One week ago, a long-standing conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan flared up again resulting in military escalation. The Nagorno-Karabakh region constitutes the center of the conflict. The disputed territory is internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan and has an Armenian ethnic majority which in February 1988 declared their de facto independence, which has not been recognized up to date. The region has been subject to devastating war from 1988 to 1994, which led to the intermediate ceasefire agreement of May 1994 and an ongoing frozen conflict over the past decades. There has been only episodic diplomatic successes within the frameworks [...]
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On October 3rd 1990 the German Democratic Republic (GDR) officially became a part of the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG), thus forming the united German nation as we know it today (1). After the second World War, Germany was occupied by the Allies. Following a period of uncertainty, and facing the imminent Cold War, the former Third Reich and Berlin were split into four sectors. The British, French, and American sector remained united, from which the FRG was founded. The GDR instead replaced the Soviet sector becoming- a one-party state with a dictatorial regime. After years of conflicts and attempted [...]
On Sunday the 9th of August the Belarus Presidential elections ended with Alexander Lukashenko winning one additional mandate in what we believe to have been an electoral process that failed to ensure the necessary standards of transparency recognized by the international community. The Central Election Commission of Belarus (CEC) reported Lukashenko winning with over 80% of the votes. This is in stark contrast to the independent reports about the apparent support for alternative political powers, the numbers and methods of arrests, the influence on the election observation, and other voter suppression methods. The CEC implemented several restrictions with COVID-19 as [...]
It is June, which for many people means Pride month, a month full of celebration, festivities and activities to remember the achievements of LGBTQI+ community. But Pride hasn’t always been a celebration. It started as a protest. A protest by black queer people. This year, it seems, things are going back to its roots. Not only have a lot of Pride events been cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but the black community has once again taken to the streets to protest. This year’s protest started as an outcry against police brutality against black and people of color in the [...]
The International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexphobia and Transphobia is a reminder of the importance of standing for the rights of the LGBTI+ community in Europe and in the world. Even though LGBTI+ rights have seen a steady but slow progress in the past decade, hate speech and hate crimes are still widespread. Over the past twelve months, both ILGA-Europe and the European Parliament have denounced the sharp rise in hate speech against LGBTI+ people online and offline. The Polish LGBTI+ community has endured the strongest backlash against them: the anti-LGBTI+ rhetoric of the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party [...]
No crisis can be resolved without accurate and reliable information. Today, on the 3rd of May we celebrate #WorldPressFreedomDay and the fundamental principles of press freedom. Additionally, this day highlights the importance of respecting press freedom worldwide while reminding citizens that in dozens of countries, publications are censored and closed down, while journalists, editors and publishers are harassed, attacked, detained and even murdered. World Press Freedom Day was first proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 1993 following a Recommendation adopted at a UNESCO General Conference. This year’s theme of “Journalism without Fear or Favour“ sheds particular light on an [...]
Statement on the Planned Presidential Elections on behalf of AEGEE-Gdansk, AEGEE-Krakow, AEGEE-Warszawa and AEGEE-Wroclaw Democracy is at the heart of the AEGEE European Student Forum’s activity. Through our actions, both at the local and international level, we try to shape conscious citizenship attitudes among young people, hence, in the sense of social responsibility, we cannot fail to express our opposition to the situation that is currently taking place in Poland. We observe with deep concern all the steps that are being taken related to the upcoming presidential election. These steps, in the face of the developing pandemic, raise very big [...]
On the 30th of March, the Hungarian Government passed a bill that extended the power of the current Prime Minister Viktor Orbán to rule by decree for an unlimited time period, allowing him a quick promulgation of law without prior approval of the parliament. In addition, the bill suspends any elections and the referendums for the time period of the state of emergency in the country. The bill “anti-coronavirus defense law” includes imprisonment up to 5 years for cases in which false news or misinformation about COVID-19 are spread or up to 8 years, in case quarantine measures are not [...]
In the last weeks, Europe has become the new hotspot of the global COVID-19 pandemic, a public health emergency that has been already recognised as the biggest crisis hitting the continent since World War II. Each of us is being affected by these exceptional circumstances and living in a situation which we would not have even imagined a few weeks ago. Even though the whole European population is suffering from the impact of the pandemic, the most vulnerable social groups are hit the hardest. Among those, the situation of migrants and refugees in Europe is particularly dire. Refugees and migrants [...]
The International Women’s Day has its origins in the struggle for equal political and economic rights for women, and has been celebrated since the beginning of the century. The simple fact that in 2020 we still demand the same rights as in 1908 gives reasons to reflect on the persistence of gender inequality. Nowadays, European women have voting rights and enjoy formal parity in front of the law. Equality between women and men is a value enshrined in most national constitutions, as well as in the Lisbon Treaty of the European Union. In 2019, Ursula von der Leyen was appointed [...]