European Union

North Macedonia: EU membership remains a never-ending challenge

11/08/2022 -  Aleksandar Samardjiev Tetovo

After accepting the compromise proposed by France, North Macedonia has opened EU accession negotiations. To make progress, however, it will be necessary to change the constitution and overcome the opposition of neighbouring Bulgaria

Slovenia: shaping the future sustainability of mountain areas

04/08/2022 -  Gentiola Madhi

Cohesion funds can generate a new momentum for the development of mountain areas in Slovenia. Two out of five policy objectives in force until 2027 provide an important financial stimulus to improve public services and life quality of local communities, while preserving nature

Albania: A step closer to the EU

26/07/2022 -  Gentiola Madhi

On 19 July, after eight years of waiting, Albania finally participated in the first intergovernmental conference as a candidate country for the European Union. Thus the accession negotiation process begins, but unresolved bilateral issues with Greece could already get in the way

Zagreb: "Zicer", where startups grow up

21/07/2022 -  Giovanni Vale Zagreb

In 2017, "Zicer" was born in Zagreb, the Center for Innovation, a municipality space designed to develop and support innovative companies. Zicer is now home to about eighty companies and is the flagship of the city. We talked about it with director Frane Sesnic

South East Europe: investments in innovation are not enough

14/07/2022 -  Gianluca De Feo

Within the EU, the Balkan countries are among those that invest less in research and innovation. European funds make a positive contribution, but the gap with the rest of Europe still tends to widen. The reasons are manifold

Synergies and training are needed against SLAPP, or gag complaints

08/07/2022 -  Paola Rosà

Media expert lawyer Andrea Di Pietro positively comments on the anti-SLAPP package of the European Commission and stresses the need for training initiatives aimed at legal practitioners, to recognise and combat the gag complaints that threaten freedom of expression and the right of citizens to participate in the public debate

Digital Fortress Europe #3: dystopic surveillance

06/07/2022 -  Kostas ZafeiropoulosJanine LouloudiNikos Morfonios

Artificial intelligence and algorithms are at the heart of the EU’s new mobility-control system. High-risk automated decisions are being taken on human lives. It is an emerging multi-billion-euro unregulated market with dystopian 'smart' applications

Digital Fortress Europe #2: Trapped in a digital surveillance system

06/07/2022 -  Kostas ZafeiropoulosJanine LouloudiNikos Morfonios

The second of a series of insights into the digital aspect of the so-called 'Fortress Europe' and of existing and potential abuses: the impact of surveillance systems on vulnerable populations, money for Frontex drones, and monitoring the movement of citizens within the European area

Digital Fortress Europe #1: The ecosystem of European biometric monitoring and surveillance data

04/07/2022 -  Kostas ZafeiropoulosJanine LouloudiNikos Morfonios

The first of a series of insights into the digital aspect of the so-called 'Fortress Europe' and of existing and potential abuses: we start from a description of the main systems in use in Europe to manage the mobility of people across its borders and countries

Maja Sever, the first woman to lead the EFJ

01/07/2022 -  Giovanni Vale Zagreb

Quickly resolving the economic issue relating to journalists, fighting harder against SLAPPs or gag complaints, using the rule of law to improve media conditions. These are the keywords of Maja Sever, the first woman to lead the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ)

The EU macro-regions: building redevelopment and environmental protection

20/06/2022 -  Serena Epis

Energy efficiency and renovation programmes in the building sector are crucial to achieve the 2050 climate neutrality target envisaged by the European Commission. This topic was discussed in a stakeholder session during the European Macro-Regions Week 2022

Cubans along the Balkan route: an interview

21/06/2022 -  Nicola Zordan

A little more than two months after an article on the journey of Cuban exiles to the EU, we return to the subject with the voices of those directly involved gathered in Bihac, Bosnia and Herzegovina. With a specific focus: the LGBT community

Trains in Romania: the last hopes lie in the PNRR

14/06/2022 -  Mihaela Iordache

Poor infrastructure, little maintenance. The Romanian railways are in bad shape even though the network is among the longest in Europe. Will the local PNRR reverse course?

