Tag Archives: Victims of wars

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

Remain lovingly = No path for softies

BZN Liefdevol blijven

Remain lovingly. No path for softies.

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David Grégoire Van Reybrouck Flemish Belgian author who writes historical fiction, literary non-fiction, novels, poetry, plays and academic texts. He has received several Dutch literary prizes, including AKO Literature Prize (2010) and Libris History Prize.

Jens Stoltenberg February 2015.jpg

Jens Stoltenberg

One hears language of war here and there as a reaction to acts of terror worldwide. In his opinion column David Van Reybrouck pleads for other forms of resoluteness than war language. Immediately after the attacks in Norway the Prime Minister Stoltenberg pleaded frankly for

“more democracy, more openness, more participation“.

In this climate of violence we need this connective thinking. Violence starts indeed  where people allow themselves to be played off against each other and point at innocent people.

Only light can conquer darkness.
Last november ,’Hart boven Hard‘ (Heart above Hard) and other similar organisations have organised simultaneous “silent wakes”   in various towns in solidarity with all the victims of terror attacks and wars. Under the common motto “together against hate” the civil movement invites as many people as possible to make a gesture against violence, polarising and terrorism.
Also the youth brigade Tony! takes to the streets in order to commit hopeful attacks. In the autumn they drove through the city and projected connecting messages onto public buildings like the MAS. With this wildbeam action these young people offer a constructive counterweight. They choose for radical hope as a last freedom of the human being. The freedom to choose how we want to deal with the things thrown at us today.

An alternative for fear begins with …. YOU!
Every person who chooses resolutely every day to stay lovingly, to accept dialogue, to choose for encounter, knows that this is not an easy path to take. Resistance, disappointment, desperation are part of it. Resilience is a must. Notwithstanding this MWN summons – already for over 55 years – to choose this path. To keep trusting. Also when it becomes difficult. Because we keep believing in the silent force of many citizens who together keep delivering small , meaningful deeds. As a silent protest.

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The present and 14th Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso

The Dalai Lama has spread a similar message :

“Violence is a reaction of shortsighted people that have lost the plot. At 81 I believe that violence cannot be solved by prayers or Governments. We have to create change at an individual level and then spread this to your neighbourhood and the society”.

BzN-Mov Without a Name-Logo_EN

BZN or MWN Who we are & What we do;

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Original Dutch Version /Nederlandse versie: Liefdevol blijven = Geen weg voor softies

 

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Additional reading

  1. Muslim Grooming (Rape) Gangs and Sharia
  2. When the wind blows hard on a tree
  3. Hope does not disappoint us
  4. If you do pray you shall not be disappointed

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Further reading

  1. ‘I try to keep my hate in check. If you can’t hate, you can’t love.’
  2. Resistance (1)
  3. Resistance (2)
  4. Defiance vs Resistance
  5. ‘Let’s pull this humongous tree by the root’
  6. Goal Setting: It’s the Little Things
  7. We are Yedikule!
  8. Tout inclusif
  9. Revolutionary Internationalism Makes a Comeback in Oakland
  10. Activist hunting
  11. Thoughtful Thursdays #115 Three Wishes
  12. Day 378: Waking Up To Revenge
  13. Shards
  14. I Feel Broken
  15. What It Looks Like to Be So Happy It Hurts
  16. F.L
  17. Raw Thoughts
  18. good people
  19. New Beginnings

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Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Crimes & Atrocities, Lifestyle, Movement Without a Name, Social affairs