Italian navy rescues over 1,000 migrants in one day

The Italian navy said on Friday (3 January) it had rescued more than 1,000 migrants from boats trying to reach Europe, as an immigration crisis that killed hundreds in the last year showed no signs of easing.

Italian navy helicopters spotted four overcrowded boats struggling to stay afloat south of Sicily on Thursday and ships were sent to save them, authorities said in a statement.

The 823 men, women and children aboard the four vessels were from countries including Egypt, Pakistan, Iraq and Tunisia.

 

Morning Brief: Angela Merkel Injured in Skiiing Accident

Angela Merkel Injured in Skiiing Accident

Germany: Chancellor Angela Merkelfractured her pelvis in a cross-country skiing accident, forcing her to cancel meetings for the next three weeks. The fall occurred over the Christmas holidays when Merkel was on vacation with her family in Switzerland.

Is there now a European Public Sphere?

 

The lack of a clear public sphere or demos across the EU has long been used as a stick to beat down any suggestion that there could one day be proper pan-European democracy, as well as to decry the EU?s supposed lack of legitimacy. (Here?s an article on the EU demos from 2005, and one on the public sphere from me from 2007.)

 

Black, male, care leaver, seeking asylum: access to higher education in Britain

 

Despite their determination and aspiration, many young asylum seekers are being barred from higher education by multiple discriminations. The current inquiry on Race and Higher Education must recognise this fact.

In November 2013, the story of Yonas and Abiy Admasu Kebede hit the front pages of national and local press in the North East of England. The two brothers had recently left care in Newcastle, having arrived in Britain nearly 10 years ago from Ethiopia seeking asylum.

Experts show cautious optimism for the eurozone in 2014

Last year was the least tumultuous for the eurozone since Greece revealed a vast hole in its books back in 2009. The consensus is that 2014 will be just as calm, a view held by some who were predicting the currency bloc’s demise little more than a year ago.

The political will to keep the show on the road has held firm, the European Central Bank’s pledge to underpin the euro continues to stave off bond market pressure and there is the prospect of economies growing at least a little.

Bulgaria?s first seven years in the EU

 

On 1 January Bulgaria has marked its first seven years of EU membership. There is a saying in Bulgarian about the first seven years of a human being: ?either you have them or you don?t?. Either during your first seven years you have learned something that will make a man out of you, or you will be a burden to society.

Ten Reasons to Demonstrate: Criminalisation of Hungarian homeless

 

In 2010, a Hungarian Law was amended to allow municipalities to ban homeless people from public spaces. Although this law was ruled unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court, the Consitution has been modified to allow prohibition of homelessness in 2013. I?ve collected 10 reasons why is it totally contrary to European laws and values.

Economies of Britain and France have more similarities than differences

 

Despite politicians’ rhetoric, the fight to survive in the global economy is a shared experience for the two historic rivals

As British crowing about last year’s return to growth increasingly irks the struggling administration of François Hollande, it is worth remembering that London and Paris have more in common than they care to admit.

Greek Presidency offers no perks for visiting civil servants

Crisis-ridden Greece took over the reins of the European Union on Wednesday (1 January) with a record low budget dedicated to its EU presidency of ?50 million set as the ?absolute maximum? the presidency is planning to spend in the forthcoming six months.

Aided by a shorter calendar due to the European Parliament elections in May this year, the Greeks are nonetheless making a few significant cuts, hoping to ?set a trend? for future presidencies.

What 2014 holds for eurocrisis watchers

 

This is the year when the emphasis shifts from the policy choices of eurozone leaders to their consequences and what they mean for people

Italian coalition eyes speedy electoral reform

Italian centre-left leader Matteo Renzi called on Thursday (2 January) for swift reform of an electoral system blamed for the country’s bouts of political deadlock and said he expected an agreement could be completed within weeks.

Renzi is not in the government but as head of the Democratic Party, the biggest party in Prime Minister Enrico Letta’s left-right coalition, he will have a decisive role to play in shaping the agenda and has already called for quicker action on reforms.

Europe?s leaders divided on EC presidency

Idea is to use European parliamentary elections to select next president of European Commission and give more democratic legitimacy to executive arm

Interactive: The race to replace Barroso

Profiles of the leading contenders to be the new president of the European Commission

Lessons from writing about the Habsburgs for writing about the EU

A review of a book I?ve been meaning to pick up (Danubia: A Personal History of Habsburg Europe,  by Simon Winder)  has some useful passages:

European Parliament Elections 2014 ? Ireland

 

This year will see the 28 member states of the European Union going to the polls between the 22nd and the 25th of May to elect a new European Parliament. In Ireland this years elections will see a big change on the 2009 elections due to boundary changes and the change in the Political landscape since that election.

 

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