27. October 2015
Ukraine’s regional elections on 25 October come within complex conditions, hardly imaginable some two years ago at the outbreak of the “Euromaidan” protests in Ukraine. Next Sunday’s vote catches the country conflict-torn and its population struggling amid socio-economic difficulties. The controversies surrounding the elections are indicative of much wider structural debates over the country’s political future.
29. September 2015
by Elias Vartio
For a long time, ‘Fortress Europe’ has been a well-deserved pejorative term for the hard-line migration policies of the EU and the European countries. The recipe has been simple: keep the world outside and the wealth inside. Even the much-talked about globalisation and freedom of movement has been largely unilateral – with a western passport you can get anywhere, with a southern one you get nowhere.
28. September 2015
Recently, a famous Spanish writer produced an article in which he considered that it took a photo of a dead child on a beach to initiate policy responses to the tragic events taking place on Europe’s borders. He gave a scathing criticism of politicians, asking if the absence of photos of dead children is worrying as it could make our leaders forget the problem without having found a proper solution. Those words made me think not only about the magnitude of the situation, but also about the kind of responses member states are giving to this, as if it were a new problem that has appeared all of a sudden.
19. September 2015
Several months ago, when Hungary announced it was going to build a wall along the border with Serbia, I realised that the consequences of such an act could be very serious. When I say ‘serious consequences’, I am not referring to the Hungarian-Serbian relations (between an EU member state and an EU candidate state), but to the European identity itself. Truly horrific images coming in every day from the Hungarian-Serbian border, and from other countries on the so-called Balkan refugee route (Greece Macedonia, and now Croatia) are the result of policies that favour walls instead of freedom of movement, repression instead of solidarity. In the end, the consequences of these policies may be catastrophic for Europe, although this claim may be perceived as exaggerated at this moment.
14. September 2015
Looking at the ongoing refugee crisis, it’s time for some history lessons. This is a story that happened a long, long time ago, even before our parents were born. Long forgotten, or at least not mentioned enough to remind us that history is a circle, and that many events are only repeating themselves.