Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 23

Europe Related Abstracts

23 Islamic Finance: What is the Outlook for Italy?

Authors: Paolo Pietro Biancone

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The spread of Islamic financial instruments is an opportunity to offer integration for the immigrant population and to attract, through the specific products, the richness of sovereign funds from the "Arab" countries. However, it is important to consider the possibility of comparing a traditional finance model, which in recent times has given rise to many doubts, with an "alternative" finance model, where the ethical aspect arising from religious principles is very important.

Keywords: Islamic Finance, Europe, banks, Italy

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22 A Novel Mediterranean Diet Index from the Middle East and North Africa Region: Comparison with Europe

Authors: Farah Naja, Nahla Hwalla, Leila Itani, Shirine Baalbaki, Abla Sibai, Lara Nasreddine

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Purpose: To propose an index for assessing adherence to a Middle-Eastern version of the Mediterranean diet as represented by the traditional Lebanese Mediterranean diet (LMD), to evaluate the association between the LMD and selected European Mediterranean diets (EMD); to examine socio-demographic and lifestyle correlates of adherence to Mediterranean diet (MD) among Lebanese adults. Methods: Using nationally representative dietary intake data of Lebanese adults, an index to measure adherence to the LMD was derived. The choice of food groups used for calculating the LMD score was based on results of previous factor analyses conducted on the same dataset. These food groups included fruits, vegetables, legumes, olive oil, burghol, dairy products, starchy vegetables, dried fruits, and eggs. Using Pearson’s correlation and scores tertiles distributions agreement, the derived LMD index was compared to previously published EMD indexes from Greece, Spain, Italy, France, and EPIC. Results: Fruits, vegetables and olive oil were common denominators to all MD scores. Food groups, specific to the LMD, included burghol and dried fruits. The LMD score significantly correlated with the EMD scores, while being closest to the Italian (r=0.57) and farthest from the French (r=0.21). Percent agreement between scores’ tertile distributions and Kappa statistics confirmed these findings. Multivariate linear regression showed that older age, higher educational, female gender, and healthy lifestyle characteristics were associated with increased adherence to all MD studied. Conclusion: A novel LMD index was proposed to characterize Mediterranean diet in Lebanon, complementing international efforts to characterize the MD and its association with disease risk.

Keywords: Adherence, Europe, mediterranean diet, Middle-East, Lebanon

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21 The Impact of the Economic Crisis in the European Identity

Authors: Sofía Luna, Carla González Salamanca

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The 2008 economic crisis had huge implications in Europe. In this continent, the repercussions of the crisis were not only economic but also political and institutional. The economic stress has generated changes in the perception of the citizens, their attitude and the confidence placed in the political organizations. The lost of confidence is not only present in the debtor countries but it is also present in the European economic powers like Germany and France. This research explains how the economic crisis had an impact in the identity, population’s attitude and how this generated the rise of extreme right parties. In addition, it defines the different types of attitudes and support that exist towards these political and economic institutions. The results of this investigation show that the depression beside of its economic implications, it caused institutional, social and political difficulties for the Union. Moreover, the support and attitudes of the population were severely strained because the confidence in the political organization decreased. Furthermore, a rise in the otherness sentiment was shown. In other words, the distinction between “us” and “them” increased causing repercussions in the collective European identity. Additionally, there was a spread in national identities that caused the rise of the extreme right wing parties. In conclusion, the 2008 economic crisis caused not only economic stress but also it generated a political, social and institutional crisis in Europe.

Keywords: Identity, Europe, Economic Crisis, otherness sentiment

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20 A Study Regarding Nanotechnologies as a Vector of New European Business Model

Authors: Adriana Radan Ungureanu

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The industrial landscape is changing due to the financial crises, poor availability of raw materials, new discoveries and interdisciplinary collaborations. New ideas shape the change through technologies and bring responses for a better life. The process of change is leaded by big players like states and companies, but they cannot keep their places on the market without the help of the small ones. The main tool of change is technology and the entire developed world dedicated efforts for decades in this direction. Even the expectations are not yet met, the research for finding adequate solutions is far from to be stopped. A relevant example is nanotechnology where most of discoveries still remain into laboratory and could not succeed to find the right way to the market. In front of this situation the right question could be: ”Is it worth investing in nanotechnology in the name of an uncertain future but with very little impact on present?” This paper tries to find a positive answer from a three-dimensional approach using a descriptive analyse based on available database supplied by the European case studies, reports, and literature.

