Network Europe

An end of an era as the British army withdraws from Northern Ireland.

Why a Polish motorway is dealing another blow to EU-Polish relations.

We take a closer look at the legendary film director Ingmar Bergman, who died aged 89 this week.

And why jogging - or ”le footing” - is a running joke in France?

Network Europe 2007-08-05

End of an Era - the British Army Withdraws from Northern Ireland

An era came to an end this week in Northern Ireland’s troubled history, when the British army ended it’s long-running operation in the province. The first soldiers were deployed after violent clashes between Catholics and Protestants in 1969. Back then, people thought they would only remain for a few weeks - but what became known as Operation Banner was to be the British army’s longest running campaign. And although it was Northern Ireland’s catholic minority which originally requested the army’s presence, it wasn’t long before the troops were not that welcome any longer.

Why a Polish Motorway is Sealing Another Blow to EU-Polish Relations

The Polish government is currently at logger heads with the European Commission over a stretch of motorway it wants to build through the Rospuda Valley in the North-East of the country. This European nature reserve has unique wetlands and virgin forest, but the Polish insists this motorway is crucial as part of the Via Baltica - linking Warsaw with Helsinki via the Baltic States. This week Poland decided to postpone the start of the construction as the case is now being examined by the European Court of Justice.


 Remembering Ingmar Bergman

Many people have an image of Ingmar Bergman as a very austere director who made dark and depressing films about death, doom and dramas. Internationally, Ingmar Bergman is most known for his films, but he was also a very active  author - writing scripts, novels and theater plays. The legendary director died in his home on the Swedish island of Fårö.

Velo + Liberté = Vélib

Cycling might have a bad image in France after this year’s Tour de France doping scandals. But not everywhere. Paris recently launched the biggest city bike commuter service the world has ever seen. It’s called ’Vélib’ - and is a merger of two French words: velo which means bicycle and lib - or liberté meaning freedom.

Why Jogging - or ”Le Footing” - is a Running Joke in France?

And staying in France for our weekly postcard... the sporting pretensions of the new president have been drawing criticism… even from among Nicholas Sarkozy’s political friends. Because Monsieur Sarkozy likes to do what no other French president has done before him… NO, NOT CYCLING, but he likes to go for a jog. Every morning. Whether he’s at the Elysee Palace or at various summit meetings around Europe. Deutsche Welle’s John Laurenson reports on a small crisis of cultural identity.

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