Saturday

4th Dec 2021

Podcast

A hunger strike at the heart of Europe

  • The hunger strike provoked an outcry against the Belgian government (Photo: Helena Malikova)

This summer some 450 undocumented workers and migrants in Brussels refused food during two months.

They were protesting Belgian immigration rules that human rights officials and campaigners like Lilana Keith of PICUM say arbitrarily obstruct them from legal and stable residency.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

The hunger strike provoked an outcry against the Belgian government. Yet there was no intervention from the European Union even though its headquarters is just 10 minutes away from the 17th century church that became the rallying point for supporters of the strikers.

Albert Kraler, an assistant professor at Danube University Krems, says the EU has long been studiously silent about residency rights for the kinds of undocumented workers and migrants who led the Brussels protest. That's especially the case when regional upheavals like in Afghanistan could mean more irregular arrivals in Europe.

Author bio

EU Scream is the progressive politics podcast from Brussels. Produced by James Kanter with graphics by Helena Malikova and music by Lara Natale.

You may also subscribe via iTunes, Spotify or from the EU Scream website.

Eurocrats who look like Europe

There is a double standard at the heart of the European Commission. Women — mostly white women — benefit from affirmative action when applying for jobs. But people of colour seeking advancement do not benefit from special consideration.

Keeping the Red Flag flying

The hard-left is often associated with the colours red for revolution, and black for anarcho-syndicalism. But the movement is more and more green these days too.

Taking Brexit personally

James Crisp has Boris Johnson's old job in Brussels covering EU affairs for The Daily Telegraph. He often writes with that jaundiced eye on the European project you'd expect from a correspondent on a venerable Conservative UK newspaper.

Book Club: The Last Bluff

In this first EU Scream Book Club, co-authors of The Last Bluff recount how the world watched in awe — and often admiration — as a scrappy government in Athens tried to stare down Europe's financial and political establishment.

The climate allies Europe needs

With the COP26 climate conference about to get underway in Glasgow, major breakthroughs look elusive. Among the spectres at the feast are raging geopolitical tensions, high energy prices, the ongoing pandemic and a lack of diplomatic vigour from Europe.

Hedegaard on the hazards of stalling climate action

In 2009 Connie Hedegaard presided over the Copenhagen climate conference that ended in rancour - and left Europe on the sidelines. Hedegaard went on to become the first European commissioner for climate action.

News in Brief

  1. Covid: Belgium might close schools and cultural activities
  2. EU consumers can sue Facebook, judge advised
  3. French centre-right tilts toward Pécresse
  4. EU urged to blacklist Israeli spyware firm
  5. Austria's ex-chancellor Kurz quits politics
  6. EU agency: Omicron to be over half of infections 'within months'
  7. New German restrictions target the unvaccinated
  8. EU commission unveils proposal to digitalise justice systems

Book Club: The Scent of Wild Animals

Liberal lawmaker Sophie in 't Veld says the European Union's survival depends on overcoming creeping sclerosis, ending acquiescence to autocrats, and embracing the kind of political spectacle that captures the public imagination.

The climate allies Europe needs

With the COP26 climate conference about to get underway in Glasgow, major breakthroughs look elusive. Among the spectres at the feast are raging geopolitical tensions, high energy prices, the ongoing pandemic and a lack of diplomatic vigour from Europe.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNew report reveals bad environmental habits
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersImproving the integration of young refugees
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNATO Secretary General guest at the Session of the Nordic Council
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCan you love whoever you want in care homes?
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNineteen demands by Nordic young people to save biodiversity
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersSustainable public procurement is an effective way to achieve global goals

Latest News

  1. Belgium tightens Covid rules as health system 'is cracking'
  2. EU and US tighten screw on Lukashenko
  3. Belgian impasse leaves asylum seekers on snowy streets
  4. EU 'missed chance' to set fossil-fuel subsidies deadline
  5. EU energy ministers clash amid gas price uncertainty
  6. ECJ told to dismiss Poland and Hungary rule-of-law challenge
  7. Covid: what Germany got right - and wrong
  8. Quick Take: Enrico Letta

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us