Ventotene in Italy

28 July 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: European Union, General Reading Time:  15 minutes

Town hall, called Il Castello (The Castle) at Piazza del Castello © IslandVita/cc-by-sa-4.0

Town hall, called Il Castello (The Castle) at Piazza del Castello © IslandVita/cc-by-sa-4.0

Ventotene is one of the Pontine Islands in the Tyrrhenian Sea, 46 kilometres (25 nautical miles) off the coast of Gaeta right at the border between Lazio and Campania, Italy. The municipality of Ventotene, of the province of Latina (Lazio) had 708 permanent residents as of 2008. The island, the remains of an ancient volcano, is elongated, with a length of 3 kilometres (2 miles) and a maximum width of about 800 metres (2,600 feet). The municipality includes the small ancillary island of Santo Stefano, located 2 km (1 1⁄4 mi) to the east, which was the site of a massive prison, now closed. Further islands are Ponza, Palmarola and Zannone, located 40 km (25 mi) to the west. The island is connected by a daily ferry and hydrofoil service to Formia provided by the ferry company Laziomar. This is supplemented by summer services to Anzio and Terracina on the mainland, and the nearby island Ponza. During the summer months, SNAV also operates routes between Ventotene and Naples, as well as the island of Ischia.   read more…

The European Union: Europe Day

8 May 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Editorial, European Union, General Reading Time:  8 minutes

Europe Day 2009 in Strasbourg © - Francois Schnell/cc-by-2.0

Europe Day 2009 in Strasbourg © – Francois Schnell/cc-by-2.0

Europe Day is a day celebrating “peace and unity in Europe” celebrated on 5 May by the Council of Europe and on 9 May by the European Union. The first recognition of Europe Day was by the Council of Europe, introduced in 1964. The European Union later started to celebrate its own European Day in commemoration of the 1950 Schuman Declaration which first proposed the European Coal and Steel Community, leading it to be referred to by some as “Schuman Day” or “Day of the united Europe”. Both days are celebrated by displaying the Flag of Europe. The Council of Europe was founded on 5 May 1949, and hence it chose that day for its celebrations when it established the holiday in 1964.   read more…

European Museum of the Year Award

17 December 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: European Union, General, Museums, Exhibitions Reading Time:  4 minutes

European Museum of the Year Award

European Museum of the Year Award

The European Museum of the Year Award (EMYA) is presented each year by the European Museum Forum (EMF) under the auspices of the Council of Europe. The EMYA is considered the most important annual award in the European museum sector. Museums in 47 European countries, all members of the Council of Europe, can take part in the competition if they are newly opened or have undergone modernization or expansion in the past three years.  read more…

Bundestag election 2021

26 September 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  80 minutes



(Latest update: 4 April 2022) After Chancellor Angela Merkel announced her voluntary retirement from office after 16 years and that with approval ratings that other heads of government may only wish for, the CDU suffered a severe setback with a drop in votes of 9% compared to the 2017 federal election. The Chancellor candidate Armin Laschet got the worst election result of the party of all time and he owes that to himself. After many years in government responsibility, it would certainly not be bad for the CDU not to work in this role for a while, but instead to be a opposition party in order to reorganize itself and counteract incrustations and obvious nepotism.   read more…

The European Union: Eastern Partnership

31 August 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Editorial, European Union, General Reading Time:  15 minutes

The Eastern Partnership (EaP) is a joint initiative of the European External Action Service of the European Union (EU) together with the EU, its Member States, and six Eastern European partners governing the EU’s relationship with the post-Soviet states of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine. The EaP is intended to provide a forum for discussions regarding trade, economic strategy, travel agreements, and other issues between the EU and its Eastern European neighbours. It also aims at building a common area of shared values of democracy, prosperity, stability, and increased cooperation. The project was initiated by Poland and a subsequent proposal was prepared in co-operation with Sweden. It was presented by the foreign ministers of Poland and Sweden at the EU’s General Affairs and External Relations Council in Brussels on 26 May 2008. The Eastern Partnership was inaugurated by the European Union in Prague, Czech Republic on 7 May 2009. The first meeting of foreign ministers in the framework of the Eastern Partnership was held on 8 December 2009 in Brussels.   read more…

The European Union: Presidency of the Council of the European Union

1 July 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Editorial, European Union, General Reading Time:  51 minutes

The presidency of the Council of the European Union is responsible for the functioning of the Council of the European Union, the upper house of the EU legislature. It rotates among the member states of the EU every six months. The presidency is not an individual, but rather the position is held by a national government. It is sometimes incorrectly referred to as the “president of the European Union“. The presidency’s function is to chair meetings of the Council, determine its agendas, set a work programme and facilitate dialogue both at Council meetings and with other EU institutions. The presidency is currently, as of July 2020, held by Germany. Three successive presidencies are known as presidency trios. The current trio (2020–21) is made up of Germany (July–December 2020), Portugal (January–June 2021) and Slovenia (July–December 2021).   read more…

Berlaymont building, the headquarters of the European Commission

1 April 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: European Union, General, House of the Month Reading Time:  8 minutes

© - Amio Cajander/cc-by-sa-2.0

© – Amio Cajander/cc-by-sa-2.0

The Berlaymont is an office building in Brussels, Belgium, which houses the headquarters of the European Commission, the executive branch of the European Union (EU). The structure is located at Schuman roundabout at Wetstraat 200 Rue de la Loi, in what is known as the “European Quarter“. The unique form of the Berlaymont’s architecture is used in the European Commission’s official emblem.   read more…

The European Union: Coronavirus Pandemic

30 March 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Editorial, European Union, General Reading Time:  1040 minutes

(Latest update: 23 August 2022) Over the coming months, the world will now experience not only how individual states will deal with the global coronavirus pandemic, but also how governments can or cannot intercept the consequences. It can be observed in real time how a real and worldwide crisis is reacted to, who has made provisions and built up reserves or has only wobbled. Already the unemployment numbers and the number of bankruptcies in the first few weeks will provide sufficient information and thus also give an answer to which social and state systems are viable even in crises and take their weakest with them instead of having to leave them behind. It can be assumed that the countries will cope best with the crisis, that are regularly accused of charging too high taxes and having too strong social systems in “regular times” (some Americans would even call it “pure socialism” until a big crises hit in. Then more and more people are questioning why the richest country in the world cannot provide as excellent social security as Germany has for decades – everything always has its advantages and disadvantages), because these countries can now set their full strength come into effect and let it unfold. Whatever the outcome of this “competition” will be, let us all remain prudent, relaxed, reasonable and show solidarity and, of course, let’s stay at home if possible, because the more people abide by the rules, the sooner we can get this spook under control. Even if it will take months before a vaccine will be available, we shouldn’t give the virus the pleasure to let destroy us socially and economically. Stay healthy and #flattenthecurve #StayHomeSaveLives #Coronavirus #covid19 (Coronavirus warning app for Germany)   read more…

The European Union: Climate Policy

2 February 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Editorial, Environment, European Union, General Reading Time:  414 minutes

Flag of Europe (Latest update: 23 August 2022) The European Union’s climate policy is a European policy area that aims to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to transform European economies into a low carbon economy. On the one hand, the EU’s climate policy aims to reduce its own emissions of greenhouse gases (mitigation), for example through the emissions trading system that has existed since 2005. However, since limiting anthropogenic climate change can ultimately only be achieved at the global level, the EU is also actively involved in the negotiations under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. The EU’s climate policy also pursues the goal of limiting the effects of climate change (adaptation), for example through civil protection measures in Europe or through conflict prevention in developing countries.   read more…

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