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Latest Columns from the Investigate Europe Team

Our regular columns that take a Europe-wide angle

16 05, 2019

Legislation from closed chambers – how (un)democratic is the EU?

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.

14 03, 2019

Journalists and the “Yellow Vests”: a story of love and hate

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.

14 02, 2019

Campaign against Chinese giant Huawei reveals Europe’s weakness

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

14 12, 2018

Who’s been meddling in Macedonia? Not only who you think

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.

rhdr
14 11, 2018

Outrage triggers political action against exploitation of truck drivers

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 [...]

Christos Loufopoulos / Flickr
12 09, 2018

The EU Commission’s hubris over the Greek wildfires

Photograph: Christos Loufopoulos / Flickr. Launching a spin campaign on three fronts (Brussels, Italy, Greece) the EU Commission argued that since 2010 not only were there no cuts in Greece’s firefighting budget but on the contrary spending for the firefighters’ service actually increased. However, a simple fact-check of the official data tells a completely different story: From the outset of the Greek crisis until today

The crisis isn’t over for Greece – or the euro Credit: Theophilos Papadopoulos/flickr
21 08, 2018

The euro crisis is far from over: What the EU could have learned from Greece – but didn’t

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.

Polish bus driver in Norway talking to his family at home – Credit: Fredrik Refvem / Aftenbladet
4 04, 2018

The child benefit lie: How the German government serves the populists

BY HARALD SCHUMANN How much nationalist blindness can politics tolerate before it becomes completely irrational? Politicians of the grand coalition in Germany are demonstrating the urgency of this question. The starting point is the annually recurring statistics of the German Federal Employment Agency. In 2017, around 343 million euros in child benefits were paid to families whose children live in other countries while their parents are working in Germany. This affected a total of 249 473 children in Poland, Romania, Canada, Croatia and a good dozen other countries. The right-wing populists of the “Alternative für Deutschland“ (AfD) use these [...]

16 03, 2018

Jan’s and Daphne’s Laws: How to Stop the Murder of Journalists

BY DREW SULLIVAN, Editor of OCCPR Investigate Europe stands with OCCRP in the defense of journalism. That’s why we are cross-posting this article, written by Drew Sullivan, editor of the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, and initially published by OCCRP. Drew was working closely with Jan Kuciak, the 28 year old Solvak investigative reporter murdered last February. The article is republished with the permission of OCCRP. The cold-blooded murder of Slovak investigative journalist Jan Kuciak was also a cold slap across the face of modern Europe. That the public watchdogs — the beloved members of a profession that is sometimes more reviled [...]

Solidarnosc merchandising in Gdansk
8 03, 2018

Free City of Gdańsk – How Poland’s window to the world rises against populism

BY WOJCIECH CIESLA Gdańsk, Poland’s window to the world and cradle of the Solidarity democracy movement, raises the flag again against a wave of populism sweeping the country. In an icy chill, residents of Gdańsk, never before connected to any movement, are protesting outside a local court against a new law of the Law and Justice party (PiS) that seeks to subordinate the judiciary and local elections to government authority. Around 400 people have gathered in the cold. They carry lit candles, their symbol of defiance. Across Poland tens of thousands more have taken to the streets to protest [...]