• Schengen – The outside perspective

    What it means to be outside of Schengen can probably best be observed at the little Polish-Ukrainian border crossing Hrebenne-Rava-Ruskanot, 50 km away from Lviv, the economic and cultural centre of Western Ukraine. The Polish-Ukrainian border is the eastern border of the EU most often crossed with roughly 15 million annual crossings. Crossing the Ukrainian – Polish border near Lviv has becomes synonymous with long delays. When buses slowly approach the border crossing it evokes dark memories of a European past when Schengen was not in place. Cars over cars are queuing for 3 hours, on good days, which can amount quickly to 6 hours depending on the Polish border police and the situation in Ukraine. It is the entry gate for a border-free travel zone as wide as Portugal and Iceland. Here, the word freedom of movement is not deprived from its progressive and promising connotation and neither Euro-crisis nor refugee-crisis could change anything in this perception. Statistics show that youth of EU Neighbourhood Countries appreciate freedom of movement, that is maybe more valued there than within the EU.

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Latest comments

  • Political Participation: why and how we should address the young generation

    11 January 2016  19:28, by KAPPIA

    can you send instructions on how to receive training, on election procedures and other civic related skills

  • Europa and the bull: The significance of the myth in modern Europe

    4 December 2015  09:26, by jes

    Hathor was the Egyptian Goddess of cows, as ancient as Isis or Aset, and her Sinai temple links her with the storm god of Syria. the antiquity of Europa to even ancient Greeks indicates a link to the time when the March Equinox fell in Taurus.

  • JEF Official Statement on Paris Attacks

    15 November 2015  18:00, by Reimar Glueck

    To all the members of JEF-Europe, ever since JEF has been a symbol for a resisting conviction of a united Europe. After this terror attack, all of you members become a symbol of this quote: “There is no better answer to hatred than fraternity.” So, even more now ... don’t be calm in carrying on the european future.

  • #WeAreUnited

    14 November 2015  15:30, by JEF CRETE-UEF CRETE

    Dear French people, our thoughts of solidarity, from all the federalist members from Crete. Democracy,european identity, unity, our values. Vive La France.


  • The European Nation

    26 October 2015  19:44, by duodecim stellae

    Hey Ludger, nice article. (Wieso gibts den eigentlich nich auf Deutsch beim Treffpunkt?)

    I think Switzerland should be the role model for the European Union in many ways. The big language groups are subdivided in small cantons, so the nationalistic feelings within the language groups are kept smaller and the all-Swiss patriotism is very strong, which is part of switzerlands self-understanding of being one nation, despite the different language-groups. And yes, being NOT German, French nor Italian is part of the Swiss self-image, which makes it difficult for Switzerland to join the European Union, what is kind of ironic.

    It took more than hundred years for Switzerland to become a nation that respects all language groups and unites them in solidarity. The European unification process is only about 60 years old and it is still a long way to go. Guys, we’ll need to push things forward and show lots of endurance.

    The priority should be the promotion of European foreign language education in Europe, and not only English. (Just today I met a refugee from Africa in town who did not speak a word English or German, just French or Italian. If I never had learned a bit of those languages, I would not have been able to understand what he wanted from me and to communicate.)

    And what we really need is European media! Where are the pan-European newspapers? Where are pan-European broadcasting stations? There is Euronews, but we could have a European music channel, European Films... There are so much possibilities, but I doubt that something will grow out of the free market. It is up to the politicians to give us a pan-European public service broadcasting station!

  • Catalonia and the referendum phenomena

    24 October 2015  20:48, by Giuseppe Marrosu

    I agree. Catalonian independence from Spain could be good for the EU. Spain has no moral right to oppose a free choice by Catalonia on this issue. European democratic values are incompatible with the policy of preventing the self-determination of peoples. Anyway what do the spanish want? As a member of the EU independent from Spain Catalonia would share with them the same currency and external borders, the same EU budget (Catalonian money would still be flowing to Spain although less than now) and probably the same alliances (NATO). That is not OK with them, it seems that what they really want is to dominate the Catalans, force them to speak spanish, obey their king, depend on them. Is that for practical reasons (taxes) or for a need for self-assertion?

    Sure enough, if Catalonia somehow broke free of Spain it would be against the will of the spanish governement; then Spain would keep Catalonia from joining the EU and other international organizations. We should then expel Spain and welcome Catalonia. If Spain prevented that too, we should all leave the EU and the Euro and refound them with Catalonia and without Spain; and the new EU should not be bound to unanimity regarding accession or expulsion of member states. If some members do not like a new member they can always leave. The spanish would then eventually come to their senses and ask to join the new EU.

    This is how we should deal with all the countries who act contrary to european values and common interests. We should not negotiate with them. If they accept these very broad standards they’re in, if not, no one can oblige them, but no one can force us to keep them either.

    Freedom and independence work both ways.

  • The European Nation

    30 September 2015  15:50, by giuseppe marrosu

    I agree to most of the article. A language should be democratically chosen, however, to be intended as the official common language, not replacing the existing ones but rather acting as a vehicle of communication so that all europeans can understand each other. The traditional existing languages would be not only be allowed but people would be encouraged to actively preserve them and keep them alive, including those that are endangered now by a linguistic dominator (catalan vs. spanish for example). Unity in diversity.

    More stress should be put on democracy: we europeans need to get to participate actively in european politics. We need a European republic. Monarchies are problematic because they contradict the notion of all people being equal, because they tend to identify with the nation and because it is hard to imagine a king, Queen Elizabeth say, as a european citizen loyal to an elected european president.

