Polish Catholic church: How dare you?

he southern Polish diocese of Bielsko-Żywiec speculated in a court case about whether sexual abuse of a twelve-year-old boy would bring “satisfaction” if the boy was gay. After media reported on a document to this effect, the diocese apologised for the statement and declared that they would not pursue this theory in the trial. Specifically, the case concerned the complaint of 48-year-old Janusz Szymik, who claimed to have been raped several times by a priest at the age of twelve. The perpetrator was declared guilty by the Vatican in 2015.

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What you (probably) don’t know about Ukraine

There is so much writing about Ukraine these days. For good reasons. The threats from Putin’s Russia could lead to war.

I asked myself what I could add to help understand that conflict. Thinking about it, I realised that I know very little about the basics and Ukraine’s history. Maybe you feel the same.

So I’ve put together some facts I hadn’t known before delving into preparing for writing this post. Even if the following points have nothing to do directly with the current situation, they might be a bit enlightening. Because as always: knowing the past helps to understand the present.

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Greenwashing of nuclear power and nuclear waste?

At the beginning of the use of nuclear energy 60 years ago, people dreamed of an infinite supply of cheap electricity. The little bit of nuclear waste that was produced could be shot into space or dumped in the sea. To date, tons of radioactive nuclear waste have accumulated, which must be stored safely and in some cases shielded from the biosphere for over a million years. Up until today, there is no suitable final respository for it anywhere in the world. Instead: The EU focuses on green-washing of nuclear power and nuclear waste.

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Is Milorad Dodik a secessionist?

When I was in my early twenties, the Bosnian War dominated the daily news. Horrible pictures of people fleeing snipers in Sarajevo, in Srebrenica. 

When peace returned (at least on paper) in the mid-1990s, my attention on the region disappeared. To be honest: Until a few months ago I would probably not have found the Republika Srpska on a nameless map. Republika Srpska is one of the two entities of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the other is the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The region is back in global public because of one man: Milorad Dodik

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The rise of anti-Semitism in Europe

Violence against Jews has been increasing in Europe for years. The phenomena, forms and manifestations vary in a large number of European countries and sometimes differ greatly from one another. A look at different European countries shows in which contexts antisemitism appears and how strongly this depends on historical and socio-political developments, but also how differently antisemitism is interpreted and instrumentalized. According to DW.online, Jewish representative in Brussels said, that many Jewish people are leaving Europe because they feel increasingly unsafe.

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How powerful is the EU presidency?

A certain topic pops up in the news at regular intervals. That is the EU presidency. Mostly it is on the news when the presidency changes (it does every six months). Like now, when France took over from Slovenia at the beginning of this year (and got most of the attention for removing an EU flag from the Arc de Triomphe after causing a stir). But what actually happens in the meantime? Does the EU presidency matter for the European Union?

How important is the presidency for the European Union?

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A better plan: How to spend the money from the EU’s recovery plan

Which tasks do we need the European Union for? The short answer is: We need the European Union to produce those public goods that extend beyond the nation state Infrastructure can be such a good. If one country builds a cross-border railway line, its residents benefit from it. But not only theirs: the people in whose country the train route leads, benefit too. Though, since only the benefits of the building country’s population (voters) are regularly included in political decisions, too few cross-border train routes are built.

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