Why you should care
Because the West as we know it may never look the same again.
Jürgen Elsässer, Germany’s Loudest Troublemaker
Meet the 57-year-old journalist and activist from Brandenburg, Germany, who is making life a helluva time for Russia. He’s a troublemaker and skeptic of mainstream European politics whose voice is getting louder and louder in Germany, and starting to reverberate across the continent. Many Europeans resent efforts to further erase national identities, integrate the continent and pass greater powers to the European Union. And Elsässer, a self-proclaimed leftist, is where Europe’s extreme right and extreme left converge, in common distaste of “the common project” — as British Prime Minister David Cameron put it. The argument goes that European politics has become too big, too bossy, too interfering. Read the story here.
Martin Schulz, Europe’s No. 1 Socialist
On the other side of the spectrum, politically, is Martin Schulz, who would just love to see the United States of Europe become one clear, coherent body. As president of the European parliament, he’s changing the balance of power between the European institutions for good. If he gets his agenda through, it could presage a permanent shift of power away from individual, national governments to the European parliament, which would turn the EU from an association of sovereign states into one supranational state, with possible consequences for everything from tax policy and European defense to the global balance of power. Read OZY’s profile of Schulz on the eve of his re-election here.
Though it’s not the only issue at stake, immigration is more than a blip on Europe’s political radar right now. And poll numbers from the Pew Research Center shows that it’s not just the radical right that takes issue with current immigration policy. In Italy, 69 percent of those polled agreed that “immigrants are a burden because they take jobs and social benefits.” In Greece, 70 percent thought that. And in both countries, a majority of the left agreed. That’s right: In the birthplace of humanity (and colonialism), even those who consider themselves more liberal believe immigrants are a burden. Read the story here.