Tag Archives: Politics

EU: women in politics striving for equality

Exactly one hundred years after women won the vote or were first elected to parliament in some EU countries, the data show that women continue to be under-represented in politics and public life, in the European Parliament, national parliaments and governments, and local assemblies.

Virginija Langbakkdirector of the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) shares her view on major obstacle for women to reach equality with men in politics.

The arguments for gender balance in politics are numerous, and benefit not only women and female politicians, but also parties themselves and the rest of society. After all, women form half the population and need to be better represented in power structures. However, there is now solid evidence both of obstacles and of the strategies that are effective when it comes to increasing women’s participation and representation.

The political parties and the media can be both barriers and important enablers. The EU has committed to achieving a gender balance in political representation and participation as a matter of justice, equality and democracy. Concrete recommendations have been made for achieving this goal, including specific action that could be taken by the EU institutions, national governments, political parties, civil society and the media. In the run-up to the European elections in May 2019, new mandates in the Commission and European Council, and the end of the EU’s current strategy for gender equality, there is a particular focus on how a better gender balance (at least 40 %) or gender parity (50 %), could be achieved in the next Parliament and for other high-level posts in the EU institutions, and how the EU and its Member States can move towards true parity democracy.

The EP press service has organised a seminar for journalists at the occasion of the 2019 International Women’s Day on “Women’s power in politics”, with a particular focus on the upcoming European Elections.

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Twitter shuts microblog of Greek parliament group

Microblog social network Twitter has blocked the account of Greece’s far-right Golden Dawn party , the third-strongest in Greek parliament after winning 7% of the votes, in 2015 elections.  The party also wins seats in European Parliament. According to current opinion polls, it is holding its ground among the voters, now at 6.8%. Golden Dawn is the most vehement critics of illegal mass migration and globalism, nostalgic about ‘old good days’ of Ancient Sparta.

The communication company for social networking service did not explain their decision to block the Golden Dawn account, however it was interpreted as the move to terminate activities of a political group with views unappealing to Twitter’s management.

“After Facebook, … Instagram and all the corrupt media, it was Twitter’s turn to target the party in a vulgar manner,” Golden Dawn said in response.

The party’s Twitter page was still inaccessible as of Friday, January, 6.

 

Irrespectful of the views of the Greek parliamentary group, the precedent raises questions about the powers of social network companies, which accumulated an extraordinary authority, transcending national borders to influence politics, and potentially threaten the very basis of participative democracy, when discriminating an “unfortunate” political player.

The phenomenon of social media is relatively new byproduct of Digital revolution, however its steep rise in popularity, and immense power on public opinion, has not been legally framed so far. The communication companies in ante-Digital era, providing telephone services, or mail services did not have powers to cut connection based on the content of the conversations, or correspondence neither had they right of surveillance.

The decision of the Twitter company also coincided with a declared intention of French President Emmanuel Macron to defeat ‘fake news,’  in social media by creating a new law, which  will be drafted and presented to open debate in upcoming weeks.

 

 

Istambul: Dutch flag pulled away from Consulate

Turks Istambul

After the Turkish riots in Rotterdam,  caused by denial of the Dutch authorities to honor Turkish diaspora request for a rally in support of the President Erdogan, the relations between The Netherlands and Turkey continued to degenerate.

Today the Dutch flag was removed from the General Consulate building by protestors in Istanbul, and replaced by the Turkish one with the Islam symbol of half-moon. A man, conducting the replacement loudly shouted “Allah Akbar!” (Video below).

Dutch leader of the Party for Freedom (PVV) dabbed the Turkish diaspora the 5th column (‘Quinta columna’), and requested to end practise of the double nationality, and open borders.”The 5th column should go out… Borders closed.”

The hypocrisy of the Turkish authorities organizing the rally in support of Erdogan in Rotterdam startled many: the numbers of jailed victims of regime actively circulated in social media: 153 journalists, 13 elected MPs, 80 elected mayors, countless activists remain jailed in Turkey.