The importance of youth empowerment in the European Union

31. August 2018

by Simona Pronckute

“The failure to invest in youth reflects a lack of compassion and a colossal failure of common sense.” - Coretta Scott King

EU decision-makers recognise the fact that youth engagement in society serves as an important tool for democratic development. Article 165 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union for instance gives the EU powers to promote youth participation in democratic life. At the same time, there are many indications that the socio-economic divide has widened significantly in the past few decades[1], while social exclusion and poverty are affecting more and more people across Europe[2], especially young people[3]. It is thus very important to have a better understanding of the correlations between education, socio-economic status,[4] and the level of civic and social engagement of young people.

Are we still dreaming the European dream?

23.August 2018

by Darija Maric

Article Darija

We’ve all heard about the American dream. Many people still see the US as a country where you can go from zero to hero if you only work hard and play your cards right. A country where, no matter where you came from yesterday, today you are considered American, and will be considered to be one tomorrow. A country where miracles happen and life can change overnight. A country of houses with white picket fences in the suburbs, where soccer moms and their polite children live, warm Thanksgiving dinners and cold, snowy and wonderfully shiny Christmas nights. That is what we think of when we hear the phrase “American dream”.

Romania’s Presidency of the Council of the EU: opportunities and challenges

13.August 2018

by Miruna Butnaru-Troncotă 

2019 is a year with heavy symbolism for the European Union – we celebrate 15 years of the CEE enlargement, 30 years since the fall of communist regimes in South-Eastern Europe, but also 20 years since the war in Kosovo and NATO’s bombing of Serbia. Will 2019 be a year of renewed opportunities for the Western Balkans? Will the member states become more enlargement-friendly and opt for a ‘widening EU’ type of scenario? Let me explore some of the challenges and opportunities both for Romania as a member state holding the Presidency, and for the EU itself in relation to the WB countries.

#EURoad2Sibiu via the Western Balkans

06.August 2018

by Miruna Butnaru-Troncotă 

Any discussion about the European Union’s (EU) enlargement is implicitly a discussion on the future of Europe and vice versa. Brexit seems to have brought a visible shift towards exploring the possibilities of including new members, in an EU that has been affected for years by signs of ‘enlargement fatigue’, especially after Romania and Bulgaria’s accession in 2007. The so-called ‘road to Sibiu’ which sought to shape the future of the European Union started in Rome in March 2017 and will come to an end in May 2019. Will we experience then a new 'hour for Europe'? How will the debate on the ‘future of Europe’ affect the Western Balkans’ accession process?

We are all endangered species: lessons from Portugal

10.July 2018

by Henrique Tereno

We live in a connected world, that is no secret. Everything we hear and see can be shared in a split second, thanks to new technologies. Precisely because we live in a ‘shared’ world, we are more conscious of the problems that our planet is facing and more aware of the fact that the actions we take in one place can have consequences in other parts of the world. A connected world also means that there is a need for a global, ecological mindset, with policies and politicians that work towards a common sustainable future.