The EU’s prized project of ‘Social Europe’ has been slipping steadily down its political agenda.Frank Vandenbroucke highlights the recommendations of a high-level group he has chaired.

Having won the Cold War (perhaps largely due to the courage of the Russian people who threw off a communist dictatorship and were prepared to take risks), Europe seems to be losing the peace. The region is entering the next stage of international relations disunited and weakened, and poised for a confrontation or maybe even a large-scale war.

With the beginning of a new year with all its new hopes and new fears, one cannot help but worry about Putin’s next political move.The year 2014 witnessed Russia claiming power over the Crimea, destabilizing the Eastern Ukraine and President Putin directing increasing aggression at the Baltic States.

The recent unveiling of the identity of Islamic State (IS) fighter Mohammed Emwazi, otherwise known as ‘Jihadi John’, underlined once more the challenges facing UK authorities in their fight against radicalisation. 26 year-old Emwazi gained international notoriety for his role in the multiple beheadings of Western hostages which have then been disseminated by IS as part of their propaganda war via social media platforms.

Who is holding their breath for Greece? Can anyone afford not to hope for the Greek debt deal? Can exit from the eurozone ever be a realistic option?

Days after the last parliamentary elections, something is eventually moving in Greece. People are hesitant and restrained, do not want to get too excited. However, one can see that a humble smile, between hope and faith, is on faces of Greeks. For the first time in the post-dictatorship period, a leftist government took over the leadership of the country, insisting on its pre-election commitments to overthrow the corrupt political system and reverse the economic disaster.

Few places in Greece conjure the spirit of resistance as much as the war memorial in Kaisariani. It stands on the spot where 200 political activists – mostly communists – were executed by Nazi forces on May Day 1944.

Tackling the issue of migration will take political courage and leadership, together with policies to manage the movement of people across borders. With growing hostility towards migrants in the wake of the recent Paris and Brussels attacks, panellists agreed on the need to recognize the significant contribution migrants make to their communities around the world.

Germany’s Chancellor, Angela Merkel, called for urgent fiscal reform in Europe. Whatever the decision of the European Central Bank (ECB) on quantitative easing, she said that European leaders must not be diverted from continuing with meaningful structural reforms.

President Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine told participants at the 45th World Economic Forum Annual Meeting that despite the aggression his country faces, Ukraine is strong and unified. “Ukraine has become stronger. Ukraine has become more democratic. And Ukraine has become more European,” he said.

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