European Union

How not to make Europe great again

May 2021 – A new alliance of Italian, Polish and Hungarian far-right parties promises a renaissance that will make great and Christian again. The trouble is the original Renaissance was not Christian, and Europe has never been better.

Overcoming the hidden environmental costs of solar energy

April 2021 – Our efforts to harness the sun's energy to power our future may require up to 5% of the territories of some countries, a new simulation finds. This could have significant direct and indirect environmental side effects, including habitat loss and deforestation. But there are ways to avoid this.

Lessons in religious intolerance

April 2021 – Using offensive images of Muhammad in the context of a lesson on blasphemy is entirely justifiable pedagogically, intellectually and morally. Conservative Muslims protesting against it are attempting to shut down free inquiry and undermining pluralism.

Denmark's white ghetto mindset

April 2021 – The concentration of immigrants in certain poor neighbourhoods in Denmark is far more a sign of the ghetto mentality of the majority than that of minorities.

Combating racism is a race against time

April 2021 – The European Union has committed itself to dispelling the spectre of racial prejudice. But with the resurgence of racism and discrimination across Europe, combating it requires urgent action, not just noble words.

The heroes fighting online hate speech

February 2021 – Donald Trump's latest impeachment throws a spotlight on the politics of grievance, the role of social media and the dangers of hate speech spilling over into real life. Fortunately, the pushback has started.

Trump is terrible but Europe and the Middle East have racism too

November 2020 – Outside America, Donald Trump has provoked near universal outrage and dismay. However, Europeans and Middle Easterners must not forget the racism closer to home.

Moria and the smouldering ruins of Europe's humanity

October 2020 – The refugees and migrants who survived the fire at the Moria camp in Lesbos find themselves in an even worse predicament as authorities repeat the same dire mistakes.

Bordering on inhumanity: How Slovenia and Croatia illegally deport refugees and migrants

August 2019 – Rather than being allowed to apply for asylum, thousands of refugees and migrants attempting to enter Slovenia and Croatia are being illegally and often violently spirited across the border to Bosnia, and out of the .

Island of despair

November 2018 – While the outrage of Europeans has been turned to Donald Trump's wall and the handling of migrants at the border with Mexico, they ignore a humanitarian disaster closer to home. The EU has left Greece to handle the influx of refugees on its own and those stuck on Lesbos are living in abysmal conditions.

Nostalgia… when the past is a better country

November 2018 – The majority of Europeans do not want to let bygones be bygones and pine for a past which they believe was better than their present. This is problematic for Europe's future.

The ghettoisation of Danish politics

July 2018 – The Danish government plans to force minorities out of what it classes as “ghettos”, but its Denmark's mainstream that needs to escape its ghetto mentality.

“Instead of protecting me, they treated me like a murderer”

March 2018 – In the two years since the EU's inhumane deal with Turkey, the plight of traumatised refugees arriving on the Greek islands has worsened significantly. Instead of refuge, they are being offered prison.

Economic recovery means little to Europe's working poor

December 2017 – Europe is experiencing an economic recovery but many of the jobs being created a keeping people poor rather than lifting them out of poverty.

Angela Merkel: The ‘Arab' chancellor

September 2017 – If Arabs could have voted, Angela Merkel would have won by a landslide, rather than the embattled situation she currently finds herself in following the shock gains scored by the far-right.

Greek island teaches Europe how to welcome refugees

August 2017 – The Greek island of Tilos has hosted more than seven times its population in refugees… and has done so with dignity, respect and with almost no external assistance.

Trapped inside Fortress Europe

January 2017 – The plight of the 63,000 refugees and migrants still marooned in Greece should give Europeans pause for thought.

Multilingualism: The power of Babel

November 2016 – Speaking foreign languages broadens our horizons and can act as an antidote against toxic xenophobia.

The generous of the earth in the most wretched of places

September 2016 – If you're feeling dejected by the troubled times we live in, remember that human generosity lives on, even in the most wretched of places.

Turkey: “Everywhere I look I see fear”

July 2016 – Turkey's failed military coup has been a “gift from God” for Erdoğan, who is now cementing his grip on dictatorship.

Eutopian nightmares

June 2016 – By raising the drawbridge in the face of desperate refugees and succumbing to bigotry and hatred, the EU's utopian ideals are being abandoned for a dystopian reality.

Giulio Regeni is the tip of Egypt's police brutality iceberg

May 2016 – Many Egyptians find the allegation that the Italian student was killed by Egypt's notorious security apparatus chillingly plausible. Italy must shed its former enthusiasm for the Sisi regime.

This is not a refugee “hotspot”. It's a prison!

May 2016 – Following the EU-Turkey deal, refugees in Greece are being held in so-called “hotspots”, which are actually prisons, and many are now on hunger strike.

