With individual selections from our editors, Good Reads provides a regular run-down of best and most thought-provoking European journalism available online. This week, Diána Vonnák shares some intriguing thoughts on illegal immigration to the EU, fashion and the public role of intellectuals.

Diána, Managing editor


Fortress Europe

Lampedusa did not change EU policies regarding asylum seekers and refugees and neither have similar subsequent, almost daily tragedies. Foreign policy has been a consistently hot topic for months, yet Syria, IS and the troubles in West Africa have clouded our public awareness of the unquestionable need of thousands to get out of miseries beyond imagination.

We had a Lampedusa-related pick from Veronica in the last edition of Good Reads, but I could not resist starting my list with another take on Fortress Europe. There are two aspects of this recent Spiegel Online article that make it stand out from the majority of similar advocacy pieces: its insights into the work of Frontex (the organisation that patrols EU borders) and the geographical scope, including the Hungarian-Serbian frontier and the border between Greece and Turkey.

Published in Good Reads
Saturday, 18 February 2012 17:27

Good Reads - Author Special 21/02/12

This week, two of E&M's best writers share their favourite European reads. From blog posts to essays, it can be anything that amused them, worried them or got them thinking about Europe.


Ziemowit Jóźwik

Not only for parishioners

Even though tons of paper were wasted explaining the sources of the current economic and financial crisis we (including the world leaders) still seem to have more questions than answers. Within dozens of narratives, one is especially interesting for me. Remember some of the points which the Archbishop of Canterbury (or "the turbulent priest" to stay in the British context) Rowan Williams made as a Guest Editor of the New Statesman magazine last year? Well, now Pope Benedict XVI has also decided to take part in the discussion and call for global financial reform. The magazine Foreign Affairs gives us a detailed analysis of the Pope's Note, which was presented at the last G20 Summit. Are the world's leaders ready "to cede their own sovereignty in the interests of global humanity's common good?" I'd argue that the Catholic social teaching can still provide us with some rerum novarum ("new things").

Modern Islamism

Once we've acknowledged that Europe isn't supposed to end up as a cathedral, nor as a cube let's see what's happening in its Southern neighbourhood. Almost a year after the Arab Spring, it's still not easy to assess the outcomes of the revolutionary wave that swept across the North Africa. The elections held in Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco led to the victory of Islamist parties. Will they have a pragmatic stance or try to introduce Sharia rules to the law? What kind of problems are they going to face in the near future and what did they inherit from their authoritarian predecessors? And finally, how will the Islamists' electoral triumph influence relations with the EU? Professor Moha Ennaji gives a fascinating response in his article "The Maghreb’s Modern Islamists" at Project Syndicate.

Published in Good Reads
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