    Canada or Australia (or Tunisia, Taiwan, S. Korea or the US) would be welcome in the EU as far as I am concerned if they ever wanted to join. Russia too if it became reliable, pacific and democratic.

  • France, Germany, Italy and Luxembourg want more EU

  • A spectre is haunting Europe – The spectre of Jeremy Corbyn

    25 September 2015  19:21, by Karl G.

    It’s interesting to see, how after so many years Lenin is still such an important issue. In Germany, where I live, there are always news about Lenin statues or busts and even art projects about him as iconographic icon: www.leninisstillaround.com

  • Mass deportation, razor fences and high walls: What are the concerns of anti-immigration EU countries?

    23 September 2015  10:34, by Richard

    Angela Merkel has gravely miscalculated. She made an unusually instinctive and unconsidered response - and was perceived to say that Germany would willingly take unlimited numbers of migrants. This had the entirely predictable result of a flow becoming a mighty torrent and only days later Germany had to start putting up “We are full” signs and to unilaterally suspend Schengen, just as she had unilaterally decided to no longer abide by the Dublin accords.

    Now Germany, with the collusion of France, has pushed through a forced relocation quota by majority voting. The countries that voted against will immediately argue that they should not be bound by this, just as Germany felt it could abandon Dublin agreements and Schengen. They will say they are now being forced to help clean up the mess that Germany created and then found it could not cope with.

    They will also - rightly - argue that Germany’s position has multiplied the problem, many times over, by appearing to issue an open invitation. The 120,000 quota does not even begin to address the numbers involved. It will also mean that migrants will be taken to countries they do not wish to go to (most want to go to Germany or Sweden), knowing they are not wanted or welcome. They will undoubtedly head back out again as soon as possible, and such countries will adopt a policy of passively allowing this.

    It has caused a huge rift within the Union, and is a gift to sceptics like UKIP. It is a sure bet that Nigel Farage is even now writing speeches about “We must leave the EU, or be forced to take illegal immigrants by the Germans”

    Immigration is a very sensitive subject in most countries, and also one where national sovereignty is usually defended fiercely. The forced quota system simply plays into the hands of sceptics who will now point to it as an example of how countries no longer have sovereignty over affairs that most people still view as matters for their own country, not “Europe”, to decide.

  • Jeremy Corbyn Vs Europe

    21 September 2015  23:07, by Richard

    The Labour Party doesn’t have 600,000 members, let alone that many new members.

    It has attracted a large number of “affiliated members” and “registered supporters”. These are persons who paid the nominal £3 fee in exchange for the right to vote in the leadership ballot.

  • Why is the Syrian Refugee Crisis Different ?

    14 September 2015  12:06, by Suzana Carp

    Good article on several points, especially as it emphasizes that many of the Syrian asylum seekers (!) are highly skilled/qualified/urbanized.There are 2 factors which haven’t been mentioned: 1. Angolan migrants to Portugal and Somalis in Sweden often integrate along church-based groups (there are studies on this); 2. Daesh/Isis in conjunction with populism have created a fear of Islam in Europe. This is also why the situation is different (also, the other migrations weren’t labeled as a ’crisis’ because the crisis now is on both ends (origin & receiving end).

  • The European Perspective: Europe and the influx of refugees

    4 September 2015  14:20, by Marcel Wollscheid

    Dear Iwantout, I try to answer some of your questions with insight from the situation in Germany:

    - Political asylum is anchored in the German constitution (Grundgesetz Art. 16): Therefore, there is no legal upper limit to the acceptance of refugees who are fleeing from political persecution. But of course, there are limits to the capacities of countries, which leads to the demand of a distribution of asylum seekers within the EU.

    - In Germany, there are different forms of rights of establishment for EU-citizens, Non-EU-citizens, asylum seekers in particular, which can include or exclude free movement and residence in the EU. The member states could work together to harmonize their legal setting to make the distribution work.

    - The decision about asylum in Germany is handled by officials of the BAMF (Department for Migration and Refugees) case by case in interviews with the asyulm seekers. It is a difficult, challenging task indeed, but we need to trust those officials to do their job.

    - Which is why there is a strong political movement in Germany to declare Kosovo, Montenegro and Albania as safe countries of origin. The federal government also recently published campaigns in the Balkan countries to emphasize that there is hardly any chance for asylum in Germany for citizens of these countries. Last month, the number of asylum seekers from the mentioned countries decreased by 30%.

  • Europa and the bull: The significance of the myth in modern Europe

    21 August 2015  10:59, by Dustin

    Id say it has a connection with Lillith, Adams first wife before Eve. She would be more plausable here riding Satan.. As she was the one who flew out of the garden to be away from Adam.

  • Brexit: a danger for both EU and the UK

    15 July 2015  18:35, by Giuseppe Marrosu

    There is a problem of democracy: Greece said “no” to the compromise that was offered; our representatives at government level in the other 18 Euro countries were not ready to give anything better than that. Today the greek parliament could contradict the referendum result by accepting what the people rejected. That could save Greece, but it would be a black day for democracy.

    There is also a problem of equality: for Greece, but also for the UK, it is about living by the rules that apply to everybody else. Some of my taxes go to the EU. I don’t see why someone with the same economic status as me should pay less, only because he lives in the UK, as long as the UK is a member of the EU.

    Look, I am for an inclusive EU. Every free territory that meets the requirements, wants to join and accepts the rules MUST join, even if it is a Muslim Country in Sub-Saharan Africa. But those who join must stick to the rules or leave, even if they’re the craddle of our civilization, or one of the top net contributors.