Keywords: Nanotechnology, Technology, Europe, KET’s

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19 Appearance of Ciguatoxin Fish in Atlantic Europe Waters

Authors: J. Bravo, F. Cabrera Suárez, B. Vega, L. Román, M. Martel, F. Acosta

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Ciguatera fish poisoning (CFP) is the most common non-bacterial intoxication in the world caused by ingestion of fish with bio-accumulated ciguatoxins (CTXs). It is typical in tropical and subtropical areas, mainly affecting the Caribbean Sea, Polynesia and other areas in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Interest in Europe by the CFP is increasing in recent years as more and more cases in European hospitals are appearing, usually by people who have consumed ciguatoxin imported fish or have travelled to areas of risk for this poisoning. Since 2004 a series of poisonings raised the question of a possible occurrence of ciguatoxin in Europe, especially in the area of Macaronesia in the East Atlantic temperate zone. Furthermore, some studies have identified the presence of Gambierdiscus spp. in waters surrounding the Canary Islands and Madeira, a toxic dinoflagellate related to this poisoning. The toxin accumulates and concentrates through the food chain and affects to the end of the chain, the human consumer. Fish were collected from the Canary Islands waters and the toxin has been extracted and purified by using acetone and liquid/liquid partition in order to eliminate the excess of fatty acids that may interfere with the detection of the toxin. The fish extracts were inoculated in Neuroblastoma (neuro-2a) cells. After 24-h cell viability was used as an endpoint for cytotoxic effects measurement. Since 2011 our laboratory is collecting data for species such Seriola spp., Epinephelus spp., Makaira spp., Pomatomus spp., Xiphias spp., and Acantocybium spp., from all islands and including the sports fishing and professional activities, we obtained a 8% of fish that have ciguatoxin in their muscle. With these results, we conclude that the island where fishing and fish size affects the probability of catching a fish with the ciguatoxin.

Keywords: Europe, Canary Islands, ciguatera fish poisoning, ciguatoxin

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18 Ottoman Marches Composed by European Musicians

Authors: Selcen Özyurt Ulutaş

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March as a musical form in Ottoman Music has started after Sultan II. Mahmud. Owing to the modernization process on Ottoman Empire, marches had accepted and embraced by the sultanate in a short period of time. The reasons behind sultans favor against marches that is actually a European Music form is closely related to attribute meanings to marches. After Sultan II. Mahmud, marches became a symbol of westernization and became a symbol of sultanate. After that period besides sultans also princes started to compose marches. The presentation includes the demonstration of the marches classification in achieves to be able to give information on the composers of those marches. Through that process, this study aims to show attributed meanings to those marches and what those marches represent.

Keywords: Music, Europe, Ottoman marches, European musicians

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17 Formal Institutions and Women's Electoral Participation in Four European Countries

Authors: Sophia Francesca D. Lu

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This research tried to produce evidence that formal institutions, such as electoral and internal party quotas, can advance women’s active roles in the public sphere using the cases of four European countries: Belgium, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands. The quantitative dataset was provided by the University of Chicago and the Inter-University Consortium of Political and Social Research based on a two-year study (2008-2010) of political parties. Belgium engages in constitutionally mandated electoral quotas. Germany, Italy and the Netherlands, on the other hand, have internal party quotas, which are voluntarily adopted by political parties. In analyzing each country’s chi-square and Pearson’s r correlation, Belgium, having an electoral quota, is the only country that was analyzed for electoral quotas. Germany, Italy and the Netherlands’ internal voluntary party quotas were correlated with women’s descriptive representations. Using chi-square analysis, this study showed that the presence of electoral quotas is correlated with an increase in the percentage of women in decision-making bodies as well as with an increase in the percentage of women in decision-making bodies. Likewise, using correlational analysis, a higher number of political parties employing internal party voluntary quotas is correlated with an increase in the percentage of women occupying seats in parliament as well as an increase in the percentage of women nominees in electoral lists of political parties. In conclusion, gender quotas, such as electoral quotas or internal party quotas, are an effective policy tool for greater women’s representation in political bodies. Political parties and governments should opt to have gender quotas, whether electoral or internal party quotas, to address the underrepresentation of women in parliament, decision-making bodies, and policy-formulation.

