18. November 2015

Romania’s Collective Tragedy and its Chain Reactions

by Miruna Troncota

miruna-troncota The tragic incident at Bucharest’s Colectiv night club, which took the lives of 55 people and wounded more than 100others was just the trigger. It was followed by the biggest street protests in Romania since the 1989 Revolution, with 70.000 people taking to the streets all over the country. The resignation of the Prime Minister created political instability and turmoil, as street protests continued. Only after 5 days of protests did President Iohannis finally decide to speak with the protesters. He did so on two occasions – in a „simulacrum” of public consultation with civil society representatives and protesters and during a chaotic visit on the streets on Sunday evening. To fight against the ones who were building political capital on a national tragedy became in itself a reason to continue the protests.

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17. November 2015

Recent EU-Turkey agenda on Turkey-related political issues

by Sadik Tabar

sadik-tabar Within the last month, Turkey has been going through a quite arduous and lopsided political period: first German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s visit to Istanbul, then snap parliamentary elections, the delayed European Commission Annual Progress Report on Turkey and finally Turkey’s upcoming G-20 presidency. There are two key issues prevailing over the debates, negotiations and allegations associated with these events: the backsliding of Turkey on freedom of expression and the rule of law, and the relative hard work of Turkey on the recent refugee crisis. These two issues may seem unrelated, especially when Turkey has completely conflicting performances on each; however in terms of EU-Turkey relations, the issues have been interwoven during the latest political bargaining among these parties. Notwithstanding how ethical or unethical it is for both sides to negotiate on fundamental rights in exchange for humanitarian support and vice versa, this short critique will briefly argue how EU-Turkey relations have fallen into a mutually-accepted pragmatic whirlpool.

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07. November 2015

Romanians demand a restart after the Bucharest nightclub fire

by Doris Manu & Doru Toma

On Friday 30 October, a fire broke out during a rock concert taking place at the Colectiv club in Bucharest. As a result, 51* people died and over 150 needed medical treatment; some of them are still in critical condition. In the course of the next few days, the media discovered multiple irregularities; the club didn’t have the necessary authorisations to host such big crowds, and it also didn’t respect several security provisions; it had only one exit and was built out of cheap and inflammable materials. After three days of national mourning, during which survivors shared their stories about the incapacity of the state to manage the situation and not one official took responsibility for the tragedy, on Tuesday evening Romanians took to the streets of major cities to ask for a reset of the political scene and of the corrupt system the political parties have built.

“Corruption kills” is the main motto of the thousands of protesters in Romania these days

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04. November 2015

The importance of learning how to code in today’s Europe

by Hanna Engblom

I have a confession to make. I have, for a very long time, wanted to learn how to code. I have, however, been too afraid to try, convincing myself that I probably need to either be nerdier than I am now, or a maths prodigy in order to master it. However, I have realised that a) I have nothing to lose and b) it’s more a necessity than a choice at this point. Let me tell you the 3 main reasons why we all need to learn how to code.

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04. November 2015

Poland: Eurosceptics take over

by Hanna Pienczykowska

The national-conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party’s victory in the recent Polish parliamentary elections was no surprise, and came in spite of the Christian Democrat Civic Platform (PO) government’s implementation of the EU financial programmes; continuous economic growth during its eight years in power; and successfully cultivating an image of Poland as an important partner in Central Europe. Moreover, just before the elections, the unemployment rate became a one-digit number.

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