Europe

How an EU citizens’ assembly could help to renew European democracy

There’s an urgent need to reduce the distance between citizens of EU member states and the EU’s political institutions, to challenge the rise of populism and to renew citizen engagement in the way those institutions make decisions. James Organ The Conversation An EU citizens’ assembly – a representative group of randomly selected citizens, brought together to learn about and deliberate upon an issue, and then make a policy recommendation – would be a major step towards achieving… That’s the recommendation ... Read More »

Hillary Clinton urges Europe to curb migration to stop populists

Former US presidential candidate says leaders must show they can no longer ‘provide refuge and support.’ Eline Schaart Politico Europe needs a tougher approach on immigration in order to curb the growing threat of right-wing populists, Hillary Clinton said, calling on EU leaders to show their electorates that they can no longer “provide refuge and support.” “I think Europe needs to get a handle on migration because that is what lit the flame,” Clinton said in an interview with the Guardian published ... Read More »

Finland’s digital-based curriculum impedes learning, researcher finds

A Helsinki University researcher says Finland’s current digital and ‘phenomenon-based’ learning methods used in schools may not be suitable for all students. Sources: Yle Finland’s new digital and phenomenon-based curriculum programmes hinders student learning, according to a new study from Helsinki University. The psychology researcher behind the study, Aino Saarinen, told Yle’s Swedish news service that one of the reasons behind the recent decline in Finland’s ranking on Pisa education lists is an increase in the… The researcher’s findings were ... Read More »

Why I’m sick of Turkey

Washington continues to claim Ankara as ‘strategic partner.’ Let’s stop pretending it is. Steven A. Cook Politico I am already sick of Turkey. I suspect that many Americans feel this way, about the bird and the country. Yet a small group of Washington foreign policy hands — at the State Department, at the Pentagon and in congressional offices — continue to make the case for Turkey as a “strategically important” partner to the… On paper, the country looks good: It ... Read More »

George Papadopoulos spreading disinformation to Australia

George Papadopoulos, a one-time adviser to the Donald Trump campaign, is promoting disinformation aimed at Australia, using tactics “in the same vein” as other public figures linked to… Chris Zappone WAtoday Papadopoulos, who pleaded guilty in a US court to lying to the FBI about his contacts with a Russian intermediary in September, has since initiated a public relations war against Australia’s former… After Papadopoulos told Downer in 2016 that Russia possessed damaging material about then-US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, ... Read More »

Scotland is Free to join EU, says Spain: Spanish Infuriate UK with goading on Brexit deal

Brexit will lead to the breakup of the UK, according to Spanish foreign minister Josep Borrell, as Spain drops its historic opposition to Scotland rejoining the EU as an independent country. Abbie Llewelyn Express Spain has faced its own independence claim from the region of Catalonia, which voted to separate in a referendum dubbed illegal by Madrid. The Spanish government has always opposed Scotland being allowed to join the EU, apparently worried that it would start a precedent for newly ... Read More »

Britain must ditch post-imperial fantasies for a shot of sober realism – just as it did in 1975

God forbid that a leading Brexiteer should have to own the mess he has helped create. Fintan O’Toole NewStatesman As Robert Saunders reports in his fine book Yes to Europe!, the popular mood in 1974, a year after Britain joined the Common Market, was nicely captured by an official at the Department of Trade and Industry. He likened the British public, in its attitude to its European adventure, to “a crowd of holidaymakers who, after much doubt and expense, have made ... Read More »

South Korean named Interpol president in blow to Russia

South Korea’s Kim Jong Yang was elected as Interpol’s president on Wednesday, edging out a longtime veteran of Russia’s security services who was strongly opposed by the U.S., Britain and other European nations. DUBAI – Associated Press Hurriyet Kim’s election was seen as a victory for the White House and its European partners, who had lobbied against Alexander Prokopchuk’s attempts to be named the next president of the policing organization. The U.S. and others expressed concern that if Russia’s candidate had been elected, ... Read More »

