Author: Alina Birkel (Vienna, Austria)

I'm Alina Birkel, 22, a journalist and student based in Vienna, Austria.

Fair Finance Guide:
Holding Banks Accountable

International banks use the money from their clients for various purposes. While there are some banks that commit to ethical values when it comes to investments, others use their capital to support arms trade, the clearing of rainforests, the violation of human rights, the production and use of fossil fuels, and other now-controversial practices. The… Read more »

Germany’s asylum debate: What’s ahead for the coalition and for refugees?

Should Germany reject refugees at the border and send them back to other European countries, or should they work with the European Union to find a collective solution? The disagreement around this question has been going on for some weeks now, possibly endangering the continuity of the German CDU/CSU/SPD government coalition. The ongoing argument between… Read more »

“A New Departure for Europe”:
Germany’s Coalition Deal

“A New Departure for Europe” is the coalition deal made on February 7th between Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic alliance party (CDU/CSU) and the Social Democrats (SPD). Much of the agreement is concerned with the European Union, steering German EU policies away from previous austerity measures. Before the agreement can take effect, however, it needs to… Read more »

“Jamaica” Talks Collapse:
Is Germany Headed for New Elections?

On Sunday, November 19th, the FDP (Free Democratic Party) de­cided to back out of the Jamaica coalition talks – called “Jamaica” because the colors of the negotiating parties FDP, the Greens and the CDU/CSU (Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social Union) mirror those of the Jamaican flag. After the failed ne­gotiations, there are now three possibilities for… Read more »

Is Study Abroad Always Wise?

Studying abroad is becoming more and more popular these days. Many young people are trying to find a better life outside their country, and Ukrainian teens have not been an exception. Ukraine is in the center of Europe, but for many years Ukrainians were able to cross the state border only with a visa. European… Read more »

Why Austrians Voted for
Sebastian Kurz

Yet another European country elected a right-wing government: Sebastian Kurz ran his successful election campaign with the main goal of limiting migra­tion. But is that the only reason Austrians voted for him? On Sunday, October 15th, parliamentary elections were held in Austria. The winner of the election was, as predicted, the ÖVP/Liste Kurz. They gained… Read more »