Symβiosis aims to provide resources, commentaries and analysis, on political, social and cultural ideas and developments affecting change and policy, original and creative, based on arguments, able to propose and debate solutions to critical issues, maintaining a broad intellectual scope and global reach that readers need to understand the choices shaping lives, and reflecting on Greece, the Balkans, Europe and the world.




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Europe's Energy Revolution: Opportunities and Constraints

Date added: 02/10/2011
Date modified: 02/10/2011
Filesize: 3.22 MB
Downloads: 2127
Sixty years since its members first started co-operating on energy, the European Union still lacks a common energy policy and a single European market, said Philip Lowe, Director General for Energy at the European Commission. Yet these two elements are needed more than ever in the face of increasing dependence on oil and gas imports and the need to introduce more renewable energy capacity. The lack of progress on the single market internally is matched by a lack of coherence in external energy policy, Lowe added. Yet this coherence is sorely needed in a world where many of the energy challenges that the EU faces will be dictated by developments outside Europe, said International Energy Agency's Chief Economist Dr. Fatih Birol. "The age of cheap oil is over," he asserted.

Fundamental rights: challenges and achievements in 2010

Date added: 11/13/2011
Date modified: 11/13/2011
Filesize: 8.06 MB
Downloads: 2037

Annual Report

2010 marked the first year the European Union (EU) operated on the basis of a legally binding bill of rights - the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU. This year's annual report of the European Agency for Fundamental Rights puts the spotlight on the achievements and challenges of the EU and its Member States as they strive to inject robust life into their fundamental rights commitments.

Steps forward in 2010 included, among many, the reinforcement of a fundamental rights check of EU legislative proposals and the adoption of the regulation on the Citizen's initiative - an important new EU participatory democracy tool. Moves by several Member States to strengthen or create National Human Rights Institutions or the ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights or Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) by the EU complemented this picture.

Still, there is no room for complacency. The EU continues to face various issues of concern in the fundamental rights field, such as persisiting and extreme poverty as well as social exclusion among Roma communities and deteriorating conditions of asylum seekers in certain Member States. In 2010, the European Court of Human Rights delivered over 600 judgments for violations of human rights against almost all 27 EU Member States.

This report examines progress on EU and Member States rights obligations under the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU, covering the following topics: situation of Roma in the EU; asylum immigration and integration; border control and visa policy; information society and data protection; the rights of the child and protection of children; equality and non-discrimination; racism and ethnic discrimination; participation of EU citizens in the Unions democratic functioning; access to efficient and independent justice; and victims' protection.

Current Research on Citizenship Education in Europe

Date added: 02/16/2013
Date modified: 02/16/2013
Filesize: 587.61 kB
Downloads: 1324

A Trinity of Transformation, Europeanisation, and Democratisation?
Reinhold Hedtke, Tatjana Zimenkova, Thorsten Hippe

Although a lot of stock-taking research on citizenship education in European countries has already be done, some key features of citizenship education especially in transformation countries are not understood as yet. The authors briefly outline the state of the art and criticize its main shortcomings. As a result, they suggest a research agenda to enhance the knowledge about citizenship education with respect to its interconnectedness with processes of transformation and to its embeddedness into different political cultures, institutions and democracies. They propose to realise multi-level and multi-actor case studies which perceive citizenship education as an organisational issue, too.

Exceptional in Europe? Spain’s experience with immigration and integration

Date added: 03/27/2013
Date modified: 03/27/2013
Filesize: 1.97 MB
Downloads: 1151

By Joaquín Arango
Complutense University of Madrid
© 2013 Migration Policy Institute

In just a decade, Spain’s foreign-born population increased from less than 4 percent of the total population to almost 14 percent. Fewer than 1.5 million immigrants resided in Spain in 2000, compared to 6.5 million in 2009. But unlike other European countries, Spain has not seen a significant backlash against immigration, even amid an economic crisis that has hit the country hard and led to extremely high levels of unemployment — especially among immigrants.
This enduring openness can be explained by a few key political and structural factors. Most Spaniards still view immigration through the lens of the labor market: since the mid-1980s, immigrants have provided needed labor to sustain economic growth and offered valuable services to families, and they still do so in the present day, with immigrants comprising close to one-fifth of the employed population. Spain’s history with immigration remains relatively new, therefore the demographic profile of immigrants is predominantly one of young adults active in the labor force. Here, the second generation of immigrants has yet to fully come of age, as it has in other European countries. Furthermore, Spain’s distinct political culture, which emerged following the end of the Franco dictatorship, discourages public statements that could be perceived as undermining the democratic values of equality and liberty. Groups in favor of immigration are large, active, and vocal in their opposition to any sentiments that could be seen as racist, xenophobic, or simply hostile to immigrants. There is a widespread belief that immigrants are entitled to the same rights as other members of society.

Multiple discrimination against Muslim women in Europe: for equal opportunities

Date added: 08/02/2012
Date modified: 08/02/2012
Filesize: 169.38 kB
Downloads: 1102

CoECouncil of Europe - Parliamentary Assembly

Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination
Rapporteur: Ms Athina KYRIAKIDOU, Cyprus, Socialist Group

In Council of Europe member States where Islam is not the religion of the majority of the population, Muslim women face multiple discrimination as women, as part of a religious minority and sometimes for being of immigrant origin. They are often victims of stereotyping, since their religious beliefs are seen as the only defining element of their identity.
It is time to take a new approach since many Muslim women want to be actors of change and empowerment. Rather than being isolated, stigmatised or forced into a stereotype, Muslim women should be encouraged in their quest for equal opportunities in society. Positive measures should be introduced to make it possible for Muslim women to be protagonists of their own empowerment. Investing in education, encouraging networking and the participation in civil and public life, as well as accompanying them in their professional development are key actions in order to raise Muslim's women awareness of their rights and help them realise their full potential.