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  1. Understanding the nation-state
    The nation-state is a complex governance structure with a long cultural and historical process of interactions between people, territory and political power. A distinction should be made between the nation, a cultural identity, and the state, a political power (Agnew 1994, 53). A nation-state is then a cultural identity with political legitimacy, in a determinate territory, such as Portugal and Japan (Scholte 2005, 228). However, most of the cases of nation-states are a result of a cultural homogenisation implemented or forced by the state (Agnew 2009, 191), as is the case for France and Mexico. In addition to nation-states, we still have states with more than one nation (e.g., Belgium), states without a nation (e.g., Kosovo) and stateless nations (e.g., Tamils) (Lara 2009). This distinction, and the understanding of the nation-state construction will make a difference in recognising the role of the nation-state in the contemporary world.

    Why the nation-state it is still relevant?
    In a globalised world, we can still find the manifestations of national identity based on common culture. The quest for a state persists in stateless nations (e.g., Kurdistan) and the search for a common identity continues by states without a nation (e.g., post-colonial countries in Africa). It can be argued that national identity struggling for political legitimacy has not abated with globalisation as the nation-state is still seen as an important governance structure to achieve the welfare of people. Examples such as Iceland and Portugal demonstrate that nation-states can provide a good governance structure, as these countries achieve good welfare levels in the Global Peace and Human Development indexes.
    Nevertheless, the attempt to create a nation-state can provoke conflicts between nation and state. Different reactions followed the Iraqi Kurdistan referendum, but with the same fear that an independent Kurdistan in Iraq could spark more conflicts in the region. The same fear exists in Europe, as Catalan independence could see other stateless nations seeking the right of self-determination. These two cases have a long historical background behind a common cultural identity that could create a stable nation-state. Although a unilateral declaration of independence could have a bad impact as it lacks political legitimacy, as seen with the Catalan Republic. However, for African countries, the nation-state might not be the best solution (Kheir 2010). Tribalism is seen as a threat by the nation-state (Hylland 2014, 31), and any attempt by the state to create a national identity in a territory with several ethnic groups can lead to ethnic cleansing, as the Isaaq genocide during Somali Civil War. These examples show that the attempt to create a nation-state in the contemporary world, without legitimacy, has an impact on the stability of countries (e.g., Spain) and it can provoke the deepening of conflicts in states without a nation (e.g., Somalia). Even though nations and states are still looking to achieve the nation-state structure, its success depends on the application of the rule of law.

    How the relevance of the nation-state identity has changed?
    In a contemporary world, the struggle for a common identity is also held by international organisations. The EU is a good example of how globalisation has shaped the nation-state model to a “macro region-nation” (Scholte 2005, 226). The Treaty of Lisbon refers “Every national of a Member State shall be a citizen of the Union.” (2007, 14). This reflects the attempt to create a European citizenry (Lagos 2002, 12), while programs such as the Erasmus+ promote a European identity. However, the Treaty of Lisbon also says that the European citizenry does not replace the national citizenry. It can be argued that even on a supra-national level the national identity is still more important than the European identity as a descriptor of who we are.
    Globalisation has shown that the construction of a common identity occurs at the convergence of the individual and state, not the imposition of the latter. There is a feeling of globalness that underpins environmental justice movements in which people in different parts of the world share transworld solidarities and struggles (Martinez-Alier et al. 2016, 747). This creates a hybrid relation, where individuals have more than one identity, such as the case of diaspora communities, to whom the national identity coexists with other identities (Clifford 1994, 308). Nevertheless, the nation-state also creates exemptions to its national identity by creating economic zones within its borders (Bach, 2011, 100), as the NEOM project in Saudi Arabia.

    To conclude, globalisation revives the nation-state as political legitimacy derives from the individual. States, international organisations and global-movements need to create a common identity around individuals that will give them the moral and political legitimacy to support their projects/causes, as it happened in the construction of nation-states (e.g., Portugal). The new regional/global identities are a challenge for the nation-state identity, as the national identity has to be shared with other identities. However, a nation-state should be seen as a place where the local, national and global identities meet, as a juxtaposition of policies (Amin 2002, 397). For instance, Portugal is still influenced by other cultural identities, and it has also outsourced the nation-state through its communities around the world. This shows that nation-states are not part of the alter-globalisation movement, but part of the globalisation process as they represent part of world cultural diversity. However, in a contemporary world, the nation-state might have lost importance as a governance structure as it is not the best model for some states without a nation and can provoke instability in states with several nations. In these cases, states and nations should look for other governance structures that will bring stability to their territory (e.g., Swiss Confederation, Federal Republic of Germany). 

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    References
    Agnew, J. 1994. “The territorial trap. The geographical assumptions of international relations theory”. Review of International Political Economy 1(1): 53-80.

    Amin, A. 2002. “Spatialities of globalization”. Environment and Planning A 34(3): 379‑568.

    Bach, J. 2011. “Modernity and the Urban Imagination of the Economic Zone”. Theory, Culture and Society 28(5): 98-122.

    Clifford, J. 1994. “Diasporas”. Cultural Anthropology 9(3): 302–338.

    European Union. 2007. “Treaty of Lisbon”. Official Journal of the European Union. English Edition. C 306. Volume 50.

    Hylland Eriksen, T. 2014. “Globalization: the key concepts”. Bloomsbury.

    Kheir, A. 2010. “Why the nation-state is wrong for Africa”. Pambuzaka News, January 28, 2010. https://www.pambazuka.org/governance/why-nation-state-wrong-africa.

    Lagos, Taso G. 2002. “Global Citizenship – Towards a Definition.” (GUL).

    Lara, Antonio S. 2009. “Ciência Política, Estudo da Ordem e da Subversão”. Instituto Superior de Ciências Sociais e Políticas.

    Martinez-Alier, J., L. Temper, D. Del Bene and A. Scheidel. 2016. “Is there a global environmental justice movement?”. The Journal of Peasant Studies 43(1): 731-755.

    Scholte, J. A. 2005. “Globalization: A Critical Introduction”. Palgrave Macmillan (second edition).

    UNDP. 2017. “2016 Human Development Report”. United Nations.

    UNGA. 1966. “International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights”. United Nations. UN General Assembly resolution 2200A (XXI).

    Vision of Humanity. 2017. “Global Peace Index 2017”. Institute for Economics and Peace.



  2. Liberal explanations tend to approach globalisation with liberal democracies and economic growth (Scholte, 2005), where states protect and promote human rights, but illiberal democracies are rising in the globalised world (Zakaria, 1997). Angola, Hungary, Indonesia, Poland, Russia, Turkey, and Venezuela are some examples of regimes where democratic elections exist concurrently with a crackdown on civil liberties. Turkey, a global emerging power, became an illiberal democracy with human rights violations, and this shows that globalisation is not strictly connected with the protection of human rights, and non-state actors have a key role in promoting them.


