What comes to mind with thinking about politics in Eastern Europe: Wide support for authoritarian parties and governments? Not if you take a look at recent developments. IE-member Harald Schumann invites you to challenge these assumptions in our latest column about this "Summer of Democracy" from which the rest of Europe could take some lessons on spirit and courage.
As this strange summer moves towards August, Investigate Europe has turned its attention to Brazil and a long-read in which Alexandra Lucas Coelho, a Portuguese writer interviews the Brazilian anthropologist Eduardo Viveiros de Castro. Paulo Pena, our Portuguese team-member, explains why this interview is so important for all of us.
Our lives change with every technological leap. As this happens, there are certain issues journalists, scientists and activists cannot touch without risking ridicule. One such topic is possible health risks from exposure to radiation from mobile technology. As 5G is being rolled out, yet another label is pinned on critics: They are communicating Russian propaganda. Ingeborg Eliassen argues that this makes it more important than ever for journalists to ask the difficult questions.
The leaders of the European Union guide democracy in name only. In practice, they constantly override it and violate fundamental democratic norms on a grand scale. The anti-democratic practices in the Council of the EU, also known as the Council of Ministers, are a real scandal. IE-member Harald Schumann is convinced: Anyone who follows the passage of legislation in the EU, and in particular the means by which monetary union is controlled, must come to this conclusion.
The Yellow Vests have dominated the headlines in France and internationally for a while now, challenging President Macron, but also the journalists who are covering the movement. We all have seen the images of violent protests, but who are the aggressors and who are the victims? Are we ourselves too fast to judge the protestors and their motives? French freelance journalist Jordan Pouille draws a more differentiated picture than you might expect.
A clichéd image of an old enemy is once again stalking Europe’s corridors of power: the yellow peril. According to briefings by ministerial and security sources, China’s communists want to use the network technology of the Huawei corporation to infiltrate European communication systems. Picture: "IT Security Schloss vor Crypto-Hintergrund - SW" by Christoph Scholz, available at his Flickr profile, licensed under Creative Commons CC BY-SA 2.0
Image: Le Petit Journal. Greece and Macedonia were pressured by the US, NATO and the EU to sign a deal that most people in both countries reject. And yet, according to the narrative adopted by western media it was solely Russia who “meddled”, “orchestrated”, “agressed”. Evidence on the ground shows a much more mixed and disturbing reality.
BY INGEBORG ELIASSEN Both the public and politicians have expressed anger at the systematic exploitation of truck drivers working in international transport as exposed by Investigate Europe and others. This outrage has now produced political action. Investigate Europe’s latest project, 'sweatshops on wheels', has exposed the most basic factor in the business model of international transport: increasingly cheaper drivers. Truck drivers are indispensable for societies to function. In spite of that, those who transport goods between Western European countries have wages that are a fraction of the minimum pay in the countries where they work and face conditions that [...]
Photograph: Theophilos Papadopoulos / Flickr. In the end, the ministers and commissioners spoke as if they were good Europeans again. "It’s done," confirmed Portugal’s Finance Minister Mario Centeno, currently chairman of the Eurogroup. "With our solidarity it was successful,” said his German colleague Olaf Scholz, and Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker stated that "Europe should be proud of its common currency". But the staging was all bluff. In truth, there is nothing to celebrate.