Nations becoming something more: European perspective

Sitting in L√§hetyskirkko in Helsinki, an old church with a very contemporary and welcoming feel, I was¬† drawn to the stained-glass window with the map of the world. Enframed within the ornate design, it looked beautiful but small and somehow fragile. Just like those amazing images from the outer space which make me think about…Read more Nations becoming something more: European perspective

Genie out of the bottle…

The summer in Latvia is beautiful but it is difficult to take my mind off the UK news. On June 23 Latvians celebrated the most popular holiday called Ligo when people enjoy the shortest nights of the year. Being in the nature with lots of good food, singing, dancing but mostly good time with friends…Read more Genie out of the bottle…

Should They Stay or Should They Go now?

I was watching two guys, very good friends to each other, having an intense argument about the British referendum on whether to Remain in the EU or Leave. Neither one of them was born British and only one of them lives and works in the UK. Still, they both care deeply about the current affairs…Read more Should They Stay or Should They Go now?

Shared European identity? Being proud and embarrassed together

Recently in Amsterdam I was invited to join a small group at a local pub. I am not a fan of beer, so my choice was a glass of red wine. But the rest of my new acquaintances knew their local beers - Dutch, Belgian, German... You gather a few Europeans and they can have…Read more Shared European identity? Being proud and embarrassed together

Inspired by the World’s Most Liberal City

Arriving at Schiphol airport in Amsterdam can be exciting and also overwhelming for it is three-in-one. Airport, shopping mall and train station. Leaving the customs area, you enter a very busy arrival hall. Straight from the airplane to the shopping plaza and straight to the trains located underneath. I speak English and have traveled a…Read more Inspired by the World’s Most Liberal City

Our renewed attraction to “greatness”

One leader has promised to make "Russia Great Again", one businessman has vowed to make "America Great Again" and others in Europe and elsewhere are declaring the same. Then there are those of us who have never been so "great" and just want to keep our countries the way they are. Or keep our countries...…Read more Our renewed attraction to “greatness”

Looking at our compass to guide through the EU crisis

For sure I am no expert on the EU but I do know a thing or two. Firstly, most people, including myself, recognize that we are in a serious crisis. You hear it described as 'existential'. The question of 'to be or not to be'. Also, I know that any crisis and pressure - personal…Read more Looking at our compass to guide through the EU crisis

Searching for my Latvian antidote to our EU ignorance

I expect next few months our European headlines will be dominated by 'Brexit'. On June 23 the British voters will decide whether to stay in or leave the European Union. Even though the Brits are known for their stoicism and reserve, I imagine it will get quite emotive. Well, it is emotional for everyone else…Read more Searching for my Latvian antidote to our EU ignorance