Why Common Sense is not Always What it Seems

The resilience of neo-liberalism in Europe’s public policy debate is puzzling. One would have thought that new ideas would have flourished following the economic crisis of 2008. Economic policy alternatives certainly exist, whether advocated by social ...

Four Observations on Mainstream Economics

In the wake of the Great Financial Crisis (GFC), we frequently observe the total disarray of mainstream economics. It proved not only incapable of predicting the crisis but even to allow for its existence. Indeed, academic ...

European Culture: The Controlling Hand of Big Business

It may be hard to define, but the idea that Europeans share common cultural traditions - from art to literature and cinema - is certainly a widely accepted one. The problem with defining European culture is ...

An Unprecedented Humanitarian Crisis

Both the UNHCR and Amnesty international have deplored the thousands of deaths of people desperately trying to escape war and poverty (it is estimated that about 2,500 people have died since the beginning of 2014). As ...

Ecological and Social Sustainability go Hand in Hand

Today more than half the world’s population lives in cities, and this figure is expecting to reach 70% by 2050. Cities around the world have taken the lead on climate change adaptation and mitigation, showing what ...

The Music of Democracy

British conductor Sir Roger Norrington is worried about growing signs of Euro-scepticism and the rise of right wing parties. He sees himself as a European but believes in the sovereignty of Europe's nation states, and encourages ...

Ukraine: A mid-crisis assesment

The crisis in Ukraine is far from over. The country is chartering unknown and dangerous waters. Almost six months into the crisis, and after a series of important developments, several conclusions can be drawn concerning the ...

Saving a broken euro

As we survey the damage from the years of crisis and recession in Europe that finally seems to be ebbing, there is a sigh of relief that the Eurozone has not fallen apart. But the return ...

Advocating a truly preventive policy on employment

The new General Secretary of Germany's Social Democratic Party (SPD) is keenly committed to issues related to the job market. Among other things, she advocates stronger codetermination and a new social contract to balance work and ...

Subsidiarity: Meeting the challenge of a changing world

In an era of globalisation, the EU policy mechanism of subsidiarity offers European citizens an opportunity to reassert their democratic power. As the influence of Europe’s individual nation states continues to wane, it could also give ...

Fairer taxation for a fairer society

An estimated one trillion euros are lost every year due to tax fraud and tax avoidance. Every year, the tax gap of European countries is practically equal to the EU seven-year budget. This amount is higher ...

Have we accurately assessed the challenge of climate change?

Vice-chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and professor of climatology at Université Catholique de Louvain in Belgium, Jean-Pascal van Ypersele offers a reminder of what should be an obvious fact: if we want ...