Britain has the chance to bring a brutal colonial occupation to an end

The treatment of West Papua has been scandalously neglected by our politicians. Now they have a chance to atone George Monbiot The Guardian Every colonial enterprise pretends to be inspired by something other than theft. The General Act of the Berlin Conference in 1885, under which the European powers carved Africa into formal colonial possessions, claimed that their purpose was “furthering the… Similar rhetoric has attended all such seizures. To save native people from their enslavement to the Devil, or the Arabs, ... Read More »

Pedro Sánchez sets sights on Brussels

As the UK is leaving and Italy is ruled by populists, the Spanish PM tells POLITICO that his country can step up to the plate. By DAVID M. HERSZENHORN AND DIEGO TORRES Politico MADRID — Pedro Sánchez sees an opening in Brussels — and he intends for Spain to fill it. Less than six months after taking power, the Socialist prime minister is leading in national polls and looking to raise his international profile, in part by claiming a stronger role for his country ... Read More »

As the Euro-show rolls on, where do we now fit in with our neighbours?

It’s on, it’s off, it’s on again — the Macron-Merkel relationship has the affection and froideur of a grand screen romance. ANNE MCELVOY EveningStandard The final throes of Brexit agony, deficit-laden Italy busting the eurozone’s fragile rules and the first date of the German Chancellor’s farewell tour have combined to reconcile the duo after a… But the effulgent displays of mutual affection were timed to follow the Armistice commemorations. A vast tragedy of the past was summoned to broadcast a message for ... Read More »

Guide to the classics: Euripides’ Medea and her terrible revenge against the patriarchy

The Athenian poet Euripides was the last of the three great Greek tragedians (after Aeschylus and Sophocles) and also the least successful. Paul Salmond The Conversation Greek tragedies were performed competitively at religious festivals in Athens in honour of the god Dionysus. While 18 of his 90-odd plays have survived, Euripides claimed only four festival victories. One prize was awarded posthumously, indicating that at the Dionysia, as with the Oscars, death could be a handy avenue to success. It’s not ... Read More »

Spain threatens to reject Theresa May’s Brexit deal over Gibraltar

Foreign minister demands last-minute changes to withdrawal agreement text Jon Stone Independent The Spanish government has threatened to reject Theresa May’s Brexit deal over the issue of Gibraltar, demanding that last-minute changes be made to the text ahead of a crunch summit. The country’s foreign minister said Spain would not back the proposals at the European Council unless it received assurances that the agreement would not apply to Gibraltar. But Downing Street said it would not exempt Gibraltar or any other British territory ... Read More »

Nicola Sturgeon: decision on Scottish independence vote in ‘not-too-distant future’

Nicola Sturgeon has said her MPs will vote against Theresa May’s Brexit plan and that she will make a statement on a second independence vote soon. Paris Gourtsoyiannis The Scotsaman The First Minister said plans for another referendum on independence would have to wait “until the dust settles”, meaning after a Commons vote on the proposed Brexit deal, and any public vote that could follow. Uncertainty over the UK’s relationship with the EU has forced Ms Sturgeon to repeatedly delay ... Read More »

Irish bruiser, on the ropes at home, comes out swinging in Brussels

Agriculture commissioner has eyes on a bigger prize, but it’s unclear how far Dublin will back him. By SIMON MARKS AND EMMET LIVINGSTONE Politico There’s no going back for Phil Hogan. With his reputation at home still in tatters for introducing an unpopular water charge at the height of the financial crisis, the Irishman has launched a stealth campaign to stay in Brussels after next year’s European election. The giant from County Kilkenny, who stands 1.95 meters tall, has set his eyes ... Read More »

Julian Assange latest: ‘Secret charges against Wikileaks founder revealed in cut-and-paste blunder’

Secret criminal charges against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange may have been accidentally revealed in a “cut and paste error” by US prosecutors. Tristan Kirk Evening Standard Mr Assange is wanted in America over the leak of classified military documents in 2010, but has spent more than six years living in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. He was facing allegations of sex crimes in Sweden, but insisted that he could not face the claims as he then be would be extradited to the ... Read More »