Bulgaria: leaving no man's land behind for the EU open door

One lesson we are learning is that although Brussels is important, it is not a universal solution. Brussels is used as an excuse in Bulgaria so that we do not worry about political lobbying, the judicial system, and the media, because somebody else has the big stick.

Spotlight on Bosnia

Football, politics and society

From corruption in Italy to racism in Poland, football is the second theme of our Joining the dots series.

Gem from our archive

A selection of our best articles on Europe.

EU 2.0? Towards sustainable integration

Kalypso Nicolaïdis

Why are they protesting in Rome?

April 12 saw violence break out in the capital of Italy as protesters responded to new reforms proposed by current Prime Minister Matteo Renzi that would create significant reductions to public sector spending.

From Skouries to Athens, the struggle of Greek women against austerity

As Greece’s protracted crisis disappears from the international headlines, violence against women is both exacerbated by and mirrors the structural violence of austerity. The resistance of Greek women takes place on several fronts.

Let's forget about EU reforms

Those who bet their political career on EU reforms are likely to return from Brussels with little to show to their voters. It is time to embark on a more realistic European agenda.

Democracy blooming at the margins: Bosnia-Herzegovina, Ukraine and Taiwan

The terrifying spectre in these countries is not of ravenous foreign capital, though there is plenty of experience with this too, but of the persistent suffering of being an oft bloodied geopolitical borderland.

Communist nostalgia in Romania

A recent poll suggested that nearly half of Romanians have a positive view of Ceausescu and believe that life was better under him. What is behind this surprising nostalgia for the communist era?

The politics of impotence

A systematic mode of thinking is required to ensure rape victims are not blamed for their suffering. Binarism – overly simplistic evaluation – is a default position that causes considerable damage. Sex education and support for feminist movements are vital.

Longing for democracy in Spain

The death of Adolfo Suárez, the first democratic PM of post-Franco Spain, at the age of 81, has reminded a depressed and disenchanted Spanish society that there was once a moment when they prevailed over the odds of history.

Bulgaria: leaving no man's land behind for the EU open door

One lesson we are learning is that although Brussels is important, it is not a universal solution. Brussels is used as an excuse in Bulgaria so that we do not worry about political lobbying, the judicial system, and the media, because somebody else has the big stick. An interview with Dimitar Bechev. 

Scotland, independence and the EU elections

The European election is the last major political set piece event in the UK before Scotland votes on its constitutional future. Who wins that vote could have a profound impact on the country.

Spain and Catalonia: an Iberian dilemma

PM Mariano Rajoy has refused even to acknowledge the possibility of a Catalan referendum on independence. Does he realise that his options to save the integrity of the Spanish state are dwindling?

Populist snapshots: Movimento 5 Stelle (Italy)

This excerpt is taken from the encounter between Beppe Grillo and Matteo Renzi on 19 February. Commentary follows.

 

Can the Greek textile industry be a driver for growth?

Due to the crisis, Greece has been experiencing unprecedented deflation and labour laws have started to liberalize, thanks to reforms that were demanded by its EU-IMF creditors.

Arrivederci, Veneto?

What was behind the "unofficial" referendum on Venetian independence? Why was it so popular? And could we soon be saying arrivederci to Veneto?

Sex workers in democratic societies

While there are certainly gendered imbalances in the actual structures of current sex markets, these imbalances are created, reinforced and strengthened not by sex work itself but by laws criminalizing sex work and by treating sex workers as second-class citizens without rights.

The Goebbels effect

Let us stand still and recognize what has happened in the Dutch repudiation of Geert Wilders and embrace of Moroccan-Dutch – in all its ambivalence – but not cheer it, yet.

A black cloud over the EU?

The newly announced Le Pen-Wilders alliance in the European parliament has re-ignited speculation about the rise of the far-right in Europe. What can we expect from this new EU supergroup?

Engaging EU citizens in policy making

As part of our series of interviews with practitioners involved in public participation initiatives, Participation Now researcher Hilde C. Stephansen spoke to Deirdre Lee at Insight-NUI Galway, about Puzzled by Policy, a European Commission funded project that aimed to engage citizens in the policy making process.

The neo-Athenian revival: citizen participation in the twenty-first century

Looking back at the year 2013, one small, symbolic event stands out as a clear demonstration of a slow, quiet trend over the last decade, which one could call a 'New French Revolution.'

Euro elections 2014: You Tell Us bloggers discuss apathy (part two)

Young bloggers from across the EU discuss apathy among young people in Europe. Part one here.

Euro elections 2014: You Tell Us bloggers discuss apathy (part one)

Young bloggers from across the EU discuss apathy among young people in Europe. Part two here.

French local elections on suburban housing estates

It is, in a sense, a good sign for racial integration to see that the “new French” are voting just like the old ones.

Bosnia-Herzegovina: protests, problems and solutions

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, the protests and plenums have been the best thing people have witnessed since the end of armed hostilities in 1995. What’s next? Can democracy be restored?

There's a very different idea of politics and democracy forming in my head

There's a very different idea of politics and democracy forming in my head than the one in the school textbooks. Read more from our You Tell Us bloggers on the topic of apathy in Europe.

As long as the EU remains mired in its own abstractions, voter apathy will continue

The post-war mantra of ‘let’s cooperate rather than invade each other’ has lost its relevance for younger generations. Read more from our You Tell Us bloggers on the topic of apathy in Europe.

We don't talk about politics in Poland

Today there is a whole generation of people who don’t remember communism. And these people don’t vote either. Read more from our You Tell Us bloggers on the topic of apathy in Europe.