Poland’s drift towards illiberalism took another alarming turn in July as the right-wing government moved to more tightly control judicial appointments. Although President Andrzej Duda surprisingly vetoed two of the bills on July 24, this latest assault on the rule of law by the Law and Justice Party (PiS) presents a serious problem for the European Union. The PiS has taken Poland in an illiberal direction over its past two years in power, systematically dismantling the rule of law and democratic norms.Read More
The growing hostility the EU is facing from its neighbors may compel it to both look elsewhere for new friends and use the current rancor to galvanize public support for itself.Read More
There is not a single sector in the UK that won’t be turned on its head by Brexit. Whether you were camp Leave or Remain, the reality is that we all have to deal with the prospect of leaving the European Union. Those who are employed by charities or non-profit organizations (also known as third sector workers) should expect unavoidable changes. From cuts to immigration to the end of EU funding, the third sector is set to be hit the hardest at a time when the world is most in need of charitable endeavors.Read More
Britain’s referendum vote to leave the European Union—or “Brexit”—and the U.S. election of Donald Trump as president have been coupled in analysis of innumerable op-ed pieces across the world. The causes and symptoms are supposedly the same: a vote for the anti-establishment option, a rebellion of rural citizens against an urban elite who have left them to decay, “fake news,” nationalism, and xenophobia. Having been in London during the referendum and in California for the election, both nights played out in a surreally similar manner. The mainstream prediction that Britain would remain in the EU and that Hillary Clinton would become the 45th President of the U.S. unravelled live on television late into the night for the whole world to see. And each time I woke up to a nation baffled by the result and its implications.Read More
Political platforms among Western democracies are rapidly changing with the influx of youth voters and the mobilization of the vote with new technology. In France’s 2017 presidential race, the most left-wing candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon made a formidable bid in the first round with his newly formed political party ‘La France insoumise,’ acquiring approximately 20 percent of the popular vote thanks to formidable support from the French youth.Read More
Throughout 2016, right-wing populist parties across Europe gathered momentum and support. First came the pro-Brexit vote in June of 2016 which delivered the lynchpin of UKIP’s party platform and the end of 2016 brought the American election of Donald Trump as president. The year 2017 has arrived, and with it, three key European elections where populist parties stand poised to win legislative seats and positions as heads of state. Just last week (March 15), the Netherlands breathed a sigh of relief as center-right candidate Mark Rutte managed to win a plurality of seats in their general election. However, right-wing populist Geert Wilders still came in second place, a reminder that while populism may not have won the day, it’s not fading away any time soon.
The questions are the following: why is this happening now, why in the West and why is right-wing populism the chosen vehicle for political change?Read More
Disney-Pixar’s Finding Nemo is one of my favorite films because it contains a scene that is universally applicable to contemporary politics.
In this particular scene, a gang of assorted marine life, each creature tied up in a pet store-style plastic bag, all jump from a wooden pier into the vast waters of the Pacific Ocean. For a moment, they celebrate. They’re thrilled to be free of their old home, an aquarium in a dentist’s office.Read More
NATO is concerned the independence of three of its smaller member states, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, are at risk for a Russian invasion. Parallels have been drawn between the vulnerability of the Baltic states and the Russian invasions of Georgia and Ukraine. In addition, Russia has voiced its concern over the rights of the ethnic Russian minorities in the Baltic states, which it also did before its interference in Ukraine. Adding to NATO’s concern, a recent Rand Corp. report predicted if Russia were to invade the Baltic states, NATO would not be able to stop the Russian forces and would suffer heavy casualties.Read More
The future of the European Union will be bleak if it continues to be led from the bottom-line up. As the continent struggles economically, financial leaders in Europe have taken the reins of its project for unity, dependent on tremendous political will and historical foresight. But too often they are rejecting politics, pushing historically errant economies into the euro-zone with such force that they may instead be sent over the edge.Read More
Muslims are more than Al-Qaeda. Over the past couple of days this argument has been repeatedly made—and necessarily so, given the large presence of those quick to label a recent spate of insurgent violence perpetrated by a relative few as inherent in a centuries old religion claiming over a billion adherents.Read More
On January 7, social media and traditional news sites alike started filling up with hashtags like #jesuischarlie and #charliehebdo. For many Europeans, Charlie Hebdo is a common household name for satire, much like The Daily Show is for Americans. Arguably, political satire’s greatest strength is its ability to dare us to engage in difficult discussions.Read More
Putin’s intervention in the ‘Near Abroad,” which sparked the disintegration of Ukraine, has changed the terms of the geopolitical game in Europe. The Ukrainian crisis has shown that the EU, after 25 years of economic, social and political integration, has consistently neglected to invest in military advancement, leaving the region defenseless.Read More
As a body that was founded in part to protect Europe against Soviet expansion, NATO’s continued existence, expansion, and function poses a military threat to Russia, and demonstrates a lack of trust that has not encouraged warmer relations in the early 21st century.Read More
By design, the Internet and the devices linked to it are intended to facilitate interconnectedness, not necessarily security, and this poses the problem of how to maintain and foster the Internet’s defining freedoms, allowing innovation and creativity to thrive there, to that of the need to protect from malevolent, if not disastrous, acts.Read More
Faced with another turning point in European history, Ukraine is fighting the biggest and the most powerful aggressor in the world. Will Ukraine become another “frozen conflict”? This will depend upon how Europe responds. The conflicts in Moldova, Georgia, Nagorno-Karabakh and Kosovo are Europe’s unfinished business. Can Europe defend its founding values? For example: respect for human dignity, liberty, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights – these are the principles Ukraine is fighting for.Read More
What are the challenges for an EU in the 21st century, now that it has grown up to 28 member states? What are the objectives of further developing the EU, while peace and stability was already achieved? What are the main threats to the existence and wellbeing of the EU member states?Read More
July 27th marked one month since Ukraine signed the EU Association Agreement.
This agreement is crucial to Ukraine, and is much more than just a signature on paper. It symbolizes the future that Ukrainians chose for themselves-- in this case, the European Union. However, people are now concerned and puzzled as to why there is a delay with the agreement’s ratification. They want to know why President O. Poroshenko is postponing ratification.Read More
In light of revelations that German government workers were selling secrets to the CIA, Angela Merkel expelled the agency’s station chief from Berlin, a rare move between two closely allied countries . Experts are declaring this latest scandal to be a low point of relations between the U.S. and Germany since Gerhard Schröder rejected the U.S.’s plan to invade Iraq in 2003.Read More
June 27th 2014 was a significant moment in the history of Ukraine, when the newly elected President Petro O. Poroshenko signed the Association Agreement with the European Union. In his Brussels speech, Poroshenko said that this was the most important day for his country after their Independence Day. He also asked the European leaders to help Ukraine become a fully-fledged member of the EU stating that, “[it] would cost the European Union nothing, but would mean the world to my country that paid the highest possible price to make her European dreams come true”.Read More
Ukraine's violent protests may fuel yet another vicious cycle of corrupt politics.Read More