24. February 2013

European Union keeps on “slapping”Albania!

by Kristalina Lera

kristalina-lera-modifiedCandidate status does not come even for the Albanian`s Independence Centennial, no matter the extraordinary willingness of the European Commission to assist in this goal.

There are often large efforts to explain the backlogs of Albania’s EU integration path by the trauma that our state inherited from the cruel dictatorship or with the backwardness caused by the invaders over the centuries. Although, a number of EU member states were also occupied by the Ottoman Empire for centuries. While also Turkey itself is a candidate country. There are countries in the EU which were almost as long as Albania in the dictatorship of Enver Hoxha (Nicolae Ceaușescu in Romania and Todor Zhivkov in Bulgaria). Nevertheless they have already achieved membership in the European Union. There are countries, which were destroyed by a-four-year war and yet up-to date they are on the verge of joining the EU, such as Croatia.

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22. February 2013

MFF – What’s in it for me?

by Matilda Flemming

matilda-flemming2While Brussels seems to be busy discussing horse meat, the other big discussion over the past weeks (and months if not years for that matter) – the Multiannual Financial Framework, or MFF – I find substantially more interesting. Working in the international youth sector, I have been monitoring the debates about the MFF – basically the multi-year budget of the European Union – with one major question in mind – what’s in it for me? Judging from the debate following the agreement of the European Council, it seems I am not the only one with this question in mind.

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19. February 2013

Is democracy able to help us through the challenges of the 21st Century? – join in the debate with FutureLab Europe

by Zuzana Novakova

Zuzana Novakova NEWDemocracy as a political system is not able to help us facing the challenges mankind and our planet will face in 2052. A very strong position by Jorgen Randers, member of the Club of Rome, made us reflect after watching an interview on ZDF. Here are some reflections from FutureLabbers. What is your view? Join our discussion!

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18. February 2013

No Damsel in Distress – Why a referendum could save the British-EU relations

by Juliane Sarnes

juliane-sarnes-2012-2013-modifiedSo he has really done it: Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron pronounced the R word! He promised his voters an ‘in or out’ referendum on EU membership in 2017 – if he does not succeed in negotiating more preferable terms for the UK, that is. And if he gets re-elected, of course. Yet, Continental Europe, like a disenchanted lover, shakes its head in disbelief: ‘How could you, David? Playing Vabanque with the European idea(l) to win a few Eurosceptic votes and to appease the disunited Conservatives!’

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11. February 2013

The European flag – the missing body of Europe?

by Noora Löfström

Noora Lovstrom NEWWhen people think of the European Union, one very likely image to depict in the mind is the blue flag with twelve golden stars. Another conceptual postulate that may pop up is the euro coin, but with this text I will focus on the previous, the flag that we all recognize.

I see the European flag several times a day, working in the heart of the heart of Europe, in the European quarter of Brussels right by Place Lux, it cannot be avoided. The flag can be seen around the European Parliament, outside regional representations and on most doors that lead to offices that have to do with the European Union. I had never really pondered upon the origins of the flag, it has become something so ordinary, so I found a lecture by François Foret at the Université Libre de Bruxelles interesting and decided to share some thoughts with the readers of this blog.

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