Stories written by Daan Bauwens

EUROPE: ‘Agenda for Change’ Leaves Middle-Income Countries Out in the Cold

Last week the European Commission unveiled its ‘Agenda for Change’, a new policy framework outlining priorities for the European Union’s development aid and detailing the Commission’s renewed focus on economic growth as a means of poverty reduction, particularly in the world’s poorest countries.

EUROPE: Agriculture Proposals ‘Failing Development’

The new European Commission proposals on a Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) have dropped every reference to development obligations, NGOs point out. They will not stop the European Union from threatening food security in developing nations, they say.

DEVELOPMENT: EU Steps Towards Common Aid

The European Commission has decided to push for more ambitious reforms ahead of the aid effectiveness summit to be held in Busan later this year. The European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union, is looking for a common EU position that could save the EU 4 billion euros which can be spent on additional aid.

DEVELOPMENT: ‘Boomerang Aid Enriches Donors’

Development aid is ineffective mostly because it is tied to contracts worth billions of dollars awarded to firms in developed countries in a phenomenon called boomerang aid, a new study says.

‘EU Needs to Tell Itself More About Development’

There is increasing political will now for a globalised strategy for the European Union to raise awareness about development, experts say. But at the same time, the European budget for education on development issues remains strikingly low.

EUROPE: Business Blocks Climate Targets

A crucial proposal to move to higher climate targets in the EU was resolutely voted down Tuesday after amendments by Conservatives heavily watered down the proposal. Several members of parliament blame business lobbying for the loss, even though dozens of corporations called out for higher climate goals.

ENVIRONMENT: Business Lobby Resists Ban on ‘Perverse’ Emissions – Part 2

For years, European governments and corporations have made use of a loophole in the Kyoto protocol on climate change to make exorbitant profits. According to some sources, this lucrative scheme has caused more pollution than ever before while lobbyists in Brussels have methodically undermined the European Commission's decision to put a stop to it.

ENVIRONMENT: Business Lobby Resists Ban on ‘Perverse’ Emissions – Part 1

For years, European governments and corporations have made use of a loophole in the Kyoto protocol on climate change to make exorbitant profits. According to some sources, this lucrative scheme has caused more pollution than ever before.

EUROPE: Investment Treaties Undemocratic

A proposal to put an end to the highly anti-democratic nature of the European Union’s Bilateral Investment Treaties was heavily watered down by a plenary voting in the European Parliament. However, in their current form the treaties may pose a serious risk for European democracy.

RELIGION-TURKEY: Alevi Future Bleak Despite Equality Moves

A political initiative to eliminate discrimination against the Alevi, Turkey’s main religious minority, risks being stymied by the Diyanet, the country’s powerful religious body that does not recognise anything but Sunni Islam.

CULTURE-TURKEY: Kurdish Directors Make ‘National’ Cinema

A ban on the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party in Turkey has not deterred Kurdish filmmakers from all over the globe gathering in this southeastern city to continue their struggle for recognition through cultural means.

Kurdish children on the streets of Diyarbakir Credit: Daan Bauwens/IPS

RIGHTS-TURKEY: Jailing Kurdish Children to Undermine Dissent

Turkey is signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, but that does not stop minors in the country's Kurdish dominated eastern and southeastern regions from ending up with stiff jail sentences.

TURKEY: NGOs Unite to Demand Say in Human Rights Bill

Turkey’s new human rights bill has a flaw – not a single rights group was consulted in the drafting.

MOROCCO: The Berber Dance Is Over

The satellite receiver has speeded up the process of wiping out the cultural heritage of Morocco's Berbers. Old traditions are now dying out under the influence of television imams.

MOROCCO: Western Sahara Drains Development

Informal talks are being held in Vienna between the different parties involved in the long lasting conflict over the Western Sahara. A new plan proposed by the Obama administration will be discussed between the Polisario and the Kingdom of Morocco.

The greening of Beni Mellal in Morocco. Credit: Daan Bauwens

MOROCCO: Farmers Overcome Water Scarcity

Researchers in the central Moroccan region Beni Mellal are introducing new agricultural techniques that increase production while reducing water usage.

MOROCCO: New Law, But the Same Old Men

The new Moroccan family law was designed to give women equal rights in the family. But five years after its introduction, Moroccan women leaders say opposition to the law from politicians and within the judicial system persists, and the new law has not been able to change Moroccan mentality.

Refugees outside the UNHCR office in Rabat. Credit: Daan Bauwens

MOROCCO: African Refugees Targeted

More than 300 African refugees are gathered at the gates of the Moroccan United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), asking to be moved to another country because their rights are not respected in Morocco. Several refugees say they have been beaten up by Moroccan UN personnel.

Rabbi Meir Azari Credit: Beit Daniel

Q&A: ‘We Eat Hatred Here’

Beit Daniel is an Israeli pluralist religious organisation promoting coexistence between Jews and Muslims in the Holy Land. Executive director Rabbi Meir Azari speaks here to IPS about the war in Gaza, the importance of compromise, and the moral dilemmas of Israel.

ISRAEL: ‘If You Don’t Know, It Didn’t Happen’

Even though atrocities committed by Israeli soldiers have surfaced and the appointment of a right-wing government diminishes the chances for peace in the Middle East, no left-wing Israeli is taking to the streets.

MIDEAST: ‘Israelis Prepared for Violations’

After the internal investigation into the misconduct of Israeli soldiers in the course of the Gaza assault was closed suspiciously fast, a brief overview of publications by army officials, published months before the start of the war, suggests the reported misconduct was policy and not coincidence.

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