Happy new year! The Maastricht Diplomat is back from its winter break and we’re looking forward to 2019. It will be an exciting year. Two major political events will undoubtedly shake up society; Brexit – if it ever comes to be, the European Elections – which promise to be as controversial as maybe never, and then who knows what else politicians might have in store for us? In any case, we at the Maastricht Diplomat will do our share in providing you with all you need to know to form an opinion.
Because that is what we are all about: presenting student opinions on salient issues. We believe that Maastricht’s student body is in a unique perspective position position of perspective. As an international and cross-regional hub full of young people from across the globe, studying international subjects and sharing each other’s diverse experiences, students from here must surely have something meaningful to say, with a unique take on things.
one of the posters produced during the 1968 student protests in Paris. While radical, it were good times for internal student debate culture.
To that end, we will produce some Brexit-focused content. Next week, the British Parliament will go to vote upon the deal championed by British Prime Minister Theresa May. You can expect a full-on recap on the current state of Brexit. Then, in the vote’s aftermath, we will make an effort to highlight the perspective of British students in Maastricht and also detail what the decision will bring for an international university such as Maastricht. Questions of identity, belonging and, surely, money and visas will suddenly become much more important for many more people here.
Then, the European Elections. In case you were unaware, all European citizens will go to vote between May 23rd and 29th. Then, if you have an EU passport, you are eligible to elect the Members of the European Parliament; MEPs, for short. What do these people and the Parliament do? Well, they essentially are the people’s voice within the European Union’s politics. But the Parliament’s role is not quite the same as their national counterparts’. It does not quite have as much legislative power and its competencies do not reach into the Union’s foreign affairs. Still, MEPs make European legislation that is relevant for us all on a daily basis, such as the free mobile data roaming rules, or recently the GDPR online data protection law. But the Union’s institutional make-up, which actor does what, and who has what competencies – that is all very complicated.
This is why the Maastricht Diplomat will be providing you with content on the state of European politics leading up to the elections. Arguably, more public attention needs to be steered towards European issues; especially among students, who will bear the effects of the Union’s further uncertain fate, and especially in Maastricht, where students ought to know the relevance of the town where the Union was once created in 1992. Therefore we will produce dummy guides, opinions, and EU-101 pieces, where you can smarten up and get your politics sorted out before the Elections in May. Once it is time to vote, we want all Maastricht students to assemble their own opinion and make an informed decision of their own. We want to be are source for knowing who to vote for considering your own perspective. Our writers’ own opinions will of course appear, but you’re welcome to disagree and contrast it to your own world view. Discussion sharpens arguments, afterall.
In conclusion, this year is all about students’ opinion on the world’s affairs. You can come to the Maastricht Diplomat to build your opinion vis-a-vis your peers. Student debates should be at the centre of uni life, and this is what we facilitate. So, spread the word and join the debates of 2019!
All the best, and much, much love,
Head Editor of the Maastricht Diplomat