Juncker’s White Paper: The Implications for CSDP

On March 1st European Commission (EC) President Jean Claude-Juncker presented his White Paper on the Future of Europe. The aim of the Paper is to line up 5 potential scenarios for the European integration varying from more deepened federalist-like union to less tight, minimalist economic cooperation. The timing is also not a coincidence: it can give some food for thought for the Rome summit on March 25th celebrating the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the European Economic Community. The Paper received criticism from the left, especially from Gianni Pittella S&D president for not giving a clear indication on what is the EC’s preferred way forward and not committing itself to a more advanced, integrated Europe.[1] There was also a reserved interest from the in-generally EU establishment critical Visegrád 4 countries (Poland, Czechia, Slovakia, Hungary) warning against the disintegration, while in the meantime not committing themselves much towards further integration either.[2]

Continue reading “Juncker’s White Paper: The Implications for CSDP”

The advance of economic patriotism

The last few days in Europe’s business community have been turbulent. For once it was not about the impact of the new American administration on the European economy, but about acquisitions. Big ones. Where many of us were worried about “America First”, it now seems that in Europe something similar is happening. Not Europe first or Brussels first, but the UK first, the Netherlands first, and Germany first. The developments of last week might prove to be characteristic for the future of Europe’s economy.

The most important news of last week was the failed attempt by American food giant Kraft Heinz to buy its Anglo-Dutch rival Unilever for the price of 143 Billion USD, which would Continue reading “The advance of economic patriotism”

Lobbyists in Brussels – the Dark Side of the European Union?

In front of the the European Parliament, there is a small square with a lot of little bars and coffee houses called ‚Place du Luxembourg‘. Every workday, it is busy with people who work in the European institutions and the many offices in the vicinity of the Parliament. You can sit there in a coffee house and watch them pass by. It would not be surprising to find, here and there, a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) and his assistant sitting at a table with a business(wo)man or the representative of a NGO, talking over a file of documents, while having a coffee and a piece of cake. Continue reading “Lobbyists in Brussels – the Dark Side of the European Union?”

Third Way is Kaput

Third Way

In the 1980s, Neoliberalism dogma was still underway, but according to author Stuart Hall, another movement was being created, it was “New Times”.

The “New Times” that would become one of the causes of the Third Way, consisted in the transition from industrialized economies to tertiary and IT-oriented economies. In addition to economic changes, these “new times” also reflected the decline of the political class, the expansion of people’s individual choices in terms of consumption and lifestyles, as well as the beginning of the debate on the issue of sexuality that began to emerge as a “hot” topic at the time. Continue reading “Third Way is Kaput”

How Neoliberalism Influences Immigration Policies in Modern Western States

In nowadays’ society, governments and political elites are influenced by the neoliberal thought: The influx of public money into banking industry, the collaborations between national governments and private corporations, the divergence of public funds into the private sector, accumulation of capital, and the dominance of corporate sectors, are typical attributes of a neoliberal behaviour1 . Governments often act according to this ideology: They emulate corporations and work according to the market logic of efficiency, competitiveness and profitability.2 Continue reading “How Neoliberalism Influences Immigration Policies in Modern Western States”

Verhofstadt Surrenders to Political Opportunism

The presidential elections in the European Parliament last week have shown low instincts and political intrigues at their best. Opportunism and the strive for power have prevailed over political integrity and the adherence to values and ideas. Guy Verhofstadt has best illustrated how quickly one can fall prey to the little intrigues and deals that animate life in politics. The man who has strongly endeavoured to become known as the fiercest defender of democratic values and pro-European ideals has not shied away from playing Continue reading “Verhofstadt Surrenders to Political Opportunism”

She Waited Long Enough and Now is Her Time to Walk

Yesterday, January 21st, 2017, I joined the thousands and thousands of women, men and children across the world who walked in the almost 700 Women’s Marches around the globe. From Washington DC, where the March began, to The Hague, where I walked, and across all seven continents (That’s right! Two Sister Marches were registered in Antarctica as well) people came together and stood against misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, racism and primarily hate. Continue reading “She Waited Long Enough and Now is Her Time to Walk”

They Waited Long Enough

They waited long enough, and now that their countries are developing this rapidly, there are no more excuses to leave them in hunger, peril health and bearing fragile children. Female malnutrition is still unacceptably prevalent throughout the world. Not only in countries that really are poor, and where there often is not enough food to feed the total population. No, the most malnourished women are not to be found in Sub-Saharan Africa’s countries, but in Asia’s thriving and upcoming economies. Continue reading “They Waited Long Enough”

She Waited Long Enough : Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

We should all be feminists” the Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie claims. This catch phrase is the title of the TED talk she delivered in Euston in 2012 [1]. Born in 1977 in the State of Enugu in Nigeria, this woman is a novelist, a nonfiction writer and a short story writer. Her speech has been published in 2014 and is now available under the form of an essay, due to the strength of her discourse and its logical following success. What is interesting about her is the manner in which her work, fictional or not, is deeply infused Continue reading “She Waited Long Enough : Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie”