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greater copenaghen
Photo: Ulf Bodin; Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
 

Denmark wants to rebrand the Swedish district of Skåne "Greater Copenhagen". This picture was taken in Olovsfält, Hammenhög, Skåne, July 2013

 

In this week’s edition of Good Reads, E&M's Rosamund Mather shares some articles that got her thinking about Europe. Follow her inside an Estonian green movement that made its way across Europe and became popular worldwide. Broadening the meaning of identity, Rosamund shares an article on LGBT rights in Europe, starting with a recent story from France, and an article about Denmark's idea to rebrand part of Sweden “Greater Copenhagen”.

 

Rosamund

Rosamund, Heart/Baby editor

Greater Copenhagen: A spot of contention

 

As far as succinct and provocative headlines go, "Denmark wants to rebrand part of Sweden Greater Copenhagen" does its job; it got me asking all sorts of questions about common identities between countries that are in very close proximity to one another.

 

Skåne, a southern part of Sweden separated from the Danish archipelago only by a bridge, is the proposed Greater Copenhagen. And many residents of this region are up in arms about it. Why should they surrender a part of Sweden to Denmark, even if only in name?

 

But would a Greater Copenhagen really threaten Swedish identity? After all, Berlin doesn’t define Germany, and London most certainly doesn’t define the entire UK. If it weren’t for the violent history mentioned in the first paragraph – which represents a power imbalance between the two countries, making a fully-realised Greater Copenhagen somewhat problematic – then we’d probably just assume it was to do with that bizarre allegiance to the nation your passport happens to belong to. And Copenhagen happens to be a Danish city, not a Swedish one.

Published in Good Reads
Monday, 08 July 2013 13:13

How tolerant is Europe?

17th of May was the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia. Why were hate crime and discrimination hotly discussed across the continent in May? And how is tolerance related to a dynamic economic situation?

Mid-May we saw the results of two important surveys. One was published by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights, the other was conducted by two Swedish professors and analysed by a foreign affairs blogger on The Washington Post. The EU Agency questioned LGBT people about their experiences of hate crime and discrimination, while Berggren and Nilsson’s survey explored the correlation between tolerance and economic growth and wellbeing. Although not apparently connected, the results of the two surveys could give an indication of Europe’s progress on the way to racial, gender and sexual orientation tolerance. 

Published in Snapshot
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