Articles tagged with: Europe

Forced Migration: A Challenge for European Solidarity

on Wednesday, 14 May 2014. Posted in Issue 74 Issues for the New EU Parliament?, Poverty & Inequality, International Issues

migrationA boat carrying African asylum seekers and migrants in the Mediterranean Sea between Africa and Italy. © UNHCR/L. BoldriniThe carnage of asylum seekers and migrants making the perilous journey to a better life makes frequent headlines; thousands die every year in the Mediterranean alone. Far too little is done to mitigate the risks such migrants face. Poverty, vulnerability and war are rife in our times, but compassion is in short supply.1

Unemployment and the European Union

on Wednesday, 14 May 2014. Posted in Issue 74 Issues for the New EU Parliament?, Poverty & Inequality, Economics

unemploymentSpain's unemployment at hightest level since 1960s © iStockIntroductionIn 2013, unemployment in Germany, at 5.3 per cent, was at its lowest level since reunification. In the same year, Spain’s unemployment rate, 26.4 per cent, was at its highest level since at least the 1960s, before which reliable statistics are more difficult to come by. Austrian unemployment is also low at 4.9 per cent, and though Ireland’s nearest neighbour, the UK, has unemployment of 7.6 per cent this is simply on a par with previous recessions, such as during the early to mid 1990s.1

Elections 2014: A Turning Point for the European Social Model

on Wednesday, 14 May 2014. Posted in Issue 74 Issues for the New EU Parliament?

electionhanin

Candidates at EAPN Dublin constituency hustings, one of three held in the Irish EU constituencies.

© EAPN Ireland

 

pdfElections 2014: A Turning Point for the European Social Model

For many people, particularly those struggling to make ends meet, the European Parliament elections can seem very remote from the reality of their lives. It is tempting to either ignore the elections entirely or use them to make a statement about national politics or the personality of candidates.

This would be a mistake.

Over the life of the new parliament, the European Union and its Member States will face fundamental choices about what type of society and economy to build after the recession. These choices will affect everyone but, like the decisions taken during the recession and before, they will have the sharpest impact on people experiencing poverty, social exclusion and discrimination.

 

The Social Dimension of Europe: Withered on the Vine?

on Wednesday, 14 May 2014. Posted in Issue 74 Issues for the New EU Parliament?

pdfThe Social Dimension of Europe: Withered on the Vine?

Introduction

There is obvious disenchantment among Europeans with ‘Project Europe’. This is largely due to a feeling that the social dimension of the project is being sacrificed in the interests of the economic dimension, while at the same time the supposed benefits of ‘free and undistorted’ competition are not forthcoming.

European Monetary Union in Historical Perspective

on Wednesday, 11 July 2012. Posted in Issue 69 The Future of the Euro, Economics

Introduction

Economic historians are well used to writing essays on historical parallels with current economic problems, and drawing lessons from the past. In the case of European Monetary Union (EMU), however, there are no historical precedents. To be sure, we have examples of currency unions that have broken up, but these unions typically existed in the context of multinational empires, such as the Soviet Union. When the empires collapsed, so did the currency unions, and it is not surprising that they did so in circumstances of conflict and economic chaos. To ascribe these conditions to the collapse of the currency unions involved, rather than to the breakup of the empires themselves, as some banking analysts have recently done, is clearly unconvincing.1

 

Where Do We Want the Euro to be in 2020 and How Do We Get There?

on Wednesday, 11 July 2012. Posted in Issue 69 The Future of the Euro, Economics

Great Expectations

European Monetary Union (EMU) was supposed to be a harbinger of growth and stability for its member states, yet the euro zone debt crisis is now in its fourth year and continues to rumble on, in a seemingly endless cycle of crises, summits and false dawns. The currency union creaks under the deficiencies of the euro zone’s fundamentally flawed design, while its survival and capacity to prosper depend on its ability to fix these design flaws. The stakes are high.

