The need for a sustainable and inclusive future is felt everywhere, especially at the grassroots level – and that, oftentimes, means at the level of the cities and towns where people actually live. In Europe, it's the progressives-led cities and towns that are at the forefront of making that inclusive and sustainable change happen in real-time. […]
The reform of the EU fiscal rules will dominate the Brussels agenda until the end of this year. The Commission proposal is a significant improvement compared to the original framework, but is not ambitious enough in terms of enabling the green and social transition. It does not have explicit room for green investment nor a link […]
Ever since Chat GTP became mainstream, the future of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been hotly debated in the media, politics and academia. The call to regulate its development has been growing stronger, even from the leading developers of AI themselves. The fear that an unchecked arms race in AI development could wreak havoc on society is […]
Today, the world celebrates the International Day for Biological Diversity. Humans need healthy and vibrant ecosystems for their own survival. They need food, water and clean air. But because of our destructive, utilitarian and exploitative attitude towards nature, we represent the biggest threat to biodiversity conservation. It is not just about preventing the extinction of some […]
In the blatant absence of better ideas, and against the backdrop of irreconcilable interests, the approach of the European Union and its member states to migration and asylum is increasingly focusing on the externalisation of their management and on the returns of all those people who do not qualify for protection. This means asking the EU's […]
Since 1990, for over 30 years now, every 8 April, International Roma Days come and go. But the poverty and inequality Roma communities suffer in Europe and beyond have barely changed. That is shown by the findings of a recent Roma survey of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights. And it is although Roma are subject […]
A dam seems to be cracking more and more and it might soon come to the point of breaking: European centre-right parties are increasingly willing to either team up with far-right parties to form government coalitions – or at least to govern with far-right parties' support, as happened recently in Sweden. Or, in a much more […]
On Wednesday 1 March, a week before International Women's Day, the centre-left German government announced the guidelines for the pursuit of its new feminist foreign policy. But what does exactly a feminist foreign policy entail? What potential does it offer? What are its likely criticalities? And what are the challenges that lie ahead? In this new […]
One year of war has not broken Ukraine and its people. Unexpectedly, the country has withstood Russian aggression. Its cities are the object of strikes and carry the deep scars of the bombing. Some have been captured by the Russian armies and others have been liberated by the Ukrainian forces. The Ukrainian population is suffering the […]
While the Covid-19 pandemic seems behind us without really being so, and while for many workers, many aspects of reality seem pretty much the same now as we knew it before, long-term effects on the work floor seem to be lingering, notably concerning health and well-being, but also work-life balance, work motivation and career prospects. Among […]
The war in Ukraine is just the last one of the multiple crises, most of them of exogenous nature, that are shaking the world order and challenging the European Union. Increasing power competition, the emergence of alternative development models – like the Chinese – and multiple centres of gravity, and the irrelevance or the lack of […]
There is no shortage of challenges. The war in Ukraine continues to influence European economies when they are expected to perform and prevent shortages of goods. And while the apparent cost of living crisis makes citizens worry about persevering through the winter, and public systems have not recovered from the Covid era, some profit from the […]
In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, the European Union is gearing up to create a real Health Union. It aims at making the EU future-proof for health crises to come, at protecting the health of Europeans and, even more importantly, at responding to cross-border health crises in a collective way. Many questions, however, remain open: […]
Last week, in her yearly State of the Union address, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen appealed to the 'spirit of Maastricht' to overcome the challenges the European Union is currently facing. 30 years after the treaty that turned the Communities into a Union, however, the EU remains a largely incomplete project. And the rules that […]
This week's European Council will make crucial decisions concerning EU enlargement. The application of war-torn Ukraine – together with those of Moldova and Georgia – has been in the spotlight, shadowing the Western Balkan countries' aspirations and raising their legitimate concerns about their long-promised European perspective. The accession process of the six Western Balkan countries has […]
Russia’s war against Ukraine has disrupted energy markets and impacted the geopolitics of energy. As a consequence, oil and gas prices have reached their highest levels in a decade and have forced many countries to reshuffle their energy supplies. The war can be described as a hydrocarbon war, as the money coming from the export of fossil […]
A pervasive sense of disenfranchisement haunts rural areas all over the European Union: many people in remote places feel they are not being heard, their voices are not considered, and their specific issues never make it into the political agenda. And oftentimes, as voters, they are tempted by radical populists who promise to make their grievances […]
Europe is going through a housing crisis. Lower and middle-income families are priced out of gentrifying neighbourhoods. Homelessness is becoming endemic in most urban centres. People are dispossessed of their cities as the financial sector speculates, turning what should be a right for everyone into a financial asset. However, opportunities to revert this trend do exist. […]
Europe is undergoing its largest conflict since World War II. Ukrainian cities are shelled, hundreds of people have lost their lives and millions are fleeing their country. The European Union is called to provide quick and robust answers to the Russian aggression and Ukraine's need for support, and to readjust itself to an international order that […]