War crimes v thought crimes

April 2016 – While criminals walk free, Florence Hartmann landed in solitary confinement for her insider leaks on the politicisation of the Yugoslav tribunal.

The myth of the European jihadist hordes

March 2016 – The terrorist attacks in Brussels will reinforce the idea that returning jihadists pose an existential threat to Europe. But the facts say otherwise.

The ‘Brexit' handicap

March 2016 – Leaving the EU could be catastrophic for disabled Britons, yet little attention has been given to their needs or their voices.

Syria: Return to a dying land

March 2016 – As Europe turns its back on refugees, Syrians who can't afford the “luxury” of fleeing are making the perilous journey back to their ruined homeland.

Make diplomacy, not war

March 2016 – The world is paying the price for Boutros Boutros-Ghali's foiled attempts to reform the United Nations into an effective force to resolve conflicts.

Lesbos: “No matter how hard you swim, you can never save all of them.”

January 2016 – Despite the massive efforts of volunteer lifeguards, refugees are losing their lives in the Mediterranean. Europe must act… and out of compassion.

Sexual harassment, Islam and the politicisation of women's bodies

January 2016 – Sexual harassment in Cologne and elsewhere is not about Islam. It is about the patriarchy and the politicisation of women's bodies.

Yassin al-Haj Saleh: “Syria is a unique symbol of injustice, apathy and amnesia”

January 2016 – In an exclusive interview, prominent Syrian writer and dissident Yassin al-Haj Saleh talks about Syria's past, tragic present and uncertain future.

Western Muslims: The neglected link

January 2016 – Despite their under-utilisation and the suspicion they elicit, European and American Muslims can help bridge the chasm between “West” and “East”.

The Brussels connection: Turning the tide on radicalisation

November 2015 – Belgium says it is working to combat radicalisation in Brussels. But is it doing enough to counter jihadist narratives and address exclusion?

The UN's Insecurity Council

November 2015 – The UN Security Council has a long track record of failing to resolve conflicts. Now it is also in danger of bringing the major powers to blows.

RIP, Oslo

October 2015 – The “peace of the brave” has given way to the peace of the grave. It's time to abandon Oslo in favour of a civil rights struggle for equality.

Invading Europe without invaders

October 2015 – Any objective observer can see  that the refugees of today are not the invaders of history. So why are so many Europeans afraid of refugees?

Refugees who just want to dance

October 2015 – An Iranian engineer who is seeking asylum in Europe because he wants to pursue his passion, dancing, would probably be rejected. Should he be?

The West's hidden tribalism

September 2015 – Tribalism and sectarianism afflicts Western societies too. So why is that they seem to be tearing the apart?

Syrian refugees: The civil rights movement of our time

September 2015 – Rather than threatening Europe's way of life, refugees are, through their struggle, helping to preserve the most precious of European values.

A utopian refuge for refugees?

September 2015 – Can an Egyptian billionaires vision of turning a Mediterranean island into a just republic for refugees help solve the refugee crisis?

A Syrian ‘ode to joy' on Europe's border

September 2015 – A violinist's inspired and impromptu choice of music at the Greek-Macedonian border tells us a lot about the Syrian refugee crisis.

From Gaza's sinking boat to the Tahini Sea

August 2015 – Gazans Amer and Saleh felt “condemned to failure”, so they decided to escape to Europe. Sadly, their aborted endeavour ended in narrowly averted death.

Europe's collective refugee shame: How can it be?

August 2015 – How can it be that we Europeans greet the biggest refugee crisis in living memory with indifference, xenophobia and hostility?

The long march from Syria to Europe

August 2015 – Joining Syrian refugees on their long trek to the EU, Boštjan Videmšek discovers how easy it is to lose faith in humanity and how hard to restore it.

عن تجربة اليونان المؤلمة ودروسها لمصر

يوليو 2015 – يوجد الكثير من الدروس المستفادة لمصر من أزمة اليونان الحادة

Defusing the social media timebomb

July 2015 – Countering the “weaponisation of the internet” with top-down initiatives are unlikely to succeed. What we need are true grassroots efforts.

Greek islands: No holiday in the sun for Syrian refugees

June 2015 – Kos is straining under the influx of Syrian refugees.  Though locals are hospitable, the refugees are desperate to move on but where or how eludes them.

War and peace in the Middle East and Europe

April 2015 – Europe's history of total war and mass displacement can help create more sympathy for today's refugees and keep hope alive in the Middle East.

The EU is torn between criticising and cheering China

April 2015 – At 40, EU-China relations are going through a midlife crisis. Is Europe living up to its human rights values or focusing on the value-added of trade?

Netanyahu and the Middle East: The risky business of “business as usual”

March 2015 – Netanyahu's re-election promises “business as usual”. But this is an extremely risky venture on the Iranian-Israeli and Israeli-Palestinian fronts.

