Case Study Assignment: New Media as a Tool for Political Participation: The Debating Europe Case

Maria Strati and George Vitopoulos conducted a study about the impact of new media on political participation. The study focused on European Elections 2014 and based on the case of “Debating Europe“.

Abstract: New media technologies have been integrated also in the political discourse since internet users may produce consume and share information. The study examined the role of new media technologies in the active civic participation focusing on the Debating Europe case, a project that aims to amplify the active civic participation in Europe. The online political debate is also influenced by other forces, such as political stakeholders, market, civil society organizations and the profile of people participating in online political debates. Being familiar with the ICT technologies does not guarantee the active civic participation. However, it could be the medium that may empower citizens to be part of the decision-making process.

Keywords: New media technologies, social media, civic participation, Debating Europe, politics, European Union, Facebook, Twitter, blogosphere.

Find the paper HERE.

Two wonderful Greek song with a political message

which are my favourite Greek songs. Honestly, the answer is rather difficult since the Greek music is quite broad. In addition, many compositors, musicians and singers of Greek origin are known at an international level as well. The creativity in arts and culture in Greece, like everywhere else, reflects the obstacles and the concerns of the people. Furthermore, many artistic pieces incorporate political messages. Personally, I am politically engaged following Jean-Paul Satre’s citation “to justify our existence we need to be politically engaged”. As a consequence, I have chosen to present you two Greek songs that embed political messages and especially universal notions about the struggles of the people.

The first one is entitled “Malamatenia Logia (Malamatenia Logia)”, a closed translation in English could be the golden words or the kind words. This song describes the situation in Greece during the dictatorship of colonels. This regime established the fear and the restriction of fundamental freedoms. Specifically, it mentions the struggles of the workers’ movement, the execution of people during the dictatorship, the repression and, above all, the censorship. Manos Eleftheriou has written the lyrics and Yiannis Markpoullos have composed the music. The dictatorship wanted to supervise the artistic production so that to control the diffusion of political messages. Consequently, the censorship impeded the creativity and the development of an advanced aesthetic.  The arts and the culture endorse the capacity to reflect, something that might mobilise the people to protest against the different kinds of regimes. My favourite version is the one below.

The second one is entitled “Koliga gios (Κολλήγα γιος)”. The Greek work “koligas” derives from the Latin “collega” and denotes the people who were working in feuds. In other words, they were working the whole day and the whole night without earning a lot of money. Sometimes they were living in the plantations as well. This song has two crucial points of view. On the one hand, it describes the struggle of the people over the years. On the other hand, it describes how people have been conformed to the system, an aspect that dissuade them to fight for their rights. The lyrics were written by Yiannis Negrepontis and the music was composed by Loukianos Kilaidonis.

Personally, I am struggling not to conform to the established rules of various institutions of power. This is not easy since I am part of this society. However, I will continue to fight with the means I possess for the improvement of the space I live. Enjoy the songs, and I will come back with more Greek songs soon.

Deux belles chansons grecques qu’intègrent des messages politiques.

Mes connaissances en France, au Belgique, en Espagne, au Portugal, en Suède, aux États-Unis et en Amérique Latine souvent me demande quelle sont mes chansons préférées de la musique grecque. Franchement la réponse est assez difficile parce que la musique grecque est assez riche. En outre, beaucoup des compositeurs, musiciens et chanteurs d’origine grecque sont tellement connus au niveau global. La création culturelle en Grèce, comme partout ailier au monde, reflets les obstacles et les soucis du peuple. En outre, beaucoup des morceaux artistiques incorporent des messages politiques. Personnellement, je suis politiquement engagée  parce que d’après Jean-Paul Sartre «pour justifier notre existence il faut être politiquement engagés». Par conséquent, j’ai choisi à vous présenter deux chansons grecques qui inclussent des messages politiques et surtout des idées universelles de la lutte des peuples.

L’une est intitulée «Malamatenia Logia (Malamatenia Logia)», une proche traduction en français peut-être des paroles d’or ou des bonnes paroles. Cette chanson, décrire la situation en Grèce pendant la dictature des colonels. Un régime qui établit le peur et la restriction des libertés fondamentales. Spécifiquement parle des luttes du mouvement ouvrier, les exécutions des gens pendant la dictature, la répression et surtout de la censure. Les paroles sont été écrites par Manos Eleftheriou et la musique a été composée par Yiannis Markpoulos. La dictature voulait superviser la production artistique pour contrôler la diffusion des messages politiques.  Ainsi, la censure empêche la créativité et le développement d’une esthétique avancée. Les arts et la culture augmentent la capacité de réfléchir, une chose qui peut-être mobiliserait les gens à protester contre les différents régimes.

