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Maltese weekends

It`s weekend in Malta! Summer has not yet arrived, but the terraces along Sliema`s main streets are animated with people. The weather is windy but sunny. Tourists try to take photos of the violent waves that throw themselves onto the shore. Some get caught in showers that splash against the rocks below the boulevard. A… » read more

Hello from Malta

Welcome to Malta, country number 16 on my list. Malta is the smallest member of the European Union and only has 400,000 inhabitants. Seven islands, three of which are inhabited, together make up the country. Malta is located South West of Sicily and mainland Africa. Capital city is Valetta which is a part of the… » read more

Italians can have vivid discussions on just about any subject, and one of the subjects that is most certainly included is food. Villages fight between each other on how to properly prepare this-and-that meal, which herbs to use and how the village next door is doing it all wrong. In a similar matter, even students… » read more

Every self-respecting village and city in Italy has its own Patron Saint Celebration. With at least one daily celebration taking place somewhere in Italy, it couldn`t possibly take long before I walked into one. Here I am, in Catania, Sicily. The 5th of February is dedicated to the local patron saint, known as Santa Agatha.… » read more

Daily our calloused senses and consciences are assaulted by the African tragedy: starving babies with bloated bellies, bloody tribal and sectarian genocide, massive government corruption and pillaging, military coups, endemic AIDS, resurgent tuberculosis and malaria, UN employees and blue hats buying child prostitutes and […] Original post by egrover

Talking hands

Over the last few days, I have made some comparisons between the Finns and the Italians and I think there will be more of those over the days to come. Today, I am writing about the Italian way of communicating, which makes a nice contrast with the monotonous and seemingly indifferent way of talking that… » read more

Political stability is not one of Italy`s strong points. Left-wing governments succeed right-wing governments and vice versa. Since World War II, the average lifetime of Italian governments has barely exceeded one year. Ordinary Italians put very little trust in their political leaders and they are forced to mistrust their national media as well. Politics and… » read more

Thanks to the night ferry from Naples to Palermo, I arrived in Sicily this morning. I will spend four days on this island before making a short excursion to Malta, country number 16. Sicily in general, and Palermo in particular, are historically known as the birthplace of Mafia. This criminal organisation, originally a `family enterprise`… » read more

As work is considered a crucial dimension for individual emancipation, the welfare systems should protect citizens’ life conditions during periods of transition for example by providing people with an unemployment indemnity when changing jobs. This post was submitted by Laetitia Veriter.

Napoli profile

My next city in line does not have the best reputation ever. I arrived in Naples last night and walked straight to the youth hostel before seeing anything. After a good night`s sleep, I left the hostel this morning to find some locals to tell me about the city. Hoping to find out whether it`s… » read more

It`s the first of February today, which means that I am exactly halfway the `Us Europeans` projects. It`s quite a strange moment, in a way even scary, and I will try to explain why. Original post by Bruno

After the heated debate and consultations on the European Transparency Initiative (ETI) we are now in the phase of consultations on its prominent element – the Code of Conduct for interest representatives (consultations close on 15/02/2008). The draft code proposed by the Commission seems fairly minimalist as it quotes very vast principles of “openness, transparency,… » read more

In the Netherlands, on 23-01-2008 a convenant for the built environment has been signed between government (3 ministries: of environment, energy and housing) with energy sector, building sector, installation sector. Representatives of owners- and renters-associations have delivered to work towards the proposed target of 100 PJ reduction of energy use in all buildings. “More with… » read more

23-01-2008: Eu has set european targets for Sustainable Energy. This is again an important milestone for European energy policy. It shows the commitment to combatting climate change reduction. International agreement and national policies are ‘in place’. Nevertheless, the real world is local and ‘enforcement’. My daily experience with local climate policies is still far away… » read more

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