Montana174: stories of mountains and cooperation

31/05/2022 -  Pietro Casa

The Montana174 project shared a series of video testimonials on how the support of the European Union through cohesion policies has made a difference for many who live in the mountains

Launching Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) III

19/05/2022

The consortium running the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) – consisting of the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF), ARTICLE 19 Europe, European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), Free Press Unlimited (FPU), International Press Institute (IPI), and Osservatorio Balcani Caucaso Transeuropa (OBC Transeuropa) – has been granted funding for 18 months from the European Commission to continue its work to defend and support press and media freedom throughout all EU member states, candidate countries, and Ukraine

EU: new transparency rules for online platforms

26/05/2022 -  Federico Caruso

With the Digital Services Act, the European Union aims to establish new standards on the obligations and responsibilities of social networks and other large platforms in the management of problematic content. The result is the outcome of an ongoing dialogue between the Commission, Parliament, and the Council, with the involvement of civil society

European cloud services: Big Tech’s profits grow thanks to public sector contracts

13/05/2022 -  José Luis Marín

The giants of Silicon Valley are taking in 70% of the profits generated by cloud computing in Europe. Despite the problems thrown up by GDPR, some of this money continues to flow through beefy public contracts

Ukraine: the railroad war

12/05/2022 -  Antoine Pecqueur

Whether they’re evacuating civilians, transporting troops or exporting goods, Ukrainian railways are on the frontline of resistance against the Russian invasion

Data centres: the last great tech threat to energy sustainability

04/05/2022 -  José Luis Marín

The energy needs of these physical infrastructure, where much of the world’s digital information is stored, have grown exponentially in recent years. While business has been booming, so have concerns about their sustainability and the environmental threats that data centres present.

Romania's first smart street

03/05/2022 -  Mihaela Iordache

In Romania, Cluj-Napoca is one of the cities that have most believed in European planning, investing most of the funds in sustainability and new technologies

Ukraine: how many refugees are there in the European Union – and where?

26/04/2022 -  Gianluca De Feo

Since the beginning of the war, many Ukrainians – but also Russians – have been seeking refuge in the countries of the European Union. Where are they going, and which are the countries that already hosted the largest Ukrainian communities?

United against plastic in the protected areas of the Mediterranean

10/05/2022 -  Marco Ranocchiari

Scientific research and good practices. These are the two main elements that for some years have brought together researchers and volunteers from Italy, Spain, Greece, Albania, Croatia, and Slovenia in the fight to safeguard the protected natural areas of the Mediterranean from plastics

Science and work: how to relaunch Gabrovo, the "Bulgarian Manchester"

14/04/2022 -  Francesco Martino Gabrovo

Gabrovo, in central Bulgaria, used to be one of the country's main industrial centres: to relaunch it, the city university has launched a Centre of Competence, to reconnect the academia and the business world and foster research and training

The EU's energy dependence, between gas and nuclear power

13/04/2022 -  Ornaldo Gjergji

Gas and nuclear as green energy? The European Parliament may not agree and reject the taxonomy proposed by the European Commission

Is the EU's asylum system ready to welcome Ukrainian refugees?

07/04/2022 -  Eva BelmonteÁngela BernardoMiguel Ángel GavilanesCarmen TorrecillasDavid Cabo Madrid

Ukrainian refugees now enter the EU under the aegis of the ultra-fast special protection system, but regular reception centres across the Union are piling up hundreds of thousands of applications and rejecting many. EU members states' asylum systems average more than 15 months of delay

Imagining Europe

05/04/2022 -  Luisa Chiodi

Civic movements that go beyond national borders, populism, and the construction of the common European home. We talked about it with sociologist Paul Blokker, starting from what is happening with the "Conference on the Future of Europe"

Surveillance and abuse: a European Parliament inquiry commission to shed light on the Pegasus scandal

28/04/2022 -  Rossella Vignola

The European Parliament approved by a large majority the establishment of a commission of inquiry to shed light on the abuse of Pegasus and other digital surveillance tools against journalists, critical voices, and opposition figures in the countries of the European Union

A conversation on surveillance in journalism

22/03/2022 -  Dimitri BettoniFederico Caruso

From the Pegasus spyware investigation to mass surveillance: a dialogue with researcher Philip Di Salvo to understand the impact of new technologies for all those involved in journalism and beyond

Turkey’s Ukraine policy: playing all sides

18/03/2022 -  Kenan Behzat Sharpe Istanbul

A NATO member with strong strategic and economic ties with Moscow (but also with Kyiv), Turkey is facing the Russian aggression against Ukraine with extreme caution, in an attempt to minimise the risks, but also to take advantage of possible opportunities

European macro-regions: digitalisation and data sharing for safer and more sustainable maritime transport

17/03/2022 -  Serena Epis

Digitalisation and technological innovation are key to the development of the European maritime industry. Digital services for communicating data and information are increasingly essential to ensure better connectivity and safer, more sustainable navigation in European waters