Florence Mayor Matteo Renzi won a primary vote to become leader of Italy’s centre-left Democratic Party (PD), preliminary results showed on Sunday (8 December), giving him influence over the fragile coalition government and the timing of the next elections.
Primary elections held yesterday for the Democratic Party have been regarded by pundits as a major turning point for the Italian left. The country is now facing a major challenge in terms of a domestic reappraisal of the principles which lead its policies throughout the post-Cold war years. Will the new leader manage to deliver a real “change”? This word has acquired a new meaning after the elections in February, when the “joyous war machine” of PM in pectore Pierluigi Bersani crashed against the army of voters lead by former PM Berlusconi.
As a media trainer and committed European I despair that an organisation as valuable as the EU is too timid to employ the basic principles of good communication.
After being in the back front of higher education policy making for a good decade – between 80s and 90s of the past century (Corbett, 2006, 2011), the European Commission got a new opportunity to establish itself as an influential actor in the European higher education sector.
Criticism of Europe has become a recurrent feature in the media with the eurozone debt crisis. But German media received a slap on the back for its quality coverage of EU affairs at a debate in Berlin last Monday (2 December).
The media plays a central role in the perception of Europe, which also explains why they are such an easy scapegoat when it comes to public scepticism towards Brussels.
Volunteer translators following the Euromaidan protests in Ukraine have organized on Facebook, setting up pages like Maidan Needs Translators and Euromaidan Translators where urgent news from the protests that require translation to reach a wider international audience are shared and Euro-Maidan As It Is, where translated content is published.
Protests in Kiev, Ukraine’s capital, have evolved over the past week from groups of chanting citizens to demonstrations of hundreds of thousands of people, some of whom are demanding the resignation of President Viktor Yanukovych after he refused to sign free trade and political agreements with the European Union.
American actor and political activist George Clooney has sent a message of support for the Ukraine protests via YouTube. In the video, he explains how the US has achieved its democratic system by a process of trial and error and encourages the protesters in Kiev’s Independence Square to continue their struggle.
As Euromaidan protests enter their third week in the Ukraine, social media and technology still play a key role in their organization. As the government violently cracked down on peaceful protesters on November 30, the eight day of the protests, this has turned into a mass anti-government movement in the country and has begun to resemble the 2004 Orange Revolution in many ways.
What most media and people following the recent developments in Ukraine know as “pro-EU” or “anti-Russian” protests after the Ukrainian government backed out of a historical agreement with the European Union that was to bring Ukrainians one step closer to Western Europe, are in fact protests that seem to have been in the making for the past several years.
Events in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev have moved rapidly over the past week or so. Not surprisingly, Twitter and other social channels have often been the most up-to-date sources of information on the unfolding conflict.
The opposition in Ukraine now hopes to topple the government of President Viktor Yanokovych with a vote of no confidence. The members of parliament will debate the vote in Kiev today, Tuesday. The EU should offer the demonstrators its unconditional support, some commentators demand. Others don’t believe Ukraine will change its pro-Russian course now.
Protesters gathered under flags in Kyiv to demand that the Ukrainian government reverse its policy decision and sign a landmark agreement with the EU. Photo by Sergii Kharchenko. Copyright Demotix.
As secretary of the PD, the brash 38-year-old will likely have to tone down the rhetoric calling for the ouster of the party’s top brass that has helped make him one of the country’s most popular political figures in the past two years.
Far-right agents provocateurs have been infiltrating the Euromaidan protests in Ukraine, and provoking the police and protesters to violence. Anton Shekhovtsov reports
“This week-end more than 20 people were injured by Moroccan police as they protested peacefully against the EU’s plans to fish in Western Sahara. Videos of Saharawis being beaten while shouting slogans against the EU plans are now all over the internet. These Saharawis have a right to be heard. A people’s right to self-determination is explicitly carved out in Article 1 of the UN Charter. Today, on the International Day of Human Rights, the European Parliament will decide whether or not to ignore that right for the people of Western Sahara through a controversial fisheries agreement. Do Human Rights and international peace mean anything for the EU when the Union’s own short-term interests are at stake?
The massive pro-European protests in Ukraine’s capital have all the makings of a picture-perfect revolution: a square filled to the brim with demonstrators around the clock, a toppled statue of a former dictator, and riot police shields adorned with flowers provided by protesters.
The World Trade Organisation signed its first ever global free trade deal on Saturday. At their meeting in Bali, the 159 member countries agreed on a large-scale reduction in customs duties and subsidies, among other issues. Some commentators talk of a paragon multilateral agreement and are confident that it will benefit all parties involved. Others believe that once again the exporting nations will get the best of the deal.