Spring is here. In Brussels and across Europe, people are hanging up their winter coats and heading outside again. There’s nothing like the thrill of the season’s first beer (or lemonade) en terrace.
We’ve got a refreshing new edition of the magazine to accompany you on your next park outing. In our cover story, Caleb Larson interviews Oleksandr Kamyshin, the Ukrainian Railways CEO who has achieved almost legendary status while keeping his country’s trains running for the past year amidst Russia’s full-scale assault. As Kamyshin prepares to move into a new role, he talks to The Parliament about his experience over the past year. The piece is accompanied by magnificent photos by Sasha Maslov, whose work is also featured on this month’s cover.
Our policy in focus section zooms in on the rural side of this fair continent. What does rural mean anyway, asks Portuguese academic Luís Silva, who disentangles stereotypes to help us understand the complexity of today’s rural reality. And what of the wolves who roam our countryside? In an invigorating debate, MEPs Herbert Dorfmann and Thomas Waitz face off over the question of whether the EU should downgrade its protection status for wolves.
The narrative about Moldova’s rural villages is decidedly pessimistic; they’re disappearing as the country suffers a massive depopulation crisis. But for his feature story this month, journalist Mădălin Necșuțu travelled to one village that’s bucking the trend. Feștelița boasts a positive birthrate, and quality of life is on the up and up. Necșuțu looks at the factors behind this success story and asks if Feștelița is just an anomaly, or whether it could be a model for other rural Moldovan villages.
In books & culture, Breandán Kearney is back with a round-up of Brussels-brewed beers to get you through the spring and summer. We also have three excellent book reviews that you won’t want to miss.
All of this and more, in this month’s The Parliament.