02. July 2014

Germany and the free trade agreement TTIP: Why a chicken soon won’t help Angela Merkel anymore

by Christoph Janosch Delcker

janosch-delcker2The planned free-trade agreement TTIP has come under harsh criticism in Germany. Why? The story involves opaque trade tribunals, back room negotiations – and a chicken.

Angela Merkel left little doubt that she will continue to support TTIP. In late May of 2014, the German chancellor entered the stage in front of the influential lobby organization American Chambers of Commerce in Düsselsdorf. She delivered a dedicated plea for the planned free-trade agreement culminating in the words: “It is a great project, and it’s worth fighting for”.

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01. July 2014

Emigration – transforming the flow of people into money flow

by Mihails Kozlovs

Mihails Kozlovs NEWEach year millions of people change their place of living: within the course of the last year alone more than 230 million people were living outside of their homelands. I myself emigrated twice; to Norway and to Serbia. However I wasn’t a usual emigrant who tries to find a job in the destination country and send money back home. Most migrants do and the remittances received by families around the world are growing in scope.

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29. June 2014

Living the digital narrative

by Anna Karolin

anna-karolinI have two laptops (work and personal), a tablet I use for reading and a high end smartphone for tracking, calling and taking pictures. I know how to operate all major social media sites and can familiarise myself with software with a user-friendly interface within a few hours. I don’t know how to programme yet, but I will soon start an online course to learn. I am not special, I am just a young Estonian, the digitally literate. My government makes living a digital life damn easy. Filing taxes online takes few minutes, most of the documents can be obtained digitally and the most important procedure between me and my state—voting—can also be conducted with few clicks.

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27. June 2014

1914 – 2014: Look back – think forward

by Lotta Schneidemesser

lotta-schneidemesser-modifiedHave you ever wondered what it is like to live in a theatre? To experience it during the day time, to walk around its rooms and along its corridors, which are usually exclusively reserved for the people working in theatre? To have a coffee in an old room that seems to belong in a different time, and imagine yourself right there, forgetting that you actually live in the 21st century? To behold an old, beautiful building that has seen the history of a city and reflects the cultural and literary life of a certain time period?  Because I have. And for few days in May, I was able to do so.

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26. June 2014

Bringing Europe to schools? Still a worthy cause!

by Veronika Sobolova

veronika-sobolova-modifieedTo ensure the future of the European Union, a widespread, active European citizenship is needed. The Europamobil project, run by the Genshagen Foundation and the Robert Bosch Stiftung, attempts to take up this challenge. During the project, I was part of an international team that visited 10 different schools in Germany and Denmark. We organized interactive workshops, encouraging students to think critically about the European Union. Based on the results of these workshops I have come to believe that, if young people are taught how to reflect on the European Union critically and how to discuss it openly among their peers, the European project would no longer seem so distant. Introducing lessons on EU institutions and policies in the classrooms could even ramp up the voter turnout numbers among young people, which have traditionally been very low.

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