24. October 2014

Balkan Shades of Peace

by Daniel Gjokjeski

daniel-gjokjeski2This September, I have fully dedicated myself to one very important and universal concept: peace. I had the opportunity to participate in three interesting events that deeply focused on this concept: the `Youth Reconciliation Ambassadors` (YRA) programme organized by the Youth Education Committee in Belgrade (Serbia), aiming to encourage multi-perspective discussions between young people on topics relevant to the future of the former Yugoslavia area; the Summer School `Religion, Ethnicity and Nationalism` (REN) organized in Skopje (Macedonia) by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, the Euro-Balkan University, and the five religious communities in Macedonia, which are trying to shift the status quo concerning the civic perception of religious, national and cultural differences among the Macedonian youth; and the European `Peace Revolution Fellowship` (PRF), a retreat in Lede (Belgium) that aims to promote a culture of peace, peace education, conflict prevention and youth empowerment through the primary means of meditation and self-development. I have never seen so many different approaches to achieve the same goal.

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17. October 2014

Right to be forgotten: Privacy now in the “Pantheon”?

by Fiona Fritz

fiona-fritz-modified“I know what you did last summer”. This statement marks the beginning of a series of horrible events in the 1997 horror movie of the same name. Although these events are (luckily) purely fictional, a lot of the things we do in our real lives (and not only from last summer) end up on social media, in web forums and online newspapers. Search engines make it ever so easy to find everything. In recent years, web search results became like a second CV.

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15. October 2014

HeForShe in the EU’s new leadership

by Doris Manu

doris-manuThe hearing of Federica Mogherini in the European Parliament has just finished. For three hours, the MEPs have listened to a strong, confident, competent and determined young woman. Yet before this hearing the designated High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Commission Vice-President (HRVP) was underestimated by many on the grounds that she ”lacks experience”.

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08. October 2014

Freedom vs Privacy

by Milan Balaban

milan-balaban2By the time you’ve finished reading this paragraph, approximately 3 billion internet users will have posted more than 48 hours of YouTube videos, 3600 Instagram photos and tens of thousands of Facebook articles. As we increasingly live out our lives in the digital world, the lines between freedom and privacy are becoming blurred. Until now, the internet has been a largely unregulated place, making it one of the most democratic tools in existence. But ever since companies and governments have entered the digital age, net neutrality has not only become a familiar concept, but also a legal issue.

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13. October 2014

Will the EU Embrace or Betray its Values?

by Efehan Danisman

efehan-danismanThe UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) stated that the refugee crisis in Syria is the biggest humanitarian emergency of our era. Add the crisis in Iraq, and it becomes obvious that the Middle East is encountering a massive catastrophe. UNHCR estimates that there are more than 3 million Syrians who have fled the country.  The EU member states are generous – to some extent – in providing funds, but fall short when it comes to accepting refugees.  The countries in Syria’s immediate neighbourhood on the other hand (Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey), each have accepted more Syrian refugees than all 28 EU member states combined. In total, Syria’s neighbours are hosting more than 3 million refugees; the EU member states accepted less than 100.000 of them, which accounts to 3% to 4% of the overall number of Syrian refugees.

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