Brussels jargon: breaking down the lingua franca of the EU Bubble

The EU Bubble (or should we say “babble”?) has developed its own language. Known as “Eurospeak”, “Euro-English”, or “Brussels English” it is a tongue twister of its own: an international version of English filled with all kinds of technocratic terms and borrowed expressions. In this summer edition, EU Untangled uncovers the origins and sounds of this strange language and takes a ride through its highs and lows.

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The EU’s Vaccines Strategy: The good, the bad, and the ethically questionable

Much has been said about the EU Vaccines Strategy in recent weeks and months. Coverage from various media can largely be boiled down to the conclusion that despite good intentions, the EU strategy is simply a case of “too little, too late”. But is there more to this story? How does the roll-out of the EU strategy measure up against that rest of the world? And most importantly, what are our reference points? Join Alex, Harpa and Vic on a deep dive into the EU Vaccines Strategy and discover the good, the bad and the ethically questionable elements of the complex world of COVID-19 vaccines distribution.

COVID-19 data

The EU’s Vaccines Strategy

Supply chains

Contact and social media

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The curious case of constitution creation

From the new crowdsourced Icelandic constitution to the abandoned EU constitution

A constitution lays the foundations for how a society is organised and the fundamental principles that must underpin all laws and government decision-making. But how much do constitutions really impact our daily lives? Should they be updated to reflect rapid societal changes? How would you even go about making a new constitution in the first place? And whatever happened to the new Icelandic and EU constitutions? Tune in and listen to Vic, Alex and Harpa ponder these questions with the help of Valgerður, PhD student at the University of Iceland, who is researching citizen participation in constitutional reform in Iceland over the past 10 years.

Show notes

Iceland

Germany

  • The Basic Law a.k.a. the German Constitution in English

Mexico

The EU

Other

Contact and social media

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Erasmus+: what does the future hold for Europe’s best-known programme?

“A life-changing experience” might be an accurate way to define the Erasmus+ programme. Over the past three decades, the EU’s flagship programme has allowed over 10 million people to benefit from cross-border exchanges in Europe and beyond. Now, Erasmus+ is undergoing changes of its own caused by a larger budget, a messy Brexit and a ravaging pandemic that has stalled mobility flows all over the world. ESN President Kostis Giannidis joins Victor, Harpa and Alex to discuss the challenges and opportunities lying ahead of an Erasmus+ programme that promises to be more inclusive, more digital and a lot greener.

Our guest, Kostis Giannidis (link, twitter), is the president of the Erasmus Student Network (website, twitter).

Sources and further readings:

Erasmus+

Turing Scheme

Iceland

Contact and social media

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New Year’s resolutions? EU heard it right!

This episode explores the European Commission’s work programme for 2021 and the EU policies that will steal the show next year.

Links

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Check out our website (https://www.podworld.org/untangled/) and anchor profile (https://anchor.fm/untangled).

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European Green Deal

Thanks for tuning in! Victor and Alex are rebooting EU Untangled with a discussion about the European Green Deal.

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Overview:
A European Green Deal – overview page (European Commission)
A European Green Deal – official communication (European Commission)
EU Commission unveils ‘European Green Deal’: The key points (Euractiv)

Analysis:
Four pillars to make or break the European Green Deal (Bruegel)

Criticism:
A grey deal? (Corporate Europe Observatory)
Basescu: European Green Deal risks pushing ‘two or three countries’ towards EU exit (Euractiv)
The EU’s green deal is a colossal exercise in greenwashing | Yanis Varoufakis and David Adler (The Guardian)
EU’s climate law faces criticism on all fronts (Financial Times)

Is the European Green Deal sufficient?
EU GHG Summary (Climate Action Tracker)
The EU’s Green Deal may not be enough to reach the Paris climate goals (LSE Blog)
CAN Europe calls for an increase of the EU’s 2030 climate target to at least 65% (CAN Europe)

About the name:
Zur Entstehungsgeschichte des Green New Deal – Revival eines Begriffs (in German) (Heinrich Böll Stiftung)

Tell me what EU want, what you really, really want

I’ll tell you what I want, what I really really want. A referendum gives the people the option to have the final say in political matters of the utmost importance. And that’s what we ALL want, right? Well, the story of Brexit tells us that despite their relative simplicity, referendums can be a very tricky business. Harpa, Alex and Victor ponder the pros and cons of this direct form of democracy and showcase how they can pull one nation from the brink of bankruptcy while threatening to push another one over the edge. Saying yes or no has never been this complicated.

Links

David Cameron’s Speech After ‘Brexit’ vote – The New York Times.  
Non! Nein! No! A Country That Wouldn’t Let Women Vote Till 1971 – National Geographic.
The Icesave referendum – The Economist.
This is how Switzerland’s direct democracy works – World Economic Forum.
European Parliament’s study on referendums on EU matters.
Fraser Cameron on ‘Why we should ban referenda on EU policies’ – Euractiv.

SOCIAL

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All I want for May is EU

From the 23 to the 26 of May, the citizens of 28 (most likely 27… ) countries will vote in the largest transnational elections in the world. Over 700 members will be elected to the European Parliament and Bruzzels is buzzing with excitement. But what exactly is the European Parliament and what role does it play in the EU? With so much at stake, why has voter turnout plunged over the past four decades? What are the political groups? Are there any newbies in the race? Stick around and let Victor, Harpa and Anna walk you through the maze of EU politics (we can’t promise you’ll find the exit, though…).

LINKS

Learn about how EU elections work directly from their makers. POLITICO has put together a comprehensive website to keep you abreast of the latest developments related to the EU elections. 

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Shine bright like a passport

ABOUT THE EPISODE

Not all that glitters is gold and not all gold shines bright. Rosie Birchard helps us examine the dark glow of the EU golden visas and passports, as well as the risks and ethical questions that arise from the murky business of selling and buying EU citizenship.

LINKS

You can download here the full report of the European Commission on Investor Citizenship and Residence Schemes in the European Union. Or take a lighter read on the topic on The Atlantic or The Guardian.

SOCIAL

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Internet 2.0 – What does it meme?

ABOUT THE EPISODE

Ever since the World Wide Web gave us all access to the Internet, it has fundamentally changed our communications, businesses, services and even politics. Now, policies are trying to catch up, and the Internet as we know it may be about to change for good. The European Union’s Parliament has approved a new legislation to address copyright issues in the digital era. We interview the man pushing for this regulation to kick in. MEP Axel Voss helps us untangle the reasons, the ambition and the challenges of trying to regulate the Internet. Are these measures a threat to freedom of speech online or a necessary intervention to level the playing field for copyright holders?

LINKS

SOCIAL

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