    The first years of AKP government provided the political and economic stability necessary for the implementation of essential reforms to homogenise governance with European values and human rights. This culminated with the opening of the EU accession process (David, 2016). Political and economic forces helped Turkey’s rise as a global actor, a model for the MENA region and an important player between the emerging economies. Although some authoritarianism have emerged since 2007, the Gezi Park protests mark the move from a liberal to an illiberal democracy in Turkey. The protests showed the Europeanisation of the Turkish public sphere (David and Côrte-Real Pinto, 2017), when the social movement mobilised part of the Turks to defend a more liberal democracy. The clashes between the authoritarian government and the secular society were now more visible, while corruption scandals also appeared ending the Erdoğan-Gülen alliance (Bechev, 2014).


    The “New Turkey” idea led to a referendum on the presidential system, showing the polarisation of the Turkish society. The end of the Kurdish peace process brought more human rights violations from both sides. The failed coup d’état showed Turkey has an oppressive democracy, as the persecution of journalists, academics, human rights advocates, lawyers, military leaders, opposition politicians, and Kurds have increased exponentially. Due to these facts, the Council of Europe decided to re-open the monitoring procedure on human rights on Turkey.


    Turkey was on the path to liberal democracy- respecting human rights and being part of the globalised world where the homogenisation of human rights protection is the trend- but Turkey stepped out by becoming an illiberal democracy in recent years. People in Turkey who do not share AKP’s ideas are in jail, or considered terrorists, which the government justifies as the necessary means to end the terrorist threat to Turkey’s national security.
    When the state, under the guise of fighting terrorism, breaches the protective mechanisms of an effective human rights law at an international level, such as the international courts on human rights with impunity, they will not hesitate in proceeding to employ further repressive measures. Human rights defence will then rely on civil society, with non-state actors advocating the human rights against abuses from the state (Shelton, 2002).


    Despite Western critics to human rights backlash, Turkey does not expect Western sanctions against its behaviour as it is a crucial ally. Nonetheless, pressure from civil society against the government, and the international community’s judgment of its actions against the human rights will erode the AKP government’s legitimacy, making it more difficult to be respected in the globalised world.


    Human rights and globalisation do not come hand-in-hand, but human rights can help a country to become a respected actor in the globalised world. Turkey is only one example where political and economic forces were able to improve human rights in the first stage, but the same political forces are now breaking the human rights boundaries. The absence of international coercive power capable to judge the atrocities, and by being an important Western ally, the AKP government alone will not stop its human rights violations. However, civil society and other non-state actors can play an important role advocating the human rights in a state who no longer defend and promote them. This way human rights could prevail in a globalised world where illiberal democracies are on the rise.

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    References
    Bechev, D. 2014. “Turkey’s illiberal turn”. European Council on Foreign Relations: Policy Brief. 16 July 2014.

    David, I. 2016. “Strategic democratisation? A guide to understanding AKP in power”. Journal of Contemporary European Studies. DOI: 10.1080/14782804.2016.1235555

    David, I. and G. A. Côrte-Real Pinto. 2017. “The Gezi Protests and the Europeanization of the Turkish Public Sphere”. Journal of Civil Society Vol. 13 , Iss. 3.

    Scholte, J. A. 2005. “Globalization: A Critical Introduction”. Palgrave Macmillan (second edition).

    Shelton, D. 2002. “Protecting Human rights in a Globalized World”. Boston College International & Comparative Law Review 25: 273-322.

    Zakaria, F. 1997. “The Rise of Illiberal Democracy”. Foreign Affairs. November-December. Retrieved 12 September 2017 from https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/1997-11-01/rise-illiberal-democracy 



  3. ‘Gendered globalisation’ can be understood as the impact of gender identities in globalisation. In other words, a process of restructuring globalisation within a gender perspective, embedded in and strengthening equal power relations between all gender identities across countries (Razavi et al. 2012, vii). Nevertheless, gender equality is presented as a challenge for a patriarchal globalisation (Scholte, 2005, 335). How can a global world narrow the gender gap, when half of the world population is women? How can the Human Rights decrease social inequalities, in a gender perspective? Will it be necessary for women to adopt masculine behaviours to achieve successful accomplishments, as Scholte refers (2005, 335)? The answers can be found in the Goal 5 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), that starts to refer that there were some improvements since the Millennium Development Goals. However, there still a long path to walk to reach total gender equality in today’s world. That is why globalisation needs to take gender perspectives into account (Hoskyns  et al. 2005, 3-4), as a way to protect all gender identities and achieve the 2030 Agenda.


    It is important to refer, that not all countries have reached globalisation at the same time. The same goes for gender equality that still has to be achieved in many countries, but the role of women in societies has been increasing nowadays. However, the increase has been slow than expected, and for instance, as of June 2016, there was still parliaments without any women representative (UN 2017). Although Africa, that might have been left apart from globalisation during years, has the parliament with more elected women, Rwanda. This shows that gender and globalisation are not always intertwined (Marchand et al. 2011, 2-3), and it is possible to achieve one without the other.


    The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) states that equal rights between men and women are necessary to “promote social progress and better standards of life” (UN 1948). The SDGs traces the ‘Human Rights action path’ for a social progress that encloses gender equality as a fundamental Human Right to “a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world” (UN 2017). For a peaceful world, we need to stop conflicts. For a prosperous world, we need security. For a sustainable world, we need the right policies. We can then relate gender equality to conflict, security, and sovereignty. However, gender perspectives are more visible in economics and politics, as the news often refers to income inequalities between men and women, and to the lack of women representation in their societies. As Hoskyns notes, gender perspectives are often marginalised, despite their rich and relevant contributions to many areas (2005, 5). As stated in the UDHR, it is important to give same opportunities to all gender identities.


    On the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights website, it states that “gender equality is at the very heart of human rights and UN values” (OHCHR 2017). However, despite all efforts, the UN is still a male dominant structure (Scholte, 2005, 339). For the last UN Secretary-General election, a group of women from academia and civil society created the Campaign to elect a Woman UN Secretary-General (She4SG 2016), and within the UN General Assembly, a group of countries establishes the Group of Friends in Favor of a Woman for Secretary-General of the UN (Cara 2015). None of the movements were successful, but they created awareness about a male reality that has been part of the UN history and Guterres pledged gender parity within the UN by the end of his mandate.

    ‘War on terror’ has disembedded our view on security (Hylland 2014, 19-20). More than ever security matters in a globalised world as today, but the concept has been contested (Williams 2013, 1). The 9/11 showed us that the treats to our security are not tangible. We live now in a ‘world risk society’ without knowing which/where/when/how a threat can affect our security (Beck 2010, 264). Living in a risk society has its problems, as we fail to acknowledge and conceptualise the risk that could lead us to an uncertainty (Aradau 2007, 95-96). It is impossible to predict the future, but preventive actions can be taken to counter some of the treats. For instance, feminism in Indonesia has been behind a counterterrorism movement (Power 2009). Indonesian women are teaching women-friendly interpretations of shari’a in Islamic schools in their country. It can be argued that their actions are preventing the radicalism among the young, at the same time they are promoting women’s rights in a conservative society.


