Both Virgin in France and HMV in the UK going into administration is bad news for the music industry. Yet the live music industry is still going strong, with artists continuing to draw in large audiences to concerts
What does felt from Kyrgyzstan have to do with the hectic pace of life in major European cities? At first glance, not very much – however, nomads from the high plains of Kyrgyzstan have a great deal in common with the ‘urban’ nomads of Berlin, London and Stockholm. Tobias Gerhard talks about his project, 'Kancha'
Latvia is pressing ahead with plans to adopt the European single currency next year. Yet 65% of the population say they do not want the euro. As well as concerns over price rises, many Latvians fear having to pick up the bill for the crisis-hit countries in the south of Europe, having only recently come through their own painful economic recovery
EUtopia: Generation against a giant
In a land before our time, everything still used to run smoothly. Today, a mobile, well-educated digital generation of young Europeans needs to rise against the tyrannosaurus crisis with never-ending piles of fantasies. For 2013, cafebabel.com's flagship feature report project has thus been christened 'EUtopia on the ground'. Reporters from all over Europe will do their best to present you with an expanding EU that still exists, even if it is not always visionary. So the future doesn’t seem too rosy at the moment – it was only recently that the German head of the European parliament, Martin Schulz, described the continent as 'Frankenstein Europe'. Saving, saving and saving sounds like an eternal melody – but not when it comes to vision and ideas. Can our generation defeat the ‘Catastroika’, as the so-called 'Troika' of foreign lenders, made up of the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund, are called? Before you get ready to read special editions from Budapest, Athens and Warsaw to start off with over the next few months, we invite you to concentrate on these 'first drafts' of political, cultural and economic 'EUtopia' (Illustration: © Adrien Lecoarer/ graphimse.com)
- Read the special edition EUtopia: Generation against a giant
- Michel Santi: 'Dynamism is more important than in Europe'
- 'Europe or chaos' manifesto: Intellectuals aren't listening to youth
- Obituary: 'Outrage' author and concentration camp survivor Stephane Hessel
- Swabian influx in Berlin ruffles regional feathers
- ‘Partido X’: profile of newest party democracy in Spain
That is what happens when you combine economic hardships with a corrupt political elite, a dose of populism, some austerity measures and a highly disillusioned population that perceives it’s been duped. Mass protests continued in Bulgaria on 25 February
Italy elections: Choose Berlusconi, or Vendola, or Bersani, or Grillo. Choose life.
It’s not only Pope Benedict who has thrown in the towel; Italy has left its ‘choosy’ youth no choice; unemployment is at over 11%, and over 36% for for under-25s. Young people have run away to find work, to study, to do erasmus exchange programmes abroad. Perhaps 'Their Capriciousnesses' will be finally satisfied with the selection of the characters in the early elections on 24 February? In one corner of the boxing ring we have the flashy centre-left leader Pier-Luigi Bersani (Democratic Party, PD), the Robin Hood of the elections (heritage of his past in the Communist Party?)... Should he win, he would be backed by the centrist Mario Monti, the outgoing technocrat-turned-prime minister and outsider who'll advise you to tighten your belt until can sigh ‘mamma mia’ no more. Then of course there are jokers all around, and we’re not just talking about the eccentric first black Italian hero on the background of politics in Italy. The former comedian-turned-political activist Beppe Grillo (Five Star Movement, M5S) will square up to the boomeranging Silvio Berlusconi (People of Freedom party), the three-times prime minister who left the scene fifteen months ago. The turnout in the last elections in 2008 was 80%. The real question is, who will be voting for a new parliament and government this weekend? It certainly won’t be any Italian citizens currently abroad, since their rights have been curbed...(Illustration: © Adrien Le Coarer/ graphimse.net)
- Read the special edition Italy elections: Choose Berlusconi, or Vendola, or Bersani, or Grillo. Choose life.
