WBEZ | EU http://www.wbez.org/tags/eu Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Are Turkey and Africa the keys to Europe's future? http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-05/are-turkey-and-africa-keys-europes-future-99531 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/gul.jpg" title="Turkish President Abdullah Gul, center, poses with President Barack Obama, right, and NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen as he arrives at the NATO Summit. (AP/Carolyn Kaster)" /></div><p>Editor&#39;s Note: Worldview<em> contributor Robert L. Price was at this past weekend&#39;s NATO summit and has been blog throughout the week on the summit and sustainability issues. Today, Price looks at how Western Europe made a historic bet, choosing Greece, Italy and Spain over Turkey and Africa -- and how that bet came up short.</em></p><p>In 2009, I was at a symposium in Chicago given by the <a href="http://urbanaffairsassociation.org/">Urban Affairs Association</a>. One part of the event discussed Mediterranean cities. Many lecturers and breakout sessions covered cities such as Barcelona, Naples and Athens.</p><p>Barcelona was noted for its diversity and rich cultural heritage as a result of its African roots. Spain has a Moorish tradition that clearly influenced its architectural heritage. Spanish trade with Africa, and especially the East, was one of many reasons for its past wealth and glory.</p><p>For Naples, the presenter demonstrated how its seaport was one of Italy&rsquo;s busiest, and how, for prosperity sake, the Italians should consider reorienting towards the South once more. When Italy faced south, like Spain, it knew great prosperity. Then there was Athens. Although much discussion centered on modern Athens, the presenter did not deny its ancient links to Africa, via Egypt, for centuries, if not millennia, and how Greece historically shared riches with Asia Minor.</p><p>This week I saw an <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2HPc9WPgYg">address</a> sponsored by the <a href="http://www.thechicagocouncil.org/">Chicago Council on Global Affairs</a>. Turkish President Abdullah Gul, in town for the NATO summit, was the guest speaker. His talk was quite optimistic:</p><p style="margin-left:.5in;"><em>Despite many global economic risks, the Turkish economy rests on sturdy macro foundations . . . [it has] an economy with strong public finances, sustainable debt dynamics, a sound banking system, functional credit markets. </em></p><p style="margin-left:.5in;"><em>Countries like Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen, which are now at the post-revolutionary stage of institutionalizing the change, Turkey is their most active partner. </em></p><p style="margin-left:.5in;"><em>In Africa alone, we will have 34 embassies by the end of this year, whereas we had only 12 in 2009.</em></p><p>Greece has been idealized as the cultural, philosophical and historical bedrock of Western civilization. This emotional connection had to score extra points in Greece&rsquo;s bid for European Union membership. Turkey, on the other hand, has lobbied for membership since 1959, but the Turks were perceived as too big, too poor, too Muslim or too &ldquo;other&rdquo; to join the EU.</p><p>Now look at Spain, Italy and Greece, all of which ignored their former southern Mediterranean or African trading partners. They are in financial dire straits and represent the weakest economic links of the European Union. Compare them to Turkey, a NATO member, denied admission to the EU club. It embraced its African Mediterranean relationships and now emerges as an economic model for Europe.</p><p>Any regrets, EU?</p><p><em>Robert L. Price is an architect and interior designer based in Shanghai, China. He is Worldview&#39;s arts and architecture contributor and a Global Cities co-contributor. Price also serves as Senior Associate and Technical Director for Asia at <a href="http://www.gensler.com/">Gensler</a>, a global design firm.</em></p></p> Fri, 25 May 2012 10:08:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-05/are-turkey-and-africa-keys-europes-future-99531 EU tech companies aid regimes in Syria and Egypt http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2012-03-27/eu-tech-companies-aid-regimes-syria-and-egypt-97664 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2012-March/2012-03-27/Vodafone.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>During the last year, it’s been revealed that some technology companies headquartered in the European Union have had a hand in helping the Syrian and Egyptian regimes combat pro-democracy protests. Though technically legal, their business actions run counter to EU foreign policy and human rights goals. <a href="http://www.dw.de/dw/home/0,,266,00.html" onclick="window.open(this.href, '', 'resizable=no,status=no,location=no,toolbar=no,menubar=no,fullscreen=no,scrollbars=no,dependent=no'); return false;">Deutsche Welle</a>’s Teri Schulz reports from Brussels on the contradictory business transactions.</p><p><em>This piece is part of a Deutsche Welle series</em> Digital Europe <em>and we got it from the Public Radio Exchange. </em></p></p> Tue, 27 Mar 2012 17:16:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2012-03-27/eu-tech-companies-aid-regimes-syria-and-egypt-97664