association against their will.

    When I was a candidate for the position of Internal Affairs Commissioner, I had promised to increase cooperation between the Commission and the member states of the European Union. Therefore, I have come to this council to discuss the matters in Istkalen. I ask for your suggestion and guidance on how should the Commission handle this vital issue.

    Thank you.

    Wirt Harland
    Internal Affairs Commissioner of the European Union

    posted in European Council discussion
  • RE: Office of Internal Affairs Commissioner Wirt Harland

    Announcing my IAC campaign

    June 7, 2023

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    Dear citizens of the European Union,

    I am proud to announce my campaign for a second term as the Internal Affairs Commissioner. Ever since taking this job in January, I have served you with my best effort. Here is what I have done in four months:

    • I brokered a deal between the Kingdom of Reitzmag, the United Duchies and the People's Democratic Republic of Svarna Surya after a conflict which could devastate the EU.
    • Alongside my premier colleague Juncker, I condemned the riots against the EU-recognized Gadalland and Aspern, led by Guthrun Wond.
    • I put up my constitutional reform, which promised that unopposed candidates in the commission elections would be subject to a referendum before taking office. Unfortunately, this was not approved by the European Council.
    • I also initiated the Fourth European Leaders Summit last month, once again with Premier Juncker.

    In my second term, I plan to do the following:

    • Submitting a bill to the European Council that will standardize trade and consumer protections and standards within the European Union.
    • Submitting a comprehensive environmental protection plan to the European Council to address climate change, as well as further investing in clean energy resources.
    • Strengthening integration and ensuring equality throughout the European Union.
    • Further committing to peace between the member states of the European Union.

    I completely understand the criticisms that come my way. I have not been able to be as prevalent in the European political sphere as I would like to be, and I apologize to those that have been disappointed in me for this. Mea culpa.

    I will rally the European Union to meet with the people of the EU, as well as endorse one of the candidates for Premier Commissioner. These will be announced next week.

    Thank you for listening, and for not losing hope. I will serve the Union for as long as the people elect me here. Thank you.

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    Wirt Harland
    33rd Internal Affairs Commissioner of the European Union

    posted in Internal Affairs Commissioner
  • RE: Elthic News Media

    June 6, 2023 - 7:20 PM

    LGBTQ+ people and allies celebrate Pride as June rolls around

    Major parades in St. Lucas expected to start this Saturday

    We're back from our ad break. I'm William Berwick, and you're watching Evening News at LNN. The month of June has begun and with it, Pride Month. Elthics who are LGBTQ+ and their allies are preparing to celebrate this special occasion with parades, with the ones at St. Lucas expected to start on the second Saturday of this month, which lands on June 10th this year.

    June means a celebration for Elthics who are LGBTQ, and this June is no different. In St. Lucas, the celebrations have already begun. In the iconic Maitland Avenue, located downtown, you can see shops of all sizes hanging the recognizable rainbow flag, with some of them having a chevron of colours, representing transgender people, queer people of colour and those that passed away from AIDS.

    OOC: In a news article from the European Health Organization from September 2020, Reitzmag is mentioned to have a charity for AIDS prevention, therefore I am assuming that HIV/AIDS does exist in this world.

    We got varying answers when asking various people in St. Lucas what Pride Month meant to them.

    "C'est une belle fête, vous savez. Je ne pense pas vraiment à être fier de ce que je suis, mais je respecte ceux qui le sont.... J'ai décidé de visiter St Lucas cette année parce qu'il y a des bars gays uniques. J'ai parcouru certaines rues et il y a vraiment des endroits que je ne trouve nulle part ailleurs," says Bianca, a tourist from Ineland.

    (Subtitles: It's a nice celebration, you know. I don't think much about being proud of who I am but I respect those that do... I decided to visit St. Lucas this year because it has gay bars unique to it. I've been walking some streets and there really are places that I can not find anywhere else.)

