Eurosphere agenda:

Hoax map’ fights migrant myths

Online map highlights false stories and rumours about migrants in Germany.

Press conference: DiEM25 launched by Yanis Varoufakis and Srecko Horvat

The Democracy in Europe Movement 25 was launched by Yanis Varoufakis at the Volksbühne in Berlin on February 9. Here is a video of the press conference which preceded it.

This video was originally published on

Having fled the conflict area around Aleppo, tens of thousands of people are still stranded on the border between Syria and Turkey. Turkey is providing them with food and tents but is not letting them enter its territory. Who is responsible for the dreadful situation on the border?
The Polish parliament has approved new child benefit payments amounting to around 115 euros per month for families with two or more children. The government plans to fund the measure with a special retail tax on companies. Poland’s press sees this as a risky undertaking by the national conservative ruling party PiS.

Brussels briefing: Brexit Beartraps

This is Friday’s edition of our new Brussels Briefing. To receive it every morning in your email in-box, sign up here.

Bar the shouting (and there will surely be some) the Brexit deal is almost done. We’re nearing the moment where the sherpas fade into the background, leaving their leaders to reach the summit when they gather in Brussels on Thursday. An agreement is pretty certain, clearing the way for a June EU referendum. But there are some Brussels beartraps still to avoid — and they’re not all obvious. One issue in particular could be a killer.


Jasper Finkeldey is a doctoral researcher at the University of Essex. He was formerlythe German language editor of the European Magazine

Former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis has founded a new left-wing network to democratise the EU. With his “DiEM25” initiative he aims to prevent the Union from breaking up into individual nation states. Commentators are torn between hope and scepticism.

Austerity Ireland: Europe open your eyes

Europe must stop lauding Ireland as a success story and instead recognise the damage done to Irish society by the harsh austerity politics inflicted upon her.

Anti-austerity protest Dublin, 2012. William Murphy/ Flickr. Some rights reserved.On a wet and windy winter evening in December 2015, a crowd of 1,000 people gathers around a doorstep in Dublin’s city centre, a stone’s throw from the Irish parliament.


Surveillance and the 2015-16 refugee crisis in Europe

The EU deals with 320 million third country nationals every year, immigration officials, according to FRONTEX, needing only 12 seconds to make a decision on their entry. So why the crisis?

Refugees arrive in boats on European shores. Refugees arrive in boats on European shores. Ben White/ CAFOD. Flickr. Some rights reserved.The images of refugees fleeing war zones and seeking any means to enter territories more stable than where they came from accompany violent conflicts wherever they take place in the world. The images of refugees fleeing to Europe from the regional war in Syria and Iraq have been particularly poignant in 2015.


To combat the smuggling of refugees between Turkey and Greece, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Turkish Prime Minister Ahmed Davutoğlu have proposed Nato patrols in the Aegean. The military alliance has agreed to examine this option. Commentators see the initiative as proof of the world’s failure to deal effectively with the refugee crisis.
France’s National Assembly has also passed the second part of the country’s constitutional reform by a narrow margin. It will now be possible to strip convicted terrorists of their citizenship provided they hold citizenship of another country too. The press has harsh words for the measure.
The Polish parliament on Tuesday discussed the introduction of a relatively high allowance for families with two or more children. With benefits equivalent to 115 euros per month from the second child on the national conservative government is seeking among other things to boost the birthrate. The Polish press is at odds over the issue.

Spanish politics: a numbers game

Spain is currently in a political deadlock and Catalonia is the key for unlocking the situation, but only if a compromise can be reached.


The number of people in the UK who support a Brexit is growing. Despite the reform proposals negotiated with Brussels recent polls show that 45 percent of the British population wants the UK to leave the EU. According to media reports Prime Minister David Cameron plans to hold the referendum in 2016. Has he miscalculated?
While thousands of Syrians are still stranded on the Border with Turkey German Chancellor Angela Merkel has met with the Turkish leadership to discuss the refugee crisis. But Turkey can’t solve the problem for Europe, commentators stress, lamenting that the EU is no longer in a position to stand up to Ankara.
Owing to the opposition to his reform plans Ukraine’s Lithuanian-born economics minister, Aivaras Abromavičius, has resigned. Commentators see this as a heavy blow to the hopes for major reforms in Ukraine.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President François Hollande met yesterday (7 February) to discuss the EU’s overlapping crises, the rise of populism, and the package to avoid Brexit.