    Conflicts are getting more complicated, leaving women, children and other minority gender groups in a fragile situation. Some try to leave the conflict zone. However, women will be more vulnerable to sexual abuse and violence (Hylland 2014, 112-113). The ones that stay might take part in the conflict such as the Women's Defense Units (YPJ Rojava) in Northern Syria. The YPJ Rojava was presented at one conference as “the most feminist revolution in history” (Geerdink 2017). Conflicts show that there is vulnerable gender identities, but they can also make the difference.

    Some examples, relating to sovereignty, security, and conflict, of how gender perspectives take action in the globalisation process were explored in an attempt to change realities and resist to a male domination of the global. This shows that an active role is necessary to protect the rights of gender identities. Dancy suggests that the ratification of international treaties is often associated with improvement in women’s rights (2017, 31). However, when the state fails to protect the Human Rights, and in this specific case the rights of gender identities, the non-state actors will have an important role in taking campaign actions to create awareness about Human Rights violations (Shelton 2002, 322), such as the “Gender, Sexuality & Identity” campaign by Amnesty International.

    To conclude, it can be seen a correlation between gender and globalisation in a search for a fair world. ‘Gendered globalisation’ is then necessary for a sustainable world. However, gender equality and globalisation do not always occur at the same time and we should keep in mind other minority gender identities in order to avoid facing the risk that they could be forgotten by the globalisation process- as it was the case with the Sustainable Development Goal 5 by not including transgender, genderqueer or non-binary in the gender equality.


    ___________

    References

    Amnesty International. 2017. “Gender, Sexuality & Identity”. Amnesty International USA. Accessed October 31, 2017. https://www.amnestyusa.org/issues/gender-sexuality-identity/.

    Aradau, C. and R. van Munster. 2007. “Governing terrorism through risk. Taking precautions, (un-)knowing the future”. European Journal of International Relations 38(1): 89-115.

    Beck, U. 2010. “The terrorist threat. World Risk Society Revisited” in: G. Ritzer and Z. Atalay (eds.), Readings in Globalization, Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, pp. 263-270. (reading 38).

    Cara, A. 2015. "Nearly a quarter of UN states want female secretary-general". Associated Press, July 17, 2015. https://apnews.com/d3c0fa2b03dc45a8b72d754093637988/nearly-quarter-un-states-want-female-secretary-general.

    Dancy, G. and C. Fariss. 2017. “Rescuing Human rights from International Legalism and its Critics”. Human rights Quarterly 39: 1-36.

    Geerdink, Frederike (@fgeerdink). 2017. “the most feminist revolution in history”. Twitter, October 30, 2017. https://twitter.com/fgeerdink/status/924894136330723328.

    Hoskyns, C. and S. M. Rai. 2005. “Gendering International Political Economy”. University of Warwick. CSGR Working Paper No 170/05. May 2005.

    Hylland Eriksen, T. 2014. “Globalization: the key concepts”. Bloomsbury.

    Marchand, M. and A. Sisson. 2011. “Feminist sightings of global restructuring: old and new conceptualizations”. first chapter in Marchand, M. and A. Sisson (eds.). “Gender and Global Restructuring; sightings, sites and resistances”. Routledge (second edition).

    OHCHR. 2017. "Women’s Human Rights and Gender Equality". The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. Accessed October 31, 2017. http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Women/WRGS/Pages/WRGSIndex.aspx.

    Power, C. 2009. "Indonesia's Islamic Schools: More Female Friendly". Time, September 23, 2009. http://content.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1925584,00.html.

    Razavi, S. and C. Arza, E. Braunstein, S. Cook, K. Goulding. 2012. "Gendered Impacts of Globalization: Employment and Social Protection". United Nations Research Institute for Social Development.

    Scholte, J. A. 2005. “Globalization: A Critical Introduction”. Palgrave Macmillan (second edition).

    She4SG. 2016. “About". Campaign to elect a Woman UN Secretary-General. Accessed October 31, 2017. https://www.womansg.org/about.

    Shelton, D. 2002. “Protecting Human rights in a Globalized World”. Boston College International & Comparative Law Review 25: 273-322.

    United Nations. 1948. “Universal Declaration of Human Rights”. United Nations.

    United Nations. 2017. "Facts and figures: Leadership and political participation". UN Women. Accessed October 31, 2017. http://www.unwomen.org/en/what-we-do/leadership-and-political-participation/facts-and-figures.

    United Nations. 2017. "Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls". United Nations. Accessed October 31, 2017. http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/gender-equality/.

    Williams, P. 2013. “Security Studies. An introduction” in: P. Williams (ed.), Security Studies. An introduction. London: Routledge, pp. 1–12. 



  4. Following the July deadline for applications, the European Council have revealed that eight cities -Luxembourg, Brussels, Dublin, Frankfurt, Paris, Prague, Vienna and Warsaw- have bid for the privilege of hosting the European Banking Authority (EBA) (1). It is Paris and Frankfurt that have naturally emerged as the forerunners in this contest. However to lavish these cities with further benefits will only play into the populist-Eurosceptic narrative that the EU is equivalent to Franco-German domination of the continent. If the European Union wants to achieve true political and economic unity, the European Banking Authority must move to Eastern Europe.


    Why Relocate?


    “As the United Kingdom has notified the European Council under Article 50 of the Treaty on  European Union of its intention to leave the Union, it is necessary to move the two United  Kingdom-based Agencies to other locations within the Union's territory.”(2) One of the two agencies referenced is the European Banking Authority (EBA) whose job it is “to maintain financial stability in the EU and to safeguard the integrity, efficiency and orderly functioning of the banking sector.”(3)  At a Keynote Speech for the Institute of International & European Affairs, the former Special Representative for the City of London to the EU, Jeremy Browne, argued that London will continue to be a financial hub:


    “We encourage the EU side in any negotiations not to think of London as an advantage held by the people on the other side of the table. In other words, the EU shouldn’t measure its success in negotiations by the degree to which it succeeds in diminishing the city of London. And instead to try and encourage people to think of London as Europe’s global financial centre- Europe’s gateway to global market. And London can continue to be a great asset for European business after Britain has left the European Union.” (4) 


    However, both major parties in Britain have made clear that freedom of movement must end, and they therefore cannot retain membership of the European Economic Area. The Financial Services and Markets Act (2000) that gifts London its financial ‘passporting’ rights is predicated upon membership of the EEA. Therefore, British-based banks will likely no longer be able to trade their financial services with the rest of the EU as they currently do, which would be detrimental as London has long been seen as the bridge between the US and European markets. While no financial institution will be forced to relocate after Britain leaves the EU, it would not make sense for them to remain if they cannot access European markets.


