This is a blog written by alumni of the EPA MA programme in Maastricht.
Bursting the Bubble

NATO’s Southern Dilemma: Contesting Security Interests of the Regional Powers in the Middle East

19 November 2014 | by

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) finds itself between two fronts. To the East, Russia, by annexing Crimea, a Ukrainian territory, has violated the post-WW international order which has secured the decades’ long peace in Europe. To the South, the rise of extremism in the Middle East has created one of the most challenging threats to the global security. Even though the alliance has numerously claimed that both, Eastern and Southern, security threats should be dealt carefully, it is clear that most of NATO’s resources are allocated to tackling the latter. Continue reading

World Energy Outlook 2014 – Key Findings

17 November 2014 | by

Last week, the International Energy Agency (IEA) released its annual World Energy Outlook 2014. The Outlook is globally recognised as a reliable analysis of energy and environmental development and receives attention from policy makers, businesses and the public.

This year‘s conclusion is short but precise: “The global energy system is in danger of falling short of the hopes and expectations placed upon it. […] Advances in technology and efficiency give some reasons for optimism, but sustained political efforts will be essential to change energy trends for the better.”

The major findings and predictions should be a reminder for everyone working on energy policy in the European Union not to forget the global perspective. Continue reading

Between extra hours and after hours – what it means to be a young PR pro

5 November 2014 | by

As a young communication professional, I find it fascinating how my fellow colleagues across Europe perceive their jobs and careers. For all of you like-minded folks, I have collected my favourite findings of the 2014 European Communication Monitor: Continue reading

Hungary’s Internet Tax: Continuing to undermine the country’s democratic principles

31 October 2014 | by

In the past week, Hungary’s government led by self-styled Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has been faced with one of the biggest challenges since his accession to power in 2010. Hundreds of thousands of Hungarians took to the streets on Tuesday and last weekend to protest against the recently announced tax on Internet use – a measure proposed by the Ministry of Economy, but initiated by Orbán himself. The Internet tax would see an introduction of a levy of some 150 forints (0.49 euros) for each downloaded gigabyte. While this is not the first unorthodox measure to shore up Hungary’s stagnating economy, given the size of the revolt that it has generated among Hungarians, it would appear that the Fidesz government has this time shot itself in the foot. However, there are signs that plans for the tax will be dropped, with Orbán stating on radio that he plans to launch a public debate on Internet regulation in January 2015. Continue reading

15 days after the ebola crisis – manual on how austerity made a country celebrate having malaria

27 October 2014 | by

Drawing upon the recent discovery of the first case of Ebola in Europe via the nurse Teresa Romero – who was in contact with the two Ebola-infected missionaries brought back to Spain to receive healthcare – it is time to review the causes behind one of the biggest public health crises of our times.

Phase 1) Prevention:

Taking for granted that, after the recent withdrawal of the proposed abortion legislation (which would have criminalised the majority of abortions last year in Spain), leaving two Ebola-infected priests in Africa would have constituted an ultimate insult towards the right-wing Catholic People’s Party (PP) electorate, the government of Mariano Rajoy had no choice but to bring the two Spanish priests back to Madrid. However, due to budget shortages driven by austerity measures in the public health sector, this may not have been the best idea ever. There are a few factors that should have been foreseen. Continue reading