14. September 2015
by Darija Maric
I am sure we all saw the photo that made our hearts sink – a little boy, lying in the sand, face down. It is a photo of a toddler, a Syrian refugee, who was found dead somewhere on the Turkish coast. And I am sure that when we saw the photo, we all had the same thought: how horrible it is. How devastating and inexcusable. And how painstakingly tragic.
The refugee crisis that is going on hit Europe like a hurricane. But was it really unexpected? Or were there alarms going off that no one was paying attention to?
07. September 2015
Two years ago I attended a lecture at the University of Liverpool on the differences between generations. To a certain degree every generation believes that the generation that came before theirs was too rigid and conservative, and consequently the generation that came after too wild and out of control. This observation led to heated discussions among attendees, as people were belonging to different age-groups. Later that evening, I kept discussing for hours with my then-colleagues at the University of Tirana, in the “Cavern Club”, a nearby cosy shelter famous as the birthplace of the Beatles.
04. September 2015
by Sadik Tabar
It had been a long time since we could set eyes on a pro-government rally in the Syntagma Square in Greece. Since the Syriza took power in the beginning of 2015, as the Greek PM of new tenure, Tsipras tenaciously emphasised that the Greek debt crisis is essentially a crisis of the European Union. Tsipras also never accepted the image of Greece as a desperate state in need of an IMF emergency rescue package under creditors’ terms, even if the prospect of Greece’s bankruptcy was a real possibility throughout negotiations. As a reflection of the latest election and referendum, a majority of Greek people seem to stand with their government against international creditors. Tsipras kept putting forward one explicit argument during negotiations with creditors: the Greek debt is neither a Greek problem nor an economic problem anymore; it is a political problem (1) concerning the European Union and its future. In order to strengthen his argument, Tsipras called for a European debt conference (2). This is admittedly a valid criticism of the global economic system from a leftist standpoint. However, whom would Tsipras find as a competent authority within the European Union willing to take charge of such a radical process recommended by Tsipras?
04. September 2015
This year the EU has gone through critical times in dealing with an immigration crisis unprecendented in its scope. However, a new and unexpected issue appeared on the agenda: in just one year, the number of Roma people in Sweden has almost doubled. Sweden now hosts more than 300 camps with immigrants from Eastern Europe, the overwhelming majority of which come from Romania, where there are no jobs or housing and Roma people have limited possibilities to earn a decent living. Ironically, the year 2015 not only marks the end of the Decade for Roma Inclusion initiative, which did not bring all the expected results, but also the midway point of the “EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies up to 2020″. As such, we believe this is a relevant moment to reflect on the ways in which Romania, Sweden and the EU have tried to find a solution for the Roma beggars from Romania that fill the Swedish streets. The following blog post is an attempt to analyse the most recent media debates both in Romania and in Sweden and to put the issue in a wider context by looking at the several turning points that have contributed to the inflating debate on Roma from Romania in Sweden.
01. September 2015
by Doris Manu
Refugees are making the headlines every day, their stories reach us more or less directly and a recent opinion poll shows that Europeans see immigration as one of the major challenges the EU is facing at the moment. There are reasons to worry more and more about this issue.