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In 2018, the average level of income in Poland exceeded two-thirds of the average level of the Eurozone. That is an impressive achievement for a country that only entered the EU in 2004 and had to shed the painful legacy of decades of Communist rule

Poland Is Europe’s Growth Champion. Can This Continue?

Key elements of the Polish success story resemble that of the German post-war economic story, especially relying on social and economic inclusiveness as a driver of economic success

We recognise that our moral, political and economic systems need to be radically reprogrammed in order to make poverty unthinkable and impossible on our continent. This reprogramming would also be the engine of economic and social development in Europe, providing wellbeing to European citizenship, including poorer and social excluded people. That is not only fair, it is smart and beneficial for all.

The next European Parliament must commit to making Europe Poverty Free

Almost 70 years later, the next European Parliament will inherit huge challenges of its own – including the fact that Europe’s moral, political and economic systems have led to 113 million people, 22.5% of our population, living at risk of poverty and social exclusion

During the postwar era (1945-1989) collective memories of total war—as well as the economic success of liberal democracy—ensured that neo-fascist movements remained politically marginal. However, the Great Recession (2007-13) has reinvigorated the far right as a viable political alternative. Reflecting on the present moment, China Mieville notes: ‘There has not in living memory been a better time to be a fascist. We live in a utopia: it just isn’t ours.’

The loss of European memory

A commitment to democracy, human rights and the rule of law was Europe’s answer to fascism. The loss of this European memory presents real dangers amid a resurgent populism

In short, the EU needs a new banner to rally its supporters behind, and an idea from a former Belgian social affairs minister might be just the job. “How about an EU-wide unemployment benefits scheme?” asks Frank Vandenbroucke, who in addition to teaching and research work at the University of Amsterdam, is also a member of Friends of Europe's Board of Trustees.

The EU-wide unemployment benefit idea could be a political winner

These are tough times for the EU, and getting tougher. The European Parliament elections in late May probably won't be catastrophic, but surging support for populist candidates could severely weaken the European project at a time when unity and strength are vital

Di Maio’s trip to Paris, to meet protesters against the French government, seems indeed quite undiplomatic, but it was also the last straw that broke the camel’s back. In recent months, the relationship between the two countries has grown tenser.   Matteo Salvini, leader of the other Italian government party, Lega, has several times publicly criticised the French President. He called Macron ‘new Napoleon’, a ‘windbag’ and a ‘polite young man who exaggerates in champagne’.

France and Italy on a collision course

A rift between two founding countries of the EU was never that wide as the one now between France and Italy.

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Pages: Next

Europe

Joint press freedom report says Europe’s democracy is in danger!

There will be a new focus on close-up monitoring and other ‘determined’ responses to what are recognised as real threats to democratic institutions, as highlighted in the newly-published report

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Editor’s Column

Victor Orban, the ‘thorn in the flesh’ of the EPP

By: N. Peter Kramer

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, asked about Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s recent anti-EU poster campaign against him, declared, “enough is enough.”

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