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Photo: Paul; Licence: CC BY 2.0

Italian vespa in Durham, UK

 

Immigration is a hot topic in the UK and the current political campaign is no exception. In the run-up to the general election, scheduled for 7 May 2015, politicians from different wings are getting tougher on EU migrants. Focusing mainly on migrants coming from Southern Europe and, especially, on the Italian community living in the UK, E&M's author Nicoletta Enria takes us through some of the scenarios about how this election could affect EU migrants and their lives in a country where they don't have the right to vote.

 

From the time of the Roman Empire to Ellis Island and now taking to the streets of London, Italians have always been known to migrate and make their presence known throughout the world. As youth unemployment in Italy soars, hitting a staggering 43.9% in November 2014, young Italians cannot help but feel anger, disappointment and resentment towards a system that offers them no hope and begin to look for a brighter future abroad. This swarm of educated youngsters, the "escaping brains" as they are known in Italy due to the fact that many of them have university degrees, are now predominantly settling in the UK. Officially, there are said to be 600 thousand Italians today in the UK, of which 60% are under the age of 35. What is life like for all these hopeful young Italians in the UK and how will the potential outcomes of the UK General Elections in May affect them?

 

In Italy, partially due to the role of the press in glorifying the UK and Germany, young Italians are brought up believing that all hope lies in migrating there. More and more hopeful Italians are travelling to the UK and finding themselves living in squalid, cheap hostels to avoid transport costs and expensive rent. Paid minimum wage, sometimes even less, they are ideal for low-income jobs as they provide big companies with cheap labour. In their dream for a better life not just Italian migrants, but also Portuguese, Spanish and Greek youngsters are facing this similar unexpected economic hardship, in an attempt to escape the financial crisis in their home countries. There is also a large community of young Italians studying at British boarding schools and universities in an attempt to profit from one of the best education systems in Europe and broaden their opportunities to obtain jobs in more places around the world. With a growing anti-immigration discourse in the UK, seen in articles such as this one by the Sun referring to Portuguese, Italian, Greek and Spanish migrants as "PIGS [that] are here to stay", integration is a privilege that not all of these young migrants have. Despite this, plenty of Italian migrants I have spoken to, myself included, thoroughly enjoy living the UK and feel fully integrated in their home away from home.

Monday, 09 March 2015 00:00

European landscapes

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ETAL logosmall

They say a picture paints a thousand words, so we've set out to discover what photography might be able to tell us about today's Europe and are pleased to announce the winners of our January / February competition.

We had a good feeling about the topic for this edition of Europe Through a Lens and were not far wrong. Our readers responded imaginatively to the theme "European landscapes", showing the continent in all of its natural glory. With entries ranging from verdant valleys and rolling hills to desolate, wind-swept scenes, the judges faced their toughest challenge yet in deciding which photo should claim top honours.

In the end, though, it was Junyuan Chen, a Chinese photographer and winner of the competition back in November last year, whose image The lonely tree was awarded first place. Junyuan, who lives in Glasgow, captured the shot in the late afternoon at Loch Lomand, just in time for the last light of the day. He believes that the centrepiece of his prize-winning composition is probably the most photographed tree in Scotland. You can find more of Junyuan's work on his Flickr account.

Another week has passed and it's time for us to provide you with another Good Reads post. This time round E&M's Veronica Pozzi is taking up the challenge and shares articles that got her thinking about how IS uses social media and how this particular battle is fought in Berlin. Her final pick is about sexual and religious identity in Europe.

 

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Veronica, Sixth Sense

 

ISIS: When the recruitment starts on SoundCloud

 

In a period in which the Islamic State (IS) appears on the front pages of newspapers across different European states, it is somehow frustrating to note the lack of good journalism on the topic. Despite the huge media attention that IS gets, and also in the light of recent events in France and Syria, it seems that there is a general lack of original stories, a lack of journalists who do not only work with press agencies but who have actually been "out and about" and can provide some essential shoe-leather reporting.

 

That is why I was so happy when I stumbled across this article co-written by Anthony Faiola and Souad Mekhennet for The Washington Post. Set in an immigrant neighborhood in south Berlin, the story revolves around a liberal mosque that, for years, has been a progressive and tolerant place where battered Muslim women could seek help in divorcing. But now a further problem claims the mosque's attention: IS and its recruitment of young, European Muslims.

 

Starting around the time that the infamous Denis Cuspert, a Berlin based rapper who started to spread radical views via his songs three years ago before going to fight in Syria, came to prominence, the recruitment process of new Muslim fighters for the IS is now run online. This article by The Local focuses on SoundCloud's jihadi accounts asking young Muslims to go and fight in Syria using the power of music and it connects this trend with Germany's law and efforts to oppose the IS. But this is just an example of how IS uses social media and Internet to spread its radicalism: this recent article posted by BuzzFeed (yes, they do also serious and investigative journalism) focuses on how IS is currently threating Twitter founder and employees after their decision to block several pro-jihad accounts. 

 

Wednesday, 04 March 2015 00:00

Problems with our online application form

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Job application

Photo: Kathryn Decker; Licence: CC BY 2.0
 

 

Unfortunately we are experiencing technical difficulties at the moment and our online application is currently unavailable.  We would like to apologise for the inconvenience and hope to be able to resume normal service very soon.

Applicants who still wish to apply for our open editorial positions can do so by

  • sending their CV
  • basic profile: name, nationality, country of residence, contact details 
  • tell us briefly where they heard about us
  • a 300-word essay on the topic "My Europe in 2020"
  • describing their motivation for applying to E&M
  • a note on which section they would most like to edit

Please send these to application [at] europeandme.eu

In case you have any trouble or questions you can tweet at us at @europeandme or email managing editor Diána (diana [at] europeandme.eu)

Extended deadline for email applications: 5 March 2015

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