The Russian aggression has turned Ukraine into the theatre of a new tragic conflict on European soil. This crisis adds to other emergency situations that have exposed the EU’s inadequacy or unpreparedness to respond to international security challenges. Against this background, the EU and its member states need to address pressing questions concerning the future of […]
The current danger of an escalation of tension in Ukraine raises many questions for the entire European continent. Among the questions the European Union will have to answer on its own is the one of its stance towards Russia.The two authors of this debate agree very much on the need for dialogue, but differ on the […]
Years after the humanitarian emergency of 2015-16, the debate over migration is still very polarised. It continues to be instrumentalised by policymakers and is still portrayed as an emergency and a threat, even if the number of asylum seekers and migrants trying to get into the EU are just a few thousands, as those, recently, coming […]
The current decade is meant to become Europe’s Digital Decade. Yet, Europe is facing a twin transition: green and digital. If successful, this transition will radically change the face of the European economy. But whereas the goal of the green transition is clear – carbon neutrality by 2050 – this is not the case for the […]
Among the different actions taken by the European Commission in the aftermath of the pandemic, the suspension of the fiscal rules may represent a change as big and as relevant as the much more acclaimed Next Generation EU. Several governments have already hinted that they don't wish to go back to the same rules, once – in […]
Despite their expectations – however lukewarm they may have been – that relations between the US and the EU would take a more cooperative turn with Joe Biden at the helm of the American administration, European policymakers are now facing a huge disenchantment. And they must come to terms with the fact that not only their […]
At the beginning of the century, centre-left was the dominant force in the Central and Eastern European region. It was at the helm of the accession negotiations of many of the states that would join the EU in 2004 and after. Less than two decades later, the picture couldn’t be more different. Elections are bringing new […]
Facing a multitude of crises, the EU has placed strategic autonomy at the heart of its external action. The Union's quest for autonomy, which embodies its desire to enhance its capacity to act according to its own laws, interests and values in a world increasingly defined by geopolitical competition, has only been given additional credence by […]
"It’s time to wake up. To take notice. To raise our voices. It’s time to build back better for People and Planet" – against the backdrop of the current COVID19-induced crisis, the motto of this year's UN #WorldEnvironmentDay couldn't have been chosen better! Indeed, while the European Union's COVID-19 Recovery Plan does have some green strings […]
The process of EU-enlargement to the Western Balkans, in spite of public statements and initiatives, is in a stalemate. This feeds frustrations and disillusionment, but also illiberal drifts and the always-brewing nationalist temptations in those countries that see the prospect of accession shifting toward an increasingly uncertain future. Against this backdrop it is high time for […]
The path to recovery after the Covid-pandemic is paved with hopes, but also with questions. The European Union agreed on the largest ever aid and investment plan. But many ponder if, really, it will help advancing the cause of equality, sustainability and social justice for all. The sentiment of solidarity and the readiness to take part […]
Digital technology in the workplace is often associated with increasing precariousness of work and worsening working conditions. This is perhaps most visible in the platform economy, where online platforms control in detail how workers carry out their tasks, while the latter often lack access to social protection and collective bargaining. And yet, this is part of […]
Today's capitalism is in a deep crisis. Neither does it fulfil on its promise of generalised prosperity, nor is it environmentally sustainable. Human suffering in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis continues, with people losing their lives and others their sources of income. At the same time, stock markets seem to continue indicating healthy growth levels. […]
One of the EU's close neighbours, Israel, is gearing up for its fourth legislative elections in less than two years. It is a long-standing economic and trade partner of the EU, but relations with it are always overshadowed by the still unsolved conflict with the Palestinians and the vanishing of any real prospects for the peace process, […]
Today is International Migrant's Day, as every 18 December since the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution on the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families on 18 December 1990. 30 years later: where does the European Union stand? It is the end of a year that will be […]
For over four months, Belarusian citizens take to the streets in droves. The protests have been triggered by what they considered a stolen presidential election. It began on 9 August, right after the election, with a massive mobilisation of young people, women, and workers. The forceful democratic uprising is a breakthrough: a moment of hope the people can […]
Today, 4 November, marks the EU’s Equal Pay Day. In the EU and the UK, women earn 16% less than men on average per hour. That's why, based on this calculation, today women in the EU symbolically start working for free compared to men. The gender pay gap can be explained by multiple causes, but undeniably […]
On 4 September 1970, exactly 50 years ago, the Socialist doctor Salvador Allende won the presidential elections in Chile. It was a victory against the backdrop of the cold war and despite heavy meddling of US state agencies and private companies. And it was the first time in Latin America that a Socialist came to power […]
A new EU Framework for Roma Integration policies is in the making – now is the time to avoid past mistakes!   The current EU Framework for Roma Integration policies runs out this year. The EC is committed to renewing it for another decade. The current one however has triggered a massive increase in Roma-related institutional activity, but little […]
"It’s time to wake up. To take notice. To raise our voices. It’s time to build back better for People and Planet" – against the backdrop of the current COVID19-induced crisis, the motto of this year's UN #WorldEnvironmentDay couldn't have been chosen better! Indeed, while the European Union's COVID-19 Recovery Plan does have some green strings […]