Notes From the Margins…
Posts for Europe Category

The democratic deficit in action

  • February 28, 2013
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I’ve always suspected that the European Commission was something of an elite outfit.   But in the last two weeks,   I’ve been granted an unexpected firsthand insight into the Commission’s commitment to democratic debate.

This somewhat bizarre episode began a couple of weeks ago, when a journalist from the Brussels-based tv channel Euronews rang up me up and asked if I would be willing to debate with the Director-General of the Home Affairs Directorate in a programme due to be broadcast next month about migrants in North Africa.

I don’t get requests like that very...

Greece, Syrian Refugees and the Paradox of Humanitarian Intervention

  • December 10, 2012
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There was a grim but essential story in last week’s Guardian, on the secret deportations of Syrian refugees by Greek police   across the Evros River border  with   Turkey.   The Guardian described how a group of Syrians recently crossed the Evros.  Some members of the group drowned, others made it to...

IPS News Interview on ‘Fortress Europe’

  • November 29, 2012
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UNITED NATIONS, Nov 28 2012 (IPS)  – Along the borders of modern Europe, migrants have much to contend with, ranging from contradictory and confusing national immigration policies to horrific war zones, which these borders areas are slowly becoming.

Their stories and more are the subject of journalist and writer Matthew Carr”s latest book, “Fortress Europe: Dispatches...

The trouble with Fortress Europe

  • November 21, 2012
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For more than two decades now, the European Union has been conducting the most extensive, sophisticated and far-reaching border enforcement programme in history, largely in an attempt to prevent “illegal” immigration a category that generally refers to undocumented “economic migrants” and refugees from poor countries and the Third World.

Militarised border patrols on land...

Europe against austerity

  • November 14, 2012
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Solidarity is often invoked by European politicians as one of the essential principles of European unity.    In practice it tends to refer to  solidarity with banks and financial institutions, or between governments intent on slashing living standards  in the name of austerity rather than the victims of the new economic...

Europe Cracks Up

  • October 11, 2012
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European governments tend to present “austerity” as though it were an inevitable and unavoidable response to a natural disaster, and many have used the economic crisis as an opportunity to enact a privatisation programme that would once have seemed like a utopian fantasy to the neo-liberals and Freedmanites of the 70 and 80s.

These policies have...

About Me

I’m a writer, campaigner and journalist.  My latest book is The Savage Frontier: The Pyrenees in History and the Imagination (New Press/Hurst, 2018).  The Infernal Machine is where I write on politics, history, cinema and other things that interest me.

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