14. February 2014

Don´t confuse me with my country: living in Athens in 2014

by Konstantina Karydi

konstantina-karydiStereotypes, in & out / In: living in Athens in 2014. The positive stereotype of the “wonderful” EU has crashed. I guess not only here but all over Europe. “Free” spirited, pro-European minorities, speak about the political EU we aim for, about the values on which it is based, the Ideas, the opportunities a united Europe offers.

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13. January 2014

Online Anonymity

by Stephan Kool

stephan-kool-modified6 Months have passed since Mrs. Merkels remarks about the ‘Neuland’ internet. As far as we can tell, the excessive spying by the NSA and other intelligence agency has been going on unchanged ever since. The most recent news is that the European parliament has just agreed on receiving a testimony from Edward Snowden *1.

I am continuously annoyed by the slow speed by which representatives, national and European, handle what is most probably the worst infringement on article 12 of the human rights declaration ever. The monitoring of all internet traffic and the possibility to enter every computer made by a major US company is in my opinion at least an arbitrary interference with privacy, family, home or correspondence, things western democracies have pledged to protect their people from by signing the human rights declaration.

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19. December 2013

REFIT: Easy implementation – and weak regulation?

by Enja Sæthren

Enja Sæthren NEWThe European Commission has often been target to criticism regarding its regulations being too complicated, const intensive, thick. In response to the demand of economic stakeholders as well as its own finding, the European Commission has set up a road map to “respond to the economic imperative”. In the idea this, so called “smart regulation”, aims on easing setting up businesses and employing people as well as using natural resources. During the past years this has found expression in the REFIT-programme (Regulatory Fitness and Performance), where the Commission has spent a lot of time and energy trying to make the EU regulations “easier”.  The simplifications have been given different names; laws and businesses ought to be “slimmer”, “smarter” and “fit for growth”. But what does this reform really constitute?

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18. December 2013

All by myself… Don’t wanna be (part 2)

by Adnan Rahimic

1-adnan-rahimic(In connection with previous article: All by myself?)

The online petition with over 6000 signatures, student’s call for (R)evolution+, messages from respected politicians, professors, speakers from all sides, speeches over TV, radio, web … have led to the new developments in the recent non-participation in Erasmus+: Bosnia and Herzegovina will participate in the program. All sides officially granted their acceptance to the programme and students, youth and staff members will not be isolated from their colleagues in the region and the rest of Europe.

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18. December 2013

New year, no Schengen. Romania’s diplomatic defense and lack of policy response

by Doris Manu

doris-manu1st of January 2014, the date when Romania and Bulgaria were supposed to enter the Schengen area, is just around the corner, yet the magic is not going to happen. We know it from Jose Manual Barroso, the president of the European Commission, who reassured the French about it while making the declaration to a French TV station. “Romania and Bulgaria will not enter the Schengen area because there are countries that are against,” said the Commission president. Earlier this autumn, media in France quoted an unnamed source from the French Government claiming that President Francois Hollande will block Romania’s bid to enter the Schengen zone, supporting the position of France’s Interior Minister Manuel Valls, who expressed concerns over the influx of Roma to the country.

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