29. April 2014

Overly cautious and concerned about Putin: Estonia after 10 years as an EU member

by Anna Karolin

anna-karolinDuring the gloomiest days of the Eurozone crisis, Estonians often felt like the economic superstars of Europe. Sure, star economist and New York Times columnist Krugman did not like our economic model, but we actually managed to make the shrewd cuts in public spending, have very few protests over it and got into the recovery phase pretty fast.  Fiscal balance is still a basic dogma in Estonian politics and average citizens take strange pride in having lent money to our southern neighbour Latvia (our equivalent of a nephew you’re always compared to) or having contributed to the bailout of Greece. Some go as far to claim that the expression “former Soviet” does not apply to Estonia anymore, we are European now.

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22. April 2014

Almost Italian, almost European – the long journey to integration

by Afrola Plaku

afrola-plaku-modifiedWhen asked “Where do you come from”, I have no hesitation in answering “Italy”, even if that is not entirely true. Indeed, it is not at all. Although I moved to the country when I was two years old, I had my entire education between Trieste and Milan and I am able to recognize more old cheesy Italian songs and movies than anyone I know, I am still technically Albanian, and will most presumably be in the next future.

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10. April 2014

Stepping on the other side of the blue mirror

by Maël Baseilhac

Mael BaseilhacWhen I arrived in Morocco two years ago, I had very little knowledge about the country and its people. I had never been there on vacation and could only imagine what the national culture was like based on my readings and encounters with Moroccan friends in France. As weeks went by and as I settled in my new life of expatriate here in Morocco’s capital Rabat, I was gradually able to run a sociological study on the French-Moroccan relationship from the other side of the Mediterranean.

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04. April 2014

Entrepreneurs thanks to or despite our education?

by Estefanía Almenta

estefania-almenta-lopez-modifiedA couple of weeks ago I went to a school to do a training session for bilingual teachers. I took advantage of the opportunity to visit a kindergarten class and I asked kids what they wanted to be when they grew up. “An astronaut – to explore the universe “, “an architect – to design houses for families to live in“, “a pilot – to travel around the world –“, “a doctor – to cure sick children”. Then I went upstairs and asked the same question to a group of teenagers, in their third year of high school education. I got a very straight forward answer: “a civil servant – to have a job I can keep forever.”

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04. April 2014

Would you like to be left in a trial without your lawyer? If not, then vote in the EU elections this May!

by Miruna Troncota

The recent crisis and the following austerity measures have had an enormous impact on citizens’ trust in EU institutions and have made Euro-skepticism a rule rather than an exception. As a matter of fact less than half eligible citizens voted in last European election in 2009, resulting in the lowest turnout ever. Many now claim that this trend will continue in the coming elections in May this year due to a low level of interest for EU affairs and the rise of right wing populists. After the fall of the Iron Curtain, and the construction of a strong EU integration project, since the crisis people are more negative about EU. Is EU that fragile? What role do young people play here?

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