Keywords: Europe, electoral quota, formal institutions, institutional feminism, internal party quota, women’s electoral participation

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16 Fiqh Al Aqalliyat (Jurisprude for Muslim Minorities): An Emerging Discourse for Western Minorities

Authors: Sana Tahzeeb

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Role of Muslim minority in a democratic state has been the most debatable as well as attractive issue in the writings of the contemporary Muslim scholars, never discussed in the classical Islamic literature of history. Islam as a dominant religion has been the issue of academic discussions in the entire classical literature of Islamic jurisprudence the division of world into Dar al-Islam (abode of Islam), Dar al-Harb (abode of war) has been the main division on the basis of which Islam’s relation with the remaining world were defined and formulated. Now living in a global society the classical division of territories seems to be irrelevant. The new division of the same became necessary in the present situation particularly in view of the pluralistic society and need of power sharing in non-Muslim countries. It is important to note that a number of Muslim scholars of modern period examined this problem and other issues of Muslim minorities from legal point of view. Fiqh al-Aqalliyat is a newly developed discipline of Islamic jurisprudence. The rationale for this development is that there are so many issues of the Muslim minorities particularly in the European countries which are required to be discussed and examined juridically by Muslim jurists and scholars. There was also need for reinterpreting the term Dar al-Harb and relevance of its applicability to the west. The present paper shed a light on these emerging trends in Islamic world.

Keywords: Islam, Europe, fiqh al Aqalliyat, Muslim minorities

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15 Status of the European Atlas of Natural Radiation

Authors: M. A. Hernández-Ceballos, G. Cinelli, T. Tollefsen, M. De Cort, P. Bossew, V. Gruber, R. Braga

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In 2006, the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission started the project of the 'European Atlas of Natural Radiation'. The Atlas aims at preparing a collection of maps of Europe displaying the levels of natural radioactivity caused by different sources (indoor and outdoor radon, cosmic radiation, terrestrial radionuclides, terrestrial gamma radiation, etc). The overall goal of the project is to estimate, in geographical resolution, the annual dose that the public may receive from natural radioactivity, combining all the information from the different radiation components. The first map which has been developed is the European map of indoor radon (Rn) since in most cases Rn is the most important contribution to exposure. New versions of the map are realised when new countries join the project or when already participating countries send new data. We show the latest status of this map which currently includes 25 European countries. Second, the JRC has undertaken to map a variable which measures 'what earth delivers' in terms of Rn. The corresponding quantity is called geogenic radon potential (RP). Due to the heterogeneity of data sources across the Europe there is need to develop a harmonized quantity which at the one hand adequately measures or classifies the RP, and on the other hand is suited to accommodate the variety of input data used to estimate this target quantity. Candidates for input quantities which may serve as predictors of the RP, and for which data are available across Europe, to different extent, are Uranium (U) concentration in rocks and soils, soil gas radon and soil permeability, terrestrial gamma dose rate, geological information and indoor data from ground floor. The European Geogenic Radon Map gives the possibility to characterize areas, on European geographical scale, for radon hazard where indoor radon measurements are not available. Parallel to ongoing work on the European Indoor Radon, Geogenic Radon and Cosmic Radiation Maps, we made progress in the development of maps of terrestrial gamma radiation and U, Th and K concentrations in soil and bedrock. We show the first, preliminary map of the terrestrial gamma dose rate, estimated using the data of ambient dose equivalent rate available from the EURDEP system (about 5000 fixed monitoring stations across Europe). Also, the first maps of U, Th, and K concentrations in soil and bedrock are shown in the present work.

Keywords: Mapping, Europe, natural radiation, indoor radon

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14 Looking for a Connection between Oceanic Regions with Trends in Evaporation with Continental Ones with Trends in Precipitation through a Lagrangian Approach

Authors: Luis Gimeno, Raquel Nieto, Anita Drumond, Marta Vázquez

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One of the hot spots of climate change is the increment of ocean evaporation. The best estimation of evaporation, OAFlux data, shows strong increasing trends in evaporation from the oceans since 1978, with peaks during the hemispheric winter and strongest along the paths of the global western boundary currents and any inner Seas. The transport of moisture from oceanic sources to the continents is the connection between evaporation from the ocean and precipitation over the continents. A key question is to try to relate evaporative source regions over the oceans where trends have occurred in the last decades with their sinks over the continents to check if there have been also any trends in the precipitation amount or its characteristics. A Lagrangian approach based on FLEXPART and ERA-interim data is used to establish this connection. The analyzed period was 1980 to 2012. Results show that there is not a general pattern, but a significant agreement was found in important areas of climate interest.

