Reconnecting Europe

Striving for Gender Equality

Blog

In the early days of his mandate Erdoğan presented himself as one of the main defenders of women’s rights. However, after 2010 the government focused predominantly on religious themes and defined gender roles more and more traditionally and restrictive. According to surveys, nearly 50% of all Turkish women have experienced domestic violence and the political climate is increasingly discriminating against women.

By Charlotte Joppien

Borders Are back: Is this the End of the United Kingdom?

Blog

Every European country has its semi-fictional national story, typically manufactured sometime in the 19th Century by a group of romantic intellectuals. Britain has been used to devastating effect in recent years to splinter off from the rest of the EU.

By James Bartholomeusz

The Twilight of the Russian World

Blog

The Russian World assumes that there is a distinctive Russian civilisation with its own territory to be governed by a single political and religious authority. However a reunificaton of the 'divided world' between Russia, Belarus and Ukraine is more propaganda than reality.  

By Adam Balcer

On this Year’s Hessian Peace Prize for Şebnem Korur Fincancı

Blog

Şebnem Fincancı was rewarded for her lifelong engagement for investigating on torture and inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment. The manual she published in 1999 has been accpeted as official document by the United Nations and serves as handbook and guideline for doctors, lawyers and judges. However torture remains a reality in Turkish prisons. And not only.

By Charlotte Joppien

Poor Leadership Makes for Somber Outlook

Blog

The tectonic plaques of the eurozone are again on the move. The rise of populism and the extreme-right is not the beginning but rather the result of a long process of political flaws and errors. The Italian national budget proposal oposes the Italian government and the European Commission. But it is not about pro or contra the EU but about delayed and short-term reforms in the fiscal governance. 

By Viriato Soromenho-Marques, Ricardo Cabral

Crimea: the Bad Conscience of Russia

Blog

Violation of human rights, deportation and colonization of the Crimean population and territory by Russia has a long history. ‘The Soviet period was a real nightmare for the Crimea Tatars’, and still is today. Four years after the annexation of Crimea by Russia, European political leaders continue to sidestep the issue of Crimea. 

By Adam Balcer

When Will the Time Be Ripe for a European Legal Migration Policy?

Blog

The migration question has only been addressed with short-term answers in response to a situation perceived as urgency and ‘problem’. But could a legal migration not rather be part of the solution and contribute to develop a real vision of a diverse society? 

By Annalisa Buscaini

The Time Is Now: Labour Must Stop Brexit

Blog

Theresa May lacks support, the Conservative UK government is divided such as the British Left and positions are most ambiguous! Difficult premises to negotiate a country's future: ‘If Corbyn and his allies are serious about social and economic justice then the first thing they can do is to prevent Brexit.’ 

By James Bartholomeusz

Crisis? What crisis?

Blog

After 21 consecutive quarters of positive evolution of the eurozone, one might think that the euro crisis is permanently over. But the eurozone has been playing with fire for too long. It has imposed policies with large economic and social costs, while ignoring fundamental and long lasting weaknesses in the design of the euro architecture. 

By Ricardo Cabral, Viriato Soromenho-Marques

How to Encourage Illiberals: the Orbán-Merkel Meeting

Blog

Orbán openly threatens the EPP and uses the topic of migration as a pretext to gain credit and form new alliances in the EU. He also continues buidling an illiberal state passing a legal and constitutional package which is deadly for democratic institutions. However ignoring Orban only creates a huge wave of democratic backsliding in the EU. 

By Péter Krekó

The High Price of Our ‘Low-Cost’ Monetary Union

Blog

The present critical policy issues, namely the management of migration and common borders, the cooperation with neighbouring countries, the reform of defence structures and doctrine as well as the ongoing endemic flaws of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) could be addressed using resources drawn from a common budget. 

By Viriato Soromenho-Marques, Ricardo Cabral

How Do We Choose between the Market and the Nation?

Blog

A mortal division breaks through Brexit but is also an inherent problem of the European project. The duopoly between the market and the nation and which one to value most calls for a model for an alternative and different Europe. Europeans need rather more then less Europe.  

By James Bartholomeusz

Vive La Fraternité: Why EU Civil Society Must Learn from the French

Blog

Civil society and citizens take over the duties in welcoming refugees where Member States and the EU fail. Parts of civil society have awoken across borders to contest policies and laws that they believe to be contrary to the ‘core principles’ of both Member States and the EU, as well as contrary to broader humanitarian, religious or political principles. 

