Tag Archives: Multiculturalism

60 years after creation of European Economic Community, Europeans skeptical about one of their biggest achievements this century

Anti-European movements seem to be enjoying a fair wind, not only in Great Britain but also here on our side of the Channel. This demonstrates how Euroskepticism has become a threat to the fundamental values of the common European life.

Although the EU considers itself a unity, it is unable to introduce a united policy. In the absence of such policy, it is impossible to overcome the growing economical and social inequalities between the citizens of the Member States.

The European Economic Community, founded 60 years ago, was meant to maintain and guarantee peace. More than ever nowadays, in an unsafe world where hundreds of thousands are fleeing the horrors of war, we should embrace and take care of this precious gift of peace. Though many people today are willing to step out of the union, this is not the moment. It would be reckless to put all of it on the line.

People may not forget that we have already so many years of no war experience. In our regions the EU also managed to protect democracy: the freedom of press, freedom of speech and a free choice of religion (those being just a fraction of the inviolable rights Europeans enjoy).

All Member States of the EU have to ensure democratic guidelines, and countries aiming to join the EU cannot hinder reform processes. This contributes to the broadening of democratic values.

Two essential aspects of the European Union are the free movement of persons and a single currency. Admittedly, they Euro Series Banknotes.pngare not perfectly elaborated; the Euro being the most commonly criticised aspect. However, in the Euro Zone, currency exchange disappeared along with the attached fees. We can cross the borders of all EU countries without passport control or visa requirements. It is really a pity that the last few months we saw the Schengen Agreement undermined. That agreement is the seal of proof for our ‘Union’, which assured a free movement concept within the internal borders, not only contributing to the economical dynamism but also to an inter-cultural exchange and thus to peace and understanding between different cultures.

No border control: Border crossing between two Schengen Agreement states, view from Germany to the Netherlands. The Netherlands begins at the red line added to the photo.

The ex-communist countries by putting up walls are forgetting what it meant to be inclosed and are taking on a very selfish attitude. Free movement across our internal border-states is necessary, but also an allowance for people and goods entering our community.

Map of Europe indicating the four member countries of the Visegrád Group

Visegrad Group, also called the Visegrad Four, or V4 is a cultural and political alliance of four Central European states – Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia – for the purposes of furthering their European integration, as well as for advancing military, economic and energy cooperation with one another.[

All the Visegrád countries now have leaders who could be fairly described as national-populists. In Western Europe, their rhetoric would often put them at the far-right of the political spectrum: they typically reject migrants and Islam, and do not wish to reproduce the Westerners’ experiment in multiculturalism in their own countries. This has led to clashes with Western Europe, notably Angela Merkel’s Germany, and the European Commission, who have advocated the welcoming of millions of refugees and the distribution of thousands across Central Europe.

Furthermore, all these nations – with the exception of Poland – have made various pro-Russian statements, and implied that they would ideally want a reconciliation and reinforcement of economic ties with Moscow. This bodes ill for the maintenance of the EU’s sanctions against Russia, in retaliation for the annexation of Crimea, and which can only be maintained by unanimity. More generally, Trump’s traumatic surprise electoral win in the United States is likely to embolden Central European conservatives in challenging Brussels and Berlin’s leadership of the EU.

Central Europe according to The World Factbook (2009),[17] Encyclopædia Britannica, and Brockhaus Enzyklopädie (1998)

The area in which this is most apparent is perhaps demographics. Central Europe faces severe medium-term decline in the face of ongoing emigration – while wages have risen, they remain much higher in the West – and extremely low fertility, which goes from 1.3 children per woman in Poland to 1.5 in the Czech Republic.

As a result, the European Commission projects that all these nations, with the exception of the Czech Republic, will see a drastic decline in population between now and 2080, falling by as much as 25 percent. In Poland, this would mean almost 10 million less people. This will inevitably mean a weaker Central Europe in the world, with a rapidly-shrinking labour force obligated to commit an ever-greater share of resources to an exploding population of pensioners.

The case of demographics shows the weaknesses of Visegrád’s alternative vision for Europe. Borders and national sovereignty are indeed means of slowing change, including undesirable change. But in themselves, they would do little to halt Europe’s decline to an elderly collection of statelets on the western Eurasian periphery. No doubt more creative and forward-looking measures are needed to prevent such a scenario and secure a sovereign Europe’s place among this century’s leading powers.

Everywhere in Europe we have to face the problem of the older getting population. Europe shall need young men and women to strengthen our workforce. When we can help rescuing people fleeing for the horrors of war we should open our borders.

Therefore, we can only shake our heads when we hear that others plan on building walls. Europe is familiar with such division. We must not let it come to that point anymore. To question the free movement of persons, on anyone’s behalf, would be a major setback for this free and diverse community.

The EU is not perfect but it assures peace and safety in Europe. To criticise it, is legitimate. To destroy it, is not.

We cannot deny that reforms and innovations are needed to make the EU fit for the future. However, these reforms can only be completed through unity and cohesion and not through antipathy and inner conflict.

A strengthening of the European Union is very overdue.

Isn’t it a privilege to be able to call our neighbours our friends? To move freely without passport control? Not to have to exchange currency? And moreover: to live in peace?

For us Europeans, these privileges have become self-evident, just like so many other things in the EU. And yet so many are beginning to question it all.

With thanks to Vox Europe

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Preceding articles

Still Hope though Power generating long train of abuses

Challenges and impact on freedom of movement within the EU

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Additional reading

  1. Migrants to the West #1
  2. Migrants to the West #2
  3. Migrants to the West #3
  4. Migrants to the West #6
  5. Migrants to the West #8 Welbeing
  6. Europe and much-vaunted bastions of multiculturalism becoming No God Zones
  7. 2015 Human rights
  8. Religion, fundamentalism and murder
  9. Religious Freedom in a Multicultural World
  10. The New gulf of migration and seed for far right parties
  11. Problems by losing the borders
  12. Brexit: The mother of all uncertainties
  13. Walls,colours, multiculturalism, money to flow, Carson, Trump and consorts

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Related articles

  1. With EU and U.S. Distracted, Central and Eastern European Countries Crack Down on Civil Society
  2. European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) [Policy Podcast]
  3. Schengen area: Update and state of play
  4. Hungary: The Abject Failure of the EU
  5. UK & Europe
  6. UK: MP McDonagh chairwoman of the all-party parliamentary group of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community calls crack down of radicalisation
  7. Brexit bill to go before MPs from Monday
  8. Brexit, Blair and doing the right thing
  9. Will UK Nationals Lose their EU Citizens’ Rights after Brexit?
  10. Pros and cons of multi-speed EU
  11. Poland ‘alone’ in the EU after Tusk re-election snub — Anti-European Union storm clouds — “The EU is in Germany’s sphere of influence.”
  12. Ordanoski: There is only one direction for Balkan countries – west
  13. As ECB Charts Economic Course, Politics Complicate the Picture
  14. EPRS circular economy infographic
  15. Berlin calls for dialogue to mitigate risks in Balic Sea region
  16. Reactions to the ECJ decision on asylum law in EU
  17. Europe: Poland fails to stop Donald Tusk EU re-election
  18. Donald Tusk re-elected as European council president
  19. Much to Poland’s Chagrin, Donald Tusk Wins Second Term as European Council President
  20. The European pass or how to expel more

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Filed under Headlines - News, History, Juridical matters, Political affairs, Social affairs, Welfare matters

Go outside. Let the world in.

Ask any traveller about his strongest experience and a story of an encounter invariably follows. When we meet people not only face to face , but ‘heart to heart’, we experience this as something special.

When travelling, each one of us recognizes the feeling of being out of one’s comfort zone.
Far away everything is different. Also the people. When we position ourselves at eye level of the ‘foreigner’ , we come to know him with an open mind , we enter his world and everything becomes different.

Trust that we give, we also receive.

Margot Kässmann responding to a question from ...

Margot Kässmann responding to a question from the audience following her lecture on “Multicultural Society – Roots, Resistance, and Visions” at the University of Freiburg. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When we accept that someone is different, a certain chemistry is created. We should not only look at the exterior, but we should keep listening. In this way prejudices and predispositions do not get a chance and the ‘foreign exterior’ will make place for a ‘recognizable interior’. We will experience that wealth is to be found in being different, exactly within the differences. In this sense, people we called ‘foreigners’ at first, are in fact a blessing. The only condition is that we open our heart and allow ourselves to be moved.

In this way foreigners become friends
If our society feels strongly about pluralism we should not be satisfied with an ennobled form of permisiveness that preaches tolerance. In our multicultural society pluralism only has a chance of survival if we go towards the other person and if we are really interested in who he or she is , regardless of whether he/she is a foreigner , of another religion or conviction.

Intercultural dialogue depends upon authentic pluralism
It is essential to allow the other person’s truth , in which a ‘ heart to heart’ encounter is the golden key. In this way a meeting close to home can become a rich experience worth telling. We are only asked to go outside and to let the world in.

BzN-Mov Without a Name-Logo_EN

Dutch version / Nederlandse versie: Ga naar buiten. Laat de wereld binnen.

Are you right down in the dumps? Stop digging!

Responses to Radical Muslims and Radical Christians

Tolerance Ends When There Is No Tolerance Shown Towards Us

My two cents on the refugee crisis

Stabbed victim parent’s hope for less hatred and more tolerance

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About going outside

  1. “Sometimes our stop-doing list needs to be bigger than our to-do list.”
  2. It’s Simple, Really, We Don’t Need Much
  3. Going Outside: The Sunrise Edition
  4. A wee tail
  5. Learning to Longboard – Novice Shred Spots

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About meeting people

  1. We are strange
  2. Striving To Connect
  3. Meeting new people, Amazing Experiences & Giving help
  4. unexpected tips: ways to meet people
  5. How can I start meeting friends
  6. 5 Places To Meet People Offline
  7. 10 Ways to Meet People in the London
  8. 25 Small Ways You Can Bless A Stranger’s Life
  9. A person worth knowing
  10. Some Relationships Are Just Blips On The Radar (But They’re Still Beautiful)
  11. The type of people you Do Not want to meet in life Again!
  12. meeting horrible people and you’re complaining about it
  13. No makeup – One-liner Wednesday #1linerWeds
  14. Pumpkin Munchinskaij 🙂
  15. Men with Machetes!
  16. Moms have enough to worry about, let’s not make friendships one of them
  17. Conversation, Where Are You?
  18. Coincidental
  19. Good date 8/10
  20. Some Wine, Some Words, and Some Confusion
  21. Another Source
  22. Workshop # 3 – We are all the same
  23. Being Religious and Spiritual 8 Spiritual, Mystic and not or well religious
  24. Some one or something to fear #5 Not afraid
  25. A participation in the body of Christ
  26. Justification – salvation is by grace through faith – JI Packer
  27. Disciple of Christ counting lives and friends dear to them
  28. A Holy week in remembrance of the Blood of life
  29. Atonement And Fellowship 3/8
  30. What’s church for, anyway?
  31. Gathering or meeting of believers
  32. Vergadering – Meeting / Meeting – Vergadering
  33. Congregate, to gather, to meet
  34. Why we do not have our worship-services in a church building
  35. Not trying to make the heathen live like Jews #2
  36. The Magic of Books
  37. Summertime Blues
  38. Good Vibes
  39. Thought Positions
  40. Police Visit
  41. A Stop In Mamou To See Fred’s and Tante Sue
  42. in which we update our dating status, and talk about tinder
  43. Dating Again After Divorce
  44. Collective Dating
  45. Better late than never
  46. Met a new pagan group last night
  47. Wading in the Sea
  48. It’s all in my mind…

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About prejudice

  1. Want to Stop the Contempt, Hate, and Violence?
  2. Prejudices and Stereotypes
  3. Arrest the prejudices
  4. Things are rarely what they seem :: Why I scrambled to offer food to a stranger
  5. Dirt Daubers, Humans, and Other Pests
  6. Bias, stereotypes, and prejudice. Oh my?
  7. Are You Contagious?
  8. Dissolve The Barriers You Created
  9. Why Is It Important To Have Opinions And Communicate Them?
  10. Dealing with love burden
  11. “Nowhere to Go”
  12. Suicide blond
  13. What is True Compassion?
  14. our own guru
  15. The Enemy Camp: Creativity vs. Logic
  16. But You Can’t Shoot Them
  17. The Kind of Christian I Am Today (with an addendum on Orlando)
  18. Exceptions never ‘prove the rule”
  19. Strip Yourselves from Social Masks
  20. Heart for sale

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About tolerance

  1. Religious Practices around the world
  2. Christmas in the 1950s
  3. Migrants to the West #10 Religious freedom
  4. More Muslim children than Christian children growing up in our cities
  5. Quran versus older Holy Writings of Divine Creator
  6. Back from gone #3 Giving worries to God and believing in His promises
  7. Where is the USA wanting to go with the freedom of their people
  8. ISIL will find no safe haven
  9. Holiday tolerance
  10. If you have integrity
  11. Integrity of the fellowship
  12. If you want to go far in life
  13. People who are always making allowances for themselves soon go bankrupt
  14. God let my compassionate affection be tolerant and kind
  15. Diversity
  16. A social experiment
  17. A Musing on Discerning Tolerance
  18. Introducing Students To Disability- Year 2
  19. Love
  20. Making Peace with the Middle East
  21. Learn and Live
  22. Republican vs. Democrat “Tolerance”, Compare And Contrast
  23. How religion can lead to violence – Gary Gutting

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Filed under Being and Feeling, Lifestyle, Movement Without a Name, Social affairs