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Friday, 05 June 2015 15:43

David Cameron and the European train

Vignetta def

 

This month Alice Baruffato continues her series of cartoons for E&M and focuses on an evergreen European topic, alias the UK and its relationship with Europe. Following the general elections' results, David Cameron has re-confirmed himself as the leader of an island that seems to be sceptical about its future presence within the Union. To renegotiate the right of freedom of movement across Europe and to stop (il)legal immigration still appear to be top priorities in 2015 UK. But can Cameron stop the European train? Is it really worth it?  

 

Published in Beyond Europe
Monday, 11 August 2014 00:00

A team for Europe

Dutch football fans
Photo: Ana Röell
 
Fans celebrate after the Netherlands' opening victory against Spain

 

Ana Röell looks back on an emotional night of football during the World Cup and reflects on the power of sport to unite people of all backgrounds.

Whenever I start thinking about a more united Europe, I like to look for unifying elements around me. And last month there was one particular aspect that could be neither missed nor ignored: the football.

I'm from the Netherlands and when a huge loss was predicted for our first World Cup match, I felt naïvely positive that this would be the case (we were playing against the former champions Spain, after all). I decided to watch the match in a popular cafe down the street – one that is usually known as an alternative place and attracts a large variety of people. Young and old, well-heeled or practically homeless, businessmen and hooligans, and even several street "gangs"; an unexpected crowd had prepared itself for the game by dressing up in our national colour and drinking loads of beer.

At first, I was surprised to see the supporting crowd bound together in orange and I began wondering how things might turn out. After the opening ceremony and my first beer, some intense squabbles broke out behind me, and the tension between a number of individuals began to grow. Then it was time for the kick-off, and the game began. Eyes glued to the screen, everybody was watching as if they were the ones on the pitch, embodied by our players. For a moment, we were all one and the same; one great happy nation. 

Published in Postcards from Europe
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