    The recently-elected French President, Emmanuel Macron, has already sacrificed his approval ratings to undertake massive reforms to the French economy and labour laws. These include amalgamating the numerous regulatory committees into a single body, allowing employers to negotiate conditions with workers rather than forcing industry-wide agreements upon them and capping the damages that employment tribunals can award as compensation to dismissed workers. (5)  Macron has also cut the corporate tax rate from 33.3% to 25% (Britain’s corporate tax rate is currently 19%). It is true, of course, that traditionally France has had substantially tougher regulations and employment that favour workers over employers, but the unprecedented- and seemingly unstoppable- rate at which the current administration is changing this suggests they are keen for Paris to benefit from the Brexit fallout. Frankfurt, on the other hand, has already attracted increased investment from banking giants Mitsui, Nomura, Daiwa, Sumitomo, Deutsche Bank, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley, and Goldman Sachs. (6) 


    Essentially, because of Brexit, the EBA will be exiting London, where it has been since its establishment in 2011. A new home will therefore be required for more than two hundred jobs, two external data centres, and over three hundred “events” including workshops, seminars, and public hearings that generate almost nine thousand hotel bookings per annum. And while the banks may not follow the European Banking Authority, its relocation could at least have the potential to prepare the ground for a new financial hub.


    Warszawa, Poland


    Considering the President of the European Council (and former Polish Prime Minister), Donald Tusk, has recently said that “there is a question mark over Poland's European future,” (7)  it seems odd to think of their application to host the European Banking Authority as a serious one. The ‘question mark’ refers to the unconstitutional legal reforms being pushed through the Polish Parliament by the ironically-named Prawo i Sprawiedliwość (PiS, or translated to ‘Law and Justice’). These reforms would see the Supreme Court judges become a political appointment.


    So surely this question mark alone should rule Warsaw’s application null and void? It seems strange that a country themselves breaching the values of the EU (not to mention the laws of their own constitution) should host the institution responsible for investigating breaches of EU law by national authorities. Well, it is worth noting that the Poland’s President Andrzej Duda has vetoed the legislation which made it through both the National Assembly and the Senate. Arguably this was a result of threats from the European Union and, as net beneficiaries, Poland are rather susceptible to the influence of Brussels. Rather than taking a punitive approach, which is only fuelling resentment toward a perceived Brussels-centric Union, the EU ought to reward Poland. As well as improving relations between Poland and the EU, this might have the added benefit of turning Poland from a net recipient of EU funding, to a net contributor in the long-term.


    Moreover, the transfer of Poland’s financial industry to the private sector was pivotal in Poland’s  post-soviet transition, and so Warsaw is familiar with the economic benefits that a strong banking sector can bring to a country. Unfortunately PiS’s policy of ‘repolonising’ the financial sector has seen state-owned PZU acquire a large share of Alior Bank (one of Poland’s most successful start-ups) and, more recently, UniCredit’s controlling stake in Bank Pekao (Poland’s second-largest bank) resulting in more than half of Polish banking assets being brought under state control. In an interview with the Financial Times, Mateusz Morawiecki, the finance and development minister, argued that “having the majority of the banking sector in Polish hands is very good news for the Polish economy, as we can better control credit policy.” (8)  In reality, it has had the effect of stifling competition and creating a monopoly. While the nationalisation of banks has found support among many on the left, it might present a problem for the EBA whose existence is predicated on the regulation of a private banking industry. In reality, the movement of the European Banking Authority to Poland’s capital may be an opportunity to counter the regressive social and economic policies of PiS.


    Praha, Czech Republic


    During the fourteenth century Golden Age of Bohemia, Prague flourished as the focal point of trade and banking between the Italians and Germans and, under King Charles IV, became an imperial city.(9)  Prague has, since 2004, already housed the European Global Navigation Satellite Systems Agency, which the Czech commissioner, Karel Dobeš, was keen to mention when speaking in support of his home country’s application. It shows the Czech Republic is capable of hosting large multinational organisations. It is now perhaps a less contentious applicant to host the European Banking Authority.


    According to Eurostat, the unemployment rate in the Czech Republic stands at 2.9% (compared 7.7% across Europe). Although the Czech Republic has one of the lowest rates of unemployment, an OECD report published last year identified the country’s reliance on the manufacturing industry leaves them most at risk from automation. (10)  This means the Czech government must look to restructure their economy in the long-term, and would benefit far more from hosting the EBA than its competitors.


    One of the key inhibiting factors is level of education in the Czech Republic. Although over 90% of the population gain a secondary education qualification, only about 19% proceed university (although this is significantly lower compared to the OECD average of a third, it has almost doubled since 2000). In part this can be attributed to the strong performance of manufacturing jobs that become available post-secondary school, however the disparity between the earnings of those with secondary and tertiary qualifications is quite stark. (11) If the Czech Republic intends to refocus its economy for the financial sector, it must improve the educational attainment of its population. The short-term boost that would come from the increased revenue of economy taxes and consumption of service industries that the EBA would bring could be used to invest in national educational and innovation strategies. This would enable the Czech Republic to transition from a low-wage, assembly-line economy into a more sustainable model. Without such a transition, it is likely that as automation in the manufacturing industries continues, the state of the Czech economy will deteriorate and, in doing so, become increasingly more reliant on European Union funding.


    Conclusion


    While financial institutions have no obligation to relocate to whichever city hosts the EBA, where the European Council decide to situate the EBA is a strong indication of the future direction of European banking policy- this is especially true at time when the EBA is tasked with the development of the European Single Rulebook in banking which will essentially harmonise prudential rules for all financial institutions operating within the EU.   (12) Following the multitude of crises experienced by European banks in recent years, perhaps being in a capital city of a country that only embraced capitalism after the end of the Cold War may infuse the current EBA culture with a different perspective.


    Of course, a seamless transition- everything from offices to educational facilities and amenities for the families of EBA staff are expected to already be in place- is emphasised by the European Council. The fact that Poland are starting to question whether an independent judiciary (a core feature of the form of liberal constitutional democracy the EU promotes) is really something they want, would make relocating the EBA to Warsaw a sizeable challenge to say the least. Although Prague does not seem to have the same problems, if the EU did want a well-established democracy with very little to worry about, then there is no question that Paris or Frankfurt should be chosen.


    However, neglecting the Eastern member-states will entrench and widen regional socioeconomic differences and lead to a variable-geometry Europe. This is not the “Those Who Want More Do More” scenario outlined in the White Paper on the Future of Europe because, quite clearly, Prague and Warsaw want to do more. This is a conscious decision by the economically dominant countries in the European Union to horde the emerging benefits. Brexit offers the European Union a unique opportunity to re-think the way it does business in many ways, but if the members chose to prioritise the needs of the banking sector by opting for a safe option, like Paris or Frankfurt, it may later emerge as a wasted opportunity to bring development and investment in Eastern Europe, and its EU citizens, in line with the Western half of the continent. Europe no longer lives in the age of the European Coal and Steel Community- we have a European Union and, if this union is to be strengthened, long-term socioeconomic investment is needed to redress the East-West disparities. The short-term boost of housing the EBA in Prague or Warsaw is a stepping stone.

