29. May 2015
by Nitin Sood
On 13 May the European Commission (EC) released its anticipated European Agenda on Migration that was meant to solve the humanitarian crisis in the Mediterranean and address the meagre integration policies implemented by EU member states, which have resulted in an increase of racism and social exclusion across Europe. Like many others, I hoped that the Agenda would offer concrete solutions, also given that at the 2015 FutureLab Europe Spring ConferenceMatthias Ruete, Director General of the Directorate General for Migration and Home Affairs of the European Commission, profoundly assured that the future of the European Union (EU) depends on our ability to develop more effective migration policies. Nevertheless, upon reading it, it became clear that the Agenda cannot be the piece of paper that Ruete had in mind: it fails to address the existing shortcomings and, more importantly, lacks the ingredients to promote an inclusive and peaceful society that comprehensively respects human rights.
27. May 2015
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a trade agreement that is presently being negotiated between the European Union (EU) and the United States (US). Its aim is to remove trade barriers in a wide range of economic sectors, including the agricultural and food sector, to make it easier to buy and sell goods and services between the EU and the US. The TTIP negotiations are conducted behind closed doors and negotiating texts are not made available to the public. However, through a number of leaks, some content of the negotiations reached the press and public. This caused an increase in concerns about the negotiations, especially regarding food safety.
22. May 2015
Next Sunday, on 24 May, Spain will hold its municipal and regional elections to elect the members of all the city councils and of 13 of the 17 regional councils. Although local elections are normally seen as less important than national ones, we, Spanish citizens, are excited about this call to the ballot box. With general elections just around the corner – scheduled to be held next November – the upcoming local elections will be an important litmus test revealing the support behind each of the political forces.
08. May 2015
It is the closest election for a generation. Political parties are looking for votes in all parts of the electorate to secure the 326 MPs needed to form a majority Government in the House of Commons. The 3.3 million ‘first-time voters’ would provide a crucial base of support if they can be convinced to vote.
20. April 2015
Around the world, Scandinavia is often portrayed as a role model: the welfare system, close to gender equality, no corruption, good quality of school systems and safe and secure environments. Openness and transparency shape the Nordic societies. You could think that being born in Northern Europe was like winning the lottery. In my world, this image was scarred by several events.