Europe’s youth must stand up against populists

Now it has also reached Germany. The fact that a right-wing populist party, the AfD in Germany moves into the Bundestag with official provisional results of 12, 6% is another warning for Europe. Everywhere in Europe, tendencies to close the borders, return to the nation state and abolish a common currency can be seen. The leaders in Europe have been warned sufficiently to take populists seriously and to do everything to ensure that Europe remains a one-of-a-kind entity. Europe’s youth in particular is called upon to take a stand against all positions of populists and clearly choose a free Europe without borders. We do not want to lose all the advantages that Europe has given us in the last 50 years and return to nation-states. We want to continue to be able to travel freely within the EU, pay in a common currency and be able to communicate with all people. Our goal is to maintain a free Europe and to give all people equal opportunities. That is why we launched the initiative European Youth Marathon with the slogan ‘I’m a part of Europe’. Join us and fight for the unity of a free Europe.


About the Author:

Prof. Dr. Manfred Pohl is CEO and founder of My Europe 2100 e.V.. Additionally, he is founder of the future think tank Frankfurter Zukunftsrat, founder and Deputy Chairman of the European Association for Banking and Financial History (EABH) as well as of the Institute for Corporate Cultural Affairs. In 2011 he was awarded with the Verdienstkreuz 1. Klasse of the Federal Republic Germany for his charitable commitment in the European banking and financial sector. Read more… 


The European Unity

Unity of people, Spotlight Europe
European Unity means a unity of people. (Flickr: fady habib/licensed under CC BY 2.0)

There is a classic saying that roughly goes “we study history in order to predict what may lie ahead of us”. Bearing that in mind we can look back to grant the opportunity of seeing forward with a broader perspective. Allow me to more precisely justify what I am aiming at; the well-known struggle between the Eastern and Western world – now evolved?

To this day the conflict partly exists between Middle Eastern countries and the US. Fairly recently Russia too joined this game of power measurements. Controversial Putin managed to upset many of the Western world’s great leaders by initiating the “conquest” of Crimea – so as to show that he was in the running for the royal throne of Europe without further consent. Thus both of these examples are present, history reveals that this plot reaches far back in time, for instance the warfare Western Rome and the Eastern/Byzantine Empire held against one another.

Recent articles and theories suggest that our future concern in struggle might not exist within the West versus the East but rather between the poor developing countries localized on the Southern hemisphere and the rich industrial nations of the North. Material and financial inequality are enough to be considered injustice – is it fair that North America, Western Europe and Japan account for less than 18 percent of the world population but represent more than 60 percent of world income? Hardly.

“I fear for an outbreak”

My worrying conclusion is that should we not deal with this equality concern now, I fear we’re facing something ravingly more serious henceforth – with great danger towards not only the EU but our exclusively beloved earth. I fear for an outbreak affecting the majority of nations we so well have come to know. But the outbreak is yet to arrive and plenty of time remains for us to change our future from, what can turn into, dystopia to utopia. However, I believe a minor push by the EU is enough to alter the direction of where this eventual future crisis is heading.

“The EU can be an agent of change in the world, a trend-setter, and not just a passive witness.” – The Members of the Reflection Group

We must not take shelter behind the immense walls built by the right-wing extremists and isolate ourselves from the world outside. Time has come to open our arms, embrace our neighbors regardless of their ethnicity, condition or local ties. The human species is a herd animal by instinct. Therefore we must act by those standards and show the true meaning of a loving civilization. It is up to us all EU citizens to unite in pride, to discover solidarity within other nations for the challenges ahead are too vast for us to handle by ourselves. Prior to that though, we must furthermore secure internal cohesion fora solid growth within the Union. Thenceforth our ability of influencing developments beyond our borders will enhance.

“Optimism is key to success”

Realistically a prediction of the future is beyond the bounds of possibility. However, I choose to be optimistic. In fact, my experience is that optimism is key to success, regardless the task. Nevertheless, on account we unify, as in one European Unity, I see an increase regarding the world economy influence, but as well a firmer establishment in the aspects of military, defense and the preservation of peace. Moreover, I believe as in one single unity our ambition to unravel the economic crisis in areas such as Spain and Greece would be more eagerly escalated in comparison to how the situation is presently. In turn that equals less spending and financing in other areas. The currently stronger industrial countries would have to sacrifice; adapt their budgets for a future greater cause in form of economical contribution – leastwise the total distribution would look different.

“It is up to us all EU citizens to unite in pride.”

In addition to that I believe most of us primarily would feel rather confused due to the enormous transition. Without hesitation I can admit that it somewhat frightens me – to suddenly partake in something as colossal as a population of over 500 million inhabitants! The mechanics of democracy across the nation would become complicated. Endless diversity in traditions and culture. What would the educational system develop into? Countless questions will arise, a confusion of a former continent. I doubt we are ready for that by the year of 2030. However I wish our journey towards the Unity has come to a beginning. Certainly, we speak different languages and follow different cultures and traditions –however, our similarities outweigh the differences. We share the same history and will be part of the same future – the European Unity.

About the author:
Robin Blomgren, Spotlight Europe
Robin – Author at Spotlight Europe

Robin participated in the “My Europe” workshop in Stockholm, Sweden in November 2014.