Dossier: Europe

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas with his new government of national unity (Photo: Reuters)

Europe and the Gaza conflict

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"The Europeans must conduct a direct dialogue with Hamas"

In light of the inability of those involved in the Gaza conflict to make peace, Europe cannot just stand on the sidelines and watch. If it does, the conflict will come here. The ostracisation of Hamas has proved counter-productive. A commentary by Abdel Mottaleb El HusseiniMore

Catherine Ashton, EU High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian Authority President (photo: picture alliance/dpa)

The EU and the Gaza conflict

"Effective diplomacy needs engagement with all sides"

While Europeans are focusing on Ukraine and Iraq, the oldest of the Middle East issues will haunt them for some time. The wider Israel–Palestinian conflict needs the full attention of Europe, writes Mattia ToaldoMore

A Syrian family sitting outside a home for asylum seekers run by the Central Authority for Foreign Residents in the German state of Brandenburg (photo: dpa/picture-alliance)

Book review: Stefan Buchen on Syrian "escape helpers"

Germany's new public enemies?

Germany is proud of its culture of democracy and the rule of law. But how proud should it be of the way it treats those who help Syrian refugees threatened by starvation and mass murder at home to enter the country? In 2013 and 2014, several German-based Syrians have been tried in court for helping their compatriots to flee to Europe. Stefan Buchen has written a book about the matter. By Martina SabraMore

The High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs & Security Policy Catherine Ashton, and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif (photo: Reuters)

Iran's nuclear programme

Hope Must Go On

In view of the stubborn hurdles on the path to a permanent nuclear treaty, Iran and the five UN veto powers plus Germany have agreed to continue their talks. Hope for a settlement remains. Yet the risks are not necessarily getting any smaller. By Ulrich von SchwerinMore

Two Muslim students in headscarves in the audience at a public event at a university. Photo: dpa

France's burka ban

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Excluding the wrong people

We shouldn't be arguing about burkas: we should be abolishing the headscarf bans. They ostracise women who could be building bridges, comments Ursula RüssmannMore

Paolo Dall'Oglio (photo: AFP/Getty Images)

Abduction in Syria of Paolo Dall'Oglio

A voice of peace in a wilderness of violence

The Italian Jesuit Paolo Dall'Oglio was abducted eight months ago in the northern Syrian city of Raqqa. There has been no trace of him since. A popular figure in Syria, the priest has been a consistent champion of dialogue between Christians and Muslims. He was one of the few members of the Church to align himself with the opposition right at the start of the uprising against Assad in March 2011. By Claudia MendeMore

Supporters of the neo-fascist CasaPound movement in Italy (photo: imago)

The Syrian conflict

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A red-brown alliance for Syria

Neo-Nazis, Stalinists, Catholic fundamentalists and pacifists may seem like strange political bedfellows, but they have found common ground in a diffuse brand of anti-imperialism. This left-wing/right-wing alliance's online campaigning and its active support for the Assad regime have led to a lack of solidarity with the Syrian people not only in Italy but elsewhere in Europe too. By Germano MontiMore

Young demonstrators on Istiklal Street in Istanbul on 6 July 2013 (photo: BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images)

Youth and protest in Turkey

"The pieces of the mosaic are shifting"

The Gezi Park protests in Turkey may have died down, but the social commitment of many young people is still high, and their battle for self-determination and participation continues. An overview by Anna Esser in IstanbulMore

A young Egyptian carrying an Egyptian flag and standing in front of some anti-Morsi graffiti in Cairo (photo: picture-alliance/dpa)

Georges Corm on the conflicts in the Arab world

Forget religion!

In his new book, the Lebanese historian Georges Corm criticises the tendency in the West to see the conflicts in the Arab world almost exclusively in a religious context. In reality, he says, the struggles in the states of the Arab Spring are for the fair distribution of economic power and democratic participation. By Kersten KnippMore

A man reading the Koran (photo: Reuters)

Wahhabism and Salafism

Shared foundation – different methods

Wahhabis and Salafists are often named in the same breath. Yet these two ultra-orthodox faith movements do differ in a number of aspects, writes the doctor of Islam Studies Mohammad GharaibehMore

Rita Süssmuth (photo: picture-alliance/dpa)

Interview with the Migration Expert Rita Süssmuth

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Learning to Deal with Diversity

If Europe's immigration policy is not changed in the coming years, the continent's population will start to shrink dramatically in 2025. Annika Zeitler spoke to the German migration expert and former President of the Bundestag, Rita SüssmuthMore

After the talks in Geneva (photo: Reuters)

Nuclear Talks with Iran

Historic Step on a Rocky Road

The interim deal agreed at negotiations in Geneva is a breakthrough that would have seemed impossible just six months ago. By permitting stricter controls and limiting uranium enrichment, Iran has made concessions. But sharp criticism from Israel shows that the path to a final agreement is still strewn with obstacles. By Ulrich von SchwerinMore

Turkey's Europe Minister Egemen Bagis (l.) and EU Commissioner for Enlargement, Stefan Füle (photo: Georges Gobet/AFP/Getty Images)

EU Accession Negotiations with Turkey

A Lack of Perspective

After a break of many months, the EU has resumed membership talks with Turkey and extended them to address a further issue. But despite the new momentum for negotiations, the erstwhile euphoria over Europe on the Bosphorus has long dissipated. Senada Sokollu reports from IstanbulMore

Refugee boat at the coast of Lampedusa, Italy (photo: dpa/picture-alliance)

The Lampedusa Tragedy

EU Refugee Policy Is Morally Bankrupt

The EU's interior ministers have discussed refugee policy following the catastrophe off Lampedusa - without any result. They've failed to use a good opportunity for a new, more humane policy, says Ute SchaefferMore

Syrian refugee children at the police station in Abukir, Egypt (photo: Karim El-Gawhary)

Syrian Boat Refugees in Egypt

"Head Straight on to Europe!"

Many Syrian refugees are trying to reach Europe from Egypt via the Mediterranean. They are risking their lives to escape the civil war in their homeland. A reportage by Karim El-Gawhary in Abukir, EgyptMore

Beratungen zu Syrien in Genf: US-Außenminister John Kerry (l.) neben dem UN-Gesandten Lakhdar Brahimi (m.) und Russlands Außenminister Sergej Lawrow; Foto: Reuters

Syrian Conflict

Political Breakthrough or Tactical Manoeuvre?

In Geneva, the US and Russian foreign ministers announced their agreement on a plan for the destruction of Syrian chemical weapons – but is it a breakthrough for a political solution? Or is the agreement itself merely a manoeuvre to help Russia and the USA save face? Answers from Andreas ZumachMore

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