Populism is everywhere these days. Not only as a phenomenon but also as a topic in political discourse. Yet, the closer you look at it, the more you will realize that populism is quite a messy term. It signifies everything from an unease towards dissent, to the fear of a weakened democracy. More importantly, once you get a grip on how you define the term you will realize that populism may be destructive and inflammatory but is not the real problem. It is mostly a symptom for fundamental conflicts in society.
In Europe we know that Portugal, France and Italy are the most unequal countries according to OECD household incomes. In addition to income inequality, inequality of opportunities may result from different types of discrimination, including discrimination based on gender, ethnicity, or religion. Widespread inequalities lead to the exclusion of minorities. Despite the fact that ethnic, cultural and religious diversity is a central feature and value of the European Union minority exclusion still persists in the EU.
With the simple, but great and effective idea of rescuing refugees at sea, SOS Mediterrane manages to save the lives of those seeking to enter the European Union.
The European Union is in distress. On the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome this has become an ever-present issue, which the #DialogueOnEurope seeks to address. The gathering of various members of civil society aims to find new insights and solutions to the Union’s most prevalent problems.
#DialogueOnEurope organised its eighth Town Hall Meeting in London, on February 27. Policy Network covered the event, publishing the conference’s findings.
Brexit was a wake-up call, especially for young Brits. Therefore, the Dialogue on Europe brought together representatives of the young civil society with parliamentarians and experts from the UK and Germany. Among the guests were Thomas Oppermann, Gloria de Piero, Martin Roth, James Graham and Sonia Sodha. Together, they discussed the future of British-European relations.
The unexpected happened and we are still searching for an answer why it happened and what might be the adequate response. This essay attempts to look for the reasons of the current success of populists on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean and to face the challenge that is produced by this convergence.
Elina Makri is Journalist, Co-Founder and Media Project Manager of C.A.R.L. (Computer Assisted Reporting Laboratory) and the Youth Investigative Journalism Prize. Furthermore she moderated the #EuropeanTownHall Meeting in Athens. In addition Elina is engaged in numerous international networking and journalism platforms such as Oikomedia.com, Cabebabel.com and Dialoggers.eu. She has studied Law at the Université du Droit et de la Santé in Lille and European and International Law at the Université catholique de Louvain.
The political mainstream thinks that this crisis is conjunctural, not structural. But the trouble with austerity policies is, that they increase the crisis in a cumulative way. With austerity one can only enlarge the probability to maintain the crisis, not to rule out it. And politicians don’t solve this problem – they preserve it.
The Spanish party Podemos and the German “Alternative for Germany” could not be, apparently, more opposed. However, there is one thing which brings them together: They both successfully use digital communication to reach their electorate in new, unmediated ways.