The First World War was a calamity for Germany and Europe. The Second World War was an even bigger calamity for Germany and Europe. But without both World Wars there would be no European Union (EU) today.
The upcoming European Parliament elections are overshadowed by the perception of an indecisive European Union ill-prepared to deal with geopolitical challenges. Inferring from that a general indifference towards the European Union or its Parliament, however, is a short-sighted fallacy.
The EU cannot give up on the project of a unified and free Europe without giving up on itself. This includes the promise that all European nations on the path to becoming a democracy and constitutional state can become a member of the European Community. Ukraine is the touchstone of this promise today.
Most important now is that the international community responds speedily and clearly to what amounts to a Russian occupation of the Crimea and the additional threat of Russian troops being stationed in Ukraine. Europe is in no way powerless in the face of Russian actions, as Ralf Fücks and Walter Kaufmann illustrate in a ten-point plan.
“Because Europe’s not always in good working order, some demand less of it. We, on the other hand, want more Europe!” At the conference “Europe's Future – Europe’s Young Generation” young Europeans came together to discuss deficits and options of an Europe based on solidarity.
The European Union has long proclaimed itself a leader of global climate ambition and a champion of the low carbon economy. Due to the influence of powerful interest groups, Europe might roll back its commitment to combating climate change.
One of the most hotly debated issues in the run-up to Germany’s federal election due to be held on 22 September, is the future of Greece. Unfortunately, it is the terrible sound of populism, which dominates, and there are hardly any voices of reason to soothe our ears.
By Nikos Chrysoloras
Croatia becomes the 28th member of the European Union after a decade of negotiations. The hope that it will now go up with the economy, slightly and widespread corruption in the country far. The dossier provides a collection of articles about the likely changes in ten key areas of social life.
As in Russia severe restrictions are being placed on civil society organisations which enables them to operate freely. Therefore nearly 30 civil organizations have signed a joint statement in the forefront of the G20 summit in Russia - stating there views of a functioning democratic process in civil societies.
The NSA scandal is not just a problem for the American democracy. Other American, European, Asian, and African people have also a right to know the whereabouts of their private data.
By Dr. Thorsten Wetzling
The Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung European Union (hbs EU) invites 15 young people from the southern member states of the eurozone and from Germany to Brussels in order to discuss the economic, social and political problems in their countries; their perception of their own future, that of their countries and of Europe with each other and with actors of the European institutions and organisations.
Our international conference took place on April 9th/10th and gave speakers from across Europe a chance to talk about the opportunities in and obstacles towards an Energiewende in Europe. Here you find video recordings of the talks and discussions.
Since 2010 the Fidesz-KDNP coalition adopted a new constitution with so far four rounds of constitutional amendments. This analysis issued by the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union and the Eötvös Károly Institute highlights the specific concerns in relation to the Fourth Amendment.
By Nóra Novoszádek
With the constitutional amendments adopted on the 11th of March, Viktor Orbán has once again caused a surprise. The reactions of the Western European public show that there is still an inadequate grasp of how political power is exercised by Orbán’s government. European democrats now finally need to formulate a common position against the power centralization in the country.
After passing the Electoral Procedure Act, we are still far from knowing the final rules less than a year and a half ahead of the next parliamentary elections. However, the new electoral system turns out to be a measure of the governing party to increase its chances of winning the 2014 general election, while oppositional parties will be forced to organise their activist network and engage in a door-to-door campaign more effectively than before.
By Róbert László
The EU countries affected by the crisis find themselves in a dilemma. They have to ensure economic growth and employment while, at the same time, they need to reduce costs and save money through higher taxes. A new survey indicates: environmental taxes are the most effective tool in this context – and simultaneously conserve resources.
By Kai Schlegelmilch