    ___________________________

    1.http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/policies/relocation-uk-based-agencies/eba/

    2. Procedure leading up to a decision on the relocation of the European Medicines Agency and the European Banking Authority in the context of the UK's withdrawal from the Union, 22/06/2017

    3. Regulation (EU) No 1093/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 November 2010 establishing a European Supervisory Authority (European Banking Authority), amending Decision No 716/2009/EC and repealing Commission Decision 2009/78/EC

    4. “Jeremy Browne - Brexit – a view from the City of London”. IIEA1. July 20, 2017. Youtube. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vGJSdx7Pd9E

    5. “French parliament approves Macron's labour reforms”. France 24. August 3, 2017.

    http://www.france24.com/en/20170803-french-parliament-approves-macrons-labour-reforms

     6. Arnold, M., Martin, K., Noonan, L. “Citigroup and Deutsche Bank give Frankfurt a Brexit boost”. Financial Times July 20, 2017. https://www.ft.com/content/1b38eb1a-6d55-11e7-b9c7-15af748b60d0:  

    While some are using Deutsche Bank’s decision to sign a 25-year lease in London to suggest the German bank are not intending to relocate, outlets reporting this fail to mention investments made by the bank to secure office space in Frankfurt. Chief Executive John Cryan has reportedly said: "We want to get to a position where London and Frankfurt can be used interchangeably."

    7. “EU's Tusk says Poland's European future uncertain”.  Reuters. August 3, 2017. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-poland-politics-tusk-idUSKBN1AJ2TO

    8. Rohac, D. “Poland’s rush to banking sector socialism”. FInancial Times. June 30, 2017. ”https://www.ft.com/content/f7283548-5cd1-11e7-b553-e2df1b0c3220

    9. Roberts, J. M. A History of Europe. London: Helicon Publishing Ltd. (1996). p. 214

    10. Arntz, M., T. Gregory and U. Zierahn  (2016), "The Risk of Automation for Jobs in OECD Countries: A Comparative Analysis", OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers, No. 189, OECD Publishing, Paris. http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/1815199X

    11. “Czech Republic”. Education at a Glance 2014: OECD Indicators.

    12. Regulation (EU) No 1093/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 November 2010 establishing a European Supervisory Authority (European Banking Authority), amending Decision No 716/2009/EC and repealing Commission Decision 2009/78/EC

     

     



  5. Mobility is nowadays an important characteristic of globalisation (Hylland 2014, 101). Humans have been moving from one place to another for thousands of years.However it has been since the rise of globalisation that mobility has grown faster and now it represents an important part of our lives. We commute every day to work. We often take a plane that will land just a few hours later in another continent. Nonetheless, in addition to physical mobility, social mobility is another reality that should be taken into consideration.


    Refugee, transnational migration, and diaspora are distinct but interrelated concepts. While we cannot analyse them detached from the complexity that globalisation brings to mobility, forms of transnational migration (including the movement of refugees) can be seen as stages towards a diaspora where a hybrid relation between the homeland and the new home cohabit together, and where physical mobility takes place with social mobility.


    In today’s world, there are many concepts used to describe human mobility, being economic migrants and refugees two of the most discussed. Both concepts have mobility as the core of their definition, but the reasons behind that mobility are distinct. The war in Syria and the humanitarian crisis in several countries in Africa have increased the flow of people seeking refuge from their home countries, leading to stringent homeland security measures by the host countries. It is this process of globalisation that James refers to. He argues that this is the cause for tensions within cosmopolitan societies (2014, 208), which can be translated into the rise of anti-migration policies.


    The ethno-religious discrimination that refugees face can often be seen in other concepts applied to human mobility. Migrants are often not intergrated by their host societies, leaving many in a precariat situation, where they lack labor security (Mosoetsa et al. 2016, 7). In this case, the transnationalism that Portes refers to could be an opportunity to overcome their precariat situation (2001, 188). However, Portes fails to consider the difficulties in contexts, such as the Syrian one, where the homeland is embroiled in war, thus inhibiting refugees from establishing the economic partnerships necessary for transnational enterprises that empower them.


    The first generation of refugees to achieve this social mobility could fit into Basch’s definition of transmigrants (Portes 2001, 182). If we take into account the traveling term of diaspora (Clifford 1994, 302), we can compare the current situation of the Syrian refugees in Europe to the situation of the first displacements suffered by Jewish and Armenian communities.


    Those now-called diasporic communities fled their homeland due to persecution and genocide centuries ago (Safran 1991, 84). At that time there was no definition of refugee, but today Jews and Armenians would be seen as refugees. However, they were able to achieve social mobility in their host societies, over a transnational community status. Nevertheless, despite being dispersed and far from their homeland, they kept their traditions and allegiance to a place that many might  have never seen (“long-distance nationalism” (Brubaker 2005, 2), but has persisted in the memory through generations via  a “postmemory phenomena” (Hee Chi Kim, 2007, 339).


    Despite the fact that diaspora members are seen as “strangers within the gates”, the diaspora communities were able to achieve a hybridity level that allows them to live integrated, but not assimilated, in their new home. The diaspora communities have now an important role in the countries where they are living. It is also a fact that they can be exploited and manipulated by both the home and the host country, as it was the case of the use of American Jews by the US government during President Jimmy Carter to exert pressure on Israel. However, the “triangular relationship” between the diaspora community, the home state and the host state (Safran 1991, 92) can also result in members attaining a level of respected social status similar to native citizens, thus enabling both states to develop stronger economic, political and even cultural ties.


    By exploring these three main concepts - refugee, transnational migration and diaspora - we can see that there is a correlation between them. With the right opportunities, and the maintenance of a strong connection to their homeland, current diasporas where refugees once lived in precarity were able to achieve the status of transnational migrants.  After generations without losing their allegiance to their homeland, they have become part of the diaspora, that is now more socially respected.


    What started with physical mobility in search of a new home with better conditions, ended as social mobility where refugees achieved a similar social status to the natives, some even reaching the local elites. I argue that European politicians should stop pushing for the assimilation (cultural, political, religious, economic) of new refugees, but instead give them the opportunity to express their own traditions and keep their ties with their homeland. Soon they could become transnational entrepreneurs and the next generations could be seen as an important diaspora community in Europe, capable of influencing and bringing achievements to the old continent as well improvements to their homeland.


    ___________________________________________

    References

    Brubaker, R. 2005. “The ‘Diaspora’ Diaspora”, Ethnic and Racial Studies 28(1): 1–19.

    Clifford, J. 1994. “Diasporas”. Cultural Anthropology 9(3): 302–338.

    Hylland Eriksen, T. 2014. “Globalization: the key concepts”. ‘Mobility’. Bloomsbury.

    James, P. 2014. “Faces of globalization and the borders of states: from asylum seekers to citizens”. Citizenship Studies. 18:2. 208-223. DOI: 10.1080/13621025.2014.886440.

    Mosoetsa, S., J. Stillerman and C. Tilly. 2016. “Precarious Labor, South and North: an introduction”. Precarious Labor in Global Perspectives - International Labor and Working-Class History. Volume 89. pp. 5-19. Electronic journal UL.

    Portes, A. 2001. ‘Introduction: The Debates and Significance of Immigrant Transnationalism’. Global Networks 1 3): 181-193.

