With a youth unemployment rate of 56% in Spain, 58% in Greece and over 30% in Italy and Portugal, young Europeans are taking advantage of the free movement of people and labour, which has become a symbol for European integration. Similarly, other countries such as Germany, which has a youth unemployment rate of only 8% and a shortage of qualified workers, benefits from it as well. This fundamental freedom constitutes one of the most important rights that the EU guarantees to its citizens.
On 2 April 2013, the Prime Ministers of Serbia and Kosovo will announce the latest and most challenging deal reached between the two nations within the EU-mediated dialogue. Over the past two years, major agreements have been reached in an effort to normalise relations between Serbia and its former province, currently recognised as an independent state by 98 countries. While history is being written, it is important to revisit what has been agreed upon and implemented to date while also reflecting on the way forward to reach a lasting solution for the Kosovo conflict.
As the EU-mediated dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina scores tangible results so is the enlargement process. Both processes are inextricably linked. While Serbia is expected to open EU accession negotiations during the Irish presidency (first half of 2013), Kosovo could only be given a pat on the shoulder and fail short of receiving a green light for the start of negotiations on a Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA).
This article intends to discuss the effects of austerity measures on national welfare states and ultimately on the image of the European Union . It advocates for a change of paradigm of austerity in order to defend a European model at a time when it is being strongly challenged.
In the current profound financial crisis, most European member states wish they did not lack the freedom of decision-making with regards to their economic and monetary policies. But there is one thing they have not surrendered to Europe: their national identity.
Zeynep Özler, a Turkish expert for the Economic Development Foundation (IKV), sets out her viewpoint about Turkey's situation within the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM).