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Liekuut |opinion pieces overview

02 April 2023

In ‘Liekuut’, which is the Groningen dialect for straight ahead or straightforward, we share the view of one of our academics on a topical issue. This is how we show that UG researchers contribute to the societal debate.

Liekuut| Sideline the treaties of the European Union more often!
Published on:21 May 2024

The European Union is a legal community. Details of the powers that EU institutions have, the powers that they don’t have, and the procedures they have to follow, are set out in the treaties that underpin the EU. Numerous eagle-eyed lawyers make sure that no-one oversteps their boundaries. But recent years have shown that even in Europe, necessity knows no law. Is this a good thing? Pieter de Wilde, Professor of European Politics & Society doesn’t see a problem. In fact, to his mind, the EU should actively sideline its treaties more often so that it can become more political and democratic.

Liekuut | Christ or an Easter egg - nothing is as fluid as traditions
Published on:24 March 2024

Knowledge about the meaning of our Christian holidays is quite lost. Ask on a shopping street what we celebrate on Easter, and you will probably hear something about the Easter Bunny. Is it time to abolish Easter, Good Friday and Pentecost? Mathilde van Dijk, associate professor of the history of Christianity, doesn't think so. According to her, we would do well to increase knowledge about these traditions. At the same time, we should also accept that traditions change, whether we want them to or not.

Liekuut | Not the farmer but the system is the problem
Published on:05 February 2024

According to Raymond Klaassen, ecologist at the Faculty of Science and Engineering of the University of Groningen, farmers are mostly victims of the system that we shaped together. In his view, we should mainly pay attention to the agroindustry and then, through fairly small modifications, we can greatly improve the life of the farmer and our landscape.

Liekuut | Study choice must be a priority in preventing school dropout
Published on:08 January 2024

Dijkgraaf, the outgoing Minister of Education, Culture & Science (OCW), has drawn up an action plan to reduce school dropout at all levels. However, Mandy van der Gaag, assistant professor of Developmental Psychology, wishes that the main reason that was mentioned is better addressed, which is making the wrong study choice.

Liekuut | Abolishing fossil subsidies offers opportunities
Published on:04 December 2023

Because of the Extinction Rebellion protests, everyone knows they exist: fossil subsidies. As a result of those same protests, serious consideration is now being given to abolishing them. That is a good thing, according to Bert Scholtens, Professor of Sustainable Banking and Finance at the University of Groningen, as the regulations have overshot their mark and are downright unfair. Moreover, the creation and implementation of such policies are devoid of any transparency. In his opinion, we would do well to operate within a policy that is transparent, fair and international.

Liekuut | Not livelihood security but nitrogen should be the major theme
Published on:13 November 2023

Livelihood security seem to be the magic words of this election campaign. It is presented in the media as the major election theme. According to Dirk Jan Wolffram, this is the case because the truly major themes are not translated into the parties' political visions... ‘It wasn’t always like that,’ says the Professor of History of Governance and Politics in Modern Times. ‘In the fifties and sixties, fundamental debates about the societal order led to the establishment of national insurance legislation in response to the economic crisis of the 1930s.’ Drastic and complex solutions to something that was a real fundamental societal problem at the time: livelihood security.

Liekuut | ‘Free beer’ won't solve any crises
Published on:06 November 2023

It is election time, which means politicians are trying to win over voters. Promises, plans, and solutions for every single problem abound. But, will voting for the right person with the right plan really help us in the long run? Michel Dückers, Professor by special appointment of Crises, Safety and Health at the Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences of the University of Groningen, is not convinced. In order to really get somewhere we need to do a lot more: to accept the current state of affairs and to adopt a long-term perspective. That is true for society as well as politics.

Liekuut | Politics and media feed concerns about social divisions
Published on:09 October 2023

There is not a newspaper or TV channel to be found where people are not quarrelling. The impression exists that polarization is more and more on the rise, just like inequality and segregation. But is this actually true? Research shows a remarkable image, says Professor by special appointment at the UG Jochem Tolsma.

Liekuut |The right to good health is at least as important as individual freedom of choice
Published on:02 October 2023

Brigit Toebes, Professor of Health Law at the University of Groningen, argues for government protection of the right to health. Continued interventions regarding alcohol and smoking are a necessity, according to Toebes.

Liekuut | Drastically revise the disaster and emergency law before the next crisis
Published on:28 August 2023

Adriaan J. Wierenga, emergency law specialist, argues in favour of a thorough revision and simplification of the national emergency law before the next crisis arrives. Proper legislation could save lives.

Liekuut | The province: a peculiar level of government with an image problem
Published on:10 July 2023

According to Herman Bröring, Professor of Administrative Law at the UG, the province is a level of government that is not always understood by its residents, despite the fact that it has an important function. 

Liekuut | The countryside cannot be engineered
Published on:19 June 2023

For a long time, we believed that it was possible to 'engineer' the Netherlands – and therefore the countryside. But now that the issues of climate change and the energy transition are looming, we are reaching the limits of what that engineering can achieve, says Tialda Haartsen , Professor of Rural Geography at the University of Groningen. And that means we need to rethink the way we design the countryside.

Liekuut | Take pupils seriously and Dutch will flourish again
Published on:15 May 2023

According to Prof. Mathijs Sanders, Professor of Modern Dutch Literature, the school subject Dutch has wrongfully become the subject that does not receive its deserved attention. ‘Dutch is too often seen as a “service subject” in which skills are taught to serve other subjects. If we want to respect and stimulate the pupils’ creative intelligence, we need to offer teachers career prospects and bring academic research into classrooms.

Liekuut | Restricted choice hampers sustainability
Published on:08 May 2023

During the past few years, the government has increased the energy tax on natural gas and lowered it for electricity. In doing so, the government wants to stimulate households to choose for electrical options, such as heat pumps or electric stoves, to generate heat. That's a nice idea, says Marlies Hesselman, lecturer of International Law, but we need to be careful in order to ensure that everyone can participate. In the case of energy, we are not concerned with the decisions people want to make, but with the decisions people can make.

Liekuut | Regaining trust in the province of Groningen? It’s time for reliable policies
Published on:03 April 2023

A weighty report by the Groningen parliamentary committee of inquiry on natural gas extraction is on the table. According to the committee, the government owes a debt of honour to the people of Groningen. Dr Nienke Busscher says this does not solely mean fair compensation. In her opinion, it is also time for reliable policies that are close to the residents.

Liekuut | No meat on your plate for a day? Yes, that helps!
Published on:03 March 2023

During the National Week Without Meat and Dairy, there is a call to avoid eating animal products. But will that make a difference? Can you help save the world by skipping the occasional steak? Ellen van der Werff, assistant professor of Environmental Psychology at the University of Groningen, says you can.

Last modified:21 May 2024 10.15 a.m.
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