By Jennifer Allsopp

Long Live Stalin! Putin’s Politics of Memory

Blog

Putin’s politics of memory constitutes a key pillar of the social legitimisation of his authoritarian regime.The rehabilitation of Stalin is strongly correlated with the growth of the neo-imperialistic worldview in Russian society. 

By Adam Balcer

Trump vs. EU: The Dead End of the Normative Approach

Blog

The disappointment of Europeans grows with the tone and manner of Trump’s behaviour, his disregard for European arguments against trade restrictions as well as the fact that he broke an international agreement and threatens European businesses with secondary sanctions. But how can a divided Europe keep up with the US?

By Vessela Tcherneva

Hungary: a Foreign Policy Stress-Test Case for NATO and the European Union?

Blog

The foreign policy of the new Orbán government is rather 'obstructionist' than constructive. Orbán aims to create a sphere of influence on the Western Balkans and together with Poland form an Eastern block against the central European power. He is also inclined to make frequent use of it's veto right towards the EU.

By Péter Krekó

Pitfalls of Eurasian Multiculturalism

Blog

Putin’s regime promotes a vision of Russia as a state of Eurasian civilisation. According to him multiculturalism is an integral part of the Russian identity. But the large Muslim population is considered as second-class Russian.

By Adam Balcer

Is ‘Saving Lives at Sea’ still a Priority for the EU?

Blog

Saving the lives of refugees and other migrants has been reiterated as a number one priority within the European Agenda on Migration. This document puts ‘saving lives at sea’ above fighting migrant smuggling, relocation and resettlement, stating that ‘Europe cannot stand by whilst lives are being lost.’ 

By Lina Vosyliūtė

Eurozone Reform Proposals: Not Quite the Way Forward!

Since the financial crisis erupted in 2008 the need for a Eurozone reform became obvious. The article discusses the creation of a European Monetary Fund (EMF) or the deepening of the Banking Union as possible solutions.

By Ricardo Cabral, Viriato Soromenho-Marques

The End of the Concept of ‘the West’?

Blog

The West is more and more devided and global strategic interests are diverging. The impact of the US President on views and transatlantic trust is significant. Protectionism and populism undermine Western relations. 

By Vessela Tcherneva

The EU, Ukrainian Cossacks and the Rule of Law

Blog

The Ukraine is weakened, corruption is flourishing, weapons are massively circulating since the Donbas conflict and migrants are pushing to pass the borders. But the civil society is strong, an opportunity for EU to support civil action.

By Adam Balcer

The Ideological Zealots of Brexit

Blog

British Euroscepticism is not nessecarily xenophobic or isolationist but grounds on a feeling of loss of political, economic and legislative sovereignity and the perception of EU supremacy.

By James Bartholomeusz

Eurozone Reform: Between Hope and ‘Mission Impossible'

Article

What would be a successful turning point in the Eurozone’s institutional structure? Shifts in high official positions in the Eurozone administration will introduce new priorities when it comes to safeguard and promote democratic values, overcome economic divergences and (re)build social trust.

 

By Viriato Soromenho-Marques, Ricardo Cabral

Citizens' rights post-Brexit – the State of Play

Blog

Negotiations around Brexit are ongoing and many topics remain foggy. Three key issues still have to be solved such as ‘the divorce bill’ – the financial settling of accounts on the part of the British Government, the question regarding the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, as well as the rights of EU citizens post-Brexit.

By Jean Lambert

Our bloggers

  • Professor Viriato Soromenho-Marques, University of Lisbon: Eurozone Professor; and Ricardo Cabral, University of Madeira: Eurozone 
  • Adam Balcer, Foreign Policy Project Manager Wise-Europe: Warsaw: EU-Russia Relations and Eastern Partnership 
  • Charlotte Joppien is a political anthropologist and managing co-director at Türkei Europa Zentrum at Hamburg University: Turkey and Southern Neighbourhood
  • Vessela Tcherneva, ECFR's Programme Director and Head of ECFR Sofia Office: transatlantic relations 
  • James Bartholomeusz, environmental campaigner: Brexit
  • Péter Krekó, director of Political Capital Institute, Budapest: populism
  • Annalisa Buscaini, advocacy programme specialist, Open Society European Policy Institute: migration and asylum 
  • Lina Vosyliūtė, researcher on justice and home affairs issues in the EU; and Jennifer Allsopp, writer and researcher working on migration, gender and social policy: democracy and solidarity within EU 
  • Jean Lambert, MEP, Green Member for London: Brexit