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One thing the Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted is that in a time of crisis, the most vulnerable are – yet again – the ones who take the biggest hit. That is why we have dedicated this first Progressive Post of 2021 to them: be they children, compelled to follow home-schooling, with all the difficulties and shortcomings this entails; be they adult learners, whose possibilities to continue their education have shrunk; be they migrants, who have completely dropped off the radars of public perception; or be it the entire world of care, both those who depend on it, and those who provide this care, often in the most difficult of circumstances, often with the least recognition financially and socially, and often – yet again – women and migrants.

And we continue with the reflection, launched in the previous issue, on the deep crisis in which today's capitalism is entrenched, and on the ways to move beyond this by reshaping the quality of growth. This means putting the weakest, as well as the planet, at the top of the post-pandemic priority list.

The EU needs a cool-headed Eastern Policy

Despite what looks like increasing tensions between the European Union and Russia, both blocs will stay neighbours for the foreseeable future. The EU should face up to this reality, work on a common policy, based on interests and norms, and set the agenda. In times of increasing global challenges, both Moscow and Brussels must understand …

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European fiscal rules: reform urgently needed

The EU’s fiscal rules are currently deactivated due to the Covid-19 crisis. However, returning to the pre-Corona rules would be counterproductive. The first priority of reform efforts should be to ensure that applying the rules will not deepen economic crises and hold back recovery. The second priority should be to allow for more public investment. …

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Artificial Intelligence and social rights: a first assessment

The EC’s recent proposal for AI regulation is the first of its kind in the world. It is an excellent base to shape a domain that opens enormous opportunities. But the door for abuses and wide interpretation by some member states, as well as by illiberal regimes worldwide, is not entirely closed yet. And against …

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The question that haunts President Joe Biden: can the US deliver on climate?

President Biden has placed climate change at the centre of US domestic and foreign policy. Yet the wide partisan divide on the issue in the United States threatens to hinder the efforts of his administration to increase global climate ambitions. The Earth Day Summit will provide an important opportunity for the United States to demonstrate …

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Turning the clock forward

The Covid pandemic has drawn new attention to the key importance of personal services for household survival, ranging from food delivery to care services. But all too often such services are provided by precarious workers, often employed via online platforms. Platform work is widespread across Europe and growing rapidly, research funded by the European Foundation …

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Engels

Friedrich Engels, the underestimated

Imagine there was an Oscar this year for the best supporting role in the history of ideas. And the winner would be this boy from Barmen: Friedrich Engels, the eternal second. The younger of the two “spiritual twins”. That humble gentleman who said of himself that he was only playing the ‘second fiddle’, behind the …

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