Ma version préférée de cette chanson celle-ci:

L’autre est intitulée «Koliga gios (Κολλήγα γιος)». Le grec mot «koligas» dérive du latin «collega» et dénote des gens qui travaillaient aux querelles. Autrement dit, ils travaillaient toute la journée et autant bien la soirée sans gagner beaucoup d’argents. Quelques fois ils habitaient à la plantation aussi.  Cette chanson, ont deux points de vue assez importants. D’un côté, elle décrire la lutte de la classe ouvrière au fils des ans. D’un autre côté, elle parle de la conformation des gens au système, un paramètre qui les dissuade à lutter pour leurs droits. Les paroles sont été écrites par Yiannis Negrepontis et la musique a été composée par Loukianos Kilaidonis.

Personnellement, j’essaye à éviter à me conformer aux règles imposés par différents institutions de pouvoir. Ce n’est pas du tout facile parce que je suis part de cette société. Néanmoins, je continuerai à lutter avec les peu moyens que je possède pour l’amélioration de l’espace que  je vis. Je vous souhaite une bonne écoute. Je vais vous proposer plus des chansons grecques bientôt.

My first month in Brussels

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On the 23rd of January I left Sweden for the Brussels adventure. While I was at Arlanda airport in Stockholm I had mixed feelings. On the one hand, I didn’t want to leave Sweden because this country gave me a lot, such as intellectual experiences, linguistic investigations and especially friendships. On the other hand, I was content because I was always wanted to live in Belgium, a country so different but at the same time so similar to Cyprus, my home country. Among my first impressions was that the evolution of the historical context in Belgium is a bit similar to the Cypriot one.

Belgium and Cyprus co-exist people of different cultural and language identities. Belgium is a small country in comparison the countries around and Cyprus is a small island in the Mediterranean. In the case of Belgium the Germanic world should coexist with the romance world in a restricted space. On the contrary, in Cyprus, the Greek-speaking community should coexist with the Turkish speaking community is an even smaller space. Generally, intolerance between the different communities is present in both countries. However, both in Belgium and Cyprus there are a lot of people who embrace all the cultural identities and are bilingual. The latter gives me hope to keep fighting for the reunification of my home country even though I am abroad.

Generally, every day is a new language and cultural experience. In addition, I develop my language, cultural and historical investigation by interacting with Dutch-speaker individuals. Yesterday, I started learning some words in Dutch and thus get in touch with another aspect of this country. From this week, a new chapter of my life will be written. It will include my experience to dive even more in the Germanic world, a travel that has already start during my stay in Sweden.  Furthermore, I will evolve my knowledge in arts, cultures and political philosophy.  The curiosity for the unknown may lead to the growth of knowledge and the combat of ignorance.

Mon premier mois à Brussels

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Le 23 janvier je suis partie de la Suède pour l’aventure Bruxelloise. Quand j’étais à l’aéroport d’Arlanda à Stockholm j’avais des émotions mélangées. D’un côté je ne voulais pas quitter la Suède parce que ce pays m’offert beaucoup des expériences intellectuelles, investigations linguistiques et surtout d’amitiés. D’un autre côté, j’étais contente parce que toujours je voulais vivre au Belgique, un pays autant diverse mais au même autant similaire de Chypre, mon pays natal. Entre de mes premières impressions c’est que l’évolution du contexte historique au Belgique est en peu pareil de celui de l’île de Chypre.

Au Belgique et à Chypre sont coexistent des gens aux diverses identités culturelles et linguistiques. Le Belgique est un petit pays en comparaison avec  les pays voisins et Chypre est une petite île située à la Méditerranée. Au cas du Belgique le monde germanique doit coexiste avec le monde romance dans un espace assez petit. Par contre, à Chypre les grécophones doive coexister avec les turcophones dans un espace encore plus petit. En général, l’intolérance entres les diverses communautés est assez présente dans ce deux pays. Cependant, au Belgique et à Chypre il y a beaucoup de gens qui embrassent tous les identités culturelles et sont bilingues. Cela me donne espoir de suivre lutter pour la réunification de mon pays natal même-ci je suis à l’étrangère.

