Thursday

21st Jan 2021

Citizen deliberation in light of an insurrection

Can the EU do more to hold back the kinds of malign forces that overran the US Capitol? It's not an idle question. Democratic shortcomings in the EU are regularly invoked by the far-right to whip up nationalist sentiment.

News in Brief

  1. First migrant tragedy of 2021 claims 43 lives
  2. Train revival needed to meet EU climate goals
  3. NGOs shame Monaco on persecuting UK whistleblower
  4. British music stars voice anger on Brexit deal
  5. Brexit prompted finance exodus from UK to France
  6. Italian PM Conte wins confidence vote in Senate
  7. Borrell washes hands of EU's Venezuela policy
  8. Russia backs Greece in eastern Mediterranean dispute

Honesty is the best policy

Politicians mostly talk about shutting migrants out. That endangers migrants' lives and obscures an important truth: that Europe already relies on large numbers of migrants for farming and manufacturing.

Showdowns over the rule of law

Brussels is increasingly expected to serve as the European Union's sheriff on rule of law - but its ability to enforce adherence to democratic norms and values remains weak.

Europe on a power trip

"Strategic autonomy" has become the mantra for European Union officials. But now with Joe Biden as US president-elect, and prospects for a renewal of trans-Atlantic ties, the urgency and relevance of the concept are again up for debate.

Apostles of intersectionality challenge Europe

Intersectionality is the concept that overlapping identities - disability, gender, race and sexual-orientation for example - create forms of discrimination that can go unaddressed. But many EU leaders are wary of the kind of identity politics that intersectionality implies.

Online violence: Stories from Bulgaria and Spain

Bigots and far-right extremists are using online violence to try to silence feminists and LGBT people. It's a cowardly tactic since perpetrators don't even have to meet their targets. We hear stories from two Europeans on the receiving end

Ylva Johansson on Migration and Drama Queens

Commissioner for home affairs, Ylva Johansson, would like to win the approval of all EU member states for a new proposal for a common asylum and migration policy - something her predecessors failed to do.

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Standing up to bullies with Frans Timmermans

To succeed Timmermans needs to stand up to governments and vested interests rushing to reboot economies crashed by the coronavirus. That means ensuring the trillions of euros the EU and its member states spend transform rather than entrench polluting industries.

The high price of muzzling media

The coronavirus outbreak has been a pretext for government censorship and a crackdown on journalists, who have been exposed to new criminal charges as well as violent attacks.

Crisis communications

When journalists were barred from the EU commission press room in March because of coronavirus, the relatively-new chief spokesperson, Eric Mamer, amiable Frenchman, had to improvise.

Věra Jourová on surveillance and Covid-19

Commissioner for values and transparency, Věra Jourová, says Brussels will vet moves in Hungary to give prime minister Viktor Orbán scope to rule by decree and urges Facebook and Google to push official health advice to WhatsApp and YouTube.

Coronavirus vs Democracy

Concern is growing that emergency powers deployed to control the coronavirus pandemic will be used to erode democracy and civil rights.

A Field Guide to Autocrats

Beware the modernisers and saviours - autocrats often play the 'saving democracy' card as they undermine it.

Macron's ugly side

For many people, Emmanuel Macron still represents the great hope for an open and liberal Europe. So what to make of the French president's growing preoccupation with Islam, terror and security?

Don't Fall For Fascist Porn

Far-right trolls commonly target women and minorities and seek to subvert the work of politicians, journalists and activists. But technology platforms and their supporters tend to resist legislation that could help tame the trolls.

A World We Have Lost

Ahdaf Soueif, who recently resigned from the British Museum, talks about the persistence of racist thinking, EU-funded authoritarianism in Egypt, and the Cold War roots of terror.

Cultural Battlefield

Marta Keil knows firsthand the pressure on culture from Poland's ruling Law and Justice party. Her overview begins at the Polski theatre in the city of Wrocław, and describes an epic clash as the Polish museum sector is steadily hollowed-out.

Not That Ambassador

Gordon Sondland, Donald Trump's ambassador to the EU, is due to appear before the House impeachment inquiry in Washington on Thursday. His predecessor as ambassador, Anthony Gardner, talks about the role, and his successor, on our EU Scream podcast.

Trumpworld In Europe

Pastors and plutocrats are sponsoring an ultra-conservative agenda in Europe. Many of them have links to Donald Trump.

Bianca's Story

Women in Romania have had a legal right to an abortion since 1990. But many seeking care find themselves in a Kafkaesque trap.

Abortion Wars

Pressures on women to avoid terminating unwanted pregnancies have been growing in countries including Croatia, Poland and Romania.