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Native speakers of English, who also happen to know Czech are, I grant you, quite a rare breed, but they do exist. As one of those linguistic oddities (and not even one who can be excused by family ties to the region), the news that the Czech Republic apparently now wishes to be known on the world stage as Czechia certainly struck a chord with me.
Of course, the name Czechia is nothing new. Ever since the Velvet Divorce, which saw post-communist Czechoslovakia split into the Czech and Slovak Republics, the term has been periodically bandied about as a snappier English-language alternative and its origins do in fact go back a lot further than that. It’s also fair to say that the country’s current name can be a bit of a mouthful sometimes. However, for me at least, the lack of a short moniker has always been part of the Czech Republic’s charm. It lets those of us who travel there for more than just the occasional boozy weekend come up with our own pet names for the place (Czecho has long been a personal favourite of mine), not to mention all the fun that can be had with puns on the word Czech. Or czuns as we used to call them when I was an undergraduate.
One year ago on the 13th of November 2015 Paris and the whole world was disaster-struck. Today we want to remember this terrifying incident and its 129 victims by sharing our stories of how we learned about the attacks and how we experienced the night and days afterwards. Regardless of nationality, gender, ethnicity or age everyone was affected by the terroristic events one way or another and everyone has a unique memory of that day that should be heard. We believe that despite the horros our solidarity, strength and togetherness should not vanish into oblivion but instead be remembered and shared to overcome hate, stereotypes and extremism.
E&M is recruiting: online magazine (early 30s, sharp mind, GSOH) seeks editorial types (18-35) for fun, collaboration, and the experience of a lifetime.
E&M are looking for passionate and inventive contributors across all forms of multimedia. Do you make videos or podcasts? Or take photography that could transport our audience to the heart of Europe? If so, we want you. As a contributor to E&M, you will be published on a Charlemagne Award -winning online platform with a wide international readership. We see our mission as providing a truly European perspective on issues from the obvious to the esoteric, from the EU to marriage agencies in Ukraine.
Take it from us, this is a wonderful way to gain journalistic experience and produce some fantastic and exciting things.
It all started on the 31st of March. At 6pm, hundreds of individuals, mostly, but not exclusively, young people gathered at the symbolic Place de la République in Paris. They set up tents, sat down, and discussed until the early morning, cleaned up and left peacefully. And then they came back the following day, and every night ever since.
Join E&M for a discussion on radicalization in Europe as we try to figure out whether terrorists are evil by design and look at the factors and circumstances that turn personal stories into the next episode of “final destination”.
Looking at footage of terrorist mayhem is no picnic. Images of damage caused to human beings, like the ones from two weeks ago in Brussels, look all too overwhelming. Reactions in such cases tend to be no less intense: without knowing it we, peace-loving Europeans, might even go as low as to briefly align with radical agendas ourselves and want the motherfuckers burned.
Our editor Sam Volpe points you in the direction of a few essays and articles guaranteed to make you ponder. Read about the lengths the European community has gone to in the name of justice, the stunning work being done by volunteers on Lesvos, and the way in which European myth and history has influenced modern fantasy.
Sam, Diaphragm editor and Project Manager
One of Europe's longest manhunts
A few months ago, former E&M editor Frances Jackson recommended reading Julian Borger's writing about the anniversary of the Srebenica massacre. In January, Borger was at it again, with a fascinating account of the hunt for Bosnian Serb war criminal Ratko Mladic. Borger's writing on the Balkans is rapidly becoming unmissable, and is a fantastic advert for the routinely excellent Guardian Long Read column.
Mladic is one of the more two-dimensionally hideous characters of recent history, and this account of his eventual capture is both nail-biting and bathetic. Dive in to read of the increasingly paranoid manner in which Mladic spent his final days of freedom, and to remember some of the groundbreaking work done by the International Criminal Court.
"#UKinEU done. Drama over” tweeted Lithuanian’s president Dalia Grybauskaite right after European Council President Donald Tusk’s announcement that a deal between the European Union and the UK had been struck. But is the drama truly over? The Referendum about the Brexit is still to take place on 23 June 2016 so that Britain’s membership to the EU is all but guaranteed. So then what was this deal about? Does it change anything for the UK or for the EU?
For the British Prime Minister David Cameron, the purpose of the deal was to obtain a European Union closer to Britain’s wishes and demands. In the Conservative manifesto for the 2015 general election he promised reforms that would render UK’s staying in the EU beneficial. This deal will serve as the basis for the “In” campaign. European leaders’ aim was to help the UK remain a member of the EU while protecting the EU’s core values and principles. According to the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, it was also a good opportunity to implement much needed reforms: “Mr Cameron’s demands are far from being demands that are just for Britain. They are also European demands and many of them are justified and necessary”, she said before the deal was struck.
|Photo: SignorDeFazio (Flickr); Licence: CC BY-SA 2.0
As the Cirinnà Bill is currently debated in Italy, Nicoletta Enria spells out what this legislative text is about and explains why civil union is such a contentious topic for Italy
I distinctly recall observing the beautiful scenes of jubilation when the US Supreme Court ruled gay marriage as legal nation-wide; I couldn’t help but wonder if this could ever occur in Italy. Italy remains the only country in Western Europe that does not recognize civil unions or gay marriage. Italy fosters a deeply catholic society, probably due to the Vatican and the Pope residing in the heart of Rome and a long Catholic history that came along with this. Despite Prime Minister Matteo Renzi having promised to pass a law on civil unions, this never seemed to be a priority. With the European Court of Human rights (ECHR) condemning Italy for failing to provide enough legal protection for same-sex unions, sentiments yearning for change were in the air. The controversial Cirinnà Bill seems to finally be paving the way for Italy to legalise civil unions.
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