Keywords: Europe, ocean evaporation, Lagrangian approaches, contiental precipitation

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13 Occupational Safety Need Analysis for Turkey and Europe

Authors: İsmail Muratoğlu, Ahmet Meyveci, Abdurrahman Tuncer, Erkan Demirci

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This study is dedicated to the analysis of the problems of occupational safety in Turkey, Italy and Poland. The need analysis was applied to three different countries which are Turkey; 4, Poland; 1, Italy; 1 state. The number of the subjects is 891 in Turkey. The number of the subjects is 26 in Italy and the number of the subjects is 19 in Poland. The total number of samples of study is 936. Four different forms (Job Security Experts Form, Student Form, Teacher Form and Company Form) were applied. Results of experts of job security forms are rate of 7.1%. Then, the students’ forms are rate of 34.3%, teacher or instructor forms are rate of 9.9%. The last corporation forms are rate of 48.7%.

Keywords: Turkey, Occupational Safety, Vocational Education, Europe, need analysis

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12 Sand Dollars: Sex Tourism and Coloniality of Power in the Dominican Republic

Authors: Fernando Valerio-Holguin

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Over the recent three decades, the tourism industry in the Dominican Republic has had an enormous impact on the country’s culture. The arrival of tourists from Germany, France, Italy, Russia and the United States has rewritten Dominican cultural identity and created a cultural palimpsest in the areas of language, gastronomy, habits, fashion, values, and gender relations. As a consequence of tourism, a prostitution network has flourished across the country. In the film Sand Dollars (2015) directed by Laura Amelia Guzmán and Israel Cárdenas, Noelí (Janet Mojica), a young mulatto woman, altogether with her boyfriend (Ricardo Ariel Toribio), strips tourists of dollars and euro through prostitution. One of her frequent clients is Anne, a mature French woman (Geraldine Chaplin). While Noeli’s goal is to get all the euros she can, Anne falls in love with her and tries to bring her to France. Both the content of the film and its cinematographic languages are analyzed in light of theory of coloniality. This concept shows how European and American tourism, through the power of money, perpetuates colonial discourse, i. e., how race and ethnocentrism permeate cultural activities in their former colonies. Moreover, in the content analysis of the film the concepts of exchange value and fetishism are crucial to understanding how the colonial body becomes sexual commodity. They facilitate grasping the film’s inequity in terms of power in the relationship between the two women: the white old European woman and the young, poor, third-world mulatta. Even though the film attempts to break away from compulsory heterosexuality, the power relation between the two women persists due to the presence of the axis of race, ethnicity, age and gender. Both the novel Les dollars des sables written by Jean-Noel Pancrazi, and the film Sand Dollars offer an interesting insight into sex tourism and coloniality and shed additional light on the power relations between the former colonizers and its colonies.

Keywords: Power, prostitution, Europe, Money, Sex Tourism, ethnocentrism, United States of America, coloniality, exchange value, fetishism

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11 Shocks and Flows - Employing a Difference-In-Difference Setup to Assess How Conflicts and Other Grievances Affect the Gender and Age Composition of Refugee Flows towards Europe

Authors: Christian Bruss, Simona Gamba, Davide Azzolini, Federico Podestà

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In this paper, the authors assess the impact of different political and environmental shocks on the size and on the age and gender composition of asylum-related migration flows to Europe. With this paper, the authors contribute to the literature by looking at the impact of different political and environmental shocks on the gender and age composition of migration flows in addition to the size of these flows. Conflicting theories predict different outcomes concerning the relationship between political and environmental shocks and the migration flows composition. Analyzing the relationship between the causes of migration and the composition of migration flows could yield more insights into the mechanisms behind migration decisions. In addition, this research may contribute to better informing national authorities in charge of receiving these migrant, as women and children/the elderly require different assistance than young men. To be prepared to offer the correct services, the relevant institutions have to be aware of changes in composition based on the shock in question. The authors analyze the effect of different types of shocks on the number, the gender and age composition of first time asylum seekers originating from 154 sending countries. Among the political shocks, the authors consider: violence between combatants, violence against civilians, infringement of political rights and civil liberties, and state terror. Concerning environmental shocks, natural disasters (such as droughts, floods, epidemics, etc.) have been included. The data on asylum seekers applying to any of the 32 Schengen Area countries between 2008 and 2015 is on a monthly basis. Data on asylum applications come from Eurostat, data on shocks are retrieved from various sources: georeferenced conflict data come from the Uppsala Conflict Data Program (UCDP), data on natural disasters from the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED), data on civil liberties and political rights from Freedom House, data on state terror from the Political Terror Scale (PTS), GDP and population data from the World Bank, and georeferenced population data from the Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC). The authors adopt a Difference-in-Differences identification strategy, exploiting the different timing of several kinds of shocks across countries. The highly skewed distribution of the dependent variable is taken into account by using count data models. In particular, a Zero Inflated Negative Binomial model is adopted. Preliminary results show that different shocks - such as armed conflict and epidemics - exert weak immediate effects on asylum-related migration flows and almost non-existent effects on the gender and age composition. However, this result is certainly affected by the fact that no time lags have been introduced so far. Finding the correct time lags depends on a great many variables not limited to distance alone. Therefore, finding the appropriate time lags is still a work in progress. Considering the ongoing refugee crisis, this topic is more important than ever. The authors hope that this research contributes to a less emotionally led debate.