The Brussels press corps: Shaken, not sunken

February 2015 – Despite the crisis in traditional media, the Brussels press corps continues to survive and thrive, but not without difficulties.

Europe's invisible “Islamisation”

January 2015 – The murderous Paris attacks have reignited fears of “Islamisation”. But Islamic civilisation is encoded in Europe's cultural and intellectual DNA.

Romania's myths, legends, warts and charms

November 2014 – Romania defies many of the unflattering stereotypes associated with the country. To me, it shone because it doesn't profess to be a shining light.

The dangers of a political crusade against Western jihadists

September 2014 – Inflammatory rhetoric and a solely punitive approach to Western jihadists is only likely to make matters worst, and could threaten multiculturalism.

Beyond the rank and file of university education

May 2014 – With students caught between a book and a hard place in these austere times, they are resorting to new ranking tools to help decide where to study.

De lijm die België bijeenhoudt

Mei 2014 – De nationale voetbalgekte verbergt de realiteit dat België al twee staten is. Ik gebruik mijn stem als lijm die kan helpen om België samen te houden.

Hongarije, de Viktator en ik

April 2014 – Waarom maak ik mij zorgen? Hongarije wordt nu een land van rechts-extremisme verpakt in een hip jasje. Ik zie mijn vaderland voor mijn ogen afbrokkelen.

Gunship diplomacy, rockets and Gaza's forgotten tragedy

March 2014 – The other tragedies make it is easy to forget Gaza. But with a humanitarian crisis and rising tensions, it's time to end the Israeli-Egyptian blockade.

Spain, return and the other 1492

February 2014 – Spain's recognition of the Jews it expelled ignores another historical crime: the Muslims forced out of Andalusia.

Egypt's return of the “noble” outlaws

February 2014 – Three years after a revolution against Mubarak-era cronyism, fugitive tycoons are scrambling to buy back their freedom… at knock-down prices.

Angela's angels and the political patriarchy

October 2013 – Despite the “Merkel miracle”, the political patriarchy remains strong. However, more women are exploiting and even defying it to lead their countries.

US intervention in Syria: Not kind, but cruel

September 2013 – Punishing a dictator for killing his own people by killing yet more of them is not the answer. It didn't work in Iraq, and it won't work in Syria.

The Middle East's sinking leadership

June 2013 – From Egypt to Turkey, Middle Eastern uprisings have not only been leaderless but have even been a rebellion against the idea of leadership itself.

Hitler: Arab hero or villain

May 2013 – A shop called Hitler in Egypt raises some uncomfortable questions about Arab perceptions of the Nazi dictator.

Italy: why flags and crowds can corrupt the view

May 2013 – The least you'd expect of a disgraced politician is to bow out of the limelight. Not Silvio Berlusconi with his grandstanding and rent-a-crowd.

America and Europe's real “homegrown terrorism” threat

April 2013 – The Boston marathon bombings have refocused attention on the threat of “homegrown terrorism”. But there is a much more dangerous domestic threat.

A brief history of Western ‘jihadists'

April 2013 – From Guy Fawkes and Lord Byron to Ernest Hemingway and George Orwell, Westerners have an ancient tradition of doing ‘jihad' in foreign lands.

Defeating Hitler's legacy

April 2013 – On the 80th anniversary of Hitler's rise to power, Germany provides an inspiring role model for how societies can come to terms with their ugly past.

The clash within civilisations

March 2013 – This year marks the 20th anniversary of the clash of civilizations theory, but Samuel P Huntington was wrong.

De Europese Unie en de ‘Viktator' van Hongarije

March 2013 – De EU krijgt een keiharde middelvinger van de ‘Viktator' van Hongarije. De Unie moet nu resolute actie ondernemen om haar legitimiteit te redden.

Gay pride (and prejudice) through the ages

February 2013 – Historic examples of homosexuality being tolerated by Judaism, Christianity and Islam can help overcome homophobia and reinvent these faiths.

Hungary's forgotten generation

September 2012 – With the surge in polarised power politics, young Hungarians, excluded and frustrated, are falling prey to extremism and its twin menace, apathy.

Basque Country: In the eye of the financial storm

March 2012 – Although many Europeans associate it with political turmoil, the Basque Country is the only Spanish region where the economic outlooks is mild.

Greece and the euro – a Trojan tragedy

February 2012 – The Greeks are putting a new spin on the legend of Troy by snubbing the fattest gift horse they're likely to get from the weary euro club.

Social responsibility goes digital

February 2012 – Information technology is being hailed as the new face of socially responsible business.

Spain turns right but where's the far right?

December 2011 – On the anniversary of Franco's death, Spain elected a centre-right government but that doesn't mean its far-right ghosts have been exorcised entirely.

