European Union

Lessons in Economic Integration for African Union

As the African Union celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, it is still younger and less integrated than the 56-year-old body that is now the European Union, and, according to politicians and diplomats, has a big advantage over the Europeans as it charts its own path of integration.

Europe Urged to Step into Breach of Failed Mideast Peace

The Oslo peace process has failed and Europe must take stronger leadership in the Middle East, according to a distinguished group of former European leaders that is pushing for a stronger and more independent European stance on the Israeli occupation.

‘Pirates’ Contest Icelandic Elections – And Win

With an unprecedented number of political parties contesting Iceland's latest elections, Icelanders are discovering that if they are passionate about a particular issue, they need simply to find like-minded people and establish a political party.

Austerity is Dismantling the European Dream

The European Union (EU) has asked its citizens to brace for further economic misery. In a report on European economic prospects released on May 3, the European Commission said that further deterioration is expected to last at least until 2015. But, as every such report says, things will then get better.

The West Disappoints Azerbaijan Government Critics

Democratisation activists in Azerbaijan are increasingly pessimistic about what they describe as the West’s lack of support for reform and the protection of basic rights in the energy-rich South Caucasus country.

The Free Market Fundamentalists Are Now in Europe

For a long time it was a given that while Europe was based on defending a more just society, with social values and solidarity, the United States was based on the glory of individualism and competition, and anything public was considered “socialist”.

Major Trade Deal Between EU and Southern Africa Expected

There is growing optimism that the countries of Southern Africa are within months of concluding negotiations with the European Union on a major new trade deal, after years of hesitant progress and frustration.

Storm in a Teacup Between EU and South Africa

A trademark system which is used to protect Europe’s finest wines, cheeses and hams could soon brew up benefits for a humble tea from a remote region of South Africa.

Rights Crushed in Italy’s Overcrowded Prisons

When Claudio was detained in a prison in the northeastern Italian city of Vicenza, he had to share a 7.6 square-metre cell with two other people. “Once you excluded the space taken up by beds and drawers, each inmate was left with 90 centimetres to himself. We had to take it in turns to stand up,” he told IPS.

Switzerland Sets Example for Income Equality

For those who think that Occupy Wall Street, the Indignados in Spain, the World Social Forum and the numerous manifestations of protest worldwide are expressions without concrete outcomes, the result of the Swiss referendum on Mar. 3 on capping the salaries and bonuses of banks executives should make them think twice.

Latin America Flexes Muscles at Joint EU Summit

The nations of Latin America and the Caribbean strengthened their position with respect to Europe at the CELAC-EU summit held this weekend in the Chilean capital, reaching agreements that protect their natural resources from foreign investors and securing a joint condemnation of the United States’ trade embargo against Cuba.

 From the European Union to Latin America, protestors have taken to the streets against austerity policies. Credit: Nikos Pilos/IPS

Can Europe and Latin America Meet as Equals?

The European Union's serious economic and financial crisis stands in stark contrast to the relative stability and decade-long growth enjoyed by Latin America and the Caribbean and could put the two blocs on equal footing, giving the Southern region more leverage to further its demands and economic growth.

An eatery in Lisbon offers cheap "troika" lunches to weather the crisis. Credit: Katalin Muharay /IPS

Portugal’s Disappearing Middle Class

Poverty in Portugal has risen to levels that were unimaginable a year ago despite the bleak outlook forecasted by the harsh measures imposed by the troika of creditors in exchange for the country's financial bailout.

Summit of the Peoples Demands Solidarity and Sovereignty

More than 400 social organisations from Europe and Latin America and the Caribbean will gather on Jan. 25-27 at a Summit of the Peoples called as an alternative to the bi-regional meeting of heads of state and government to be held at the same time in the Chilean capital.

“The Hands That Supply EU Imports”

The European Union (EU) is Pakistan's largest trading partner, with overall trade between the two countries topping eight million euros in 2011.

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