Keywords: Gender, age, Europe, Forced Migration, asylum

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10 Strategic Environmental Assessment and Climate Change: From European Experiences to Brazilian Needs

Authors: Amália S. Botter Fabbri

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This paper proposes the analysis of the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) in relation to the three pillars of the sustainable development, highlighting its particular importance to combat climate change. Theoretical and practical examples from Europe show how SEA has been implemented under the SEA Directive in the recent years, while the Brazilian case study shows a situation in which no regulation on SEA was implemented, despite the strong demand for it, as revealed by past experiences and future planning needs. In the end, some aspects to the formulation of a SEA Act are suggested, in an attempt to contribute to a better Brazilian environmental governance in relation to the future plans, programmes and policies required to the reduction of greenhouse gases emissions.

Keywords: Climate Change, Europe, Brazil, strategic environmental assessment

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9 Changing Routes: The Adaptability of Somali Migrants and Their Smuggling Networks

Authors: Alexandra Amling, Emina Sadic

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The migration routes linking the Horn of Africa to Europe shift in response to political and humanitarian developments across the region. Abrupt changes to those routes can have profound effects on the relative ease of movement and the well-being of migrants. Somali migrants have traditionally been able to rely on a sophisticated, well-established, and reliable network of smugglers to facilitate their journey through the Sahel to Libya, but changes to the routes have undermined those networks. Recently, these shifts have made the journey from Somalia to Europe much more perilous. As the Libyan coast guard intensifies its efforts to stymie boats leaving its coast for Italian shores, arrivals in Spain are trending upwards. This paper thus, will examine how the instability in transit countries that are most commonly used by Somali migrants has had an impact on the reliability of their massive network of smuggling, and how resurgence in the Western route toward Spain provides a potentially new opportunity to reach Europe—a route that has rarely been used by the Somali migrant population in the past. First, the paper will discuss what scholars have called the pastoralist, nomadic tradition of Somalis which reportedly has allowed them to endure the long journeys from Somalia to their chosen destinations. Facilitated by relatives or clan affiliation, Somali migrants have historically been able to rely on a smuggling network that – at least tangentially – provided more security nets during their travels. Given the violence and chaos that unfolded both in Libya and Yemen in 2011 and 2015, respectively, the paper will, secondly, examine which actors in smuggling hubs increase the vulnerabilities of Somalis, pushing them to consider other routes. As a result, this paper will consider to what extent Somalis could follow the stream of other migrants to Algeria and Morocco to enter Europe via Spain. By examining one particular group of migrants and the nature and limitations of the networks associated with their movements, the paper will demonstrate the resilience and adaptability of both the migrants and the networks regardless of the ever-changing nature of migration routes and actors.

Keywords: Migration, Europe, Somalia, smuggling networks

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8 Probabilistic Approach to the Spatial Identification of the Environmental Sources behind Mortality Rates in Europe

Authors: Alina Svechkina, Boris A. Portnov

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In line with a rapid increase in pollution sources and enforcement of stricter air pollution regulation, which lowers pollution levels, it becomes more difficult to identify actual risk sources behind the observed morbidity patterns, and new approaches are required to identify potential risks and take preventive actions. In the present study, we discuss a probabilistic approach to the spatial identification of a priori unidentified environmental health hazards. The underlying assumption behind the tested approach is that the observed adverse health patterns (morbidity, mortality) can become a source of information on the geographic location of environmental risk factors that stand behind them. Using this approach, we analyzed sources of environmental exposure using data on mortality rates available for the year 2015 for NUTS 3 (Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics) subdivisions of the European Union. We identified several areas in the southwestern part of Europe as primary risk sources for the observed mortality patterns. Multivariate regressions, controlled by geographical location, climate conditions, GDP (gross domestic product) per capita, dependency ratios, population density, and the level of road freight revealed that mortality rates decline as a function of distance from the identified hazard location. We recommend the proposed approach an exploratory analysis tool for initial investigation of regional patterns of population morbidity patterns and factors behind it.

