Istanbul was hit by a bombing perpetrated by a Syrian national, probably a member of ISIS according to Turkish officials. After the death of at least ten German tourists, many Europeans are wholeheartedly with Istanbul. Nevertheless, we tend to not see the wood for the trees. Indeed, Ankara engages in double dealings at its porous borders with ISIS and many questions related to oil-trafficking by the terrorist organisation and Turkey remain unanswered. Meanwhile, the EU’s leaders remain silent.
The JEF Netherlands Board presents its position on the Ukraine referendum and discusses the current Dutch political spectrum. As a political organisation campaigning on European issues, we believe we should embrace the chance to discuss European affairs while defending against the debate becoming subverted by populist and propagandist voices.
Western Europe has been a sanctuary taking in refugees from around the world for the past fifty years. All Western European countries have minorities which originated from these groups, from Angolans in Portugal to Somalis in Sweden. These minorities tended to be small in number, have a clear destination which is welcoming them, come from a distant land, and have been viewed as “other”. But looking at Syria in the same light would be wrong. Syria is indeed a large, well-educated neighbour to Europe, with no clear partner, but with a population rich of many shared values and experiences. It is vital that Europe looks beyond its traditional paradigm to understand asylum seekers if it wants to understand the realities of the Syrian crisis.
Ukraine is under shock after violent clashes overshadowed a voting on constitutional reforms last monday. Protesters in Kiev opposed the amendment on decentralisation saying that it would tolerate separatism in Donetsk and Luhansk. One member of the national guard was killed by a granade, dozens injured. But what is really at stake in the constitutional reform on decentralisation? How does the Russian media react to the attack on Monday? Is decentralisation a step towards a European model of governance? Interview with Political Scientist Maksym Folomieiev.
The Polish community constitutes a significant minority in Belarus (around 400000 people). Thanks to its strong organisation, and with the support of Polish political leaders, it has the means to be able to support democratic opposition in Belarus. This is why the Organisation of Poles in Belarus is accused by President Lukashenko of wanting to “foment a new revolution, remote controlled by Washington.”
In the most intense heatwave Cambridge has seen for a while, thinkers, politicians, and activists from Europe and North America gathered at Sidney Sussex College in the University of Cambridge to discuss the past, present, and future of relations between Poland and Ukraine. There were many insights unearthed during the conference, and plenty of food for thought, though the criticality of the crossroads at which Ukraine currently finds itself was simply impossible to ignore.
Europe’s foreign ministers decided recently to launch a military operation against trafficking networks in the Mediterranean. Is this an appropriate response to the tragedy of Mediterranean migration? The Editors of TNF in English, French, and German have given their views below.