- Stalking Bersani in Italy: autopsy of a vital election campaign
- Football, politics and timing in Italy with Balotelli and Berlusconi
- European Union’s future in 2013 Italy elections
- 'Bad' Italians at La Sapienza university: politicians don’t want us to think
- Italian students abroad fight for right to vote in February elections
France's national assembly joined countries like Spain and most recently the UK by voting in favour of introducing same-sex marriage and adoption rights for gay couples on 12 February. The controversial bill was passed with 329 deputies in favour and 229 against. It is a triumph for Francois Hollande’s government and as a signal that the church should not interfere in the debate
The music industry makes resolutions too. In 2013 the Eurosonic music festival in Groeningen surprisingly devoted itself to covering the Finnish music scene, looking set to finally shed light on a country and music industry that we know very little about
With trade between the two markets reaching 80 billion euros, the south-east Asian country and the EU are hoping to advance with a free-trade agreement. What is this economic partnership about, and what are its challenges?
European theatre in Paris, Madrid, Rome and Leipzig
The curtain is thrashing in the gales rushing over the European theatre scene. In the French capital, the last play that the Paris-Villette theatre showed before it closed in Paris was about genocide in Rwanda. In Madrid, a quarter of the shows at the Royal Theatre end in bitter silence, victims of the state's tax hikes. Yet as cafebabel.com found in its recent special edition on the 'rise and death of European media', new spaces are opening up for newer concepts in theatre. The crisis is a huge diving board into an increased sense of creative interaction, emotion and public participation, which is now taking over where the gilded seats and illustrious stages once stood. In Rome and Salento, theatre companies are promoting the philosophy of different languages in its productions to mark newer horizons, and this is also a theme of the German theatre festival in Leipzig. There'll be no exit stage left or right so long as the small fish stay optimistic! (Image: © Teatro Valle Occupato)
How does the end of the world happen? Does a meteor crash into Earth, or does a tsunami come to engulf us, like the movies show? Does facebook start charging for its social network services? Anyway the apocalypse is already here - it's just that we've been too busy to notice it because we have been tagging ourselves on FourSquare
In her mind at least, Francesca has never left her 'erasmus' city, Paris. Back in Rome, the Italian languages and literature student has written this appeal to the erasmus generation; in its 25 years of existence the student exchange programme has moulded almost two million students across Europe, and is now threatened with closure
Balkan eye on Brussels: no opportunity no cry
Word is that the capital of the European Union institutions is not a very easy city to live in. Most members of the elite class are there strictly for business only (members of European parliament or MEPs from Lithuania, the UK and Ireland only spend 81% of their time in the city), whilst other skilled young home-grown talents are only thinking of leaving. The crisis affects Brussels by form of ‘brain drain’; in 2010 28, 000 young graduates left the country, 70% more than the year before. It’s not only job opportunities which affect Belgians and the expats living there, but also the living standards. In a country which suffers the sixth highest rape statistics in the world (according to the UN office for drugs and crime), young women are speaking out about their negative experiences with male passersby in the very streets of the Belgian capital. A Turkish-Bosnian-Serbian-Italian team go on the ground for the penultimate edition of ‘Orient Express Reporter II’ (Image: (cc) vainsang/ Flickr)
The event in Dublin on 24 November has expanded across Europe, having already taken place in England and France. The European commission has designated 2014 'European year against food waste' and the European parliament recently passed a resolution urging a reduction of food waste by 50% by the year 2025. Second in a series from cafebabel Dublin
On 1 November British prime minister David Cameron announced that he plans to obey the will of his parliament at the EU budget summit at the end of November and use his power of veto if the result is not in the interests of the UK. While some commentators stress that the British are weakening their influence in Europe with their hard line, others maintain that the critical stance is good for the EU
Any sort of joint bond issue would be vigorously opposed by northern member states of the European Union. So a new idea has been thought up since the summer – why not centralise Europe’s banking system? Part three of our examination of the financial crisis from a transatlantic point of view sees how it’s done in the USA