The Failed Agreekment

Written by Olivia Arigho-Stiles. Posted in Current features, Features

Faith in the European Union is tumbling faster than Greece’s liquidity reserves. The bitter negotiations over the Greek debt crisis have stirred up resentment, discontent and even horror from Southern Europe’s citizens in a way never visible before. On the eve of the Greek referendum on the proffered bailout deal, protests for an Oxi (No) […]

Universal Basic Income – treading the 'capitalist road to communism'?

Written by Olivia Arigho-Stiles. Posted in Current features, Features

A spectre is haunting Europe: persistent unemployment. So how can it be tackled, along with the poverty and despair it generates? One proposal is the Universal Basic Income (UBI). A beguilingly simple idea whereby each individual adult is granted an unconditional income, without means test or work requirement, the UBI has garnered supporters across the […]

Europe under a common roof

Written by Olivia Arigho-Stiles. Posted in Current features, Features

“All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way”, goes the famous Tolstoy line. And for Nobel Prize winning economist and EUI honoris causa recipient Jean Tirole, the European Union is truly an unhappy family indeed. “It would be better to have a federalist Europe”’ he suggests. “It would require people to […]

The Great European Insurance Policy

Written by Nicholas Barrett. Posted in Current features, Features

Robert Schuman’s ambition emerged from what some have described as “the midnight of the century,” a period that saw the rise of fascism, communism, industrial warfare, industrial genocide and nuclear tension that define the cold war. It was the same unprecedented climate which inspired the nightmares of Aldous Huxley, George Orwell and countless other political thinkers to imagine that almost anything could happen next. Europe escaped this dark time, but only after having totally transformed its identity.

Sinking Leadership in the Mediterranean

Written by Nicholas Barrett. Posted in Current features, Features

The ongoing tragedies of the Mediterranean should disturb anyone with any interest in the identity of Europe. But for Fargues and many others they are becoming the symbol of a crisis of confidence in a world of retail politics. If legislators are afraid of expressing the values of Europe, then both the politicians and the European Union will risk becoming meaningless in eyes of the public. Or as Fargues puts it – “If you’re a leader you have to explain things, otherwise you’re not a leader.”

Those who sacrifice Franklin

Written by Nicholas Barrett. Posted in Current features, Features

‘Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither’ is an old truism attributed to Ben Franklin. This quote has been in healthy circulation since the terrorist attacks on New York in 2001 and has done much to polarise the debate around privacy and civil liberties. Luckily it is a simplification what he actually said; after all we all sacrifice a little liberty for a little extra security every time we are forced to stop at a traffic light.

Trans Kafka

Written by Nicholas Barrett. Posted in Current features, Features

At first glance, TTIP appears to be an attempt to boost trade between the EU and the USA by standardising regulatory norms across the North Atlantic, that’s the main aim. But critics have charicterised it as an undemocratic giveaway to multinational companies buried under mountains of legal bureaucracy.

Syriza, Scylla and Charybdis

Written by Nicholas Barrett. Posted in Current features, Features

Many of the greatest minds in politics and economics have, for the last five years, been consumed by the tragic plight of Greece. Now Syriza has stormed to power as the most radically left-wing government to be elected in Europe for 70 years. They are demanding debt relief and an end to the years of miserable austerity and they have the mandate to do so. But capitulation by their creditors could start a fire of left-wing populism across Italy, Portugal and Spain, as well as fanning the flames of right-wing isolationism in northern Europe. But what appears to be a Catch 22 may in fact, be an illusion that challenges everybody’s perception of our political free will.

Piketty the optimist

Written by Nicholas Barrett. Posted in Current features, Features

It’s hard to imagine a timelier occasion to talk to Thomas Piketty. The renowned economist visited the EUI only hours after Obama’s State of the Union call for “middle class economics”, one day before the ECB started its unprecedented program of quantitative easing across the Eurozone and four days before another Greek election. It was also the week of the World Economic Forum in Davos. Meanwhile, Oxfam had just predicted that the combined wealth of the top 1% was on the verge of exceeding the combined wealth of everybody else on the planet put together.

What now for independence movements in Europe?

Written by Nicholas Barrett. Posted in Current features, Features, Uncategorized

The referendum on Scottish independence was an unprecedented event in British history. Many had hoped that a ‘no’ vote would settle the country’s status and allow it to move on with its political and cultural identity intact. But this hasn’t happened. Instead, membership of Scottish National Party (SNP) has tripled since the vote, with added autonomy promised to the disenfranchised, while south of the border calls for an English equivalent to the Scottish parliament have thrown Westminster into a constitutional quagmire. So how might this affect the futures of nations and regions across the rest of Europe?