15. May 2014
For me, Europe is like home. I feel quite comfortable in its every corner. Obviously, there are ‘rooms’ that I prefer more than others, but no matter where I am, the same level of safety is guaranteed. I felt it in frosty Kiruna as well as in sunny Rome. It is natural that what you love most about your home is your own room. The same applies to me. However, even when I was a small child, I was fully aware that a bathroom, a kitchen and a parent’s bedroom were also necessary. Europe also consists of many different ‘rooms’. Each of them in separation from others would have no greater meaning, but together they form a safe and comfortable place.
14. May 2014
For me, Europe is above all an idea. To be more precise, the EU is a novel idea, about uniting nations, nation-states and citizens. So novel, in fact, that 60 years down the line, we have not managed to define it. The European Union remains an U.P.O. There have been several interesting attempts to define it, a cosmopolitan empire is a particular favorite; even if the term ‘empire’ would never work. The EU is also a project, some say that it is a solely economic one. I completely disagree. While I am not blind – indeed, in 2014 it seems that markets and products move around the Union much more easily than people – however, the EU is certainly not just an economic project. Our lives, at the local level, are governed by policies and laws debated, designed and drafted within the EU framework. This is politics; social cohesion, energy, waste management, R&D, and numerous other policies are co-defined at the EU level; along with economic policies too. How do you feel the gasping void between the EU as an idea and policy making in practice? I would argue for the empowerment of the cities, the closest authority to the citizen, which could provide a bridge over that gap.
13. May 2014
What do young people feel when they think of Europe? What would they want to change, where does the EU plays on their nerves? Handelsblatt Online and FutureLab Europe joined forces to bring up a set of young voices. The respondent today is Noora Lampinen (26) from Finland, living in Belgium.
13. May 2014
by Elias Vartio
Around a year ago, I wrote an entry on the possibility of a citizen right “to be forgotten” emerging through legislation and case law (available here).
Now, on 13th of May 2014, the day has arrived, just as anticipated. The case also mentioned by Laura Virué Escalera in her response to my blog was now judged by the EU court. In the case a man named Mario Costeja González was deeply troubled as the contemporary google searches on him effectively brought to the attention his earlier economic difficulties. In this particular case, Google had refused to omit a newspaper add concerning an auction notice of his property, dating all the way back to 1998.
13. May 2014
Yesterday morning pro-Russian separatists in Donetsk and Luhansk announced a clear majority for a separation of Eastern Ukraine from Kiev in Sunday’s referendum. Whereas the Kremlin immediately declared its support of this outcome, EU leaders are calling it unlawful and void. While this is the East-West elite game we have been watching for months now, one wonders what Western European publics think about it.