The voice of the European Commission

In Culture
Thursday, 05 February 2015 12:33

She was born in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, grew up in Cologne, did European Studies at Maastricht University (UM) and obtained her LLM in Edinburgh. Mina Andreeva has now spent six years in Brussels, where she works as a spokesperson for the European Commission (EC). It would be hard for someone to feel more European. “Even as a young girl, I dreamt of life in the European political arena.”

Limits to European asylum

Thursday, 05 February 2015 11:56

In 2014, more than 140,000 asylum seekers made their way across the Mediterranean Sea towards the Italian islands of Lampedusa and Sicily. Thousands drowned en route. In summer 2015, the Common European Asylum System (CEAS) will come into effect. Will this centralisation of the approach to asylum issues across EU member states help to solve problems like those in Lampedusa? Khalid Koser, professor of Conflict, Peace and Security, and Maarten Vink, professor of Political Science, are moderately enthusiastic. “It provides a minimum standard”, says Vink. But according to Koser, “In practice a centralised system is a fantasy.”

Sharing memories for a stronger Europe

In Culture
Thursday, 05 February 2015 11:14

On 12 September 1944 the first Allied troops set foot on Dutch soil, in the village of Mesch, near Maastricht. Their arrival marks the start of the liberation of the Netherlands and paves the way for the freedom that we enjoy today. Seventy years after the end of the Second World War, this freedom could easily be taken for granted. But this is not the only good reason to commemorate the past: it may even help to create a stronger sense of European identity. 

A columnist who longed for eternity

In Culture
Wednesday, 17 September 2014 10:01
Kees Fens was the greatest Dutch post-war literary critic and essayist, an influential columnist and winner of the P.C. Hooft Prize, a lifetime achievement award for literature. But as a new biography by emeritus professor of literature Wiel Kusters reveals, Fens was also an incurable Catholic and an outsider with a multifaceted character: contemplative, witty, but also vicious.

On the way to the local state?

In Society
Wednesday, 28 May 2014 13:17
Give municipalities more powers and the right to collect taxes, and you increase the likelihood that they’ll succeed with the additional care responsibilities imposed on them, says Klaartje Peters, endowed professor of Local and Regional Management. This would be a step towards the ‘local state’. But is The Hague really willing to cede some of its powers? “Organisations are not good at undercutting themselves.”

The balance at universities is out of kilter and it is teaching that ends up paying for it. This is the conclusion of a comparative international study by Hubert Coonen, professor at Maastricht University’s Teachers Academy. The culprit: the ‘reputation mechanism’ of research. Teaching must be valued more highly, according to Coonen. To this end, he recommends the introduction of a professorship for excellent teachers.

The High Council of Nobility will celebrate its 200th anniversary on 23 June. René de Groot, Maastricht professor of Comparative Law and International Private Law, will deliver the keynote address in the presence of King Willem-Alexander. De Groot’s position on nobiliary law is anything but vague: one should refrain from overhauling such a historic institution. "But should you choose to modernise it, you have to treat men and women equally."

Migrants and women underground

In Culture
Tuesday, 15 April 2014 11:06

PhD thesis on shortage of miners in Liège coal industry

In the late 1960s, 70% of miners in Liège came from abroad. “That was twice the proportion in the Belgian Limburg mines and almost five times more than in Dutch Limburg”, says Leen Roels. She recently obtained her PhD at Maastricht University for her research on the structural shortage of miners in the Liège coal industry. Her thesis addresses not just the use of migrant workers, but also the participation of women in the Liège mines. Until now, little was known about this either. “From an emancipation perspective, the prohibition on women working underground was actually a step backwards.”

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