En général, chaque journée est une autre expérience linguistique et culturelle. En outre, j’approfondis mon investigation linguistique, culturelle et historique en interagirent avec des gens néerlandophones. Hier, j’ai commencé à apprendre quelques mots en néerlandais et ainsi connaître un autre aspect de ce pays. A partir de cette semaine un nouvel chapitre dans ma vie sera écrit. Il inclura mon expérience de plonger encore plus dans le monde germanique, un voyage qui a commencé pendant mon séjour en Suède. De plus, je vais évoluer mes connaissances dans les filières des arts, de la culture et de la philosophie politique. La curiosité pour l’inconnu conduira à l’apprentissage et le combat d’ignorance.

Debating Europe: I’m debating what about you?

Debating Europe is a platform that provides us a unique opportunity to exchange OUR ideas with Europe’s leaders. The main aim is to be encouraged a strong and genuine conversation between European policy makers and citizens, and then having experts respond with feedback. The goal of the project is to offer support and critical reactions to citizens’ ideas and mobilize as much as possible the “back and forth discussion” between citizens and the experts who take part in the project.

The debate was divided into five “channels”, based on the theme:

  • Growth Europe: Looking beyond the eurozone crisis
  • Green Europe: Ensuring a sustainable European economy
  • Tech Europe: Building an innovative economy
  • Global Europe: Europe in a new world order
  • Future Europe: Ideas for a long-term vision for Europe

Debating Europe Schools is a new section of the platform which aim to give students the chance to pose questions to policymakers, debate with students across Europe and become aware of  EU. The platform is cooperating with schools and colleges in all the EU member-states to launch a series of online debates.

Find more information and join the debate now HERE!!!

Partners:

  • Friends of Europe
  • Europe’s World
  • European Parliament
  • Microsoft Gallup
  • Skype
  • ING
  • European Students’ Union
  • European Youth Parliament
  • JEF
  • Erasmus Student Network (ESN)
  • ThinkYoung
  • European Movement
  • Youth of European Nationalities
  • Citizens for Europe
  • European Student Think Tank
  • European Disability Forum
  • OneEurope
  • European Youth Press
  • Organising Bureau of European School Student Unions (OBESSU)
  • The Berlin Debating Union (BDU)
  • UNICA
  • AEGEE

 

Young People with Fewer Opportunities

A bilingual publication of the Eurodesk Cyprus about the young people with fewer opportunities. The term “young people with fewer opportunities” defines the young people who do not have the same opportunities as their peers because they may face one or more of the following situations:

  • Social obstacles
  • Economic obstacles
  • Disability
  • Educational difficulties
  • Cultural differences
  • Sexual orientation
  • Health problems
  • Geographical obstacles

Topics:
Inclusion of young people with fewer opportunities.
The needs of the Young people with fewer opportunities.
“Youth in Action” Programme and Social Inclusion.
Manuals for youth workers.
Read more HERE.

Useful Links:
Social Inclusion Tkit 8
SALTO and Inclusion
SALTO Inclusion Resource Centre

A school project about  social inclusion

The Minorities and the Cyprus Problem.

In Cyprus, apart from the two major communities, the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot there are three other recognized religious minorities, the Armenians, the Latins and the  Maronites. The Armenians are under the Armenian Orthodox Church, the Latins are under the Romeo-catholic church and the Maronites even though they recognized the Pope as their religious leader they have some differences with the Romeo-catholic church. The Maronites took their name from the “Saint Maronas”.

The Armenians came to Cyprus in the 578 AD. The Latins came between the 1191-1571. The Maronites came to Cyprus from Lebanon between the 8th and the 13th century. The Armenians, Latins and Maronites have a really important contribution to the economic, cultural and social life of the island. It should be mentioned that they have a really strong impact in the history of  Cyprus.According to the Constitution the three recognized minorities had to decide in which community they would like to belong, either to the Greek Cypriot or to the Turkish Cypriot which is against the “Minority Rights”. The above minorities chose to belong to the Greek Cypriot Community.

The educational system has never focused to the multicultural aspect of Cyprus. It is rarely mentioned  the  fact that the Minorities have a really important contribution to the culture of the island.  In the public schools the mainly taught religion is the Greek Orthodox religion, as a result, most of the Greek Cypriots students are completely ignorant about the context of the other religions.In the process of the discussions about the Cyprus problem the minorities who live in Cyprus have never been asked about the kind of the solution they want. In the process of the discussions is always emerging the nationalistic aspect of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriots Community without taking into account the needs and the opinion of the Minorities.

To sum up, I strongly believe that the two major communities should start getting know better the Minorities . Finally, I think that  it’s time to start engaging the Minorities in the discussions for the Cyprus problem.