Volume 8, No 1

January 16, 2018

Europe on a Plate: Food, Identity and Cultural Diversity in Contemporary Europe


This article discusses tensions emerging from conflicting ethnic and national identities in three European Union (EU) member states – Germany, Italy and Spain – through the prism of culinary practices. Food is a marker of cultural identity. In Europe, a wide variety of food practices and culinary cultures co-exist in close proximity, and Europeans thus face the dilemma that confronts all omnivores presented with a breadth of culinary options: while variety can bring the potential for enjoyment, the choice of something new can be perceived as a threat. Within this context, buffeted by the forces of globalisation, migration and supra-national EU regulation, culinary patterns associated with migration strive to come to terms with growing ‘gastronationalism’. This article dissects the differences and similarities in the way this tension manifests in Germany, Italy and Spain

Article Keywords: food; culture; Catalonia; Germany; Italy; Spain

Italy’s Lega Nord: Changing Poses in a Shifting National and European landscape



This article examines changing approaches to ethnicity and nationalism of the Lega Nord (LN), a populist far-right political party in Italy, against a backdrop of growing anti-EU and anti-immigrant sentiment. The article reflects on the contexts in which populist and far right politics are taking hold in Italy and in the European Union (EU), with the LN used to illustrate this dynamic. The EU is shaping national politics in new and unexpected ways. The article concludes that the LN is seizing the opportunity to recast itself in Italy by adopting a national anti-euro, anti-austerity, anti-EU project at the same time that populist parties in other member states of the EU are capitalising on deepening societal insecurity and growing opposition to the EU, the euro, immigration and EU-imposed austerity.


Article Keywords: European Union, immigration, Italy, Lega Nord, nationalism, populism.

The “Europeanization” of Secessionist Programs: A Study of Montenegro and Catalonia


In 2006, the EU encouraged, facilitated and supervised the secession referendum of Montenegro. In 2014, the EU officials refused to facilitate a similar referendum in its member state Spain, and have so far denied any claims that Catalonia, when independent, would retain its membership of the EU. The paper argues that the EU policy towards secession referenda significantly affected the outcome of secessionist mobilization in these two cases.

In spite of these sharp differences in the EU response, secessionist programs in both countries were ‘Europeanised’ in a similar way: in Montenegro, secession was aiming to facilitate the EU accession, and in Catalonia, to increase the benefits of retained EU membership. This paper explores the political and demographic context of the Europeanisation of secessionist programs.

The majority of citizens in Catalonia and Montenegro do not identify as Catalan or Montenegrin only. The paper argues that the Europeanization of secessionist programs was, in part, an attempt to widen the appeal of secession to those who are not only Catalan or only Montenegrin.


Article Keywords: Secession, Referendum, National identity, EU, Montenegro, Catalonia

Impacts of Changes in Consumption, Production and Trade Policies in China and India on the European Union and New Zealand


This study assessed the potential impacts of changes in meat and dairy consumption and production, as well as different trade policies in China and India, on agricultural trade in New Zealand (NZ) and the European Union (EU-27), using the Lincoln Trade and Environment Model (LTEM). This partial equilibrium model forecasts international trade, production and consumption of agricultural commodities. Several scenarios were developed simulating different ranges of consumption and production of meat and dairy commodities, as well as full trade liberalisation in China and India. Results showed that changing consumption, production and trade patterns in India and China could lead to higher producer returns from meat and dairy commodities in NZ and the EU-27 by 2020. However, if China and India significantly increase meat and dairy consumption and production simultaneously, producer returns in NZ and the EU-27 could decline.


Article Keywords: developing countries, New Zealand, European Union, meat and dairy consumption, trade liberalisation, partial equilibrium model

Consumer Preferences for Attributes in Food and Beverages in Developed and Emerging Export Markets and their Impact on the European Union and New Zealand



This study examined consumer attitudes towards attributes in food and beverages in China, India, Indonesia, Japan and the UK. The attributes included basic attributes such as price and quality, but also extended to food safety and health benefits, as well as environmental and social attributes. The importance of factors affecting key attributes were examined in more detail. The study used a web- based survey with 1,000 middle and upper income consumers in each country. In addition, the potential economic impact of agricultural returns of different levels of premiums for food attributes in the EU and New Zealand were examined using the partial equilibrium Lincoln Trade and Environment Model (LTEM). This study found that consumers from developing countries valued food attributes more than the developed countries. Trade model projections showed an important impact on the agricultural sectors in the EU and New Zealand from the different levels of premiums for food attributes in selected overseas markets.


Article Keywords: European Union, New Zealand, Food Sustainability, Consumer Preferences, Cross Country Comparison, Trade Modelling

The Common European Framework of Reference and the Co-Constructed Language Curriculum


For the last two decades, the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) has been instrumental in the globalisation of language policy not only across Europe but also around the world. The CEFR competency profiles, expressed in action-oriented statements, provide a clear articulation of language proficiency levels. The comprehensive scales of language competence the CEFR have created provide an essential instrument for language professionals and language learners: a shared language. The CEFR scales and statements assist learners in developing an understanding of the standards of performance expected of them, and allow teachers to ensure coherence between desired learning outcomes, classroom activities and assessment tasks, thus bringing a high level of transparency to the language curriculum. Two initiatives making use of the CEFR descriptors will be discussed: the redesign of an entire three year language curriculum and an approach to language curriculum design that gives a voice to students and lead to a collaborative and continuous design process.


Article Keywords: Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR), European Languages, Second Language Acquisition

The Right to Citizenship – Slovenia and Australia



Most people across the world automatically assume citizenship at birth or acquire citizenship by descent or naturalisation. Since the growth of the concept of citizenship from the French and American Revolutions, it has become an important principle to the nation state and individual. Citizenship is the right to have rights. However, the right to citizenship is limited. In some cases when territorial rule changes the citizenship laws may exclude individuals resident in the territory. This article compares the development of the first citizenship laws in Australia and Slovenia, and the impact that these new laws had on the residents of both states. The first citizenship laws established by Australia were in 1948. More than forty years later in 1990, when Slovenia finally obtained independence from the former Yugoslavia, the new country was able to establish their own citizenship laws. The result of the Slovenian citizenship laws saw many former Yugoslav citizens who were resident in Slovenia being without citizenship of any state. Subsequently, these people were declared stateless. On the other hand, for Australia, the outcome was relatively smooth with the transition from British subjects to Australian citizenship.


Article Keywords: Australia; Citizenship, Human Rights; Nationality; Slovenia; Statelessness