The many adventurous paths that lead to a European Union: involving politics, society, culture, economics, finance, the military.
A co-authored blog to describe the complexity of a new concept.
The psychological and emotional impact of the Brexit vote has been devastating. A few simple-minded people are still treating it as a victory, but the majority now see it for what it is: an unwanted and undeserved catastrophe. It was not a referendum about the European Union at all. Despite 43 years of membership, few British people would be able to tell you what the European Union is or what it does. This turned into a referendum about immigration.
While it is true that this second vote in six months did not offer an obvious majority, after a first on-the-spot reading, Spain's 26 June vote did change the political landscape in Spain and indirectly in Europe. Brexit's long wave of contributed undoubtedly to the result, but so did Unidos Podemos' (UP) at times inconsistent statements and the Popular Party's (PP) polarization and fear campaign.
Four parties, no absolute majority and no likely post-electoral pact. In addition, the alliance of Podemos with the United Left could overtake the Socialist Party (PSOE) with dynamics that one could call populist, but are different from other European countries. Help us understand how all of this came about. Firstly, the sorpasso of the PSOE by Unidos Podemos is a historic shift, and implies, of course, the end of a bi-party system. In the past the two traditional parties, the Popular Party (PP) and the PSOE, swept 85% of the seats. Now they do not exceed 50%.
Brexit or Bremain? European leaders are waiting with anxiety the results of the British referendum, but are Europeans worried about it? Not really. If on one hand European citizens support Britain to remain in EU, on the other side they do not think it will cause the end of Europe.
The European Commission, currently involved in the middle of reapproving the widely-used herbicide glyphosate, is growing visibly exasperated with some of its most powerful members. Earlier this month, news emerged that the French, German, and Italian governments were lobbying the Commission to move ahead with reauthorizing the herbicide without their support – all the while publicly speaking out against the move.
Living in Ireland in the long term, you will notice an ambivalent relationship with the United Kingdom: in the pubs, copies of the 1916’s rebel constitution framed alongside portraits of English soccer clubs, in the public debate the understanding to the demands of the decolonized world and the long-standing alliance with London, when it comes to European policies. The referendum of June 23rd is attracting increasing interest across all of Europe, but, when you consider Ireland, to count all the changes that would result from a redefinition of the UK's role in the EU looks a daunting task.
After six months without a government, Spaniards will be going back to the polls three days after Brexit. Another parliamentary monarchy like the UK, politically however, a number of peculiarities characterize Spain as compared with the rest of Europe.
Europe is launching two immigration plans at the same time. On one hand EU needs to integrate migrants, and to attract them because the population is getting older, the work force will decline in the upcoming years by about 20 millions of people. On the other hand a plan to stop irregular migrations and to help migrants in their own countries is day after day urgent, the EU Commission affirms.
Yanis Varoufakis has moved smoothly from radical professor to failed finance minister to international celebrity. His latest triumph is to get Noam Chomsky to join DiEM25, the international political movement he is trying to get off the ground. In America, this puts him into superstar territory. In Greece, he remains principally a theorist of the Greek economic catastrophe, speaking in technical terms about the specifics of the country’s endless-seeming negotations with the ‘troika’ of the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the IMF. But as Great Britain’s referendum on leaving the European Union approaches, I would like to focus on another version of Yanis Varoufakis: the English version.
Slavery still exists, in a modern way, in the world and in Europe. In the general indifference there are 45.8 millions of slavers in the world, such as human trafficking victims, forced workers, victims of sexual exploitation. Italy is second in Europe, after Poland, for the number of new slaves: 129 thousand, ten times France.