On Thursday morning, trains full of Syrian refugees were stopped at a Budapest station, blocking desperate families seeking refuge in Western Europe.
What happened in France was shocking and tragic, but not entirely surprising. Considering the various incidents happening at the same time across Europe, it is not difficult to conclude that the issue of Muslims in Europe will pose a huge challenge to society, including the question of law and order, in the coming time. Dealing with it is a matter of top priority.
In 2014, Vladimir Putin discovered his inner Trotsky. For what Russia's president is now offering Ukraine is a perverse twist on the formula Trotsky proclaimed during the peace negotiations at Brest-Litovsk in 1918: "No war, no peace."
There is a common misconception that the euro area is a monetary union without a political union. But this reflects a deep misunderstanding of what monetary union means. Monetary union is possible only because of the substantial integration already achieved among European Union countries -- and sharing a single currency deepens that integration. If European monetary union has proved more resilient than many thought, it is only because those who doubted it misjudged this political dimension.
What is feared today is not the loss of any particular country to foreign conquest, but the loss of an imagined entity that binds us together. The Occident is a central piece of our mental maps and our cultural inventory. In a very visceral sense, Europeans are seized by fears of decline and by memories of cultural blossoming. Those fears culminate in the belief that our cathedrals will eventually turn into mosques, that their bells will fall silent and will be replaced by the cries of the muezzin.
If you own a 90 percent market share, or in some countries even more than that, you are de facto the entry gate to the digital world. If you then decide to discriminate against competitors, or favor your own products over everyone else's -- even when the quality is inferior and without full transparency to the users -- this is an unhealthy market situation.
Europe today stands between the Scylla of deflation and the Charybdis of a populism filled with rancor but devoid of content and proposals. Italian reform is coming at its own pace, but reforms are there and, even more importantly, they have popular backing.
It used to be the death strip that kept the enemy at bay. Now the former Iron Curtain could come to serve a more benign purpose
An old saying in Rome has it that the favorite candidate always enters the conclave as the next pope but exits as a mere cardinal. Matteo Renzi, Italy's maverick prime minister, is Europe's man of the hour; but the six-month rotating EU presidency which Italy kicked off earlier this month may leave him severely diminished, unless he fulfills the promise of his leadership with tangible results.
When, in 2003, some 78 percent of Czechs voted in in favor of joining the European Union, the mood in the country was optimistic. The country's economy had shown impressive growth rates; foreign investment had been booming. Joining the EU on May 1, 2004, was seen as a symbolic step underlining successful reforms that had been adopted during the process of accession. On the 10th anniversary of accession, the mood is far less optimistic. According to the latest surveys, about two-thirds of Czechs do not trust the EU, citing too much bureaucracy and overregulation as the main problems of the EU.