Keywords: Air Pollution, Europe, Environmental Hazards, Mortality, distance decay gradient, multi regression analysis, NUTS3

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7 LEED Empirical Evidence in Northern and Southern Europe

Authors: Svetlana Pushkar

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The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building rating system is recognized in Europe. LEED uses regional priority (RP) points that are adapted to different environmental conditions. However, the appropriateness of the RP points is still a controversial question. To clarify this issue, two different parts of Europe: northern Europe (Finland and Sweden) and southern Europe (Turkey and Spain) were considered. Similarities and differences in the performances of LEED 2009-new construction (LEED-NC 2009) in these four countries were analyzed. It was found that LEED-NC 2009 performances in northern and southern parts of Europe in terms of Sustainable Sites (SS), Water Efficiency (WE), Materials and Resources (MR), and Indoor Environmental Quality (EQ) were similar, whereas in Energy and Atmosphere (EA), their performances were different. WE and SS revealed high performances (70-100%); EA and EQ demonstrated intermediate performance (40-60%); and MR displayed low performance (20-40%). It should be recommended introducing the following new RP points: for Turkey - water-related points and for all four observed countries - green power-related points for improving the LEED adaptation in Europe.

Keywords: Green Building, Europe, LEED, leadership in energy and environmental design, regional priority points

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6 The Internet of Healthcare Things: A European Perspective and a Review of Ethical Concerns

Authors: M. Emmanouilidou

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The Internet of Things (IoT) is a disruptive technological paradigm that is at the center of the digital evolution by integrating physical and virtual worlds leading to the creation of extended interconnected ecosystems that are characterized as smart environments. The concept of the IoT has a broad range of applications in different industries including the healthcare sector. The Internet of Healthcare Things (IoHT), a branch of the IoT, is expected to bring promising benefits to all involved stakeholders and accelerate the revolution of the healthcare sector through a transition towards preventive and personalized medicine. The socio-economic challenges that the healthcare sector is facing further emphasize the need for a radical transformation of healthcare systems in both developed and developing countries with the role of pervasive technological innovations, such as IoHT, recognized as key to counteract the relevant challenges. Besides the number of potential opportunities that IoHT presents, there are fundamental ethical concerns that need to be considered and addressed in relation to the application of IoHT. This paper contributes to the discussion of the emerging topic of IoHT by providing an overview of the role and potential of IoHT, highlighting the characteristics of the current and future healthcare landscape, reporting on the up-to-date status of IoHT in Europe and reflecting upon existing research in the ethics of IoHT by incorporating additional ethical dimensions that have been ignored which can provide pathways for future research in the field.

Keywords: Internet of Things, Healthcare, Ethics, Europe

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5 Islamic Extremist Groups' Usage of Populism in Social Media to Radicalize Muslim Migrants in Europe

Authors: Muhammad Irfan

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The rise of radicalization within Islam has spawned a new era of global terror. The battlefield Successes of ISIS and the Taliban are fuelled by an ideological war waged, largely and successfully, in the media arena. This research will examine how Islamic extremist groups are using media modalities and populist narratives to influence migrant Muslim populations in Europe towards extremism. In 2014, ISIS shocked the world in exporting horrifically graphic forms of violence on social media. Their Muslim support base was largely disgusted and reviled. In response, they reconfigured their narrative by introducing populist 'hooks', astutely portraying the Muslim populous as oppressed and exploited by unjust, corrupt autocratic regimes and Western power structures. Within this crucible of real and perceived oppression, hundreds of thousands of the most desperate, vulnerable and abused migrants left their homelands, risking their lives in the hope of finding peace, justice, and prosperity in Europe. Instead, many encountered social stigmatization, detention and/or discrimination for being illegal migrants, for lacking resources and for simply being Muslim. This research will examine how Islamic extremist groups are exploiting the disenfranchisement of these migrant populations and using populist messaging on social media to influence them towards violent extremism. ISIS, in particular, formulates specific encoded messages for newly-arriving Muslims in Europe, preying upon their vulnerability. Violence is posited, as a populist response, to the tyranny of European oppression. This research will analyze the factors and indicators which propel Muslim migrants along the spectrum from resilience to violence extremism. Expected outcomes are identification of factors which influence vulnerability towards violent extremism; an early-warning detection framework; predictive analysis models; and de-radicalization frameworks. This research will provide valuable tools (practical and policy level) for European governments, security stakeholders, communities, policy-makers, and educators; it is anticipated to contribute to a de-escalation of Islamic extremism globally.

