Trouble in Paradise

Sweden is often praised as one of the, if not the, most successful welfare states in the world. Many progressives around the world take the country´s strong welfare system, pared with a healthy economy, as an example. According to a recent survey by World Economic Forum Sweden stands out as the best country in the world to live in, with top rankings in areas like gender equality and business climate. But something in this does not seem to translate into reality. Polls suggest that many Swedes do not think that their country is heading in the right direction, and the political situation is becoming more and more uneasy with minority governments and threats of snap elections. The Social Democrats, often attributed for Sweden’s success, seem to be heading for one of their worst election results ever, just around 30%. And how could a populist right wing party, that has its roots in 80s neo-nazism, become the third largest party and parliamentary kingmaker in the world’s most successful welfare state?

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Brazil’s Glorious Rise and the Abrupt Fall of its Left

OPIX_Brazil_Political_Crisis.JPGThe world is still recovering from the Olympics in Rio. We have seen new world records being set. We have said goodbye to iconic sports figures such as Michael Phelps. The fastest man alive blew our minds away and the first Simone Biles amazed us. On the negative side, the LochteGate scandal caught us all by surprise when one of the world’s top swimmers tried to take advantage of Rio’s best known weaknesses: violence and crime. Nevertheless, the games were overall a success and the world was impressed. Amidst many concerns, Brazil pulled
it off and set a milestone as the first Latin American and the first lusophone nation to host such an event. As the city takes a break from the spotlight, the country is hosting another Continue reading “Brazil’s Glorious Rise and the Abrupt Fall of its Left”

In Defense of Europe’s Freedom of Movement

It is when I cross a border far away from Free movement 2home, in Asia or in the Middle East, that I am reminded of one of the biggest achievements of the European Union: free movement within the Schengen countries. Indeed, traveling freely across borders is possibly the most practical benefit many Europeans enjoy for being part of a European community. Schengen and the free movement principles are at the core essence of the European Union, and many European Millennials that have never lived in a Europe with borders cannot even imagine a Europe with internal borders.

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Can Matteo Renzi Break the Merkel-Juncker EU Consensus?

Renzi PDMatteo Renzi is on fire. Not Brexit, not the uncertainty after the Spanish elections, maybe not even the inconsiderate policies of Poland’s new populist government are catching as much attention of the Brussels-crowd as the repeated quarrels that Matteo Renzi has engaged in with President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker and his head of cabinet Martin Selmayr. Political analysts are excited, and write about the populist turn of the Continue reading “Can Matteo Renzi Break the Merkel-Juncker EU Consensus?”

The migrant Exodus: Slovenia on the Refugee road

Slovenian has been facing an influx of migrants for weeks now. Although the government claimed it has been prepared for the larger amounts, however reality turned out to be the other way around. Thus Continue reading “The migrant Exodus: Slovenia on the Refugee road”

Time To Come Up With A European Agenda on Asia

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Asia is no priority on the European agenda, and somehow, this is understandable. Europe has been experiencing hard times in the last years: a financial crisis, followed by the sovereign debt crisis, the Greek crisis, and two economic crises, all in less than ten years. Its neighbourhood is on fire, and although the Arab Spring has given Continue reading “Time To Come Up With A European Agenda on Asia”