    The city of St. Lucas held the first march for gay men in 1938, titled "The Homophilic March", one of many predecessors to the current pride parades held in Elthize today. However, homosexuality was illegal due to colonial laws of the time, and former President William Lee Marchand was initially sceptical of decriminalizing it. Regardless, in 1942, The Supreme Court found the ban unconstitutional, stating it "contradicted the Constitution of the State of Elthize". It was the first of many victories for the LGBTQ+ community in Elthize.

    "It means a lot to me!" tells Ethan, an excited teenager answering our question. "I mean, it is a great reminder of the community we have and we built over decades! I am proud to be gay." A friend of Ethan's is also present, but he declines to answer our question.

    While the gay community was slowly building up in Elthize, with St. Lucas leading the movement, everything came to a halt when the Yosainese invaded the country in 1954. Most gay activists across the occupied Elthize were arrested, as many of them took part in the resistance movement against the Yosainese regime. Many of them were either executed, sent to exile or never seen again.

    "I mean, it's hard being gay in an environment where everyone is trying to kill you. We were shoved back into the closet until 1968, and when we finally had liberty, there was almost no one to guide the young queers," says Emerson McCormick, a queer historian. "We were back to square one."

    Regardless of the setback, the community was rebuilt, with strong discourse around how diverse should it be. "The Elthic queer community has always had this interesting discussion throughout its history, about who are the leaders, who should be included, what boundaries should there be, among other things. And, more often than not, those with radical viewpoints, and when I say radical I mean more welcoming, I mean those that opposed the hierarchy within our community entirely. They were the loudest voices in the room, in the streets. We owe them a lot." McCormick also noted that these loud voices were often of racial minorities.

    In the eighties, the province was hit with the HIV/AIDS epidemic, disproportionately affecting gay men. In response, former President Alika Mbanefo launched special programs to curb the spread of the disease, as well as subsidizing healthcare and research programs to ensure further treatment. Her successor, Benny Kalzer, continued these programs, against people's expectations.

    In 1980, St. Lucas became the first province in Elthize to recognize same-sex unions. Seven years later, it became the first province to recognize same-sex marriage. No province would follow suit until 1997 when Florence (modern-day Ackerson) and Port Nelson legalized the practice.

    Here's how McCormick closes their statement: "St. Lucas has always been the leader when it comes to the queer movement in Elthize. Today, in every Elthic city, almost all towns in Elthize have a group of openly queer people no matter how small it may be. And we owe it to those people that sought their community's liberty, our liberty, in the city of St. Lucas. As a Forecoaster resident myself, I am forever grateful."

    Well, you don't see a Forecoaster person express gratitude to a Lucatian every day. We must capture this moment or something... Haha, anyway, happy Pride Month, everyone! Next up: How does the European Monetary Unit affect the way we shop in Elthize? Our correspondent Mikaela Brown is on Forecoaster for answers.

    posted in European News Consortium
  • RE: The EU's Latest Tweets

    posted in European News Consortium
  • RE: Commission Nominations, June 2023


    Candidate Name: Wirt Harland
    Home Nation: The State of Elthize
    Office(s) sought: Internal Affairs Commissioner
    Incumbent? (Y/N): Yes
    Eurogroup Affiliation: None
    Biography: A politician of the Labour Party's moderate wing, Harland was an assembly member from April 2008 until June 2009, when he became a senator until his retirement in April 2022, winning in 2008, 2010, 2014 and 2018 elections. During his time as a Senator, he became the main figure pushing for the impeachment of the former president, Archibald Franklin. He was one of the biggest advocates for Elthize's ascension to the European Union. He was the presidential candidate of the opposition in 2018 and was defeated by the incumbent Greenwich Grimwald by a minuscule margin. Some Elthics still consider him to be a possible successor to the presidency after Grimwald.

    Harland assumed office as the Internal Affairs Commissioner on January 15, 2023, and is seeking a second term as the Internal Affairs Commissioner. On his first term, Harland submitted a constitutional amendment that would put unopposed candidates in commission elections in a referendum to see whether the member states approved of the candidate. He also successfully managed to strike out a deal between the United Duchies, Reitzmag and Svarna Surya after conflict arose between the three nations. Harland also opposed Guthrun Wond's rebellion against the member state of Gadalland and Aspern and initiated the Fourth European Leaders Summit on May 2023 alongside Premier Commissioner Jean-Claude Juncker.