The Social Impact of the Economic Crisis in Europe

on Wednesday, 11 July 2012. Posted in Issue 69 The Future of the Euro, International Issues, Economics

Introduction
What is happening in Greece is dramatic; the IMF/EU plan for saving the country is destroying the country; the Greek people are more aware than a year ago that the remedy is killing the patient. It is destroying any kind of solidarity at European level. It can happen to Portugal, Spain, France, Italy and Belgium. The question is not about our public sector or our corrupt government or about the Greeks that are lazy … The question [is] is the IMF changing the actual character of our European social model [?] ... there is impoverishment of our middle class, a return to the countryside, and emigration of our youth. There is a support network at neighbourhood and village level, because public sector formal social support networks have collapsed … People day by day are not any more fighting poverty; they are fighting for survival.1                                                                                                       EAPN Greece

 

The Implosion of Solidarity: A Critique of the Euro Zone Crisis

on Wednesday, 11 July 2012. Posted in Issue 69 The Future of the Euro, Economics

Introduction
The post-2007 global financial crisis was, fundamentally, an ethical crisis.1 This crisis and its aftermath presented in a distinctive way within the euro zone. What distinguishes the euro zone crisis has been the collapse of ‘solidarity’, considered both as a social virtue and as an integral part of the Schumann–Monnet model of a new European order, a renewal of Europe from the ashes of World War II. Unless and until the true meaning of solidarity is rediscovered and reanimated within the political leadership of the EU, there is unlikely to be economic stabilisation and recovery. In other words, a failure to move the Franco–German dominant consensus away from the hegemony established in the wake of the euro zone crisis, and towards a rediscovery of solidarity, will result in the serious risk of the ‘Balkanisation’ of Europe within a generation.

Europe: What is Pope Benedict Thinking?

on Friday, 28 August 2009. Posted in Issue 61 Perspectives on Europe

James Corkery SJ

September, 2009

Europe: What is Pope Benedict Thinking?

It may seem strange, as Ireland prepares for its second vote on the Lisbon Treaty on October 2, 2009, to focus on the vision of Europe of the current pope. After all, are his views not essentially religious and are Ireland’s concerns with Lisbon not, in the main, economic, social and political? At first glance, this may appear to be the case, but on closer inspection it becomes evident that Irish people are concerned about a very wide range of issues with which the Treaty of Lisbon is, or is perceived to be, connected. And the pope is concerned, as he observes the growth and development of the European Union, with the principles and the vision of humanity that underlie the advance of the EU and with how these are related to the religious and cultural heritage of the continent of Europe as a whole. Popes, and not only the present one, have a pastoral interest in Europe – and thus in the values, freedoms, opportunities, possibilities and challenges that it presents to its peoples. Indeed, before homing in on Benedict XVI’s vision of Europe, it will be instructive to glance back at the approach to Europe taken by his predecessor, John Paul II, who dominated the papal scene for over a quarter of a century, from 1978 to 2005.

Ireland, Europe and Catholic Social Teaching: Shared Values?

on Friday, 28 August 2009. Posted in Issue 61 Perspectives on Europe

Cathy Molloy

September, 2009

Ireland, Europe and Catholic Social Teaching: Shared Values?

Climate Change

© iStock
No Irish in EU?

In May this year, on the last stretch of the ancient pilgrim route to Santiago de Compostela in Spain, etched on a large stone, for all to see, were the words ‘No Irish in EU’. The pilgrim route celebrates St James the Apostle and has been walked by Christians for well over a thousand years, and by Kerrymen since the 1400s!1 Given the history of Irish Christianity, and its importance in the founding of Europe from the 6th century, it shocks to realise that in 2009 there are people who do not want us in the European Union.

Taking Our Rightful Place Ireland, the Lisbon Treaty and Democracy

on Friday, 28 August 2009. Posted in Issue 61 Perspectives on Europe

Edmond Grace SJ

September , 2009

Taking Our Rightful Place: Ireland, the Lisbon Treaty and Democracy

Bureacracy in Europe

Bureacracy in Europe
© iStock

A Basis of Right

The Irish electorate has voted in favour of many European treaties since the original treaty of accession in 1971. Until the Nice Treaty any deal struck by Irish negotiators with their European partners included generous financial incentives. These incentives are indisputable and easily grasped. They have been our point of entry into Europe up till now and no other vision has been offered by our political leaders, who now have left it too late to redeem their failure of leadership. They have appealed too often and too eagerly to narrow self-interest and, as a result, they have lost the ability to inspire any generous sentiment.

The time has come for straight-forward if unfamiliar questions. What is this entity, the European Union? How have we Irish benefited from membership? What are we willing to contribute? And why?

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When Ireland became an independent State it inherited some appallingly bad housing conditions. This was most notoriously the case in the severely deprived areas of inner-city Dublin, but inadequate and overcrowded housing which lacked basic facilities was also prevalent in towns and villages and rural areas around the country. Read full editorial

Working Notes is a journal published by the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice. The journal focuses on social, economic and theological analysis of Irish society. It has been produced since 1987.