    Safran, W. 1991. ‘Diasporas in Modern Societies: Myths of Homeland and Return’. Diaspora 1(1): 83–97.

    So Hee Chi Kim, S. 2007. ‘Redefining Diaspora through a Phenomenology of Postmemory’. Diaspora 16(3): 337-352.

     



  6.  One of the questions that Namibians most ask to foreigners is: “Is this your first time in Africa?” I normally answer “No, I have been to Morocco, but Morocco is not the real Africa”. After five months living in Windhoek I realise that Namibia is also not the “real Africa”, at least not the real Africa as many people might think. The German influence can be seen in the Namibian cities, names of some streets are still shown in German, but the German influence can also be seen in the architecture of some buildings.


    Namibia is the land of the braves who fought for their independence decades ago against the South African domination. Namibia celebrated its 27th anniversary this year. Unfortunately, South Africa also left some seeds from the apartheid in Namibia, most of the white and black people still do not mix in public spaces, but they coexist peaceful in the territory that both call home.

    Namibia is the second least densely populated nation, just after Mongolia. You can drive kilometres without seeing a single person, house or car- something we cannot even imagine in Europe. The over two million Namibians predominantly live in the big cities- the capital, Windhoek, and the two coastal cities of Swakopmund and Walvis Bay. The North of the country has the biggest concentration of population, as it is less dry than the south.

    Located in the centre of the country, Windhoek is Namibia’s biggest city with over 300,000 inhabitants. Where previously a small settlement had existed in close proximity to the hot springs, German troops saw its strategic geographical value. Although clean and well-organised, Windhoek was constructed horizontally with large skyscrapers confined to the city centre, giving it a large surface area.The lack of good public transportation is a problem, but is solved by the several taxis always going around the city.

    Located on the Atlantic Ocean coast, Swakopmund is still only four hours from Windhoek making it a convenient weekend getaway for residents of the capital city. Besides it German influences, it was near Swakopmund that the Portuguese explorer Diogo Cão became the first European to arrive on these lands. Swakopmund and Walvis Bay are between the sea and the desert, probably the only part of earth that a desert meets the sea, making this one of the highlights of the Namibian tourism industry. The Namib desert is also the oldest desert in Earth.

    Game reserves are also very famous in Namibia, everywhere you can find a lodge in the middle of nowhere that will give tourists the opportunity to see wild animals while having a peaceful rest. Ethosa is the Namibian national park with more visits, a must stop when visiting the country. Wild animals running freely in protected areas can be seen as the “real Africa”, but Namibia is more than a game drive.

    Indigenous people still live in some parts of Namibia, they are the decedents of the first humans on earth, holders of a great legacy that must be protected as the wild animals. The Fish River Canyon and Sossusvlei are also a must stop, for those who like adventure. The best way to travel in Namibia is renting a car, prices are normally as in Europe, so is better to have a group of friends to share the car and the accommodation, but be aware Namibians drive on the left side and it can be dangerous to drive in Namibia has the traffic accidents happen very often.

    Drought is one of the biggest challenges for Namibia, in fives months I probably saw rain in a total of two weeks, and most of the rainy days where just after my arrival in February, when it was Summer still. Seasons in Namibia are different from Europe, for us Winter means rain, for them it means drought, and no Namibia is not always hot, in Winter Windhoek can have temperatures below zero. So pack a jacket if you are going to visit Namibia during their Winter.

    Namibia is considered by some the Switzerland of Africa, not because the countries are similar, but because Switzerland is a good example of Europe, as Namibia is a good example of Africa. The stability achieved after its independence, has been able to put the country in leading positions in ratings, when compared with other African countries, but Namibia has its challenges and should face it. The young will play an important role in the country.

    You should definitely put Namibia in your travel list and do not miss nothing of this amazing country.



  7. Resistance or opportunity for the European Union

    The “old continent” has centuries of history that culminated with the EU, an integrative regime (Agnew, 2009, 191), based on the diversity of its citizens: “United in diversity”. Through economic integration, the EU was able to achieve peace and stability in a continent destroyed many times by wars, and is now an example of how diversity can work together to achieve a common welfare.

    However, the financial and Euro crisis showed the problems of global capitalism in medium income countries, such as Greece, Portugal and Cyprus. Those countries saw their sovereignty diminished as international organisations, such as IMF, had to interfere in their policies with economic programs in order to get the financial support that those countries needed. They were also dependent on reports and credit ratings from private companies, such as Moody’s and Fitch. The Eurozone crisis showed that states do not have total sovereignty if they are in a weak economic situation, and this was the main reason for a resistance to the current EU status quo.

    The resistance

    The economic crisis, as well the migrant crisis, are outcomes of globalisation that Honkyns and Rai refer as uneven and fragmentary, opening the possibility for resistance (2005, 9), where the “counter-Empire” appears (Hardt and Negri, 2000, 219). This definition of globalisation can be used to explain the current situation in the EU. The expansion of capitalism without strong regulations in a region so diverse as the 28 member-states exacerbated the inequalities between them. Europe saw the decline of the “embedded liberalism” provoking discontentment in its citizens, with many demonstrations happening against the current situation in the EU member-states.

    Alter-globalisation movements such as the “indignados” in Spain, are not alone in the resistance. New political movements are also part of the forces challenging the current status quo of the EU, which seek an alternative mode of governance with less external interference. This also led to the rise of self-determination movements, that are now reviving the nation-state concept in Europe, where many nations are not represented by a state. Those movements are now challenging the countries that once defended self-determination in Africa, during the last century, but now are against them.

    The self-determination movements tend to be seen as anti-globalisation forces (Hylland, 2014, 158), but the Scottish and the Catalan referendums can be understood as a local resistance against, and taking back sovereignty from, the state, and not a resistance to globalisation. People of that nations are tired of being under the rule of other states, and the economic crisis provoked more anger against central governments. Those nations are looking for independence from a state, but at the same time want to keep their ties with the EU and other international organisations. This shows that despite their local/national battle for independence, where they will gain sovereignty, they still want to have a role in the global world, being part of international organisations to which they would have to delegate some of their sovereignty.

    The opportunity

    The globalisation phenomenon puts the emphasis on the global, and sometimes the local/territory is forgotten, but reterritorialisation occurs in tandem with globalisation (Scholte, 2005, 75-78). As a regional entity with a global role, the EU is a great example of this.  State sovereignty has also been shaped according to this new trend (Agnew, 2009, 190). The physical territory is still more important to states than their sovereignty. For example, Spain delegates some sovereignty to regional entities, such as Catalonia, and to supranational entities, such as EU, but does not allow the division of its territory. European states need to change their perspective on territory and sovereignty, and adapt it in order to increase integration between member-states.

    Globalisation, much like the EU, is a complex realm of interactions between the local, national and global politics and the juxtaposition of these policies matters (Amin, 2002, 397), as it is essential to understand the global network of people, states and supranational organisations. To understand what the EU is facing we need to take into account those perspectives. People (local) are not happy with their institutions at national and supranational level (national and global), as they were affected by austerity measures and saw some of their rights denied. It could be said that the economic crisis is one of the reasons for the rise of self-determination movements that had been dormant while there was prosperity and welfare for all in the EU.

