Southern Europe is burning. This crisis has turned out to be the great catalyst exposing national ills of prevailing political and banking systems. Conventions were overthrown and political establishments dismantled; yet, Europe seems to be on hold, or in slow motion at best, waiting the German elections. In the meantime, a toxic environment is breeding, European cohesion is eroding.
Last Saturday, the members of the Indonesian student association (PPI) from the Netherlands, Germany, and France gathered through Historun. It is an event they have initiated as a way to discover and re-discover Indonesian history inscribed in the monuments of Leiden, a beautiful city in the Netherlands’ Randstad, as a way to communicate with Europe and the past…
With civil war in Syria, turmoil in Gaza, Arab Spring aftershocks, and the conflict over Iran’s nuclear program, it’s easy for outsiders to overlook one of the region’s most intractable ethnic conflicts – Turkey’s internal battles with Kurdish separatists. The Kurdish issue though deserves attention as it remains a major inner security threat for the most politically modern and economically dynamic country of the region.
The chances of a two-state solution have rarely looked worse. In a recent open letterto European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, 19 former senior European officials, politicians and diplomats claimed, “the Oslo process has nothing more to offer” and that without immediate action, the window of opportunity for a viable two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would soon close. A number of analysts have disputed this and gone ever farther, claiming that the Oslo process, referring to the process of political negotiation for a Palestinian state that began with the 1993 Oslo Accords, is already dead.
One of the drastic consequences of the most recent global fnancial crisis that has deeply touched the European Union -the euro zone in particular- is that more and more young people are seeking opportunities elsewhere. What are the measures being taken by the EU? How come they cannot prevent the “great escape”, as more and more Europeans are fleeing to emerging economies around the world? These are important questions for all of us to think about.
Despite severe financial and economic problems, Slovenia can still avoid a bail-out – if investors stay confident
Liberté, égalité, fraternité. The famous motto to presumably epitomize the correct model and stage of societal and economic development. Admittedly, a great portion of the Western world owes their success and progress to this powerful ideology. However, today’s France under the leftist leadership captained by President Francois Hollande has taken the premise of égalité to another level. Consequently, history may remember Hollande’s reign differently: as a time of fiscalité, misere, faillite.
With the aftermath of the Arab Spring in dire straits across the Middle
East and North Africa, democracy has plainly not yet been achieved and
instability is directly on Europe’s doorstep. While Europeans have their
own troubles to focus on, the EU has set up programmes to engage in the
region that could reap real rewards.
The “Islanders” of the Falklands were called to a referendum on the 10th and 11th of March, centering on the archipelago’s continued association with the United Kingdom. The vote yielded unsurprising results, given that asking a crowd of Brits whether they think they ought to remain British smacks somewhat of an exercise in the absurd. This is however rather irrelevant when this affair is regarded from the point of view of diplomacy rather than democracy. A move which has played into a conflict taking place between China and Japan an ocean away .
As another expected Euro crisis unraveled in Cyprus, a consecutive round of critical examinations of the common currency is required. Instead of repeating the same mantras of lost independent monetary policies or severe differences in the European economies’ business cycles, another approach is needed. Perhaps the inconvenient truth and the negative unintended consequences of the common market are the fact that with one currency, fluctuations in the European Union minimum wage are inherently creating detrimental imbalances.