A referendum to save referenda

When Berliners voted to protect Tempelhofer Feld as a public park in 2014, it was seen as a key success for direct democracy in the Hauptstadt. But less than two years later, the Berlin senate overturned the decision to allow construction on the site, saying it was necessary to build housing for refugees.

So what have refugees gained through this decision? Is it really as simple as refugee housing vs. public park? And how come politicians can so easily overturn decisions made by the public? I spoke to a member of the campaign that wants to give direct democracy a greater voice in Berlin.

Published on the Give Something Back to Berlin blog

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Smuggler knows best: how to solve the Mediterranean migration crisis

With the news that an estimated 700 migrants drowned in the Mediterranean on Saturday night, the total number of deaths this year on the world’s deadliest migrant journey has likely risen to 1600 – and it’s only April.

When EU leaders meet tomorrow they will be forced to decide what is more important: keeping people out or keeping people alive. Ahead of tomorrow’s meeting, we have collected a range of ideas we believe the EU leadership should consider when trying to solve the Mediterranean migration crisis.

Published on Fairplanet

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