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COMMENTS 

From Indyref to Indignados: how passions and politics mix

As Scotland heads to the polls, this piece discusses the extent to which emotions have arrived at the heart of contemporary politics – yet we still hesitate to admit it. Emotions can neither be banished nor ignored when we discuss what constitutes political communities, how political decisions should be made and political action springs into being. Yet to embrace the rise of emotional politics without acknowledging how intimately it is and should be entangled with reason equally risks undermining just political action.
Dr Uta Staiger
18 September 2014
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Starts: Sep 18, 2014 12:00:00 AM

10 things you need to know about what will happen if Scotland votes yes

As the Scottish independence referendum draws closer the outcome is hard to predict. Both Westminster politicians and the wider public are asking what – in practical terms – would happen if the Scots were to vote Yes. Robert Hazell offers a 10-point overview of what the road to independence might look like.
Professor Robert Hazell
9 September 2014
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Starts: Sep 9, 2014 12:00:00 AM

The truth is, Scandinavia is neither heaven nor hell

The Nordic countries have received exceptionally good press in the UK - at least until earlier this year, when British travel writer and resident of Denmark, Michael Booth, claimed to dispel the of Scandinavia as the perfect place to live. Many are now confused. Is everything we believed about the social ideals of Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland a lie? Well, not entirely but we’re not all drunk serial killers either.
Dr Jakob Stougaard-Nielsen
19 August 2014 More...

Starts: Sep 8, 2014 12:00:00 AM

Promoting LGBT rights at home and abroad: the role of the EU

Publication date: Oct 16, 2013 1:07:47 PM

Start: Dec 6, 2013 12:00:00 AM

TODAY: 6 December 2013. This year's Sakharov Debate

When:
6 December 2013
5pm

Where:
Europe House
32 Smith Square
London SW1P 3EU

 
Eventbrite - Promoting LGBT rights at home and abroad: the role of the EU

The 2013 Sakharov Debate aims to critically examine the state of LGBT rights in Europe, with a particular focus on the role of the EU in promoting same-sex equality among EU member-states and in states outside the EU.

As in previous years, this event is organised jointly by the European Parliament UK Office and the UCL European Institute.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in June 2011 that 'acts of violence committed against individuals because of their sexual orientation and gender identity’ was ‘an attack on the universal values that the United Nations and I have sworn to defend and uphold’.

While respecting LGBT rights is promoted by the UN as a universal value, this view is far from being universally accepted.

Europe has emerged as a world-leader in terms of the respect for and protection of LGBT rights. Especially since the inclusion of sexual orientation in the equalities agenda of the European Union through Article 13 of the Amsterdam Treaty, there has been increased pressure at the European level for the existing members and accession states to promote the equal rights of their LGBT citizens.

Despite similar top-down pressure, however, the legal situation for LGBT people differs markedly from state to state in terms of the type and extent of the rights accorded or indeed whether rights have been accorded at all.While there has been a general improvement in most European legal systems at the national, supranational and international levels, some states, such as Italy and Poland, have experienced only a minimal improvement, while others, such as Russia, seem to be moving in the opposite direction compared with the rest of the continent.

Confirmed speakers include:

Chair: Patrick Strudwick (journalist)

Welcome: Sir Stephen Wall (UCL Council, former UK Permanent Representative to the EU)