EU milestones in Bosnia and Kosovo underline importance of European engagement

Photo: The European Parliament in Strasbourg, France (Flickr) After a long period of limbo, the war in Ukraine brought a turnaround in European efforts to integrate the Western Balkans into the EU. Bosnia and Herzegovina is the next country to take a step towards EU membership. At the same time, Kosovo is also trying to make a [...]

How walls are still seen as a solution in 'Fortress Europe'

Today marks exactly 23 years since the Berlin Wall fell. For Europe, it seemed the impetus to blur borders and bet on unity and free mobilisation. Divisions caused by physical walls seemed to be a thing of the past. Today, however, walls are on the rise again Between Poland and [...]

Climate summit COP27 in Egypt: dubious endorsement of al-Sisi's democratic facade

Al-Sisi in 2015 at COP21 in Paris (source: Flickr) Next Sunday, politicians, policymakers, activists and journalists from around the world will travel to the Egyptian coastal town of Sharm el-Sheikh for COP27. This year, for the first time since 2016, the international climate summit will take place in a (North) African city. The location is hopeful that climate priorities for the [...]

Palestinian human rights secondary to Dutch trade interests during Rutte visit

Mark Rutte visited Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories last week, on Monday 24 and Tuesday 25 October. During his visit, the focus was on strengthening ties with Israel, Israeli business and the (relatively impotent) Palestinian Authority, while Palestinian human rights activists were skipped. A questionable programme in a [...]

AIV advice: Cabinet, make clear what is at stake in Ukraine

Photo: solidarity demonstration by Dutch people with Ukraine on Dam Square, February 2022 On 7 July, the House of Representatives asked the Advisory Council on International Affairs (AIV) to write an urgent opinion on the consequences of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Today, 20 October, the AIV issued a number of urgent recommendations. The gist of the advice? The government [...]

Approaching winter opens Europe's gas labyrinth

As winter approaches, European countries are increasingly concerned about where their energy should come from. While Hungary, Serbia and Turkey are negotiating to open Russia's gas tap, other countries are instead relying on their neighbours' reserves. Last week, available [...]

Report European Development Days 2022

''The world needs a positive investment impulse, and it needs it now,'' Ursula von der Leyen said in her speech at the opening ceremony of the European Development Days (EDD). With the new 'Global Gateway strategy', billions will be invested in sustainable and inclusive infrastructure to trigger further development worldwide.

This strategy was the focus of the two-day event, organised by the European Commission, which took place on Tuesday 21 June and Wednesday 22 June. The idea behind the annual EDD is to bring together the development community to exchange ideas and experiences to come up with new valuable solutions and collaborations.

Discussion on labour migration - Labour Party Congress Report

On Saturday 11 June, the Labour Party Congress finally took place again! This year, the huge event could again physically take place. Consequently, the atmosphere was good and the day was well attended. Also special was the vote on further left-wing cooperation with the Green Left, which attracted a lot of attention not only among PvdA members, but also nationally.

Turkey sentences human rights activist Kavala to life in prison

On 25 April, in Turkey, human rights activist and philanthropist Osman Kavala has been sentenced to life in prison for his role in anti-government protests. The case raises enormous concerns about the independence of Turkish courts and is expected to damage Turkey's relations with Western countries and rights organizations - as the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) commenced an infringement procedure against Turkey. Since 2019, Ankara has refused to abide by various ECHR rulings.