Languages & Culture

19-10-2018

Symbol of Barcelona hit with €36 million fine over non-existent permits

La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona’s most recognisable landmark and the best example of unfinished architecture in Europe has agreed to pay a hefty fine after operating without a building permit for well over a century.
Europe's East 16-10-2018

Russian Orthodox Church breaks with Constantinople in row over Ukraine

The Russian Orthodox Church said on Monday (15 October) it had decided to sever all relations with the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople in protest over its endorsement of Ukraine’s request for an “autocephalous”, or independent, church.
Central Asia 09-10-2018

Inter-religious dialogue

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Located at a crossroads of different civilizations, Kazakhstan has placed great importance on promoting religious harmony and mutual respect. This year, the country is hosting the sixth edition of the Congress of the Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, an initiative which has its roots in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Central Asia 09-10-2018

Religion should not be used to sow divisions

In recent years, many thousands have died and millions more had to flee their homes due to conflicts in which religion has been used to justify discrimination and violence. Countering these dangerous distortions is one of the challenges that religious leaders will address in Astana on 10 and 11 October, writes Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.
08-10-2018

Czech president defends assertion that most Roma don’t work

The Czech president refused on Sunday (7 October) to back down from comments slamming what he called a 90% unemployment rate among the country's Roma, earning a rebuke from campaigners and rights activists.
Europe's East 08-10-2018

Georgia’s culture boom

Many praise Georgia as being a good pupil in the Eastern Partnership class, but cementing contacts between Georgia and EU citizens is much more than signing political agreements, writes Mikheil Batiashvili.
Freedom of thought 28-09-2018

Romania’s constitutional court backs rights for gay couples

Romania's constitutional court ruled Thursday (27 September) that gay couples should have the same family rights as heterosexuals, a judgment that runs counter to a referendum next month seeking to interdict gay marriage.
#Media4EU 28-09-2018

‘Fake News Foa’: Italy’s state broadcaster appoints chair with chequered past

The Italian state broadcaster, Rai, has appointed a Eurosceptic journalist with a history of publicising fake news as its new president.

Greek minister optimistic Macedonia name deal will be approved

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias on Thursday (20 September) hailed an agreement with Macedonia on changing its name and opening the way for it to join NATO and the European Union.
English language 18-09-2018

Juncker: We are not ‘under the rule’ of English

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker made a point of delivering his plenary speech at the Three Seas Initiative forum in Bucharest in French, bucking the trend of other world leaders attending the event on Tuesday (September 18).
Freedom of thought 22-08-2018

Czechs protest against government 50 years after Soviet-led invasion

Czechs and Slovaks on Tuesday (20 August) marked 50 years since Soviet tanks crushed the "Prague Spring" democratic reform drive, as protesters used the anniversary to rail against the current Czech government's ties to the Communist Party.
Freedom of thought 08-08-2018

Football, national identity and belonging in today’s Europe

The euphoria triggered by the FIFA World Cup quickly gave way to divisive, ugly debates about national identity and race, around players of diverse ethnic origins. These controversies highlight the need for measured exchanges on belonging in today’s Europe, writes Michael O'Flaherty.
Brexit 19-07-2018

Translations of British Brexit plan provoke ridicule

The UK government has taken the somewhat unprecedented step of translating the executive summary of its Brexit White Paper into 22 European languages.
09-07-2018

German firms promised ‘Marshall Plan’ tax breaks for African projects

Germany plans to use public money to support companies which invest in Africa, part of a new "Marshall Plan" with which it hopes to tackle the roots of the refugee crisis that has convulsed European politics since 2015.
25-06-2018

Latvia’s school language reform irks Russian minority

Riga's plans to impose Latvian as the main teaching language in minority schools has created tension among some of its ethnic Russian population, resurrecting a long-running dispute with Latvia's former Soviet masters.
04-06-2018

Shakespeare in trouble: Dutch fret about English on campus

The growing popularity of English as a medium of instruction at Dutch universities is ringing alarm bells among local lecturers and students, with some now even calling for government intervention.
Freedom of thought 29-05-2018

Muslim animal slaughter must occur in approved abattoirs: EU court

The EU's top court ruled Tuesday (29 May) that animal slaughter without stunning can only occur in approved abattoirs, saying a ban on temporary slaughter houses does not violate Muslim religious freedom.
Economy & Jobs 25-05-2018

Schools open to all? Slovakia uses EU funds to include Roma children

Systemic segregation of Roma children in Slovakia's pre-schools and primary education has been around - and barely addressed - for many years. The lack of efforts on their inclusion has been highlighted by both human rights NGOs and the European Commission.
Africa 16-05-2018

EU owes a strategy for inclusion to black people in Europe

Black people continue to experience some of the highest rates of discrimination in Europe, and the refugee crisis has made things even worse, writes Karen Taylor.
Global Europe 06-04-2018

Russia rails against Britain at UN, denies Skripal role

Russia unleashed a blistering war of words against Britain at the UN Security Council yesterday (5 April), deflecting accusations of poisoning a former double agent in England with denials, "Alice in Wonderland" and Russian literature.
29-03-2018

EU citizens’ initiative demands protection for minority communities

There is still one week left to collect signatures for the European Citizen’s Initiative, which aims to introduce common EU standards to protect national minority groups. EURACTIV Poland’s media partner “Gazeta Wyborcza” reports.
Economy & Jobs 29-03-2018

Europe to extend qualifications ‘passports’ for refugees

A Council of Europe project to help refugees to have their qualifications recognised abroad was extended to include more countries on Wednesday (28 March).
21-03-2018

Le Brief – Roll up, roll up… for free French classes

French used to be the recognised language of international diplomacy even though the British Empire was much larger and more dominant. French held out, more or less, until after World War Two, when the global geopolitical balance shifted and the US took over, helped by Hollywood and rock 'n' roll.
french language 21-03-2018

Macron says too much English spoken in pre-Brexit Brussels

The English language is too dominant in Brussels, especially with Britain soon to exit the European Union, French President Emmanuel Macron said yesterday (20 March) as he vowed to fight for a wider use of French in EU institutions and abroad.