Stories written by Emma Bonino
Emma Bonino is an Italian politician, who most recently served as Minister of Foreign Affairs. Previously she was a member of the European Parliament and a member of the Italian Senate. She served in the government of Italy as minister of international trade from 2006 to 2008. She is a leading member of the Italian Radicals, a political party which describes itself as a "liberale, liberista e libertario" (liberista means economic liberal or, better, libertarian in the American sense; libertario, here, denotes a form of cultural liberalism concerning moral issues, with some ideological connection with historical left-libertarianism). She graduated in modern languages and literature from Bocconi University in Milan in 1972. A veteran legislator in Italian politics and an activist for various reform policies, she was elected as one of four vice presidents of the Senate on 6 May 2008.

Europe: The Schengen Agreement In Danger

Exclusion of Greece from the European free travel zone established by the Schengen Agreement is pending. The European Commission has ruled that the Athens government has “seriously neglected its obligations to control its own borders,” and if the deficiencies are not corrected within three months, the other member states of the Schengen area may exclude it from the agreement.In 2015, some 850,000 people seeking asylum and work in northern European countries passed through Greece, and the influx is continuing.

Disunity, the Hallmark of European Union Foreign Policy

The appalling crisis ravaging the Middle East and striking terror around the world is a clear challenge to the West, but responses are uncoordinated. This is due on the one hand to divergent analyses of the situation, and on the other to conflicting interests.

Opinion: European Federalism and Missed Opportunities

"A serious political and social crisis will sweep through the euro countries if they do not decide to strengthen the integration of their economies. The euro zone crisis did not begin with the Greek crisis, but was manifested much earlier, when a monetary union was created without economic and fiscal union in the context of a financial sector drugged on debt and speculation.”

Opinion: Europe Under Merkel’s (Informal) Leadership

When I am asked whether Europe is still a relevant “protagonist” in the modern world, I always answer that there is no doubt about it. For a long time now, the continent has been shaken by financial crises, internal security strategy crises – including wars – and instability within its borders, which definitely make it a protagonist in world affairs. 

OPINION: Will There be Peace Between Iran and the West?

In just a few days, a meeting is scheduled that will be decisive for the security of the Middle East and of the whole world.

Turkey’s Accession To European Union – A Long and Bumpy Road

Since 2004, the Independent Commission on Turkey (ICT) has watched closely developments within Turkey and between Turkey and the European Union (EU). On April 7 the ITC launched its third report, Turkey in Europe: The Imperative for Change.

Death Penalty – A Long and Constant Path Towards Abolition

Until the late 1970s, only 16 countries had abolished the capital punishment for all crimes. Today, abolitionist nations are the overwhelming majority. More than two-thirds of nations, over 150 of the 193 members of the United Nations, have now rejected the death penalty or do not carry out executions.

Towards a Change of Culture Leading to a Gender-Balanced Approach

The past three years have been very important to scale up the movement to protect the rights and fundamental freedoms of women and girls and, particularly, to eliminate female genital mutilation worldwide.

A Federation Could Strengthen Europe’s Magnetism

The recent agreement for the normalisation of relations between Serbia and Kosovo has confirmed that the European Union (EU) is still acting as a “magnet”, attracting its external neighbours and transforming and integrating them. Thanks to its prospects for EU membership, the whole Balkan area has become more stable and secure. Unfortunately, this virtuous magnetism no longer exerts the same force of attraction on our own citizens.

A Light Federation for Europe

A growing number of people are convinced that, in order for the monetary union to be saved, the European Union (EU), or eurozone, must have a ministry of the treasury or finance ­in other words, it must be able to tax and spend.

MIDDLE EAST: FAREWELL TO DICTATORSHIPS AND THE DEATH PENALTY

The approval by the UN General Assembly in December 2007 of the Resolution for a Universal Moratorium against Capital Punishment was a fundamental step forward not only for the anti-death penalty campaign but also for the affirmation of the rule of law and of those natural rights historically won and often written into national law but not always respected.

EGYPT: NOW THE HARD PART

Who could forget the images of joy broadcast worldwide the morning of February 11 from Tahrir Square of people celebrating the announcement by newly-selected vice president Omar Suleiman that Hosni Mobarak, leader of Egypt since 1981, had resigned? The eyes of the thousands of young Egyptians radiated great hopes for the future of their country and deep pride in the courage and tenacity shown during the 18 days of protests. The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, once it weighed the pros and cons of abandoning the leader to his fate, "temporarily" took control over the country to initiate the delicate period of transition towards democracy. For a moment everyone, or almost everyone, thought that a new age had dawned, in a "new Egypt".

EUROPE: THE EPIDEMIC OF XENOPHOBIA

From Scandinavia to the Mediterranean Europe is being swept by social and political changes so massive that they are calling into question its fundamental principles. Diversity, which has been a positive constant throughout our history, is now considered a threat. The signs are plain to see: a propagation of intolerance and fanaticism, growing support for populist and xenophobic parties, an ever more massive presence of immigrants without status or rights, "parallel" communities that do not interact with the rest of society, the repression of individual freedoms, and democracies in crisis.

ITALY HAS A LONG WAY TO GO IN GENDER EQUALITY

Italy is one of the most backward countries in Europe in almost every indicator of gender equality. This is despite the fact that in terms of advanced degrees and qualifications, women surpass men and, in the last 30 years, have reached positions of power in all sectors of the market and proven that a company improves with a woman at the helm.

