Sistine Chapel Ceiling Painting, by Michelangelo
From Glory to Despair
Italy. One of the oldest civilized territories on the European continent. In a distant past, Rome dominated Europe. Its cities flourished and were full of life.
Nowadays, Italy’s villages are drained. The young move into the cities or seek a brighter future abroad. The few that stay simply don’t have enough children to maintain the population. The Mayor of one of these small towns, Domenico Lucano, found an interesting solution to this depopulation problem. His village, Riace, invited migrants to rejuvenate the town. Currently about a quarter of the two thousand inhabitants are migrants, primarily from Africa and Asia. The native Italians that still live there are mostly the elderly. The Guardian states the town has ”secured its own future”.
Although most easily visible in the small villages, it is a trend taking place on the national level.
Reply of the Zaporozhian Cossacks, by Ilya Repin. The Cossacks reject the Ottomans demand to submit.
The Future Presence of Islam in Europe
As of 2016, there were over 25 million Muslims estimated to be living in Europe. Spread over the entire continent this results in an average of 4.9% of Muslims. The total population lies around 500 million. However, the 4.9% is not spread evenly. France is currently on 8.8%, while Poland has less than 0.1% of Muslims compared to their populations. Moreover, the Muslims in Poland are likely to belong to the native Tatar population that has lived there for many centuries. On the other hand, the Muslims in France originate primarily from territories that used to be French colonies and arrived in large numbers since the end of World War 2. Since the end of the war we have seen a growing Muslim population in Europe.
We will discuss the predictions from Pew Research regarding the growing Muslim population, from zero migration to high migration. What are the consequences?
David with the head of Goliath, by Caravaggio
Europe Relies On The United States
Most nations in Europe are a part of NATO, the North-Atlantic Treaty Organization. This defensive alliance was founded as a response to the Soviet Union expanding its sphere of influence over Eastern Europe after the defeat of Nazism at the end of World War 2. It was back then, and has always been, spearheaded by the United States.
However, how much longer should we expect that status quo to last?
Napoleon Crossing the Alps, by Jacques-Louis David
The North European Plain – Europe’s Main Cause For War
To understand war in Europe, we must understand geography in Europe. One of the primary aspects of European geography is the great north European plain. The plain stretches from southern France, just north of the Pyrenees, to the Ural mountains in Russia. The plain has no good natural borders, leading to constant warfare and changing borders.
Apart from seas, oceans and mountains; there is one more reasonable natural border. Rivers. However, it only works if it is a major river that is difficult to cross due to its width, and covers a border long enough with its length. Within Europe, you will see the Rhine and Danube act as natural borders between the nation-states.
Echo and Narcissus, by John William Waterhouse
At one point in time, European nations ruled almost the entire world. Europe was and is mighty, powerful and influential. Although Europe’s history over the past centuries knows a lot of ‘grandeur’, how grand is the territory that it consists of?
The most common type of map is the Mercator depiction. Due to the earth being a globe and maps being a two-dimensional representation, it is not easy to get the dimensions right. The Mercator projection results in an over representation of areas near the poles. At the same time, areas around the equator look relatively small.
The Tower Guard, by Carel Fabritius
Making A Deal
Overwhelmed by the amount of migrants arriving into Europe – and perhaps even more by the outcry of native Europeans – the EU decided to cut a deal with Turkey. They give money to Turkey, and in return Turkey will attempt to limit the flow of migrants across its territory. However, the extortionate amount demanded by Turkey exemplifies the panic the EU was feeling. With its populace outraged and the eastern European members nearly revolting against the rulers in Brussels, they knew action was needed right now. Europe needs to turn more into a fortress.
Hunter’s Home, by Henry Voordecker
Is Europe changing?
Europe has been going through a turbulent time lately with regards to its demographics. The European governments are very enthusiastic about the multi-cultural society. As they claim ”diversity is our strength”. Generally, anyone disagreeing with that statement is silenced by name-calling. You are xenophobic and racist.
The flows of migration are permanently and drastically impacting Europe, but how do Europeans feel about that?
The Fishery, by Richard Wright
Pulse fishing VS the steam-engine
During the religious tensions in the 17th Century France made sure the father of the steam-engine had to leave the country. In 2018 the French government yet again chased away a potential successful industrial development. As a consequence of the recent EU ban of electric pulse fishing years of research is being destroyed. More importantly, it shows a fundamental problem pertaining to the EU itself.
The EU remains a state in search of a people. It however remains a community of nations that are being represented by special interests on the EU level. These special interests take care of themselves in the name of everyone else. This has primarily to do with the nature of the European continent itself and secondarily with one of the founding thoughts of the EU itself.