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This week’s editor

Alex Sakalis, Editor

Alex Sakalis is associate editor of openDemocracy and co-edits the Can Europe Make It? page.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Europe’s divisions over war in Iraq have not prevented it agreeing the enlargement of ten new members and an constitutional treaty. What will a continent-wide European Union look like? Which vision of Europe do you want? Start with our interactive visions map, or dip into Europe Prophecies, a rolling diary of stories from the corners of Europe. And if you want to know what's new with the European Constitution, read what Convention members Frans Timmermans and Jens-Peter Bonde have to say - they're living it. Send your own thoughts to openEuropa@openDemocracy.net, or post on the discussion board...

Press freedom: the dark cloud gathering over Europe

Today is a day to celebrate free media expression—except for those journalists, even in Europe, denied the capacity to do so.

Securitisation not the response to deaths at sea

The European Union has responded to the humanitarian crisis presented by refugee deaths in the Mediterranean—but only through the lens of border control.

Crisis in the Mediterranean: Europe must change course

As leaders of European Union member states prepare to meet to discuss the Mediterranean refugee crisis, the Council of Europe commissioner for human rights sets the bar for an adequate response.

What the EU must do now to halt this tragedy on its shores

There are answers to the Mediterranean migrant-deaths crisis. They just require the European Union, whose foreign ministers met yesterday, to grasp the political nettle.

Lampedusa: Never again

The terrible migrant deaths off the Italian island have evoked horror across the continent. In a small camp in France, Rebecca Omonira-Oyekanmi talks to fellow countrymen and women who have survived: their hopes, dreams, and learning to feel unwelcome in Europe.

Europe's war on migrants

The unending series of mass drownings in the Mediterranean of migrants and refugees are not unfortunate tragedies: they are the dread outworking of the occluding of humanitarian concern by the rhetoric of border control.

Mass surveillance: wrong in practice as well as principle

The paradox of mass state surveillance, as the answer to non-state violence, is that it can overlook the intelligence targeted law enforcement finds and render critical infrastructures vulnerable—never mind threatening fundamental freedoms.

Migrants in the Mediterranean: mourning deaths, not saving lives

For as long as the humanitarian impulse to rescue the desperate and the destitute is trumped by Europe’s focus on border control, the death toll will rise inexorably.

Is there reason to hope for Minsk II?

The last Minsk agreement on eastern Ukraine failed to bring peace. The latest looks similar—but the context has changed.

Ukraine ceasefire announced at Minsk summit—what next?

The ceasefire agreement in Minsk over Ukraine was better than no outcome at all. But only a little better.

Scapegoats for an insecure Europe

The crisis facing Europe could be perceived as a product of conflicting class interests in what Keynes called the capitalism of the casino. All the more important that it should instead be blamed on conveniently stigmatised Others.

The new cold war Russia (again) won't win

The last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, burst the 25th-anniversary balloon of the symbolic end of the cold war by warning of a new one, fed by NATO's eastward expansion. An economically weak USSR lost the last one; a still weaker Russia will lose this one too. 

Bulgaria in limbo

A messy election in a troubling time leaves Bulgarians still waiting for light.

Turkey's Armenian opening: towards 2015

The approaching centenary of the genocide of Armenians in the Ottoman empire is a moment for Turkey's civil society to create a new ethical reality around the issue

Trapped by borders, a global flotsam and jetsam

They arrive nameless and unnumbered by land or sea but ever-more unregulated migrants across the globe are falling victim to proliferating border-security regimes.

Live from Lampedusa: The Freedom of Movement

Nicholas De Genova introduces The Charter of Lampedusa.

The Euro-sceptic Trojan horse: challenging the EU from within

Euro-sceptic political parties exploited public insecurity to make gains in the elections to the European Parliament but pro-Europeans should engage with the ‘Euro-critics’ rather than defensively shunning dissent.

Not polished enough! Have Swedes had enough of the far right?