Keywords: Social Media, Islam, Terrorism, Political Communication, Refugees, Models, Europe, Extremism, migrants, Jihad, Radicalization, Islamic Extremism, Strategic Communication, Populism, predictive analysis, Taliban, Shariah, ISIS, de-radicalization, global terror, early warning detection, populist narratives

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4 Estimating the Relationship between Education and Political Polarization over Immigration across Europe

Authors: Ben Tappin, Ryan McKay

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The political left and right appear to disagree not only over questions of value but, also, over questions of fact—over what is true “out there” in society and the world. Alarmingly, a large body of survey data collected during the past decade suggests that this disagreement tends to be greatest among the most educated and most cognitively sophisticated opposing partisans. In other words, the data show that these individuals display the widest political polarization in their reported factual beliefs. Explanations of this polarization pattern draw heavily on cultural and political factors; yet, the large majority of the evidence originates from one cultural and political context—the United States, a country with a rather unique cultural and political history. One consequence is that widening political polarization conditional on education and cognitive sophistication may be due to idiosyncratic cultural, political or historical factors endogenous to US society—rather than a more general, international phenomenon. We examined widening political polarization conditional on education across Europe, over a topic that is culturally and politically contested; immigration. To do so, we analyzed data from the European Social Survey, a premier survey of countries in and around the European area conducted biennially since 2002. Our main results are threefold. First, we see widening political polarization conditional on education over beliefs about the economic impact of immigration. The foremost countries showing this pattern are the most influential in Europe: Germany and France. However, we also see heterogeneity across countries, with some—such as Belgium—showing no evidence of such polarization. Second, we find that widening political polarization conditional on education is a product of sorting. That is, highly educated partisans exhibit stronger within-group consensus in their beliefs about immigration—the data do not support the view that the more educated partisans are more polarized simply because the less educated fail to adopt a position on the question. Third, and finally, we find some evidence that shocks to the political climate of countries in the European area—for example, the “refugee crisis” of summer 2015—were associated with a subsequent increase in political polarization over immigration conditional on education. The largest increase was observed in Germany, which was at the centre of the so-called refugee crisis in 2015. These results reveal numerous insights: they show that widening political polarization conditional on education is not restricted to the US or native English-speaking culture; that such polarization emerges in the domain of immigration; that it is a product of within-group consensus among the more educated; and, finally, that exogenous shocks to the political climate may be associated with subsequent increases in political polarization conditional on education.

Keywords: Immigration, beliefs, Europe, political polarization

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3 Building Trust between Judges across Borders: A Qualitative Analysis of Transnational Judicial Networks in Europe

Authors: Erin Jackson

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In light of the goals of the Lisbon Treaty (2009) for judicial cooperation between member states, and the increased judicial training initiatives of the European Commission, the topic of alignment of judicial cultures and values raises pertinent questions as to how such alignment is to be achieved in practice. Outside of the ‘transnational borrowing’ practices of courts in Europe, there is a more nuanced approach to creating synergy or consensus among judges from different member states, namely in judicial networks. This paper examines the function as well as perceptions of cooperation of judicial networks via qualitative methods. It first dissects current assumptions in literature and policy on the purpose of judicial networks, and then takes an empirical legal approach to investigate whether or not such assumptions are justified. The focus of this paper is placed on a case study of the Consultative Council of European Judges (CCJE), one of four case studies to be included in the researcher’s doctoral dissertation. The CCJE, comprised entirely of judges, not only holds a formalized function in the Council of Europe but also serves as an illustration of the different roles of networks -including trust-building, solidarity and norm-setting- on the landscape of European judicial cultures. As part of this case study, the history and context of the network are explored since its beginning in 2001 as well as its ongoing role as an advisory body, including its various outputs such as opinions on selected topics and official statements made upon request regarding serious situations in various member states. This research explores the perception of transnational network participation on the basis of observation and interviews with participating judges, with particular attention paid to the formation of bonds between judges and the shared learning experience. It finds that although assumptions of trust-building and solidarity are to some extent justified, this perceived benefit of network participation in practice is outweighed by the role of information sharing and the ease of access to information that would otherwise be difficult to acquire.

