In a move to reach out to UKIP voters and its own backbenchers, the UK Conservative Party has announced its will to adopt its own British Bill of Rights and Responsibilities and transform the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) into an advisory body, a plan which is likely to lead to the UK’s withdrawal from European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). After having reviewed the main tensions between Strasbourg and London, the article analyses the consequences such bold move could have on both the Council of Europe and the European Union before concluding that this state of play proceeds not from a eurosceptic trend but from a British ‘sovereignism creep’. Continue reading
On the 10th October 2014, UKIP achieved a seat in the UK House of Commons. This feat has been the dream, indeed craving, of the party since its earliest years – one which had been denied them, until yesterday. UKIP’s victory in the European elections and its success in entering parliament have far reaching consequences for British politics.
Judging by the media attention that numerous EU-sceptic movements have drawn these past few years, it would appear that Europe has entered the age of its disintegration. From Clacton’s by-election which has delivered UKIP its first MP in Westminster to Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s illiberal dream of rapprochement with Russia, the media outlets pay only a lip service to those who oppose the drowning noise of anti-immigration, anti-EU, protectionist and anti-progressive rhetoric poured out into the European public sphere. The outcome of misinformation on the one hand and total resignation of pro-EU advocates on the other has resulted in one thing – Europeans have learnt the cost but forgot the value of the EU membership. This is even more so when it comes to young people who more often than not take benefits of the EU for granted as they do not remember the age of fragmented nation states. Continue reading
Years ago, a child looked in wonder as a bi-wing plane roared to life, and took off into the clear blue sky; its pilot was an adventurous hero of the sky, inspiring awe from children as he whizzed by in a puff of wonder… and some exhaust fumes. The allure of aviation has transcended human generations, continuing to touch children (and adults alike) today. The children we inspire today are the future of the world, and it is up to us to ensure that that inspiration leans towards positive social progress. Thankfully, the mystique that a loud gnarly engine or a cloud of smoke used to spur in children is gone. Today the inspiration for our children comes from being green, lean, and an innovative machine. Inspiration appropriately geared to the problems facing the world today, which are unlike anything humans have faced prior, particularly climate change.
Almost a year ago, I stood in a crowd of enthusiastic children, and children at heart, to welcome Solar Impulse 1 to New York City for the completion of its adventure soaring across the United States; a record shattering venture as the world’s first solely solar powered plane pushed the limits of what we knew to be possible. Continuing to inspire the world, the Swiss Solar Impulse team is now preparing for their flight to circumnavigate the globe with Solar Impulse 2. I was honoured to be able to ask our modern day heroes in flight, the pilots – Bertrand Piccard & André Borschberg – some questions regarding their upcoming invigorating, inspiring, and norm defying venture.
Miguel Arias Cañete began his hearing at the European Parliament on the 1st October, apologising for his infamous masochist comment during the European electoral campaign in Spain, and by explaining that he has sold his shares in the fuel storage companies Ducor and Petrologis (where his brother-in-law remains a shareholder). This way, he jumped directly in to the eye of the hurricane to try dissipate the polemic, and to present a greener version of himself, engaged with the EU energy and climate ambitions. Continue reading