From the instant you wake up and turn the light on to the minute you decide to download a movie online before going to bed, the EU invisible hand has been influencing the most varied aspects of your day- to- day life. A few illustrative examples were selected to illustrate the rather positive effects of EU action in order to bring up a reflexion on its achievements and its importance in citizens’ lives.
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.
What ‘pillar’ of the EU does not challenge state sovereignty, does not raise conflicting currency issues and does not spark fierce debates regarding public regulations, whilst actively working towards integration? A tough question? This article examines what the European Union has done for education across the continent and why we should not forget about it, particularly at a time of hardship.
In ten years, mobile phones have become a transgenerational and transclass good, particularly in Europe, where the penetration rate is higher than in Japan or the US. The mobile phone has hence become the most democratized device of the 21st century. The EU has been a decisive actor in promoting cheaper prices and consumer rules.
The European Union foreign policy is generally harshly criticised. The very fact that the EU might be an actor in international relations is often questioned. Indeed, the EU foreign policy has demonstrated in the years to have several shortcomings, and sometimes to lack the necessary consistency and efficacy. But this is not what this article is about.
The European Union’s growth strategy for the period 2010-2020, known as Europe 2020, aims to make the EU ‘smart, sustainable and inclusive’ by improving skills and education, modernising industry, and also, by boosting research and innovation. Its financial instruments, the FP7 (2007-2013) and Horizon 2020 (2014-2020) contribute to this agenda, as does its funding to projects with an international dimension such as the CERN and Project ITER.
Is there a difference in treatment between natural science and humanities at national and European level? If yes, why is it so? What are the obstacles humanities are facing when it comes to funding? What is the EU position from this perspective? To answer these questions and highlight the differences between natural science and humanities research in Europe we interviewed Colm Lennon, Secretary for the Humanities and Social Sciences in the Royal Irish Academy and member of a Working Group on Social Sciences and Humanities of ALLEA (ALL European Academies: European Federation of Sciences and Humanities).
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).
Hot debates about immigration, economic crises or international issues often posit that Eastern Europe is a coherent whole, despite the diversity of countries it denotes. True, their common soviet past and its aftermath easily come to mind when we think about this particular half of Europe. Yet “Eastern Europe” as a political term (and no mere geography) is no longer relevant, argues journalist Anne Applebaum at the London School of Economics (LSE).