Europe

Slovak Journalist’s Trial a Fundamental Moment to Prove if Country can Punish Crimes Designed to Silence Journalists

As four people appear in court in Slovakia over the murder of journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kusnirova, both 27, the trial is being seen by many as a historic moment for not just press freedom in the country but public faith in its justice system.

The Death of a Courageous Journalist Reveals Malta as a ”Mafia Island”

Around 3 pm on 16 October 2017, Daphne Caruana Aruna Galizia was returning home when her Peugeot suddenly exploded 80 metres from her house outside of Bidnjia, a small town 15 km from Malta´s capital Valletta. Her son Matthew heard the violent blast and rushed out to find the smoldering wreck of the car on a field by the road: “I looked down and there were my mother’s body parts all around me”. Her scattered body had hit the ground 10 metres from the demolished vehicle.1

UN Chief Warns of Rising Misogyny, Xenophobia, Discrimination, Racism & Hate Speech

As we prepare to bid farewell to 2019, we must take a clearsighted look at the global situation and the new challenges we face. Our world is undergoing a shift. It is no longer bipolar or unipolar. But it is not yet truly multipolar. Balances of power are changing, creating new and dangerous risks.

Net Closes on Daphne Caruana Galizia’s Killers, Sending a Powerful Signal of No Impunity for Corruption

Press freedom campaigners and journalists in Malta are hoping they could soon see justice for murdered Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia – and that a powerful message will be sent across Europe that a free press can deny corrupt officials the power to act with impunity.

Net Food Importer Turkey Grapples with Challenges of Food Self-sufficiency

Despite latest research showing Turkey lagging in overall food sustainability, progress in sustainable agriculture appears to be a bright spot in the country’s troubled agriculture industry.

Italy’s Olive-Oil Industry Sees Simmering Threats from Climate Change and Nasty Bacteria

On a warm Saturday morning in late October, the silver-green leaves of the 200 productive olive trees on a rolling country property in Umbria, in central Italy, sparkled in the brilliant sun. Fausto Venturi, a local farmer who devotes autumn weekends to making olive oil, could not have been happier.

Q&A: How Europe has Moved Away from Being a Sanctuary for Journalists

Rising populism, anti-media rhetoric from politicians, cyber-harassment of journalists and physical attacks are among the reasons why press freedom in Europe is on the decline, according to the global media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF).


More than 90 per cent of Africa Migrants Would Make Perilous Europe Journey Again, Despite the Risks

A landmark UN migration study published on Monday shows that 93 per cent of Africans making the journey to European countries along irregular routes, would do it again, despite facing often life-threatening danger.

Obama’s Portraitist Challenges Napoleon’s Painter

Fresh from unveiling a huge statue of a black man on horseback in New York’s Times Square, renowned African American artist Kehinde Wiley flew to France this week to “meet” 18th-century French painter Jacques-Louis David.

Q&A: A New Model for Independent Journalism in Slovakia

In 2014, worried about editorial independence after local businessmen bought a substantial stake in the major Slovak daily newspaper they worked at, a small group of journalists left in protest and set up their own paper run solely by the journalists themselves to ensure impartiality.

Europeans Mobilising for New IMF Head

In the grand European political reshuffle of 2019, it turned out that Christine Lagarde was the answer to the conundrum of who should replace Mario Draghi at the European Central Bank. But her move opens another question. Who succeeds Lagarde at the International Monetary Fund?

Migration and Human Solidarity

The migrant and refugee crisis has become a serious test for the unity of Europe as a political project. The inflow of destitute migrants and refugees has tested Europe’s political unity to an unprecedented extent. With a long-term solution to the migrant and refugee crisis nowhere in sight, the adverse impact of the current situation has the potential to unfold further and to give rise to a broader crisis with long-term implications, affecting Europe and the MENA region alike.

‘Inna de Yard’ Delves into the ‘Soul’ of Jamaica

Dogs barking in the distance. Birds chirping nearby. A man walking through the mist, surrounded by lush vegetation. A distinctive vibrato singing “Speak Softly, Love” over it all.

Wealth and Power: Andrej Babiš and Donald J. Trump

When I recently visited the Czech Republic I noticed an increasing Czech opposition against their wealthy Prime Minister. Andrej Babiš has been endowed with the nickname Babisconi since he, like the former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, is accused of purchasing and using various means of communication for his own propaganda purposes. Apparently, this endeavour has so far been quite successful, since according to my Czech friends Babiš is still popular among a majority of their compatriots.

The World Has Lost Its Compass

The terrible feeling I had on waking up and seeing the Italian voting results at the recent European elections was that my country was suddenly full of strangers. How could the majority of Italians reconfirm a government which has been the most inefficient in history, quarrelling on everything every single day and looking with total indifference to the looming problem of how to establish the next budget without clashing with the European Union or squeezing Italian citizens? Its irresponsible debate on the Italian finances has now led to a spread (difference of value) of 290 points with the Germans.

Frontex Mandate Expanded

The European Union plans to deploy 10 000 armed border guards by 2027 to patrol its land and sea borders. The force will have the power to use armed force on the EU's external borders.

Bulgaria’s Press Navigates Harassment & Threats in Pursuit of Stories

Crammed in the small studio of TVN, a regional station in Ruse, north eastern Bulgaria, journalists share stories about their colleague, Viktoria Marinova. Barely six months ago, Marinova was raped and murdered not far from the station, while jogging on the banks of the Danube.

Loss of Biodiversity Puts Current and Future Generations at Risk

An alarming report about the massive loss of biodiversity around the world warns that future generations will be at risk if urgent action isn’t taken to protect the more than one million species of plants and animals threatened with extinction.

The Burning of Notre Dame and the Spirit of Place

The catastrophic fire in Notre Dame produced a massive emotional reaction. In a Paris famous for its secularism tearful people knelt on the pavement, sang the Ave Maria and prayed to God to save their cathedral. Several stated that it was not only a church burning, but the soul of Paris passing away. What did they mean to say?

LGBTQI Rights in the Balkans: A Perpetual Struggle

Romanian Adrian Coman and his American-born partner Clai Hamilton had two major reasons to celebrate when they tied the knot last June.

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.

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