• Refugees should not be blamed for the Paris attacks

    The perverse logic of the actions of the terrorist group calling itself the ’ Islamic State ’ provokes fear and helplessness in the societies that are subjected to their attacks. In Europe after the attacks of Friday the 13th November in Paris, hopelessness and fatalism were the dominant emotions. Following days of shock and mourning, the most probable reaction by French society (and Europe) will be intense discussion and intolerant and xenophobic practices against immigrants and refugees living on the continent – the majority of whom, it is important to emphasise, are Syrians, Iraqis and Afghans who have fled their countries as a result of the same terrorist group.

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  • 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.

  • Brexit: a danger for both EU and the UK

    8 July 2015 19:05, by Chris Powers

    Indeed you should make sacrifices for the things you love, and therefore the creditor countries should sacrifice a little now, to make sure all countries remain in an ever closer union, as per the Treaty of Rome. The Greek opposition to austerity and support for a fiscal union shows they are more in favour (and in need) of Europe than most. I certainly don’t agree with or endorse everything Syriza is doing and saying, but I disagree with austerity even more.

    I suppose there is an ideological difference here between a smaller and faster integration process and a much slower but more inclusive European project with the same ambition as those charged with rebuilding Europe from the ashes of WW2.

  • Brexit: a danger for both EU and the UK

    8 July 2015  18:54, by giuseppe marrosu

    I’m sorry Chris but if you say you love something you should also be ready for all sacrifices its defence requires. The greek are not willing to do that anymore.

    Austerity was necessary for a Country living above its means like Greece and it was beginning to work, too. But even if you think it was wrong, I say Greece could have chosen a better strategy to convince its partners to put it aside: fight privileges, extend sacrifices for a few months, until a new agreement was reached, avoid insulting, provocking and blackmailing your partners and flirting with rivals like Putin, cutting spendings on arms, agreeing to proposals to give Bruxelles control over the budget (they could have counter-proposed to generalize that to all EMU Countries, they turned down the idea as an attack to their independence)...

    There is still hope but time and margins for a deal are running out.

    Also, a smaller group of countries willing to respect the rules might make a better Union than a larger but unruly federation.

    I say if the rebels - Greece, Hungary, Sweden, Denmark and off course (sorry) the British Islands left the EU or accepted all the rules that apply to Portugal, Italy or Estonia, we would be much stronger and better set for more integration.

  • Brexit: a danger for both EU and the UK

    6 July 2015 00:36, by Chris Powers

    Giuseppe don’t be so pessimistic. The Greeks have rejected austerity, not the EU, or even the Euro. Greek people love both, they want to remain with both.

    Hopefully this will force people to reevaluate why we are embracing an old ideology that has never worked, and will never work if you want a federal Europe.

  • Brexit: a danger for both EU and the UK

    6 July 2015  00:32, by giuseppe marrosu

    Now it’s 8-7 (Referenda score of Anti-europeist forces vs. Europeist forces in the EU since 1992), Iwantout. Congratulations to you and all Anti-europeists (so-called Eurosceptics) out there. We lost Greece. We might lose the UK.

    But we won’t give up.


    6 July 2015  00:18, by giuseppe marrosu

    Dear Mr. Andreou, now that the people spoke, I hope you’re happy: Greece will soon be out of the Euro and the EU (time to concede candidate status to Macedonia, oops sorry FYROM).

    Maybe one day you’ll admit that you only have yourselves to blame for your problems and you’ll recognize how much we did to try and save you.

    Or you’ll just find some other foreign power to blame for the sufferings of all the Magdas of Greece (which is next. Russia? China?).

    When we come again to your rescue we’ll better have Athens give up to Bruxelles all major decisions on your budget. Maybe they’ll sell a couple of your warplanes so they can heat up Magda’s home at the expenses of your oversized armed forces.

    Goodnight, Mr. Andreou, goodnight Greece, goodnight Europe.