Thousands of refugees could flock to Britain from France if voters decide to leave the European Union, a spokesman for David Cameron said on Feb. 8, underlining the prime minister’s stance that an exit would hurt security
The shock of the last election continues to reverberate. Can the Socialists avoid another vote?
Fewer supporters of Pegida and other Islamophobic alliances took part in the Europe-wide action day against the reception of refugees than expected. Pegida supporters are by no means the silent majority, some commentators believe. Others warn against trivialising the anti-refugee movements.

Female journalist groped during live broadcast in Cologne


A journalist was groped during a live broadcast as she was reporting about Carnival in Cologne, Germany, which has been on high alert after a string of sexual assaults on New Year’s Eve


After Brexit: the Eurosceptic vision of an Anglosphere future

Eurosceptics fantasies about an alliance of the Anglosphere may be implausible, but they show the need for a positive vision.

Commonwealth Freedom of Movement Association


Paul Adams reports from the island of Gotland on why Sweden is concerned about Russian provocation.
The Bavarian premier Horst Seehofer has visited Vladimir Putin in Moscow and called for the easing of the West’s sanctions. As a politician of the CSU, which governs in Berlin together with its sister party the CDU, the sole intention of Seehofer’s trip was to annoy Chancellor Merkel, commentators suspect.
Tribute to a picture that went around the world: Chinese artist Ai Weiwei posed on Lesbos in the same position as the drowned refugee boy Alan Kurdi was found in when his body washed up on the beach of Bodrum last autumn. Commentators defend the artist’s action.
Portugal’s government has adopted its draft budget for 2016 – without waiting for the European Commission’s findings. The commissioners deem many of the new socialist minority government’s prognoses too optimistic. Will this be the start of another row over the austerity policy?
The EU and the US have agreed on new rules for transatlantic data exchange. Because the European Court of Justice deemed that the data wasn’t adequately protected by the “Safe Harbour” agreement, the new “Privacy Shield” agreement will now replace it. Has Europe really pushed through its privacy standards?
Faced with hundreds of thousands of refugees on the move, several Schengen countries have reintroduced temporary border controls. French experts estimate that the EU economy would lose around 100 billion euros if permanent border controls are introduced in the Schengen zone. Can the Europe without borders still be saved?

VIDEO: Migrant attacks investigated in France

The BBC has been told French prosecutors are investigating at least half a dozen attacks on migrants who live in the refugee camp known as the Jungle, in Calais.

VIDEO: Europe’s steel crisis: In 80 seconds

Trade union representatives and the bosses of some of Europe’s biggest steel firms are demanding urgent action by the EU to support Europe’s steel industry,

VIDEO: The EU: All you need to know

The BBC’s Jonny Dymond explains how the European Union works in under two minutes.
France failed to secure further relief measures for its struggling livestock farmers at a meeting of European Union agriculture ministers on Monday (15 February), as it tries to contain protests sparked by persistent low prices.
In 2012, agriculture was responsible for over 10% of total greenhouse gas emissions in the EU.
Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President of the EU Commission, has endorsed the proposal put forward by the German Finance Minister Schäuble to finance the reception and integration of refugees with a Europe-wide fuel tax. The Latvian press thinks little of its countryman’s behaviour.
France’s National Assembly votes this week on an extension of the state of emergency and several amendments to the constitution, including stripping convicted terrorists of their citizenship. Amnesty International – and the press – have harsh words for the state of emergency.
The Syria talks in Geneva were postponed without results on Thursday. UN special envoy Staffan de Mistura set a three-week pause in the negotiations and called for more commitment on the part of the participants. Commentators see little chance of the talks getting out of their current impasse.
The global community agreed at a donor conference in London to put roughly nine billion euros at the disposal of relief organisations for refugees of the Syrian civil war. Is this the right way to stop people from leaving Syria’s neighbouring states for Europe?

Sex attacks at Cologne Carnival

Police say 22 incidents of sexual assault occurred on the first night of the Carnival street party, with thousands packing the streets amid tight security.

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