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.

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.”

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.”

It is not justified and is even misleading to suggest that repatriation programmes for rejected asylum seekers contribute to development in the country of origin. This is the core of the research that Marieke van Houte did for her thesis, entitled Moving Back or Moving Forward? Return migration after conflict. On 20 November, she will receive her PhD from Maastricht University.

With corruption and bribery running rampant throughout the world, the task of stopping them seems impossible. But what if there was an effective and objective way of measuring corruption and bribery? Would this help us to understand how corruption affects development – and how we can stop it?

“Toilet innovation is important”

Tuesday, 12 November 2013 09:30
Toilets may not be the sexiest of topics. But for UNU-MERIT Maastricht researcher Shuan SadreGhazi, they are a highly significant – if neglected – phenomenon. “Today, more than 2.4 billion people in the world don’t have access to a proper sanitation system.”

For assistant professor and Migration Studies programme manager Melissa Siegel, work at the Maastricht School of Governance isn’t your average desk job. As head of the Migration Research Group, Siegel manages several research projects and is no stranger to working in unusual circumstances. “Within our research group, and at the School in general, we do a great deal of research in the field, especially in post-conflict situations. We get our hands dirty.”

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