european union

July 4, 2016

The flags of the member states of the European Union flutter outside EU institutions, recent beehives of activity as top officials gathered from around the continent to respond to Britain’s momentous choice to leave the bloc behind. [...] And now it’s up to EU leaders to recalibrate and stop a further breakup, not only by delivering concrete results to citizens, like jobs, but also by making sure their case for unity is heard over the storm of criticism coming from Euroskeptics poised to take advantage at a turning point.

Experts say that it will take at least two years for formalities following Brexit to finally be in place. Given this scenario, will UK see a further drop in the number of students from India and will UK universities introduce more stringent policies for international students, particularly Indians?

The day before the “Brexit” vote, when British citizens will decide whether to remain in the European Union, they were in London initially to pass out croissants fresh off the Paris train to convince their still-European compatriots not to leave the E.U. [...] “Our aim was never to affect votes,” she said. “I think we’re all aware that this campaign has been incredibly divisive, that there’s been so much anger, and we just wanted to do something that had positivity and friendship at its heart.”

The Old World is losing its “soft power”, its positive radiance and magnetism, as the support for the so-called “Brexit” becomes the symbol for the fear and rampant populism across the Continent. The Portland think tank’s “Soft Power Index” this year also found signs of Europe’s slide. The US has replaced Britain at the top and Germany has fallen from second to third place. And Canada bumped France down to fifth place.

An international forum held in Barcelona this week provided representatives of civil society and local government a chance to tell their uplifting stories of effort [...] to receive and integrate refugees into their communities. Organised by the Public Diplomacy Council of Catalonia, the one-day event saw a series of experts, officials and activists give their accounts of schemes and initiatives to care for new arrivals and, in the process, cast a much more favourable light on Europe.

Serbian people, like their political leaders, seem to be in two minds about the world and their place in it. According to a recent poll, 42 percent of young people in Serbia would like to see the Russian political system implemented in their country. But on the other hand, when asked where they would ideally like to live, 70 percent of those between 18 and 35 chose the United States or Europe.

There is a growing anxiety among some observers in the EU that a disinformation strategy pursued by the Russian government since the Ukraine crisis might fragment and disintegrate the Union. It is claimed that Russia’s use of targeted disinformation is seeking to influence public opinion within the member states with the aim of paralysing decision-making processes at the EU level.

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