The crises that shaped Angela Merkel’s Chancellorship – From Germany to the European level When Angela Merkel was elected as Germany’s chancellor on 22 November 2005, she set a record as the first woman, the first East German, and the youngest person, at age 51, to ever take said office. She is also the first…

A brief overview of the Russian-Ukrainian war. Let us take a trip back to the beginning of summer 2021: several news outlets were headlining an event that brought renewed attention to the conflict between Ukraine and Russia, but the cause for its flare-up came from a fairly unexpected place. This time, it was the world…

An Explosion in Popularity and Energy Demand Whether it’s been the uncertainty surrounding traditional stock investments, challenges faced by national authorities in the wake of the pandemic, public endorsement by celebrities and financial institutions, or the more primal lure of making a small fortune overnight, interest in cryptocurrency has skyrocketed since the beginning of the…

What populists in the Netherlands, Sweden and Italy have in common  (part 1) An economic and financial crisis shaking the bedrock of the European economy, a significant increase in net migration from outside the EU, ethnic tension fuelled by opportunistic politicians, Brexit and the election of Donald Trump have all left established democratic countries reeling.…

An interview with Emily Sharpe from The Web Foundation In an ideal world the internet would be a safe, inclusive and accessible space for everyone. Sadly, this is still a far cry from reality. Shaping Europe’s editors spoke to Emily Sharpe, based in London, who works for The World Wide Web Foundation as Director of…

Will the EU’s action plan against child labour be effective? Chocolate is one of the most popular sweet treats across the European Union, and our countries have some of the highest rates of consumption and production in the world. Still, there is one big issue with our high demands for these delicious confectioneries––the amount of…

Truth or Fiction in the EU? In September 2020, during the State of the Union address, Ursula von der Leyen said: ‘if you are a parent in one country, you are a parent in every country,’ when announcing the European Commission’s plan to put forward a strategy to strengthen LGBTQI+ rights. Currently, this is far…

The new EU crisis strategy in action ‘Infectious diseases, like Europeans, cross borders’. It is a statement that feels a bit obvious in the midst of a pandemic, but when it was penned down by some intern at the European Commission back in 2018 it was nothing more than an ominous warning of how a…

What is Sofagate? Sofagate has hit the news in a way European politics rarely does. The incident, now popularly dubbed ‘Sofagate’, occurred after a meeting of European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Ankara.  On this video, which went viral, the three…

The Grand Finale This year’s Eurovision Song Contest is taking place in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. After 44 years without a win, Duncan Lawrence’s Arcade broke the drought. For the first time in the competition’s history, due to the Covid pandemic, the competition was cancelled and pushed back to 2021. In order to address the rising…

Recent articles

A brief overview of the Russian-Ukrainian war. Let us take a trip back to the beginning of summer 2021: several news outlets were headlining an event that brought renewed attention to the conflict between Ukraine and Russia, but the cause for its flare-up came from a fairly unexpected place. This time, it was the world…

An Explosion in Popularity and Energy Demand Whether it’s been the uncertainty surrounding traditional stock investments, challenges faced by national authorities in the wake of the pandemic, public endorsement by celebrities and financial institutions, or the more primal lure of making a small fortune overnight, interest in cryptocurrency has skyrocketed since the beginning of the…

What populists in the Netherlands, Sweden and Italy have in common  (part 1) An economic and financial crisis shaking the bedrock of the European economy, a significant increase in net migration from outside the EU, ethnic tension fuelled by opportunistic politicians, Brexit and the election of Donald Trump have all left established democratic countries reeling.…

International relations

How should Europe protect critical infrastructure against foreign hostile investments? On October 11th, 2020, the “Foreign Direct Investments Screening Regulation” came into force. While such foreign direct investment (FDI) frameworks already exist in some member states, it has so far been missing at the EU level. However, we find that 12 out of 27 member…

Why the EU should get involved in peace building between Armenia and Azerbijan. After 44 days of intense fighting between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces, silence fell over Nagorno-Karabakh. In accordance with a ceasefire agreement brokered by the Russian Federation roughly 70 percent of the territory of the self-proclaimed Republic of Artsakh was to be turned…

A deep dive into Europe-China trade relations – Part II. “The most ambitious agreement that China has ever concluded with a third country.” This is how the European Commission chose to label its recently announced “Comprehensive Agreement on Investment” (CAI) with China. A big and seemingly consequential statement, one which on the surface seems to…

Sustainability

An Explosion in Popularity and Energy Demand Whether it’s been the uncertainty surrounding traditional stock investments, challenges faced by national authorities in the wake of the pandemic, public endorsement by celebrities and financial institutions, or the more primal lure of making a small fortune overnight, interest in cryptocurrency has skyrocketed since the beginning of the…

Europe’s move to a more circular economy.  The allure of new, cheap, and convenient has slowly suppressed the desire for long-living, repairable, products. Whilst potentially not always a conscious decision by the consumer, we have come to expect that the electronic products we bring home won’t live with us as long as we might like.…

The relationship between climate change, racism and social inequality. The story begins in Warren County in 1982. Warren is a small county in the United States and is situated in the state of North Carolina. The county had a population of 16.232 people according to the 1980 census and is most famous for its historical…

Rule of law

The challenges of the EU’s new rule of law mechanism.  The rule of law is one of the foundational values of the European Union and is the cornerstone of any well-functioning democracy. The Union institutions have repeatedly highlighted the importance of this principle, referring to it as a precondition for protecting all other fundamental EU…

Is the Commission’s attempt to improve fundamental rights protection enough?  On 2 December 2020, the European Commission presented its Strategy to strengthen the application of the Charter of Fundamental Rights in the European Union, setting out a 10-year plan for its implementation. Through its Strategy, the Commission aims to ensure the Charter is applied to…

The EU’s tool box to save Poland and Hungary’s democracies. Independent judges, free media, protection against discrimination and the freedom of thought and religion. They all depend on strong rule of law. In a democracy with the rule of law, the government faces checks and balances from other institutions, such as the judiciary. A democracy…