  • Brexit: a danger for both EU and the UK

    4 July 2015  18:06, by giuseppe marrosu

    To Iwantout 2/2 “other euro countries are not prepared to suffer the loss, no fellow feeling there. (Germany is owed 68.2bn euros, France 43.8bn, Italy 38.4bn, etc)” over 150bn euro “no fellow feeling”? Are you joking? How much did the UK give? We will take Greece’s debt on ourselves when we have more control on how Greece spends its money, just like the USA has on Lousiana or Detroit, or Germany on Berlin. But Greece has so far refused that. So if it fails they will be to blame, not us.

    “I am at a loss to understand why you feel it is dishonourable to cancel a treaty using the legal means that are available if you no longer believe the treaty is in your best interests” Not all that is legal is honourable. But go ahead and do it if that’s what you want. Off course we might also cancel some of the treaties benefiting you if we conclude they are no longer “in our best interests”. Maybe you will find that’s honourable, too. “You hope that the requirement for ‘Ever Closer Union’ will not change...” yes I do “...and that we will be forced” Nooooo! I don’t want to “force you” to do something you do not want! I NEVER said that! Please stop painting me as an antidemocratic!

    “Paragraph 27 of the EU Summit Communique 27/06/14” I am dismayed. But I can see the language is very generic and I could give the following interpretation: we respect the will of some countries who do not want to go ahead: but they’ll have to be suspended or leave the EU. You’ll note that the principle of “ever closer union” is not questioned. “You say we want special conditions” you have special conditions: the EU-UK rebate, no Euro, no Schengen. “we just want a trade relationship plain and simple” it might surprise you but I would be ready to accept that, if that’s really what you want. But in that case, no UK EMP, no UK officials in EU institutions, and so on. And we’ll go ahead and build a European State, if we can find the popular support.

    Best regards from the Eurozone.

  • Brexit: a danger for both EU and the UK

    4 July 2015  18:04, by giuseppe marrosu

    1. Dear Iwantout, english seems such a difficult language... “Your lack of faith in the public and unwillingness to allow them to control their future really does not surprise me”. I think the people should have the control over their future. I never said the opposite. BUT I just say that the majority is not always right. And sometimes is dead wrong. Call me a Demosceptic. You try to hold your point to technicalities like Hitler or Mussolini not having being elected directly or their use of violence, but you certainly do not ignore their huge popularity in their respective countries even before overtaking power really made them the most obvious “people’s choice”. Chavez and Tsipras had/have the wrong agenda for their countries. It’s not me telling it, it’s economics. Both earned their seat through the polls, was that a wise choice?

    EU referenda: I don’t understand (or I understand all too well) why you want to start from ’92, but in that period I counted 7 “No” and 7 “Yes”. The score becomes 9-16 if we also count EU accession referenda and the Swiss referendum on foreign workers (you excluded referenda on the EU held outside of it). Of the 6 “No”, 3 were unfortunatelly followed by renegotiations with the two small countries that held them (instead of simply excluding them from further integration) and by 3 reruns with an easy victory, 2 were totally accepted contrary to your claim (so there is no Euro in Denmark or Sweden despite Maastricht treaty requiring the latter to adopt it) and in only 2 cases the EU “ran around them” even if it respected them formally (France and the Nederland said “NO” to the Euroconstitution... not a tragic loss... Spain and Luxembourg said “YES”, though, so a compromise was eventually found).

    “With regards to the election of Eurosceptic to the EP, in every election since 1999 in the UK the winning party has been Eurosceptic [antieuropeist]...” I do not doubt it, but I just checked the 2014 European elections results for the UK: what you call the “winning party” got less than 30% of the vote. While it made it to No. 1, the No. 2 and 3, the truly Eurosceptic, not outright Anti-europeist, Conservative and Labour almost got 50%. You cannot pull the UK out of the EU with 30% of the UK vote! That’s what I meant.

    On Greece again, I have been sympathetic with them until Tsipras won. Austerity has certainly be harder than needed and all of us will have to respond to history for our mistakes. But, despite that, Greece’s trouble are not the fault of the rest of the world. We in the Eurozone in particular helped them more than anyone else, we made sacrifices. But Greece’s case is so bad we could not bring back the prosperity they enjoyed. In part because it was a fake one based on debt.

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