In an increasingly unequal Sweden, the far right has been able to capitalise on growing insecurity for its xenophobic ends—but it faces strong public resistance as Swedes go to the Euro-polls

European elections and campaign finance: show us the money

What role does money play in European elections, and how is it regulated? Such questions need to be addressed to ensure the integrity of Europe's democratic processes, says Samuel Jones.

A rationale for Europe: start with the south

The European Union's interlocking crises have had an especially severe impact on its southern states, from Spain and Portugal to Greece and Italy. A perspective from there can also be the springboard to Europe's recovery, say Francesc Badia i Dalmases & Oleguer Sarsanedas.

Nightmare politics

As the European election looms, far-right parties are seeking to exploit the fears of the losers of globalisation to spur the politics of division.

The 'equality economy': tackling labour-market insecurity in Europe

While since '9/11' a militarised conception of security has dominated the world, the global economic crisis has seen insecurity in the labour market mushroom. Marking international workers' day, could Europe lead the way to a more secure 'equality economy'?

Kleptocracy: final stage of Soviet-style socialism

The tumult in Ukraine marks a wider crisis of the corrupt post-Soviet model. The impact will be felt most acutely in Russia itself, says Krzysztof Bobinski.

Bosnia, and vanishing European leadership

Bosnian citizens' protest against corruption and misgovernance also reveals the deep flaws of the country's ethno-nationalist system. But where is Europe?

Undocumented migrants: time to change the European discourse

Most undocumented migrants in Europe are not products of irregular entry and humanitarian crises such as that at Lampedusa are not unavoidable tragedies. As the EU starts work on a new programme on migration it must shift approach from control and surveillance.

Ukraine, and a Europe-Russia crack

The conflict in Ukraine is part of a wider tussle over eastern Europe's political orientation. The European Union remains pivotal to progress, says Krzysztof Bobinski.

Britain's Bulgaria-Romania phobia

The panic in Britain over prospective Bulgarian and Romanian immigration is based on misunderstanding of European rules. It is also at odds with the country's best traditions, says Dimitar Bechev.

20 years of arbitrary detention in Britain

This weekend marks the 20th anniversary of Campsfield, the immigration removal centre which heralded a mass expansion of detention and opened the door for profit in immigration control in Britain. Yet outside the prison and within, there are voices of dissent, says Bill MacKeith.

Bulgaria: students to the rescue

A prolonged crisis in Bulgaria exposes the bankruptcy of an entire political system in desperate need of renewal, says Dimitar Bechev.

No accident: why have 19,142 died at Europe’s frontiers?

The recent deaths off the coast of Lampedusa are a gruesome consequence of EU border and immigration control policies that follow the logic of security and restrictionism over human rights and international maritime law, says Nina Perkowski.

Poland's 1980s, and "transitology" today

The 90th birthday of General Jaruzelski, the military figure who imposed martial law in Poland in 1981, was marked by a flurry of backward-looking, politicised debate. A pity, says Krzysztof Bobinski, for the experience of those times offers potential lessons to many regions around the world.

Europe and its 'midnight children'

Croatia's accession to the European Union highlights both the union's continued appeal and its current malaise. This odd combination casts a shadow across the western Balkans and back to Brussels, says Goran Fejic.

Bulgaria, protest for the future

Bulgarian citizens are protesting across the country against the capture of their government and for a meaningful democracy. A memorandum from Sofia outlines the heart of their case.

Anti-immigrant sentiment: time to talk about gender?

The way in which gender figures in the picture of anti-immigrant sentiment is rarely discussed, yet anti-immigrant sentiment, wherever it is found, represents a rejection of ‘feminized’ populations and a concern with a national illusion that is distinctly masculine.

Deconstructing detention in Britain

Immigration detention and borders are cultural and historical constructions which criminalise and traumatise migrants. They are neither inevitable nor a given, says Nath Gbikpi.

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