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Europe bad and good

Poland voted again for the right extreme party

Europe bad and good By 14 October, 2019 No Comments

Poles went to the polls, some 61% (estimated) of the electorate showed up. Law and Justice (PiS) wins with 43.6% of the vote. It shall translate itself into 239 seats according to the polling institution, which would just be the majority of seats in the Sejm composed of 460 MPs. “Law and Justice” will continue to rule alone. Mateusz Morawiecki will continue to be PM. PiS had a number of controversial policy programme items including the judiciary reform, the media law and the cooperation with the local authorities. Yet the most important of the campaign promises were on the social policy: the minimal wage at a Western European standard by 2023.

Europeans are happy

Europe bad and good By 13 October, 2019 No Comments

According to a study of the BBVA Foundation Europeans express the highest satisfaction of the last ten years (7.2 out of 10), with the Spanish to the fore (7.6). They also see themselves as largely free of the influence of external factors, believing that it is they themselves who control how their lives develop. Note, however, that although this perception of control has advanced in Spain to 7.4, in the United Kingdom and Italy it has dropped 6.7 points compared to 2012. They also see sexual harassment and discrimination against women as widespread practices. The unity of views on these three dimensions locates the situation of women as among the biggest challenges facing society, and one that needs to be addressed in all its forms.

The Portuguese love Europe

Europe bad and good By 2 October, 2019 No Comments

The Portuguese people believe that their country’s fate is inextricably tied to that of the European Union. An ECFR survey carried out ahead of the Portuguese national election suggests that the Portuguese bounced back quickly from a surge in Euroscepticism linked to the strict conditions of Portugal’s 2011 bailout package. Currently Portugal values the economic benefits of EU membership primarily, but its people believe in the EU as more than just an economic project.

US vs Europe: Immigration is not the problem

Europe bad and good By 8 September, 2019 No Comments

by Stefanie Claudia Müller

While Donald Trump is not just hated in Europe for his “America first”- policy, but also in his own country, especially in spots such as San Francisco, Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron have become somehow heroes. They stand for a Europe that is tolerant, generous, that fights for female rights and a Europe that is very diverse and open-minded.  In Germany, refugees get a kind of “Welcome package” and also for legalized immigrants they are a lot of social benefits, nearly the same or even some times better assistance than for the nationals who fell out of the system. This has attracted a lot of people who are seeking help.

Behind this human face it is obvious that Europe has as well massive problems with illegal immigration and in consequence with a rise of right extreme parties. But as in the US migrants and refugees are not the problem of a declining fierce capitalist system driven by the American way of life. Anyhow, an Economic upswing in front can we really be the paradise for everyone? Are we so different than Trump in our immigration policy or are we just less honest? The crucial question is how comprehensive can we be and how far can we permit to import to our European society “strange” traditions like wearing a Burka or female genital mutilation? Can we permit immigrants to live their political conflicts in their new home like the Kurdish and Turks do in Germany?

EU: Is Ursula von der Leyen a good leader?

Europe bad and good By 7 August, 2019 No Comments

Will Ursula von der Leyen, Charles Michel and Josep Borrell be able to turn things round? The latest report from the European Council on Foreign Relations and coauthors Mark Leonard, cofounder and director of ECFR, and Carl Bildt, cochair of ECFR – From plaything to player: How Europe can stand up for itself in the next five years – argues that Europeans still have the power to take their destiny into their own hands – if they make major changes to how they organize themselves.