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The week that was: building a community ǀ View

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Welcome to our weekly View round-up where we take a look at the hot topics that have had you talking. Here are the opinions that have driven debate across Europe and beyond over the last seven days.

In a new series, View is looking at democracy and how the fundamentals of a modern democratic system may no longer be fit for purpose. Whether it be changing voting systems or how MPs are chosen to represent us, we are looking at what changes need to be implemented to make democracy fit for the 21st century.

In the first piece in the series, Marcin Gerwin drew on his experience of co-ordinating citizens’ assemblies to weigh up the merits of their widespread use across EU member states to determine policy at Europe-wide level. Would this give us more of a say in how the EU was run?

The fight for the very soul of democracy is still taking place in the United States. Donald Trump was jubilant earlier this month when a probe into Russia’s influence in the US presidential election appeared to vindicate him. However, as Kurt Bardella wrote this week, Democrats have found a new way forward – and for Republicans, it is a case of history repeating itself.

One thing that Donald Trump has been consistent in is his criticisms of NATO. For allies of the US and NATO members, his sniping at their defence budgets has been a constant concern. As Sophia Besch and Ian Bond wrote this week on the occasion of its 70th anniversary, the biggest threat to NATO isn’t external agitators but disputes within the organisation itself.

With the European elections looming in May, contributors Dr Hans Groth and Dr Michael Hodin this week raised the issue of healthcare and the restriction of access to vital medications – something which will be high on the list of concerns and reasons to vote for many Europeans.

Elections also took place in Israel this week, which saw Israeli voters delivering a fifth historic term for incumbent prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. While he is very popular with his base, many are facing Netanyahu fatigue. As contributor Daniel B. Shapiro outlined in his op-ed this week, the election became a referendum on ‘Bibi’ and the future of the ‘two state solution.’

Also this week, Hadley Stewart looked back on the vote last month by UK parliamentarians to include LGBT-inclusive education in the school curriculum. Groups of parents picketed schools over the decision, something he believes shows why education about LGBT+ relationships should not be restricted to young people.

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