What if... the Eurozone became a real transfer union to reduce economic inequality and increasing social unrest between and within Member States? Read our last post on the Reconnecting Europe blog and find more topics that shaped the EU in 2018.
Generally, the reconciliation processes in Bosnia-Herzegovina and in most other Balkan countries seem to retrograde. Economic and political situations are still unstable and a brutal plunder of state and social property left devastating consequences. The EU's interference in the region doesn't help stabilising the 'black mosaic'.
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.
The Central European University (CEU) announced that it is forced to launch all degree programs in a new location in Vienna in September 2019. The Hungarian Government has made it impossible for the university to ensure its operations in Budapest on the long run.
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.
While the European Commission is supporting restrictive measures to tackle the spread of false news online, independent and critical media are being left to survive on their own in the face of hostility.
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.
During the past seven decades, transatlantic ties have been tested repeatedly. They have included economic conflicts, competition for markets, dealing with armed conflicts and cultural clashes. Europe and the US share both the challenges and the consequences for either success or failure which makes the transatlantic relationship more important now than it has been since the end of the Cold War.
A new report exposing how public private partnerships (PPPs) across the globe have drained the public purse, and failed to deliver in the public interest, was launched at the Annual Meetings of the World Bank in Bali. The report entitled “History RePPPeated: How public private partnerships are failing” compiles no less than 10 case studies, showing how and why each PPP project failed to provide value-for-money, transparency and/or humane infrastructure projects.
In June 2018, the transformation of the political system from a parliamentary to a presidential one has become effective. The Turkish Parliament has been weakened and the political hierarchy with the President as the highest standing has been further strenghtened. But suspending accession talks would also suspend European support for more democracy.
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.
State elections in Bavaria mark a shift in the party countryside in Germany. Civil society sees environmental issues to be addressed by political actors and respective policies as an important cause of action now and in the future.
The EU has lost a great deal of its standing and influence in the Western Balkans. Domestic political elites consolidate their power through ever-tightening control over civic space. Why do millions of euros in governance and civil society assistance have failed to support robust democracies?
The need to balance humanitarian responses and legal obligations while ‘ending’ irregular migratory journeys has overwhelmed the EU for the past three years. A patchwork of policies emerged as a response to the ‘refugee crisis’ of 2015. Who undertakes the responsibility for search and rescue, disembarkation and asylum processing?
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.
The Sargentini report showed divisions between Eastern and Western European countries as well as between left and right wing tendencies. It also evidenced that illiberal policies have to face political consequences at European level. Other governments such as Slovakia, Bulgaria and Romania, though, make less a public display of their illiberal steps.
Two major issues in the Syrien conflict are the strenght of the IS and migration flows. The country needs stability and the EU should contribute to the resolution of the conflict. However, will peace talks and humanitarian assistance be able to bring stability?
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?