Japan is opening its door to migrants

Japan is opening its door to migrants

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In June the government announced it would create a “designated skills” visa in order to accept 500,000 new workers by 2025, specifically in agriculture, construction, hospitality, nursing and shipbuilding. That even Japan has agreed to accept migrants suggests it may be the only solution for mature economies to maintain productivity growth. In this case the […]

Welcome to the jungle: Trump's plan for international trade

Welcome to the jungle: Trump’s plan for international trade

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The WTO allows a better governance of international trade, albeit with noteworthy shortcomings, by reducing world’s ineradicable anarchy. Without it, the stronger, richer and more powerful Country will always get the better hand of a deal. Which is exactly what Trump is looking for. The result could be that, as a more sustainable trade is […]

Not all that is trade glitters

Not all that is trade glitters

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Indonesia and EU have strong economic ties, which could be bolstered further through a trade agreement. While the EU is a major importer of Indonesian raw materials, Indonesia has been seen as an important recipient for foreign direct investments and a key market for procurement and services. The FTA under negotiation represents a capstone for […]

The future of press freedom depends on basic income

The future of press freedom depends on basic income

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Because digitalisation is profoundly changing the relationship between reader and text, traditional publishers are faced with the challenge of rethinking their organisation and self-image. The Austrian quality paper I‘m writing for, Der Standard, is no exception. One way the publishing house is adapting and responding to change is by using readers as authors on basis […]

Outsourcing EU migration management to North Africa is a threat to human rights

Outsourcing EU migration management to North Africa is a threat to human rights

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The EU officials agreed on creating controlled migration centres in North Africa where refugee claims would be processed before migrants could enter Europe. Only those eligible for refugee status would be allowed to go to Europe while others would be returned to their home countries. While the official argument is that the number of deaths […]

EU VAT reform, hit or miss

EU VAT reform, hit or miss

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The major reason showing urgent need for an extensive VAT reform was the European Commission Study which revealed that EU Member States lost € 152 billions in VAT revenues during 2015. Around € 50 billion of the VAT gap is estimated to be due to cross-border VAT fraud, which is believed to finance criminal organisations […]

Islamic finance: zero interest, high expectations

Islamic finance: zero interest, high expectations

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Prompted by rampant growth rates, the industry of Islamic finance is increasingly drawing the attention of investors, regulators and scholars. The peculiarity of Islamic financial activities is the compliance with Sharia, the Islamic law. According to Sharia’s precepts, generating revenues from money is prohibited and interest-paying arrangements are considered “riba” (aka usury). Therefore, Islamic financial […]

Recent News

Sacrificing Sovereignty and Human Potential in the name of Economic Growth

Sacrificing Sovereignty and Human Potential in the name of Economic Growth
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Since economic liberalisation policies swept through lower and middle incomes in the late 20th century, more and more Bilateral Investment Treaties have been signed with the objective of incentivising foreign investment and promoting economic growth. Influential organisations such as the IMF and World Bank as well as powerful neoliberal governments in the West called for […]

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Are we moving forward? – A new-generation of trade agreements for the EU

Are we moving forward? - A new-generation of trade agreements for the EU
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Recent FTAs negotiated and signed by the EU have integrated provisions and chapters aimed at fulfilling new objectives. Three main new dynamics can be identified in these: 1)Innovations in the field of e-commerce, services and investments, which require new regulations 2)Pressing environmental issues, which need to be considered in trade agreements and 3) The need […]

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Build a Better World – Study Public Policy

Build a Better World – Study Public Policy
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The School of Public Policy at Central European University is a global institution committed to creating a community of purpose beyond power through multi-disciplinary study of public policy, innovative teaching and research, as well as meaningful engagement with policy practice. We had the opportunity to talk with the current Acting Head of the institution, Martin Kahanec, who answered our questions […]

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Basel 4 and European banks, are we safer now?

Basel 4 and European banks, are we safer now?
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«Basel endgame», sentenced Mario Draghi on December 7th, at the presentation of the new BCBS package of rules for the banking sector. After an 8-year delay, chiefly due to the divergent interests of American and European standard-setters, a revision of Basel 3 was eventually agreed on. Basel regulators found a compromise for the adoption of […]

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Beware: Nobody wants to be lonely

Beware: Nobody wants to be lonely
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After my grandmother passed away, my grandfather, still an agile man now in his 80s, has been coming to our house every single day. Most of the days he spends silently watching TV. He leaves to his place after the afternoon news, around 4.30pm. Although we have had countless memorable moments together during my childhood […]

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PESCO – One “Giant Leap” Towards European Defence?

PESCO – One “Giant Leap” Towards European Defence?
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Twenty-five EU countries have announced they will participate in a new cooperation pact in the area of security and defence policy, known as Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO), which was officially launched at a Foreign Affairs Council summit on the 11th of December. The decision activates dormant Lisbon Treaty provisions (Articles 42(6) and 46, as well as Protocol […]

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The truth behind the BitCoin media hype

The truth behind the BitCoin media hype
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People are very fond of making the intangible become tangible. The blockchain revolution, cryptocurrencies, and ultimately BitCoin challenge not only our centralized financial system and ledgers, but also our perception of the world – of what is real and what is not. The BitCoin, often presented as the conventional currency killer – exists only virtually. […]

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Does faster legislation come at the cost of transparency?

Does faster legislation come at the cost of transparency?
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Just fifteen years ago two-thirds of EU laws were negotiated over a period of two-three years. In the current European Parliament’s (EP) term, most texts are the result of so-called “1st reading agreements”, allowing the Parliament and Council to approve a text at the earliest stage of the procedure. A considerable improvement on the efficiency’s […]

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Japan-EU trade deal: an uneven road ahead for EU car manufacturers?

Japan-EU trade deal:  an uneven road ahead for EU car manufacturers?
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A few months after CETA, the Japan- EU agreement was another giant step forward for EU trade. This latest deal was also announced by the European Commission as the “most important bilateral trade agreement ever concluded by the EU”.  Japan is the second biggest car exporter behind Germany and is the third biggest car producer […]

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Białowieża Forest: An unexpected venue for the Commission’s case against Poland

Białowieża Forest: An unexpected venue for the Commission's case against Poland
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Over the past two years the relationship between the Polish government under the lead of the conservative Law and Justice Party (PiS) and the European Commission has been tense. Growing economic fears and nationalistic sentiments were cleverly utilized by the government to gain popularity. The first clash with the EU thus arose from the system […]

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The answer to our most pressing environmental problems lies beneath our feet

The answer to our most pressing environmental problems lies beneath our feet
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What would you think of if I asked you about soil? Most people spend time avoiding it, washing it off our cars, dogs and shoes. Most people would call soil ‘dirt’ and would usually consider it a major inconvenience. But what would you say if I told you that this dirt that we fastidiously spend […]

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Pan-European pension schemes – a way to close the pension gap

Pan-European pension schemes – a way to close the pension gap
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Europe is getting old. Ageing population is a luxury good hardly any country can afford. It has been one of the main policy challenges in the Union. Increasing old-age dependency ratio will widen the pension gap and make current pension systems unsustainable. Over the past decades, politicians have been in a rambling quest to close […]

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