A common cents approach to money

September 2011 – With the United States and Europe on the verge of bankruptcy, the time has come to consider a radical solution – a single global currency.

Should Arabs treat Erdoğan as a hero?

September 2011 – Recep Tayyip Erdoğan received a hero's welcome across the Arab world. But should Arabs welcome or be weary of Turkey's greater engagement in the Middle East?

‘Redheads under the bed' as a substitute for good reporting

September 2011 – A story that redhead sperm is not welcome at a Danish spermbank has gone global, reflecting how good reporting is being crowded out of the media by ‘incredible free content'.

Feeling Europe's pain

September 2011 – All is not well in the old world of organisational paternity, job security and economic rationality. But the silver lining is that we have millions of virtual ‘friends' to feel our pain.

Arab spring and Turkish autumn?

June 2011 – Is Turkey truly a role model for the Arab Spring or is it actually a secular democracy in its autumn years?

Defiantly delusional

March 2011 – Muammar Gaddafi and Silvio Berlusconi have something in common: delusions of grandeur that keep them desperately holding on to the reins of power.

When the chips are down

February 2011 – Arab revolutionary fever has spread to Europe as Belgians raise their freedom fries, not to bring down a regime but to ask for one to be formed.

Life as an outsider

December 2010 – Among the most hated people in Europe, Roma are treated as second-class citizens at home and abroad. Nikolaj Nielsen spent some time with members of a Roma family.

EU: from soft to soft power of Israel

November 2010 – Rather than quietly walking down the aisle with , the EU should harness its formidable ‘soft power' to promote peace.

Learning tolerance

November 2010 – Islamophobia is common in western society, so the classroom is a good place to start combating it.

The rise of far-right politics on both sides of the Atlantic

November 2010 – On KALW's weekly media round table, Khaled Diab took part in a radio debate on the rise of far-right politics on both sides of the Atlantic.

For a questionable cause

October 2010 – Should organisations raising money for foreign militaries or to perpetuate occupations enjoy charitable status?

From numbers to narratives

August 2010 – Most journalists dread crunching data. But finding narratives among the numbers is part of journalism's mandate. Luckily, there are tools to help.

Malta's mash of civilisations

August 2010 – Malta's complex heritage is living proof that cultures mash more than civilisations clash.

Europe's hidden terror menace

July 2010 – The fifth anniversary of the 7 July attacks has refocused attention on Islamist terrorism, but the neo-Nazi threat goes largely unnoticed.

No place like home

July 2010 – A return to an ancestral homeland is a dream that's long inspired diasporas – often with troubling results.

Is Europe not working?

May 2010 – The chair of a leading multinational claims that Europeans do not work hard enough and do not value work enough. I beg to differ.

The naked truth about body scanners

February 2010 – Airport body scanners are being touted as the latest anti-terroism wizadry. But do they actually work and are they worth the invasion in privacy?

Building intolerance in Switzerland

December 2009 – The Swiss minaret ban doesn't mean European Muslims are persecuted, but it makes me worry for the Europe my son has been born into.

Huff and puff brought the economic house down

October 2009 – How the Mr Bigs and their biglettes unwittingly brought down the world's economies – and the hotly contested prize for ‘America's worst investor'.

Swedish idiom and the sum of all cardamom

September 2009 – If I were to vanish into thin air, my Swedish in-laws would have a suitable expression for this.

EU election monitoring… junket, joke or both?

September 2009 – “The Afghan elections were fair, but not free,” declared European election monitors. Meaningless sound-bite or what?

The mythical European Umma

August 2009 – Given that only about 4% of the EU's population is Muslim, why is the fear of a coming Eurabia so strong in certain quarters?

Turkey's eastern promise

August 2009 – The EU rose out of the ruins of war. Perhaps, with a little patience, a Middle Eastern union is not such a distant fantasy.

New model citizens

August 2009 – Tougher naturalisation laws are counterproductive. What we need is to redefine our understanding of citizenship.

Revenge of the ‘baby doomers'

July 2009 – Could the disgruntled ‘baby doom' generation turn on Europe's baby boomers?

We don't need no age segregation

April 2009 – Segregating school students by gender, or grouping them according to age simply doesn't make sense.

Trouble in the Baltic

February 2009 – The turmoil submerging Latvia is an example of ‘drizzle-down' economics in action and has implications for the rest of Europe.

Flower power in Gaza

February 2009 – The Dutch have employed some novel flower power to persuade Israel to relax its embargo on Gaza. Now it's time to end the blockade.

Introducing equanomics

January 2009 – Governments need to rethink their economy policies to make them more equitable and responsive to citizens' needs.

Immigrant labours lost

December 2008 – Immigrants in Europe are more likely to be over-qualified for the jobs or unemployed than the native population.

All continents on the Western Front

November 2008 – It is time European countries acknowledged the part soldiers from their former colonies played in the .


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