More power to Brussels

Wednesday, 29 March 2017 09:17

The signing of the Maastricht Treaty marked the first step towards the establishment of the European Union (EU) as we know it today. Now, 25 years later, it is time to take stock. Has the EU lived up to expectations? Is it up to the task of addressing the problems of our time – the euro crisis, the refugee crisis, Brexit and rising anti-European populism, with Trump as just the latest variation on this theme? Has the ideal of an integrated Europe become obsolete? We asked a number of Maastricht professors for their views. If it were up to Luc Soete, professor of International Economic Relations, Brussels should be given more power.


The signing of the Maastricht Treaty marked the first step towards the establishment of the European Union (EU) as we know it today. Now, 25 years later, it is time to take stock. Has the EU lived up to expectations? Is it up to the task of addressing the problems of our time – the euro crisis, the refugee crisis, Brexit and rising anti-European populism, with Trump as just the latest variation on this theme? Has the ideal of an integrated Europe become obsolete? We asked a number of Maastricht professors for their views. This time: Mathieu Segers, professor of Contemporary European History and European Integration and dean of University College Maastricht.


Feminism can no longer be defined as the traditional movement of the white, heterosexual middle class. Just as black feminists brought race to the fore, Islamic feminists introduced religion into the discourse. At Maastricht University assistant professor Lana Sirri critically examines feminism at the intersection of gender and religion, including aspects such as race, sexuality and ethnicity. “The values that all feminists are struggling for can be interpreted differently by different feminists in different locations and contexts.”


Go for action research

Thursday, 05 January 2017 09:50

Shyama V. Ramani, Professor of Development Economics at UNU-MERIT, has been working on the issue of sanitation since the tsunami of December 2004. It all started as a charity project to build toilets for women in a small coastal village in Tamil Nadu, her home state in the southernmost part of India. “The tsunami had destroyed the vegetal cover around the village and the women could no longer relieve themselves in the bushes as they used to. They needed toilets.”


Twelve November it is World Pneumonia Day. Camielle Noordam did PhD research on pneumonia in children in sub-Saharan Africa. Despite improved access to healthcare, every year millions of children die before reaching their 5th birthday. Those in sub-Saharan Africa have the highest risk of mortality. Infections form the biggest threat, and of these, pneumonia is the most prevalent. Camielle Noordam spent many years living and working in Africa. Here she discusses the obstacles to proper medical care.


It was the first time the conference had been held in mainland Europe: in April, Maastricht University hosted the annual conference of the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN). UM president Martin Paul saw it as a prime opportunity to shine the international spotlight on Maastricht. “Now we’re up there alongside Washington, London, New York and Hong Kong as a WUN conference city.”


Roadblocks to peace

Tuesday, 07 June 2016 13:52

Is peace possible in Israel and Palestine? There is a roadmap to a peaceful solution, the ‘destination’ being two viable states – but negotiations are at a standstill. The ambassadors of the two countries to the Netherlands recently debated the issues in Maastricht. According to Haim Divon, the Israeli ambassador, “Our leaders need to talk to each other”. “But while they’ve been talking,” says Nabil Abuznaid, head of the Palestinian Mission, “six times more settlements have been established.”


Alum Naomi Neijhoft is a Child Protection Officer for UNICEF. She assists the Cambodian government in protecting children from violence, exploitation, neglect and abuse.


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