The housing crisis In France is emerging as one of the Presidential campaign’s top priorities
In France, Housing has become the hot topic. Homeless people and their supporters have set up hundreds of red tents in the centre of Paris, a visual and provocative way, of putting the plight of the homeless, into the spotlight. And it’s working……Presidential hopefuls can no longer ignore it, and are being forced to commit themselves. The problem is that campaign pledges on housing, are rarely followed through.
Briefing from Brussels: Should and can the EU draw-up a genuine common energy policy?
Germany took over the European Union’s rotating presidency on new year’s day. The presidency will have a lot on its plate over the next sixth months. We will know in detail what the priorities of German chancellor, Angela Merkel, are next week, but what we already know, is that along with reviving the EU’s constitution, energy will top the agenda. The mid- term summit in March, will almost be entirely devoted to the energy dossier. Why is energy so important? What is at stake? Our briefing with Brussels series zooms in on the issue.
The EU Cleans Up Mafia Assets
Although the Sicilian Mafia have stopped the high-profile murders and bloody gang warfare of the 1990s, the organisation still controls large parts of the southern Italian island.
But an EU-funded project aims to break the culture, of depending on the mafia for work, by providing legal jobs in the mafia heartlands, south of Palermo. And they are fighting the bosses with their own weapons - by using land confiscated from imprisoned mafia gangsters.
Polish workers settling in Malmö
Workers from Poland who have move to Western Europe for work often get bad press, particularly in the British Tabloid media. For a change we head to Sweden where apparently Poles have less difficulty integrating. Last year, Poles were among the largest groups of immigrants in Malmö, Sweden’s third largest and most ethnically diverse city, located at the very south of the county. The presence of Poles in Malmö is not new, but Polish immigration has picked up significantly, since Sweden opened its doors to workers from the countries which joined the EU in 2004.
”Freedom spirits:” a Swedish campaign to raise awareness against the dangers of alcohol consumption in developing countries. The Swedish temperance movement has been increasingly concerned, with Western liquor companies and their clever PR advertisements, aiming at new markets in developing countries - the growing middle class and especially women. In Sweden a new campaign called ”Freedom Spirits” aims at reaching both.
“Never again”: how many times have we heard that, after genocides, wars and human rights violations? Yet these are still happening. Let’s zoom in on an original project which is hoping to change this.
”So that children know” is the title of an EU-funded project, in the Czech Republic. It’s goal is to teach fourteen and fifteen-year olds about human rights. The idea is not new - what makes it special is that it aims to break with the old practice of memorizing a text; instead it encourages pupils to talk about various aspects of human rights – and takes them to a World War II concentration camp.