A LAY EUROPE FOR ALL FAITHS

Exponents of the Catholic Church and the Italian government have reacted angrily to the ruling by the European Court of Human Rights requiring the removal of crucifixes from all schools in the country. Since the November 3 decision, both entities are on war footing and are mobilising to have the decision reversed or its enforcement blocked. The court is based in Strasbourg and has representatives from 47 nations, not all from Europe.

WORLD MUST KEEP UP PRESSURE ON AFGHAN LAW AGAINST WOMEN

When news broke about the new Shi'ite Personal Status Law in Afghanistan, many were appalled by the fact that it legalises rape within marriage. "Marital Rape Legal in Afghanistan", screamed the headlines, and we all reacted with shock and horror. On closer inspection, however, the law is actually much worse than we had all thought.

RETIREMENT ITALIAN STYLE – WOMEN AND THE PENSION TABOO

The difference in retirement age between men and women -65 and 60, respectively- in Italy lies at the intersection of two major national problems: pension reform, which is a political taboo in the country, and the unequal treatment of women in the labour market in terms of access and pay. It is discriminatory, intolerable, destructive to women, and amounts to a colossal waste of the great untapped capital of Italy's female population.

EFFECTS OF DEATH PENALTY MORATORIUM FELT

October 10, the International Day Against the Death Penalty, will be an occasion to reaffirm the universal moratorium on executions, approved last December 18 by the General Assembly, and to insure it is complied with, . In this article, Bonino writes that for death penalty states, the resolution has an undeniable moral value and political force. The UN has for the first time established that capital punishment is not confined to the ambit of domestic justice but involves the universal sphere of human rights. In truth, the definitive solution to the problem involves not only the death penalty but also democracy, the rule of law, and respect for political rights and civil liberties. At present, we are requesting that this year\'s resolution include a request that death-penalty countries make available to the UN Secretary General all information relative to their death penalty and executions. We are also demanding a new resolution that creates the position of a UN Secretary General Special Envoy charged with monitoring the situation and working to encourage and reinforce internal processes in death penalty countries such that they adhere to the moratorium on executions.

GLOBALISATION: NOT A ZERO SUM GAME BUT AN OPPORTUNITY FOR ALL

Globalisation is not a random and uncontrollable phenomenon but rather a process that we can regulate and guide, writes Emma Bonino, minister for International Trade and European Affairs of Italy. In this article, Bonino writes that today through the progressive strengthening of multilateral regulatory bodies --the European Commission, WTO, IMF, OECD-- we can make sure that the benefits are ever greater and reach more of the world\'s population. Aid remains essential in situations of extreme poverty. But to implement a policy for development, aid is not enough, and I think that we should move more and more towards \'\'aid for trade\'\', a form of assistance that makes it possible for a developing country to bolster its trade capacity and thus its ability to share in the \'\'dividends\'\' of globalisation. Globalisation is not the cause of the ills of the underdeveloped areas of the earth; rather, it is a lack of participation in globalisation that prevents a country from achieving development and freedom. Globalisation is not a zero sum game but a great opportunity for all. Those who decide to play will not lose; rather, those who sit out, who just look on, will be the real losers.

A WORRYING SITUATION FOR THE INDIGENOUS PEOPLE OF SOUTH EAST ASIA.

In mid-July the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) will vote on whether to suspend for three years the Transnational Radical Party\'s (TRP) consultative status within the Council in response to a request by the Vietnamese Delegation to the UN, writes Emma Bonino deputy in the European Parliament and a leader of the Transnational Radical Party. In this article, Bonino writes that suspension would send a very unfortunate message regarding human rights in the area, particularly for the indigenous people of South East Asia. Vietnam believes that the TRP has abused its relationship with the UN by accrediting Kok Ksor, whom they allege to be a terrorist with a separatist agenda. Kok Ksor is a member of the Montagnards, the ethnic minority asylum seekers from Vietnam\'s Central Highlands, and is the President of the Montagnard Foundation Inc. (MFI), a non-profit organization registered in the US and dedicated to the preservation of Montagnard life and culture. MFI is not on any national or international list of terrorist organizations recognized by the EU, the US or the UN. Suspension the consultative status of the TRP will not only ban it from the UN system, but will also silence dozens of voices that, over the last several years, have been allowed to present their concerns before many UN bodies, starting with the Commission on Human Rights.

EUROPEAN UNION: THE BIGGER, THE MORE CONSERVATIVE

The profoundly conservative nature of European politics, the EU institutions, and individual member states is worrying, particularly as manifested in EU economic and social policy, writes Emma Bonino, deputy in the European Parliament and a nleader of the Transnational Radical Party. In this article, Bonino writes that current debates about the size of the EU budget are beside the point as long as almost half of these funds will go to finance the Common Agricultural Policy, which imposes a huge cost on EU consumers while ruining the hopes of hundreds of millions of farmers in developing countries. Another troubling example of conservatism was the decision by almost all of the fifteen old member countries to put off until 2011 complete freedom of movement for workers of the ten countries that just joined the EU. Then there is the continuous postponement of the initiation of serious negotiations on admitting Turkey. While the reasons for such prudence are comprehensible, the EU cannot lose this historic occasion to create a deep and stable connection between a large Islamic country and the liberal and democratic West.

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