The British tabloids should thank Romania for providing it with so much great material over the last quarter century. The latest scaremongering - 27 million Romanian and Bulgarian scroungers are coming over in January 2014 - is just the latest in a long list of scare stories.
Optimism is important. Europe's values play a key role as a compass for the world, and continue to hold an enormous power of attraction. To keep Europe's light from fading, we must stand together. Only as a community of Europeans will we have power, influence and a future.
I don't believe that if, in 2005, we had known the extent of migration from the previous Accession countries and the scale of the recession that would hit us, we would have agreed to the restrictions being lifted now... Even at this very late stage, I urge the government to keep the restrictions on Romanian and Bulgarian migration for a further five years - I can see no other solution.
This edition of Panorama is merely a symptom of the wider discourse around immigration. A debate so toxic that facts are shouted down in a wave of popular fascism. But it also threatens our relationship with Europe and our right to free movement. On both fronts, we should all be worried about where this debate is heading in 2015.
Debates about globalisation examine impacts on all concerned - whether importers of labour, food and goods or those countries losing key workers, giving up their food or being turned into polluted assembly lines. Debates about the EU and migration which lack that level of empathy - and concentrate purely on what Britain is supposedly losing - simply miss the point.
The UK House of Lords EU Subcommittee on Economic and Financial Affairs this week came out railing against the financial transaction tax (FTT), which would place a 0.1% tax on trades in shares and a 0.01% tax on derivatives trades. George Osborne described it as "economic suicide". He is wrong. Not adopting an FTT would be economic suicide.
This model of growth is inefficient from a macroeconomic perspective because it incurs into dispersion and disposal of public funds, but it could be very efficient from a microeconomic lens, which is where markets reside...
The most important aspect of these new reforms is that fishing quotas will now have to fit into a long-term plan based on scientific advice, with the aim of restoring Europe's fish stocks by 2020. That is ambitious, but achievable. They also have symbolic importance. They show that when the UK is constructive and pushes for reform of the EU, it can deliver real results.
Leaving the BNP with a foothold in British politics is simply not an option. As an active trade unionist and anti racist, I hope we can build the broadest coalition possible to bring an end to five years of far right representation.
Good fences are not the only things that make good neighbours. It is also about showing interest and offering support when needed. This also applies to the EU and its neighbours. What is happening in Ukraine won't only affect people in that country, it also will have an impact on those living in Britain and the rest of the EU.
The European Parliament's Delegation for relations with Iran is set to travel to Tehran this week. If it goes ahead as planned, this will be the first official visit by the parliament to Iran in 6 years. The parliament's governing body last month authorized a 10-member delegation to travel to Iran from 12-17 December.
Cameron's trip to China and his pledge that Britain will be China's "biggest advocate in the West", are bad politics, bad ethics and exceptionally bad foreign policy.
Political predictions are always a dangerous game. But personalising them or, even worse, threatening to do something drastic if x doesn't happen, risks turning a prediction into an endless source of mockery.
When I began visiting the Kurdistan Region in 2006, one big issue was how best to deal with its awkward neighbour, Turkey. We heard stories of people finding it difficult to cross the border. One trade union delegation, delivering a fire engine to Erbil, was delayed for a day at the border without food or water. It was all pretty petty stuff but more serious dangers simmered. Just five years ago, 100,000 Turkish troops were poised on the border with the Kurdistan Region.
Beneath the vast skies of the western Romanian plains, a young shepherd watches over his sheep as they search for grass amongst the concrete remains of a long abandoned barn...
These are daunting times for many Europeans. Those who do have a job feel the pressure of a shrinking and dormant economy, with more uncertainties abo...