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.
A new institute is aiming to enhance the participation of people with occupational disabilities in the labour market. The Inclusive Labour Organisation Expertise Centre (CIAO), launched by Maastricht University in September 2016, will make insights from research available to companies, governments and social organisations. “Many people have trouble finding a job independently. We want to help as many as possible into work”, says Fred Zijlstra, UM professor of Labour and Organisational Psychology and director of CIAO. “Nobody in our society deserves to be sidelined.”
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.”
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.”
Career prospects are playing an increasingly important role for students in choosing a degree. Maastricht University has therefore made employability one of its three strategic foci, alongside an international orientation and Problem-Based Learning. Programme leader Ellen Bastiaens explains what this means.
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.”
Ton Hartlief, professor of Private Law, has been named best teacher by his students in Maastricht and best liability lawyer in the Netherlands by his professional peers. He became a professor in Leiden at the age of just 29, and recently – still shy of his 50th birthday – took up one of the highest posts available to a lawyer: advocate general at the Supreme Court of the Netherlands. An academic at heart, he remains level-headed: “It’s all a matter of hard work and a bit of luck.” Here he looks back on a successful career.