Bursting the Bubble

Fraternité and the Swimming Salmon

5 April 2013 | by

Decades after the signing of the Schengen Agreement, the EU can boast of having created a space with no internal borders in almost all of its Member States. The agreement’s aim was to improve the functioning of the internal market and to bring the benefits of integration to the citizens of Europe.

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Same Sex Marriage and Adoption Rights in France

3 April 2013 | by

Massive protest in Paris, opponents’ last attempt before final vote

France, Sunday 24.03.2013. Families marching in the streets of Paris. The collective “la Manif pour tous”* demonstrated before the legislative proposal on same sex marriages was to be examined by the Sénat (France’s upper chamber) in a plenary session on the 4th of April. The manifestation garnered around 300 000 opponents to the legislative bill according to the police (1.4 million according to the people who organised it) and was therefore considered a success. However, the manifestation was marked with scuffles – some protesters wanted to spill over onto the Champs Elysees and the police fired tear gas. Protesters reported that whole families were caught up in the tear gas onslaught. Continue reading

Growth via Trade is Plan A, also Plan B, C, D and E…

2 April 2013 | by

2008 will forever, in this generation’s eyes at least, be synonymous with the global financial crisis which continues to dominate the political and social spectrum across the European Union. Even now, 5 years later, the EU is still trying to claw its way out of economic stagnation. The recent Cyprus ordeal is just one further reminder of how inter-connected and fragile our economies are in this time of austerity and market upheaval; hindsight is often a wonderful thing but questions do need to be asked exactly how the previous financial stress tests were so positively signed off-on the Cyprus banking model in 2010 – however, this is neither here nor there. The EU has been desperately attempting to find a collective solution to the economic contractions and sluggish growth which have dominated the recent economic landscape across all member states, and if one thing can be specified as the EUs core plan-of-action to economic stability and growth, it’s trade.

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Data Protection: good for citizens but bad for business?

29 March 2013 | by

The future for data protection in Europe has finally arrived in the form of an EU Data Protection Regulation. Taking the stage after being leaked onto the virtual world, the new law will modernise the EU Data Protection Directive of 1995 in the form of a directly applicable Regulation. The European Commission presented this proposal in January 2012 and it is a good initiative for the digital world we’re living in, where we rely on a continuous connection to the Internet. The Commission stated that this reform will help companies get the most out of the Digital Single Market and that it will foster economic growth, innovation and job creation. However, questions arise when we think about how realistic these ambitious perspectives are. Continue reading

Where will Venezuela go?

27 March 2013 | by

Where will Venezuela go as Chávez goes into mythology?

This article comes weeks after Venezuelan caudillo, Hugo Chávez, died on the 6th of March. Hence, the commentary is neither a farewell nor a note for the enormously-recounted event itself. On the contrary, that is an attempt to understand where Chávez left Venezuela, and where the country will go after his death.1

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