    Looking to the whole figure, we can see that the juxtaposition of varied factors in a space like the EU created political challenges to its status quo, but the “counter-Empire” resistance can be the opportunity for the EU to act against a globally uneven world, even within its borders. Perhaps the EU needs to go back to the “embedded liberalism” so as to give force to the diversity that it represents, where each nation will be the driving force of a social-economic union under a “federal umbrella”.

    Nations such as Scotland or Catalonia would be represented with the same rights and duties of other nations in a European Federation of Nations. For this, states would need to delegate more sovereignty, even lose it, and reorganise their territory for “more Europe”. This will not happen easily as territorial control and sovereignty is still important for the states, but the self-determination of nations would be the opportunity that the EU was looking for to become a de facto federation: a political-economic-social earthquake that would provoke the will for a strong change in the status quo of the EU.

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    References

    Agnew, J. 2009. “Globalization & Sovereignty”. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield.

    Amin, A. 2002. “Spatialities of globalization”. Environment and Planning A 34(3): 379‑568.

    Hardt M. and Negri Antonio. 2000. “Empire”. in Ritzer, G. and Z. Atalay (eds.). Readings in Globalization. Harvard University Press 2010. pp. 217-226.

    Hoskyns, C. and S. M. Rai. 2005. “Gendering International Political Economy”. University of Warwick. CSGR Working Paper No 170/05. May 2005.

    Hylland Eriksen, T. 2014. “Globalization: the key concepts”. Bloomsbury.

    Scholte, J. A. 2005. “Globalization: A Critical Introduction”. Palgrave Macmillan (second edition).





  8.  The following article should serve only as a short introduction to a future, honest discussion over the issue of immigration into Europe. Optimistically (and with the help of commenters), the conversation should evolve into a broader discussion of immigration as a concept, Islam within majority-Muslim states, the moral and practical clashes of Europe and Islam, and perhaps attempts to formulate solutions for how to better accommodate those escaping the horrors of war, disease, famine, and other crises without crumbling our own understandings of culture and society. It is impossible to write an article successfully without defining such key words revolving around this debate, including what exactly we mean by ‘immigration’, or ‘borders’, or ‘values’, or even ‘Islam’. Consequently, each subsection requires a rich dialogue, substantiated by empirical evidence and theory as its bedrock, to act as a checks-and-balance system to such a debate.

    Borders are necessary. No borders generates unstructured chaos in both the metaphorical and literal senses. On the other hand, completely open borders would regulate the flow of a dilution of a nation-state. A middle ground must be found within this dilemma; a balance between justice and mercy. The central dialogue over immigration into the West revolves around the competing virtues of justice [for Europe] and mercy [for immigrants]. Arguably, by this point in time, the balance has shifted in favor of mercy, outweighing equity for Europeans. A complex system cannot endure a drastic change so briefly, therefore encumbering the fragility of the European federal system (one that already is far too broad and far too diverse in opinion) would only exacerbate domestic tensions. 

    Europe makes the following mistake by spreading its arms too wide open: it fails to distinguish between foreigners who understand Europe’s values, and foreigners who have their own set of ethics. The assumption here is that individuals who have lived in states which have not developed functional individual rights (in comparison to Europe) can by some means promptly adhere to European laws without shedding their customs. More so, one must look within these polities, and consider that if they have not been governed well, or governed corruptly, for long periods of time, the very values held collectively are flawed. Thus, how can an individual, originating from an environment with an impaired value structure, simply be relocated to a foreign destination and assume they will coexist accordingly? In what way can Europe know for certain this individual will somehow demonstrate a hidden, but supposedly inherent, inclination towards democracy and whatever freedoms define Western society? To be accepted by Europe does not translate into breathing the same air as Voltaire and Locke (Murray, 2017).

    A shift in perspective is required. The long list of terror attacks in Europe the past years were carried out under one banner, and despite the debate over Islam’s radical nature or not, these attacks are not a result of a Western failure to properly formulate integration policy. Of course almost all these attacks were not perpetrated by immigrants. Of course almost all these immigrants are escaping horrors foreign to Europe. But what about underlying sympathies for the terrorists’ motives? What about the reactions in both Europe and the Muslim world to the attacks? These questions reveal far more about the conflict of values between both ‘blocs’. For instance, as a counterfactual scenario, what would be the retaliatory response by the Middle East or Islamic African nation-states if ‘radical’ Christians perpetrated such heinous attacks in their states? It would be a disservice to those discriminated by the authority of such states to suggest these states would simply criticize the adherents of ‘radical’ Christianity and adopt a multicultural public image, as Europe has done. Moreover, one should look at the Muslim response within Europe to such atrocities, such as one in four Muslims within the UK having sympathy towards the perpetrators of the Charlie Hebdo attacks (Saul, 2015). 

    If the murder of cartoonists breeds ‘sympathy’ within a subsect of our population, the values underpinning such a group should be cautiously investigated, considering its contradictory position to Western norms. Therefore, when discussing the inclusive language with which we communicate with immigrants, perhaps rigidly conveying the language of exclusion, and what will not be tolerated in the Western community, is warranted, in order to best assimilate them within a climate of free speech (arguably, the cornerstone of the West, and what binds us to reason and civilization). One must be just as cautious when advocating for the improvement in transgender, or gay, or women’s rights whilst simultaneously promoting the absorption of Muslim immigrants into Europe: such concepts are likely to be anathema to these immigrants, whose lives hinge on principles conflicting with such rights. Additionally, with regards to intolerance, one need look at the dangers of Muslim communities within Europe, and how gay Muslims, or Muslim reformers, or apostates are targeted by the intolerance of other Muslims (Carrell, 2016).

    This article is not founded on bigotry, or on an aversion to diversity. Of course most people escaping the horrors of war, disease and famine only seek safety for their family and to prosper. But what of the insidious nature of ideology, especially when inserted within a dissimilar culture and political system with irreconcilable viewpoints?  Rather, this is a plea to fellow Europeans over if this continent - this community - is understanding the deeper risks of rapidly absorbing migrants. Are we willing to accept people whose societal, cultural, and religious values are perfectly antithetical to our own? 

    The ‘cultural baggage’ of Islam’s views towards women, homosexuality, apostates, forced female circumcision, the Jewish community, or even representative democracy and political freedoms, is untenable under the umbrella of ‘Europe’, which is rooted in values of freedom from oppression and a strict code of moral truths. Therefore, if these foreign principles are adhered to, beyond the point of reason or what Europe should tolerate, one must contemplate what is left of Europe?

