Europe

The Legacy of 2013

At this time of hope for what the new year may bring, it would be useful to look at the legacy we carry with us from the year we leave behind. It was a year full of events - wars, rising social inequality, unchecked finance, the decline of political institutions, and the erosion of global governance.

Europe Sending Armies to Stop Immigrants

A Nov. 19 paper by the European External Action Service (EEAS), the EU diplomatic corps, considers the possibility of the European military getting involved in the south Mediterranean in an effort to curb the influx of irregular migrants and refugees into Europe.

Europe Failing Syrian Refugees

Refugee rights organisations are demanding an EU-wide temporary protection regime for Syrian refugees. The announcement by some countries that they can take a few thousand refugees is not enough, the groups say.

A New Bretton Woods, to Prevent Future Crises?

Almost five years have passed since the global financial crisis, and the world economy is still reeling from its consequences. The main reason for this is the continued stagnation in developed countries, which is adversely affecting economic dynamism in other regions.

Ukraine Injects Addicts With Hope

As former presidents, senior diplomats and experts meet in the Lithuanian capital to discuss a litany of rights abuses, lethal epidemics and social destruction caused by repressive drug policies in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, pockets of hope for drug reform are emerging across the region.

Rescuing “Misfit” Vegetables – and Other Ways to Fight Food Waste

The criticism and concern voiced by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and non-governmental agencies over the huge amounts of food wasted in Europe have begun to inspire action, particularly in the form of private initiatives.

People Pay for Research Against Migrants

Publicly funded research is paying towards security systems that the EU is inviting major multinationals to put together to keep unwanted migrants out.

Closing Europe’s Borders Becomes Big Business

The European Union is implementing a new border management system with tougher migration control the core aim. Major security and weapons companies are already reaping the benefits.

IMF chief Christine Lagarde has urged members to act on a suite of reform measures that would significantly increase the voices of developing countries, with mixed results. Credit: MEDEF/cc by 2.0

Brazil Frustrated with European “Backtracking” on IMF Reforms

In the aftermath of last week’s elections to the International Monetary Fund (IMF)’s executive board, Brazil and others are expressing frustration that a reforms process aimed at increasing the representation of developing countries is being stymied by European countries.

EU Cap ‘Only Boosts Biofuels’

The European Commission has announced it will limit the amount of crop-based biofuels used in transport, but its newly proposed measures are not nearly enough to curb the disastrous impact of the EU's biofuel policy around the world. Its effects will only worsen, activists say.

Carbon Trading Scheme Close to Collapse

By 2020, countries that are signatory to the Kyoto protocol will have accumulated more than 17 billion tonnes of surplus emission reduction permits, a new study shows. This enormous surplus not only drives the carbon price close to zero, but also jeapordises the chances of reaching a new global climate deal.

Men and Women Farming Together Can Eradicate Hunger

Three years ago, the residents of the semi-arid Yatta district in Kenya’s Eastern Province lived on food aid due to dwindling crops of maize that could not thrive because of the decreased rainfall in the area. That was until a local bishop, trying to find ways to prevent mothers from forcing their teenage daughters into prostitution, changed everything.

An organic farm in the village of Swierze Panki, about 100 kilometres east of the Polish capital Warsaw. Credit: Claudia Ciobanu/IPS

Feed Europe, Feed the World

A huge moment for reform of the industrial farming system in Europe has many stakeholders on edge. Farmers who are feeling the crunch of rising input costs – from fertilisers to fuel – believe they can benefit greatly from a transition to more traditional and sustainable farming methods.

The Gambian government, has provided farmers in 10 of the country’s most-vulnerable districts with inputs such as power tillers, tractors, rice threshers, seeders, sine hoes and bags of fertilisers. Credit: DW / Manuel Özcerkes/ CC by 2.0

“Operation No Back Way to Europe” Keeps Young Farmers at Home in Gambia

Mohamed Ceesay, a 20-year-old farmer from the Central River Region in the Gambia, is a high school dropout. But thanks to an initiative to discourage local youths from emigrating to Europe, he earns almost half the salary of a government minister from his rice harvest.

Riding Towards Sustainable Development, on Bamboo

In Ghana, a country burgeoning with traffic congestion, increasing economic growth, and a stark urban-rural divide, making frames of bicycles out of bamboo could be the key to promoting sustainable development. It also makes stronger, longer-lasting bikes.

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