09. May 2012
by Doru Toma
In the last couple of years, due to the financial crisis (but not only), there are more and more radical voices with regards to immigration within the European Union. Not surprisingly, the immigrants issue was a key element of the presidential campaign in France. Both Francois Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy tried to magnetize the voters with dashing visions on immigrants. On one hand, Nicolas Sarkozy promised to halve the number of legal immigrants in the next five years and on the other hand, Francois Hollande militated for a continuous fight against illegal immigration, while giving rights to legal immigrants.
08. May 2012
What do you believe in? If you had only one sentence to answer to this question, what would it be?
Not an easy thing to say, right? Nevertheless, my producer and I decided to set this very task to 30 young participants from 9 different countries at a one-day video session during the workshop “Do You Speak European”, organized by magazine Europe & Me. The task was easy to explain, yet hard to fulfill: We asked the participants to point out one aspect they believed in, within one sentence. In a causal clause, starting with “because,” they could add one reason.
07. May 2012
Some ideas catch us unprepared to react because they seem alien to the paradigm we think in. Perhaps this is due to mental maps, those plots we all use in some form, as schemes for filtering information such that confirming ideas get incorporated, while incompatible ones are filtered out. My former colleagues at a Brazilian NGO were passionate about defending ‘bolsa familia’, one of the well-known contemporary programs of unconditional basic income. In line with the new left movements around Latin America they considered it wise to pursue policies towards gradually closing the scissors of inequality intheir society. It simply fitted their mental map. Our context here in Europe is diametrically different, no doubt. Yet I wonder what our mental maps are, and why? What do various Europeans think about when the concept of unconditional basic income.1
02. May 2012
The Republic of Bulgaria officially joined the European Union on January 1, 2007. Following its accession, the public sphere within the states that had already acceded to the EU grew noisy with debate on the hazards of crime, corruption, and illegal workers in the labor market. In my capacity as a young political scientist, I shall address these issues using available evidence, and also analyze them.
14. March 2012
“People deserve guarantees” was the main motto of the winning party SMER in Slovakia´s early elections last weekend. People chose guarantees in the most important elections since the independence of the Slovak republic, as Slovak President Ivan Gasparovic classified them. The SMER-Social Democracy party of former Prime Minister Robert Fico (2006-2010) swept the parliamentary elections with 44.4 percent of votes and gained 83 seats in the 150-seat National Council.