The outcome of the recently concluded European Parliament elections is described as a shock or crisis, but the actual reaction is better named hysteria, as if the rise of the right in these elections resembles the rise of fascism in the 1930s

Europe has a special worry about a broken, uncaring economy. Things rip apart. More and more people fall into desperation. Some decide it's the fault of immigrants, etc. Europe's history teaches us that social caring isn't simply an abstract principle

Past debates on the EU's possible emergence as a superpower have usually focused on its influence abroad. However, the EU's ability to project power and influence will also shape its internal future -- by either proving its utility to member states or not

European Parliament elections are expected to bring about a new all-time record turnout in support for right-wing, anti-immigrant, and anti-EU fringe parties. In many European countries, extremist parties have been on the rise



  • Three countries with a rich heritage -- Germany, Hungary, and Austria -- each have a constantly evolving sightseeing scene. Here's the latest vacation travel ideas

  • When the proposal was initially made for a common European currency, it seemed to be a good idea. Although inexpert in economics, it struck me as an effect of a false analogy with the United States that was common in Europe at that time

  • The European Union has voiced concern about low fertility as a major demographic challenge. If it stays at these low levels, the population quickly moves from growth to decline, which is already happening in Germany, despite immigration

  • A borderland is a region where history is constant: Everything is in flux. Turkey, Romania, Moldova, Ukraine and Poland occupy the borderland between Islam, Catholicism and Orthodox Christianity

  • The euro crisis is now threatening to turn the European Union into something fundamentally different. The member countries are divided into two classes -- creditors and debtors -- with the creditors in charge

  • Europe's new fiscal compact treaty attempts to force regional reform without challenging sovereignty

  • Even before the financial sector and sovereign debt crisis began to destabilise Europe's banking system, European leaders were voicing fears that the Old World might be slipping towards global irrelevance

  • The euro should now be recognized as an experiment that failed. The political goal of creating a harmonious Europe has also failed

  • The crisis won't be over until the underlying flaw of the euro is fixed -- namely the separation of monetary and fiscal policy. German public opinion has to realise that the euro was built on imperfect foundations and that these imperfections must be corrected. Meanwhile, the Italian president of the ECB will need all his technical and political expertise to keep the Eurozone together

  • EU leaders announced a new plan to contain the debt crisis in the euro area, after private banks and investors agreed to write off 50% of Greek debt from their books

  • It's rare that a town's charm will get me out of bed early. The postcard-pretty, lake-cuddling town of Hallstatt, two hours south of Salzburg, is one of those places. Hallstatt is located in Austria's Salzkammergut lake district, a scenic wonder that has enthralled nature lovers for centuries.

  • Vienna ranks right at the top of my list of elegant European cities. From a sightseeing point of view, Vienna is the sum of its illustrious past, with plenty of palaces to explore

  • Like ghosts from the past, we see political violence, xenophobia, migrants being scapegoated and extreme nationalism creeping into our public debates -- even into our parliaments. This is a Europe diverging from its founding principles

  • The Nobel Committee recently awarded its prestigious top prize to 500 million people who have, for the last 65 years, made a conscious decision to live together in peace and harmony: the European Union

  • Seventeen economically disparate nations bound their fortunes together in creating the euro zone, and it is exactly this that has thrown the European project into crisis

  • Over the past two years, the eurozone members have done a remarkable job managing the short-term symptoms of the crisis, although the costs have been great. Yet the long-term challenge remains

  • It was short-term good news in that it defused 'the bomb' -- the possible catastrophe vortex of failing banks and defaulting sovereigns. The bad news is that it will induce a recession. Banks will create a credit crunch in trying to meet capital adequacy ratios, and the new austerity will create a fiscal contraction

  • Conventional wisdom has it that the eurozone cannot have a monetary union without also having a fiscal union. Euro-enthusiasts see the single currency as the first steppingstone toward a broader economic union, which is their dream. Euroskeptics do, too, but they see that endgame as hell -- and would prefer the single currency to be dismantled

  • Shoring up the old while ushering in the new, Germany and Austria invests major bucks to renovate sights, improve transit hubs, and bring soaring viewpoints and opera within easy reach of the public.

  • Vienna is a city with a rich culture you can almost inhale and a vivid history you can practically touch. As I walked out of my hotel on a Sunday morning, I decided to skip the sights and immerse myself in Vienna's wealth of cultural offerings

  • Karen Brown -- traveling to Europe for over 30 years and best known as the author of Karen Brown's travel guides -- shares her 10 Best Bargains in Salzburg, Austria, a favorite tourist destination in Europe.