Keywords: Trust, cooperation, Europe, information-sharing, judicial networks

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2 Civic Participation as a Promoter of Active Ageing in Europe

Authors: Andrea Vega-Tinoco, Ana I. Gil-Lacruz, Marta Gil-Lacruz

Abstract:

The main objective of this research is to acknowledge whether civic participation affects the well-being of the elderly, thus being a key activity of active aging. It is also of interest to recognize any differences among genders, generational cohorts or country of residence. If a positive relationship is found between civic participation and well-being, the actions that promote this participation will benefit the quality of life of senior citizens. Otherwise, independent action must be taken in the improvement of social and human capital. The sample consists of approximately 50.000 individuals from the European Social Survey (2002-2016). Only individuals born before 1965 in 15 European countries were considered. The sample was distributed according to gender, year of birth, country, level of studies and ESS wave to form pseudo-panel data cohorts, leaving a total of 1.318 observations. The data were analyzed through a Cross-Lagged Model using Fixed-Effects. A bidirectional association is observed between the civic participation and well-being variables. However, participating in the past seems to have a higher impact on today’s health, happiness and life satisfaction than the other way around. Furthermore, 26% of the respondents expressed to be satisfied with their life, 27% to be happy and 57% to have good health. On the other hand, 49% have participated civically in the last year, being the most common activities: signing petitions, boycotting products and volunteer work in non-political organizations. A slight trend of BabyBoomers and men towards greater participation can be observed, as well as a higher impact of this participation on their well-being. In addition, international differences exhibit a stronger relation for Nordic, East European and Mediterranean countries. The given results support the hypothesis that civic participation is a promoter of well-being for the elderly. This paper positively highlights the activity of involving in political and non-political organizations, as well as wearing badges. At any rate, almost all forms of civic participation show a positive relationship with well-being and should therefore be promoted, although differences between countries must be taken into consideration.

Keywords: Civic Participation, Well-being, Active Aging, Europe

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1 To Allow or to Forbid: Investigating How Europeans Reason about Endorsing Rights to Minorities: A Vignette Methodology Based Cross-Cultural Study

Authors: Silvia Miele, Patrice Rusconi, Harriet Tenenbaum

Abstract:

An increasingly multi-ethnic Europe has been pushing citizens’ boundaries on who should be entitled and to what extent to practise their own diversity. Indeed, according to a Standard Eurobarometer survey conducted in 2017, immigration is seen by Europeans as the most serious issue facing the EU, and a third of respondents reported they do not feel comfortable interacting with migrants from outside the EU. Many of these come from Muslim countries, accounting for 4.9% of Europe population in 2016. However, the figure is projected to rise up to 14% by 2050. Additionally, political debates have increasingly focused on Muslim immigrants, who are frequently portrayed as difficult to integrate, while nationalist parties across Europe have fostered the idea of insuperable cultural differences, creating an atmosphere of hostility. Using a 3 X 3 X 2 between-subjects design, it was investigated how people reason about endorsing religious and non-religious rights to minorities. An online survey has been administered to university students of three different countries (Italy, Spain and the UK) via Qualtrics, presenting hypothetical scenarios through a vignette methodology. Each respondent has been randomly allocated to one of the three following conditions: Christian, Muslim or non-religious (vegan) target. Each condition entailed three questions about children self-determination rights to exercise some control over their own lives and 3 questions about children nurturance rights of care and protection. Moreover, participants have been required to further elaborate on their answers via free-text entries and have been asked about their contact and quality of contact with the three targets, and to self-report religious, national and ethnic identification. Answers have been recorded on a Likert scale of 1-5, 1 being "not at all", 5 being "very much". A two-way ANCOVA will be used to analyse answers to closed-ended questions, while free-text answers will be coded and data will be dichotomised based on Social Cognitive Domain Theory for four categories: moral, social conventional and psychological reasons, and analysed via ANCOVAs. This study’s findings aim to contribute to the implementation of educational interventions and speak to the introduction of governmental policies on human rights.

Keywords: Migration, Europe, Minority, children's rights

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