    (image credit)

    posted in European Commission
  • ECoJ Elections, June 2023

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    It is time to elect the next European Court of Justice. All five seats on the EcoJ will be up for election for a four-month term.

    Due to term limits, Chief Justice Dayo Mwangi (Elthize) and Justice Benjamin Steyn (Inimicus) may not run for re-election.

    Interested candidates should fill out all information below:

    [Candidate photograph or image]
    Candidate Name:
    Home Nation:
    Incumbent? (Y/N):

    Nominations open NOW and will close at 23:59 GMT on June 12th, 2023.

    posted in European Court of Justice
  • Commission Nominations, June 2023

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    It is time to elect the next European Commission. In these elections, all offices of the European Commission are up for election. The offices of Premier Commissioner and Internal Affairs are subject to a four-month term, while the office of the Foreign Affairs is subject to an eight-month term.

    Due to term limits, Premier Commissioner Jean-Claude Juncker (Spain) is term-limited.

    As is traditional, I shall quote the words of our Returning Officer back in January 2011, who opened these nominations thus:

    "These elections are supposed to give our member-states fair representation in this region - if candidates cannot take it upon themselves to be active, then I in particular, question their ability and willingness to take part in a body who must be active, accountable and able. I do not wish to threaten nor scare, but I want, for once, our European Commission to consist of Commissioners who are active and who play a part in the region both on and off this forum."

    Interested candidates should fill out all information below:

    [Candidate photograph or image]
    Candidate Name:
    Home Nation:
    Office(s) sought:
    Incumbent? (Y/N):
    Eurogroup Affiliation:

    Nominations are NOW open and will close at 23:59 GMT on June 12th, 2023.

    posted in European Commission
  • RE: The EU's Latest Tweets

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    posted in European News Consortium
  • RE: Inquista Decides - 2023 Elections Centre

    RB: Good morning! The sun rises as we bring you the latest results from the elections in Inquista. Let's take a look at where things stand.

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    RB: Well, it's official, the Kligenbergists have secured 138 seats, which is well beyond 121 needed for a majority. We will undoubtedly see Archbishop Kligenberg be re-elected as Archbishop of Inquista. The Pietists now have 65, while the Reformists have 9 and the Liberationists have 3.

    KV: An outstanding victory for the Archbishop and her allies, who clearly ran really enthusiastic campaigns. The Pink Revolution really came to light.

    RB: What does this result mean for Inquista?

    KV: Well, obviously the Archbishop will go on for another term, but there's going to be a lot of change within the Inquistan Orthodox Church. The Archbishop is going to have a really big tent of supporters who are actually loyal to her interests, unlike the previous government, who owed much of their fealty to Chief Secretary Firoux.

    The Church Secretariat is going to see some new faces. This election has seen the Firouxian camp swept out, and the Kligenbergists swept in. Who also gets the Chief Secretary position will be interesting to see. The doctrine of New Public Prosperity has been at the core of the Archbishop's campaign, so whoever is able to push that forward with the most vigour and fervor is likely to get the top job.

    For better or for worse, we've seen the Reformists be moderating forces within the Archbishop's government, who have acted as her sober counsel and have limited her more eccentric inclinations. There's no predicting how things will move forward now with a majority at her fingertips as she pursues whatever New Public Prosperity means to her.

    RB: And what does this mean for Europe?

    KV: There's no denying that the Archbishop is one of the friendliest leaders on the European stage, and she's pursued a very warm and collaborative foreign policy that is very open and willing to cooperate with other European countries. The Archbishop's win signals a continuation of Inquista's open-armed approach to European affairs, and we will likely see Inquista build new relations abroad while strengthening existing ties.

