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Under this title, different battles are ongoing: grants versus financial instruments, Brexit versus budget cuts, simplification of rules versus shortening of implementation deadlines, innovation and digitalization versus convergence and infrastructures, lagging behind regions versus advanced regions.

What do the regions really want?

A week full of debates and events about European regions and cities is over

European Commission Deputy Director-General for Neighborhood Policy and Negotiations Maciej Popowski said that it was nonetheless encouraging that 42% of the region’s population supported the EU. It may not be a majority but it is still more than in 2016.

Balkan citizens doubt they will ever join EU

Citizens of the Balkan region are highly sceptical that their countries will be joining the EU anytime soon, despite shows of support for European integration, while a quarter do not believe their country will ever join the EU, the Balkan Barometer 2017 survey has shown

At the end of the day, withstanding the tide of populism and the extreme nationalism means addressing the discontents that feed it. There are a number of explanations for rising populism in Europe. One is that nationalism is a form of self-defence in the environment of raising inequalities, as put by the French thinker Bernard Sordet. This, indeed, is a challenge we need to address in Europe and in the world, in general. Although European societies are among the most equal in the world, significant disparities still exist. On average, the wealthiest 20 per cent of households earn five times as much as the poorest 20 per cent, according to the European Commission.

Populism, the three-headed monster

Europe’s economy is firmly on track and the President of the European Commission, Mr. Jean-Claude Juncker encourages us to leave the harbor and sail deep seas

Public grandstanding and high-profile interventions and declarations are not the only tools at the EU’s disposal. Policymakers, including MEPs should be seeking ways to engage in creative third-party mediation, which could include turning to trusted non-politicians, including non-Europeans, who can persuade Madrid and Barcelona to abandon confrontation in favour of dialogue and negotiation.

In a world of belligerent nationalisms, it’s not just Catalonia that needs cool-headed mediation

With Spain and Catalonia still locked in confrontation, cool-headed mediators are desperately needed to take the heat out of the escalating Catalan crisis

Digital innovations have not been used sufficiently at European level either. The European Commission has funded some pilot projects targeting youth e-participation. Some MEPs communicate digitally with their constituencies. However digital democracy agenda is largely missing from both strategic policy documents, such as the Commission’s Digital Agenda for Europe, and practical measures.

Digital democracy could engage citizens in Europe

Digital technology has become a part of daily life for shopping, work and media consumption – and it is rapidly advancing into the physical world with the development of the Internet of Things. Less well-known are digital initiatives in democracy

MORE ARTICLES

European Parliament VP: ‘We must use the window of opportunity’ to deepen EU integration

By: EBR | Thursday, October 05, 2017

Europe’s populist revolt: A close-up

By: EBR | Wednesday, October 04, 2017

European Commission proposes far-reaching reform of the EU VAT system

By: EBR | Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Give the regions more EU power to save the euro and defeat populism

By: EBR | Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Political fiction, a form of European activism

By: EBR | Friday, September 29, 2017

Power to the people: Why the Energy Union must be close to citizens

By: EBR | Friday, September 29, 2017

The real reason why eastern Europe wants no refugees

By: EBR | Thursday, September 28, 2017

What can Europe learn from Macron’s speech?

By: EBR | Thursday, September 28, 2017

Europe’s socialists need to reinvent themselves

By: EBR | Wednesday, September 27, 2017

German elections mean Europe’s populists aren’t going away ‒ but neither are the immigrants

By: EBR | Tuesday, September 26, 2017

German voters deal a blow to Macron’s EU reform drive

By: EBR | Monday, September 25, 2017

Future of Europe: 10 tips for the old continent from its youth

By: EBR | Wednesday, September 13, 2017

As EU emerges from ”valley of tears”, there’s hope but also challenges

By: EBR | Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Greek PM Tsipras and French President Macron agree on fundamental changes in the EU

By: EBR | Monday, September 11, 2017

In Athens, Macron outlines ‘roadmap’ for European democratic revival

By: EBR | Friday, September 08, 2017

Firemen facing increased risk of cancer call for EU-wide action

By: EBR | Thursday, September 07, 2017

France’s Macron takes his EU reform plans to Athens

By: EBR | Thursday, September 07, 2017

Macron to deliver vision for EU democracy in Athens

By: EBR | Wednesday, September 06, 2017

The German consensus machine

By: EBR | Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Home-care across Europe: How can we build the trust of patients?

By: EBR | Monday, September 04, 2017

The EU has two options: be democratic, or cease to exist

By: EBR | Monday, September 04, 2017

Crunch time in Paris

By: EBR | Friday, September 01, 2017

The Eurozone is recovering, but we cannot afford to be complacent. Here are 3 reasons why

By: EBR | Friday, September 01, 2017

African and European leaders renew efforts to tackle migration

By: EBR | Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Pages: Next

Europe

Parliament poll: Public confidence in the EU is growing

A clear majority of EU citizens now believe that EU membership is good for their country, according to a survey of how they view the EU and its institutions, released on Wednesday (18 October)

Business

BitLocation in talks to bring Bitcoin Trading to the High Street

BitLocation declines to name the UK firm, but describes it as one of the top-five FX retail groups and one of two in the UK it has had contacts with in recent weeks

Editor’s Column

In a ‘constructive’ Brexit spirit May repeats: ‘better no deal than a bad deal’

By: N. Peter Kramer

In her speech in Florence (Italy) at the end of September, UK Prime Minister May made clear that Britain will not leave the EU on March 30 2019, the date that the EU Withdrawal Bill will be enacted and the UK membership will be terminated officially

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