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Civil Society Goes Brussels

Businesses have long since grasped it – and now civil society is following suit: Whoever wants to make political gains can no longer afford to be solely active in their respective capitals. Whether it is about the environment, about consumer protection, about civil society in the digital age – increasingly Brussels is the place where the action is.  By Falk Lüke

Democracy Needs Attention

Yet for several years Europe's academics and politicians have stressed the need for a European public as a basis for a vital European democracy - but how this public could be constituted remained unclear. The Europe-wide protests against ACTA showed: a European public has to emerge from above. By Jan Philipp Albrecht

European social policy: Urgent need for clarification

Europe unilaterally imposes austerity measures without drawing a line to define minimum social standards. The result is that social achievements are being dismantled overnight. Now the call for a more socially oriented Europe has become louder. We have to make social security systems more European.  By Annalena Baerbock, Anna Cavazzini

The EU – A Maze of Acronyms?

They play a key role in Europe's democratic processes but for a majority of the population they resemble a black box: the European political parties. To fulfill their importance public awareness should be strengthened and it has to become clear that European elections are about European parties, not purely national ones. By Annalena Baerbock

Europe’s common future. Ways out of the crisis

The EU not only finds itself in a debt crisis, it is also faces both a crisis of confidence and of democracy. The citizens of the EU will only perceive Europe as their own when they themselves can also make decisions about the course Europe’s future should follow. Now is the time for a broadly based public debate on alternative proposals for the future of Europe. We would like to contribute to the debate with this dossier.

The Political Crisis: A Better Europe Starts at Home

As market reforms and budget consolidation meet increasing political constraints, it is perhaps not surprising that the call for “more Europe” has become louder. While such eagerness for the European project should be welcomed, in fact it is not genuine but rather motivated by the short-term interests of political classes.  By Rainer Emschermann

The Gutting of Democracy. Hungary as a Trendsetter in Europe?

The political developments in Hungary show, that democracy must be defended, protected and maintained on a daily basis in many areas of society. It is also a preview of what could threaten other countries in Europe, if the civil society isn't careful. An interview with Gerald Häfner, Member of the Greens / EFA group in the European Parliament.

The Final Countdown

Today, we have to remember that hundreds of thousands of Greek workers helped power the post-war German industrial renaissance. Today, millions of Germans are powering Greece’s only “heavy industry” – tourism. In view of the present crisis we will have to understand that the road ahead is a long one – but to jump off a cliff is not a viable shortcut. By Dr. Nikos Chrysoloras

A Green Europe to Solve the Euro Crisis

From the euro crisis to a long-term vision: In Southern Europe, there should be immediate investment in solar energy. This would show EU citizens in the north that solidarity can provide them with cheaper renewable energy and citizens in the south would experience that reforms do serve a more integrated, greener, and more just Europe.  By Ferdi De Ville

Viktor Orbán in Strasbourg: Veni, vidi, vici?

Last week, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán participated in a plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg. The agenda included current political developments in Hungary. Shortly beforehand, the European Commission had launched three infringement proceedings against the country. The Hungarian prime minister had invited himself to this session. By Eva van de Rakt

Ten Years After 9/11: Lessons Learned?

The attacks of 11 September 2001 represented a historic turning point of a scope comparable to that of the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989. This year’s annual foreign policy conference took stock of the “war on terror” and formulated a vision for Afghanistan, the Middle East and global politics. By Stefan Schaaf

Transatlantic 20/20: The US and Europe in an Interpolar World

Transatlantic 20/20: The US and Europe in an Interpolar World, held at the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung in Berlin on June 16, brought together experts from think tanks, the media, and the foreign service to give their take on the scenarios and share how they think the future might unfold. By Colin M. Adams

Renewable Energies in the Baltic Sea Region

Renewables in the electricity sector are often built in regional cooperations. The Example of the Baltic Sea Region shows, that there is a clear potential for an energy system built on 100 percent renewable production. By Factwise

Analysis of the EU Raw Materials Initiative

Yesterday, the European Commission presented an update to its Raw Materials Strategy from 2008. What are the practical implications of this European strategy, especially for resource rich developing countries around the world? By Johanna Sydow, Lili Fuhr, Ute Straub

Examining the Turkish-Russian rapprochement

According to official announcements in Turkey, Turkish-Russian relations are at an all-time high. However, the validity of these claims is not easy to verify given the lack of transparency on both sides. As part of a series of events on Turkish foreign policy, the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung Turkey in co-operation with the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung Russia and Carnegie Centre Moscow try to review the situation.  By Christian Eichenmüller

The Belgian Presidency of the European Union in Retrospect

An impressive display of fireworks at the Mont des Arts concluded the Belgian EU presidency. Despite orignal doubts due to the Belgian government crisis, the Belgian presidency was a success. A look at the Trophy Cabinet of the belgian diplomats. By Hendrik Vos

The Belgian Presidency of the European Union - An assessment

Did the Belgian Presidency of the European Union go beyond playing the honest broker and take on the role of providing the necessary driving force required by the EU with regard to internal and external developments? An assessment of Implementing the Treaty of Lisbon, Policies to overcome the crisis, the European Citizens’ Initiative and external relations. By Mario Telo

What is happening to Hungary?

Hungary was long considered a model for democracy in the former Eastern Bloc countries. It currently hits the headlines because of the controversial media laws and other moves by the national conservative Fidesz party, which endanger essential elements of the constitutional framework. By Péter Rauschenberger