    Bibliography:

    1.Carrell, T. (2016) Man who murdered Glasgow shopkeeper Asad Shah in sectarian attack jailed. The Guardian [online], Tuesday 9th August. Available from: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/aug/09/tanveer-ahmed-jailed-for-murder-glasgow-shopkeeper-in-sectarian-attack [Accessed on 27 July 2017]

    2.Heneghan, T. (2011) Sarkozy joins allies burying multiculturalism. Reuters [online], Friday 11th February. Available from: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-france-sarkozy-multiculturalism-idUSTRE71A4UP20110211 [Accessed on 27 July 2017]

    3.Murray, D. (2017) The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam. London: Bloomsbury.

    4.Noack, R. (2015) Multiculturalism is a sham, says Angela Merkel. The Washington Post [online], Monday 14th December. Available from: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2015/12/14/angela-merkel-multiculturalism-is-a-sham/?utm_term=.7261683492fd [Accessed on 27 July 2017]

    5.Noack, R. (2016) 2,000 men ‘sexually assaulted 1,200 women’ at Cologne New Year’s Eve party. The Independent [online], Monday 11th July. Available from: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/cologne-new-years-eve-mass-sex-attacks-leaked-document-a7130476.html [Accessed on 27 July 2017]

    6.Perraudin, F. (2016) Half of all British Muslims think homosexuality should be illegal, poll finds. The Guardian [online], Monday 11th April. Available from: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/apr/11/british-muslims-strong-sense-of-belonging-poll-homosexuality-sharia-law [Accessed on 27 July 2017]

    7.Saul, H. (2015) One in four British Muslims ‘have some sympathy for motives behind Charlie Hebdo attacks’. The Independent [online], Wednesday 25th February. Available from: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/one-in-four-british-muslims-have-some-sympathy-for-motives-behind-charlie-hebdo-attacks-10068440.html [Accessed on 27 July 2017]

    8.Taylor, J. and Wright, O. (2011) Cameron: My war on multiculturalism. The Independent [online], Saturday 5th February. Available from: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/cameron-my-war-on-multiculturalism-2205074.html [Accessed on 27 July 2017]

    9.Willsher, K. (2016) France in shock again after Isis murder of priest in Normandy. The Guardian [online], Tuesday 26th July. Available from: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jul/26/france-shock-second-isis-attack-12-days [Accessed on 27 July 2017] 

  9. The SDP Government still wants to take control of the Judician System

    It hasn't been long since the Social-Democratic government of Bucharest tried to legalize some forms of corruption and pardon hundreds of politicians imprisoned for corruption, which led to the biggest protests in Romania after the fall of the communist regime, with more than 600.000 people taking the streets. Many people, journalists and poiticians, from Romania and EU, accused the government trying of change the legislation only to help the leader of the SD party - Liviu Dragnea (already convicted for election fraud) get away with his other corruption charges.

    People hoped that the wicked games were over and that the rule of law was finally left to be. That was until yesterday, when the Government in Bucharest announced its new draft law which, as many opinion leaders and journalists argue, would politicize the judicial system. If the new law will be adopted, the head of the Prosecutors' Office and the Anti-Corruption National Agency (known for its outstanding work in the fight against corruption in the last years) would be appointed directly by the Government, without the involvment of the President, which would basically put Liviu Dragnea - the convicted president of the SD party - in command of the most important anti-corruption agencies of Romania.

    Street protests have already been announced in most major cities of Romania for the coming days.

    How should EU respond to this kind of democratic flaws?

    Is democracy in danger in Eastern Europe (after similar political crisis in Poland and Hungary)?

    Sources: https://www.romania-insider.com/romanias-justice-min-wants-remove-president-naming-chief-prosecutors/ 

    http://www.ziare.com/tudorel-toader/ministrul-justitiei/tudorel-toader-a-decis-sa-i-faca-un-cadou-lui-liviu-dragnea-i-a-oferit-justitia-1478317 



  10. After September 11, the idea that “multiculturalism is dead” appeared. Since then multiculturalism policies have been under attack in most Western societies, being labelled as a failed policy. Some critics, such as Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek in an interview to the Euronews channel, have gone as far as to define multiculturalism as “inverted racism”.  They question why, if everyone is the same, supporters of multiculturalism try to understand, and even ‘celebrate’, differences between people. In order to create a more tolerant society, Žižek defended creating a code of conduct for people who had different life experiences.

    Julia Kristeva, the Bulgarian-French philosopher, considered a reference point for feminism and multiculturalism, has abandoned the idea of political correctness. She now says that many of the ideas used by feminist activists, gays and ethnic leaders are outdated. For her the assertion of ethnic and religious identities erodes democracy, the way to reverse this is by giving more importance to the individual freedom over communitarianism.

    The most liberal countries in Europe, like Netherlands and Denmark, have shifted from policies of multiculturalism to monoculturalism, thinking that this would prevent the further rise of far-right political parties, but these policies are having reverse results as societies are getting more divided. By saying multiculturalism is dead, European leaders are abandoning their old values to make relatively small political gains. Monoculturalism is not the solution, and multiculturalism is not entirely dead.

    William S. Smith suggests that by supporting multiculturalism we “will produce future leaders with an attitude of tolerance toward different cultures and a respect for worldwide diversity who will foster international comity”. For a diversity and peaceful world we need to accept and respect our differences, self-restraining our character to prevent conflicts.

    Multiculturalism policies failed because of a broken relationship between the State and the wider society. The success of multiculturalism relies upon the combination of effective policy-making by the State and the resourcefulness of civil society managed by intermediate bodies.  Europe, known as the ‘Old Continent’ is getting even more older. With fertility rates going down, there will be limited population growth without migration, and without a young workforce the States will not be able to finance their economies. Instead of pointing to the death of multiculturalism, Europe should be trying to create a more tolerant society that will permit the continent’s economy to grow while receiving immigrants to work in our countries. European countries will continue to need workers for their economies, the increase of immigrants will increase the diversity within cities and solutions to promote stable social relations between different social, religious or ethnic communities are needed.

    António Guterres, the current United Nations Secretary General and former UN High Commissioner between 2005 and 2015, declared that “migration is not the problem but the solution” for an aging Europe. “When elected officials hesitate to choose between values and the next election, I would advise them to choose values. If they go for short term [electoral gain] they will lose both, because there will always come a time when they lose an election. At that point, it becomes very hard to recover the values that have been abandoned.”.

    Globalisation is underway and there is no way back- Western and Eastern, Northern and Southern people will have to live together in this globalised world, both will have to learn how to live in a new society, learn to respect the differences of each one in order to have a peaceful coexistence. As Guterres said, we should not abandon our values, we should preserve the rights and culture of minorities, while we ensure the values of the majority of the population. The cultural mosaic in Europe is not over, the cultural diversity will continue to rise, people from different cultures will continue to arrive and live in our neighbourhoods.

    Confrontation will always occur. While this is human nature, a more tolerant society that respects different cultures needs to be constructed. For this, Europe needs multiculturalism policies modelled on countries like Canada or Azerbaijan. “United in diversity” is the motto of  the European Union, but European leaders and even European citizens might have forgotten that Europe is what it is because, between our cultural diversity, we have found a common ground that permitted us to be united for peace. The civil society, with the right policies, can push multiculturalism further in our societies, making us remember why we are united with our differences.