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.
Posts Tagged ‘ Democracy ’
The EU is revising its Digital Agenda, but still technology does not find any place in it in terms of providing public value. It is also falling behind in terms of recognition of some developments in Estonia and lessons that can be learned from the new European Citizens’ Initiative. The replication of these can increase the democratic legitimacy of the Union, if the voting procedures in the EP and the way it is constituted are adapted.
The topic of the final week of November’s radio show America Tonight was the balance in socio-political issues in the society. A guest was asked how the Democrats and Republicans fit together in the society and they subsequently responded to these questions in broad way, arguing that both disparate elements are needed in our society. In relation to America, the guest believes that we should not insist on the period of 1940s, a period in which social welfare principles were fully preserved in a society consisting of selfish and selfless people. He concluded with the idea that we need some people from right and left at the same time. The issue, at first glance, may seem fuzzy since the guest was given a limited time to answer these complex questions. Yet, he managed to focus the attention of the listener on a single point: balance in society.
Although this debate was intrinsic to American society, it fits European society just as well. Indeed, by analysing the choices of policies Europeans have made in the past, one would derive several outcomes when one delves further into the “balance” issue.
As Ukrainians headed to the polls for a parliamentary election on October 28, 2012, the country’s future was once again put into uncertainty. The governing party of the supposedly pro-Russian President Viktor F. Yanukovich, gained victory despite strong support for pro-western opposition parties and an unexpectedly strong rise of the ultranationalists. How is the election’s outcome going to influence the EU-Ukraine-Russia Triangle and the future direction of Ukraine?
9th of November: a historical day for Germany signaling the Fall of the Berlin Wall and the beginning of a whole new era. On this symbolic day and thanks to the “European Speech” project cooperation organized by the Robert Bosch Stiftung, the Kornard Adenauer Stiftung and the Stiftung Zukunft Berlin, I had the chance to listen to Martin Schulz, the President of the European Parliament, giving his own European Speech in the Paul-Löbe-Haus of the German Bundestag. His words were meaningful and inspiring so I had to share the feeling with you.
Before the Ukrainian elections of October 28, Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, vice-president of the European People’s Party, declared that the vote on October 28th was to be a “historic opportunity to reach a consensus among all actors of the democratic opposition.” Such cooperation from the opposition would ensure that the incumbent Party of Regions would not reclaim a constitutional majority in the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament.
Our Press and promotions Officer, Maryama Marong, has attended the European youth Parliament (EYP) 71st International Session this November. Read her report and more information about the event here.
Recently Prof. Joseph Stiglitz, one of the world’s most famous and popular economists presented his latest bestseller “The Price of Inequality” at an event of the German Council on Foreign Affairs. EST’s Stylia Kampani was around and presents a summary and some thoughts on its content.
The financial markets have been subject to considerable criticism in the last weeks; analysts are worried that financial considerations will dictate decisions that should be taken via a democratic process. By analyzing the reasons and the effects of the criticized behavior the conclusion must be drawn that Europe in the long term should be grateful for the present warnings of the market.
Protesters and freedom fighters in the Arab world can count on the sympathy, and sometimes the support of Western democratic nations. But this sympathy clouds our judgement, because we automatically conceive the rioters as heroes. The villains are those resisting change, sometimes willing to give their lives for the dictators. Yet, we hardly understand why. The democratic principals that we hold dear and that we wish new regimes will adopt should make us want to know the whole story.