Europe

Shining a Spotlight on the Strengths & Challenges of Civil Society in the Balkans

It is an incredible privilege to welcome you all to the ‘International Civil Society Week’. I am going to remind us of the reasons that make it so important for us to be here in Belgrade this week.

Attacks on Media in the Balkans Sound Alarm Bells for Democracy

Anti-government protesters invading Serbia’s state-owned television station, demanding that their voices be heard. Journalism bodies writing to the Albanian prime minister over plans to censor online media outlets. A Belgrade corruption-busting reporter forced to flee his house that had been torched; a Montenegrin investigative journalist shot in the leg outside her home.

Smears, Laws, Lack of Cooperation: Tools Against Activists

The murder of Brazilian politician and human rights activist Marielle Franco just over a year ago and attacks on other rights activists around the world have galvanised civil society organisations, with the United Nations heightening its own strategy to protect rights defenders.

“They’re like those bad football fans”

It’s been called the most important election in decades. The coming elections to the European Parliament will take place in May, and some believe it will be a springboard for the parties on the far right. But what would the consequences of that be for the labour markets in the European Union’s member states?

French Museum Puts Spotlight on Immigrants’ Musical Impact

Amid the morass of Brexit and continuous debates on immigration, a French museum has launched a thought-provoking exhibition about music and migration.

Climate Strike: Hundreds of Thousands Unite for the Planet’s Future

Friday, Mar. 15 saw hundreds of thousands of young people across the world take to the streets to join the climate strike. “We are demonstrating today for our planet and for our future. This is the place where we and those who come after us will live,” Jennifer, a 16-year-old girl from Rome, the Italian capital, who opted to join the protests, told IPS.

Ignorance-Inspired Brexit Imperial Nostalgia

As the possible implications of Britain’s self-imposed ‘no-deal’ exit from the European Union loom larger, a new round of imperial nostalgia has come alive. After turning its back on the Commonwealth since the Thatcherite 1980s, some British Conservative Party leaders are seeking to revive colonial connections in increasingly desperate efforts to avoid self-inflicted marginalization following divorce from its European Union neighbours across the Channel.

The Wall: Thirty Years Ago European Walls Were Destroyed, but Others Are Being Built

On January 25, 2017, the Trump administration signed Executive Order 13767, instructing the Government to begin new constructions and replacements of walls between the US and Mexico. From December 22, 2018 to January 25, 2019, the federal government was partially shut down due to President Trump's declared intention to veto any spending bill that did not include $5 billion in funding for a border wall. It was with good reason the Congress withheld such an enormous sum of money. As the European experience indicates, building walls between countries has proven to be both obsolete and disastrous.

Taking the Lead in Fight Against Climate Change

As the grandchild of Jamaican citizens who moved to Great Britain, Monique Taffe says she inherited a tradition of recycling and learned not to be part of the “throwaway culture”, as some environmentalists have labelled consumerist societies.

Q&A: A Cuban Film About Family in the “Global South” Premieres in Berlin

A documentary about a Cuban family facing an uncertain future had its world premiere Feb. 12 at the Berlin International Film Festival, one of the world’s most prestigious cinema events. “La Arrancada” (On the starting line) is a debut feature by Brazilian director Aldemar Matias, focusing on a young athlete who is having doubts about her role in national sports in the Caribbean country. The narrative follows her as she considers her future, which may well lie abroad, she reluctantly realises.

Never Been a Worse Time to be a Journalist

“I’ve never known a time when it was as bad as it is now,” says Beata Balogova, the Vice-Chair of the International Press Institute (IPI) and Editor in Chief of the Slovak publication Sme. “In terms of what’s going on with journalists, we’re in a very unique period,” she adds.

A New Spectre is Haunting Europe

After Theresa May’s defeat in the British parliament it is clear that a new spectre is haunting Europe. It is no longer the spectre of communism, which opens Marx’s Manifesto of 1848; it is the spectre of the failure of neoliberal globalisation, which reigned uncontested following the fall of the Berlin Wall, until the financial crisis of 2009.

Aborted Fuel Tax Initiative in France: Its Ramifications for Green Growth

Emmanuel Macron was voted to French Presidency in 2017 with the mission of strengthening the integration of the European Union and pursuing economic and ecological reforms. So from the outset, he was set to distinguish himself, not just in Europe but on the world stage, especially after President Trump pulled the United States out of the Paris Agreement. So Macron held the summit meeting on `One Planet’ in Paris last December to push for stronger environment and climate policy. He also spoke of the environment when he addressed the Congress in April 2018, stating that “Let us face it: There is no Planet B.”i

Italy Has the ‘Greenest Agriculture’ in Europe, But it’s Not Sustainable

While Italian agriculture is in a leading position in terms of organic farming, sustainable agriculture and being at the forefront of biodiversity conservation; water scarcity, illegal workers and the role of women and combined ageing of its workforce remain pressing concerns.

Changing the Gender Bias in Agriculture

Women entrepreneurs are playing an important role in transforming global food security for economic growth, but they have to work twice as hard as men to succeed in agribusiness.

Migrant’s Compact Mischaracterized for Political Reasons

The fact that a handful of countries have indicated their intention not to come to Marrakesh to endorse the compact signifies how the issue of migration has been politicized and become a political flashpoint.

Senegal Hosts Unique Community Events on Irregular Migration

It is four o'clock in the afternoon in Senegal’s capital, Dakar, when pupils, students and workers begin to fill the municipal town halls of Grand Yoff and Sociocultural Centre Grand Médine to attend a unique community event - a film screening and a debate.

US Blasts Migrant’s Compact – Even as 150+ Countries Embrace it

As UN delegates met in Morocco to adopt a global compact to protect the rights and safety of refugees and migrants (GCM), the Trump administration launched a blistering attack condemning it as a violation of national sovereignty.

A UN Conference Undermined by 11th Hour Withdrawals

When the long-awaited UN conference focusing on the rights and safety of migrants and refugees takes off in Morocco, it will be a rare, if not an unprecedented meeting, for one reason: the withdrawal of at least seven member states almost at the 59th minute of the eleventh hour.

Citizen Action in Europe’s Periphery: “An Antidote to Powerlessness”

Unjustified extra charges on drinking water, exploitation of labourers in the countryside and uncontrolled property speculation. In Europe’s periphery, citizens' initiatives show how all too prevalent modern-day ailments can be tackled successfully. More often than not with the help of artists.

‘Antimicrobial Resistance Knows No Boundaries’

European Union officials and global health bodies have called for help for poorer countries as growing resistance to antibiotics threatens to become a ‘global health tragedy’ and jeopardises Sustainable Development Goals in some parts of the world.

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