    The last three years have been been quite peaceful for Inquistans, which is actually saying something considering that country was at war with Icholasen only weeks before the Archbishop came to power. Since then, there was turmoil and violent uprising in Copala City, divisions and cessations within Icholasen, a genocide and foreign intervention in Eastern Haane, crises with the Spanish straits, "diplomatic bombings", an occupation of Istkalen, civil war in Sertia, foreign intervention into Svarna Surya, just to name a few conflicts, and no Inquistan forces were ever mobilized during any of it.

    The Archbishop has steered clear from all conflict-related affairs, though she did come in strong to condemn the violence in Copala City, where she called for peace and a return of Inquistan Orthodox people to the city. The Archbishop also granted genuine independence to the Sahrawi Union, which marked a peaceful end to that chapter. Czech Slavia, which has become a key Inquistan ally, also announced the nationalization of foreign assets, and the Archbishop has so far responded in a very measured and optimistic way.

    The Archbishop appears to seek out win-win and peace-driven solutions whenever she gets involved, but I think the biggest criticism laid against her is that she doesn't get involved enough, and that she overlooks confrontational foreign policy actions taken by her allies. In general, the Archbishop has played a very passive role within the Telum Treaty, which isn't appreciated by countries that have an axe to grind with Spain. Certain countries seem to have developed completely one-sided animosity towards the Archbishop largely because they see her as being accepting of the Spanish's President's more hawkish maneuvers.

    Similarly, I think a lot of people don't appreciate her coziness with the Czech President for Life, who some see as authoritarian, or her closeness with Emperor Artabanos of Inimicus, who could probably announce a full-on annexation of North Diessen tomorrow that Archbishop would readily accept. Since the Archbishop has shaped Inquista to be quite loyal in our diplomatic ties, I think countries which we have a close bonds with have much to celebrate tonight.

    Countries which don't have close ties to Inquista also have much to appreciate about the Archbishop's re-election. The Reformists and Pietists have historically been quite uncompromising in their dedication to their strong principles and values - as we saw in the Craticist years and the Reformists' more radical stances on Icholasen - while the Archbishop's more mutable foreign policy worldview is much more accommodating of foreign idiosyncrasies.

    RB: Wow, thanks for that Ted Talk, Kathy. I'm hearing all the results are officially in, so let's take a look.

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    RB: And there we have it, everyone. All votes have been counted and all dioceses have acclaimed their new bishops. The Kligenbergists have come out on top with 150 dioceses. They shall have a very comfortable majority within the College of Bishops, and Archbishop Kligenberg will see herself re-elected without much resistance.

    The Pietists have gained 5 seats altogether, bringing their total to 76 dioceses. The Reformists have fallen significantly, losing 86 seats and only winning in 11 dioceses. The Liberationists have collapsed tonight, only winning in 3 dioceses.

    Any last big-picture takeaways, Kathy?

    KV: We saw the Kligenbergists win over most of the supporters the Reformists have historically relied upon. I think the Reformists themselves were very significantly weakened by the retirement of Chief Secretary Firoux. Archbishop Kligenberg is evidently seen as the successor of the post-Craticist and post-Firouxian political space in Inquista.

    The Kligenbergists also seem to have attracted most of the supporters the Liberationists used to enjoy. The Archbishop's 'pink populist' appeal definitely bled their votes. Strange to see a wealthy celebrity from a famously affluent family attract their support, but they clearly like whatever policies or messaging she's been selling.

    With the Kligenbergists on top, and the Pietists as the only real opposition, I can confidently say this election is a win for populist politics. It's a win for the Archbishop's celebrity-driven populism, and a win for the ultraorthodox populism that has always driven Inquista's right flank. Everyone else lost.

    RB: That's a lot to think about. Thanks Kathy. Okay, don't go anywhere as will soon have the results of Inquista's councillor election. Please join us again after the latest news headlines.

    posted in European News Consortium

    On behalf of the Kingdom of Spain, I vote AGAINST this act.

    Donald Tusk
    Councillor for Spain

    posted in European Council