Moldova: Tug-of-War over Europe's Poorest Country - The political conflict over Ukraine is also threatening to spill over into Moldova. Russia and Romania are already currying favor with the country's citizens. Like in Ukraine, opinion is split in the former Soviet country. While many Moldovans want to see closer relations with the European Union, others feel an affinity to Russia. Until now Russia has been the only country Moldovans could travel to without a visa. The EU recently decided to lift certain visa restrictions, however. Next-door Romania, meanwhile, wants to go a step further and secure unification with Moldova; EU passports are already being issued to Moldovan citizens with Romanian roots. France: The Resurgence of Anti-Semitism - France is home to 600,000 Jews. The number of that population leaving the country has doubled. With many feeling that anti-Semitism has become socially acceptable, the number of Jews leaving France for good in 2014 is expected to reach 5,000. Most of them will be headed for Israel. The country has seen a rise in anti-Semitic attacks, and over half of the community feels under threat. According to a survey for the EU, 46% of French Jews are considering emigrating. Spain: The Deadly Fence of Melilla - Following the massive influx of refugees to the Italian island of Lampedusa, the Spanish enclave of Melilla is also coming under growing pressure. The Spanish territory of Melilla on the coast of North Africa, has been facing waves of refugees in recent weeks. Most come from countries such as Cameroon or the Ivory Coast. After evading Moroccan and Spanish police they have to scale fences up to seven meters high to reach Melilla. Their ultimate destination is mainland Europe - but they are not exactly welcome in Spain, which serves as a transit country. Austria: The Young Foreign Minister - Sebastian Kurz is the youngest foreign minister in the European Union. Austria's highest-ranking diplomat was 27 when appointed. The Austrian foreign minister is used to criticism on account of his age. He was 25 and still a law student when he became undersecretary for integration. Kurz has ambitious plans for his time in office. He wants to see Austria assuming an active mediator role in the Ukraine conflict, and reassessing its development policy. Further plans include improved cooperation with the western Balkans, all while representing his country's interests on the diplomatic stage.
Back to top