Few months ago, an unprecedented "humanitarian auction" was opened in Brussels at the European Commission, shortly after watching the image of the three-year old Syrian child that the sea threw up on the Turkish shores. The "auction" was about deciding upon the number of Syrian refugees to be hosted by each EU country. Germany won the largest batch.
Climate change has been held responsible many of the social and economic woes affecting mainly the poorest in the global South and now many are seeing it as one of the root causes of refugee crises.
The long saga on Greece is apparently over – European institutions have given Athens a third bailout of 86 billion euros which, combined with the previous two, makes a grand total of 240 billion euros.
70-year-old Chiute Tamang was working in his field when the earth shook on Apr 25. He grabbed a tree. His wife and daughter were inside the house at the time, but managed to run out. In the blink of an eye, the building turned into a heap of stones. They were the lucky ones.
The decisive result of the Greek referendum held Jul. 5, in which voters overwhelmingly rejected (61.3 to 38.7 percent) the terms of an international bailout, has opened a new chapter not only for the future of Greece, but also in terms of the essence of the European Union itself.
The overwhelming majority of lobby meetings held by European Commissioners and their closest advisors are with representatives of corporate interests, according to an analysis published Jun. 24 by Transparency International (TI).
Human rights groups are calling for a sustainable solution to the migrant crisis in Europe, especially following the dismantling of refugee camps in Paris and Calais, France, over the past two weeks.
We are witnessing a shift in the original rationale behind the unique relationship between the European Union and the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries of the ACP group, which goes beyond the logic of “unilateral aid transfer”, “donor-recipient approach” and “North-South dialogue”.
In the run-up to the international Conference on Financing for Development from Jul. 13 to 16 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the European Union has called for a “true paradigm shift” in global development cooperation.
Lobbying is an integral part of democracy, but multiple scandals throughout Europe demonstrate that a select number of voices with more money and insider contacts can come to dominate political decision-making – usually for their own benefit.
“The unbearable number of lives lost at sea will only grow if the European Union does not act now to ensure search-and-rescue operations across the Mediterranean,” Human Rights Watch warned Apr. 15.
There was a symbolic dimension to a recent four-day march from the periphery of Israel to the corridors of power in Jerusalem to seek recognition for Bedouin villages.
The United Kingdom has been accused
of “sleepwalking” into the Ukraine crisis – and the accusation comes from no less than the House of Lords, not usually considered a place of critical analysis.
At last, on Tuesday Feb. 24, the Eurogroup (of eurozone finance ministers) approved the Greek government’s commitment to a programme of reforms in return for extending the country’s bailout deal.
“There are still prospects for a meaningful ACP-EU partnership, capable of contributing and responding concretely and effectively to the objectives of promoting and attaining peace, security, poverty eradication and sustainable development,” according to the top official of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP).
The fact that in a referendum Switzerland has taken a path that goes in the opposite direction from that of Europe is an unusual fact which calls for reflection, especially because Switzerland has taken a much more progressive path, while we all were accustomed to see it as a very conservative country.
A sit-in protest by Syrian refugees on Syntagma Square opposite the Greek parliament in the heart of Athens has turned into a demonstration of the stalemate faced by both Greek as well as European immigration policy.
Climate change is projected by many scientists to bring with it a range of calamities – from widespread floods, to prolonged heatwaves and slowly but relentlessly rising seas – taking the heaviest toll on those already most vulnerable.
The new European Commission looks more like an experiment in balancing opposite forces than an institution that is run by some kind of governance. It will probably end up being paralysed by internal conflicts, which is the last thing it needs.
Since the end of the Cold War, the Mediterranean has become the most lethal of Europe’s barriers against irregular migration, having claimed nearly 20,000 migrant lives in the last two decades.
At last, after the obligatory summer break, the European Union (EU) has some new faces to fill the top vacancies on the team that began to emerge from the May 25 parliamentary elections.