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Meseberg Declarations: Baby steps and a ray of sunlight – JEF Europe

Gastbeitrag: Die Jungen Europäischen Föderalisten (JEF) loben die Meseberg Erklärung als positives Zeichen einer längst benötigten Reform der EU. Ich dokumentiere die Erklärung im Detail:

After a long winter, a first shy sunbeam of hope: JEF Europe welcomes Meseberg declaration as a positive sign for much-needed reform in Europe

Category: News, Press Release

The Young European Federalists (JEF Europe) cautiously welcome the Meseberg declaration published last week following a bilateral meeting of President Macron and Chancellor Merkel: “The Meseberg declaration gives a sense of hope. After long years of waiting we finally see a positive agenda – albeit still not up to the challenges ahead – attempting to address the pressing challenges of our time. European leaders have recognised that change is needed and started discussing solutions instead of red lines. This allows for much-needed progress during this week’s Council meeting and in the coming months”, comments Christopher Glück, President of JEF Europe.

“Yet: We must also be clear that the Meseberg declaration is not a comprehensive reform package and is lacking any truly courageous commitments. Many of the proposals are blurry at best and more detail will be needed to judge whether they can realistically contribute to solving Europe’s woes. A Eurozone budget of below 50bn Euros, for example, is a welcome step, but will not able to fulfill the role of a real stabilisation function in the macroeconomic cycle. The declaration unfortunately also remains remarkably silent on the question of the future size of the European budget. Delivering European solutions for European challenges, as the declaration claims to do, will not be possible with a budget of the current size. Overall, the Meseberg declaration constitutes a clear commitment to a European future by Germany and France, but not the ringing endorsement of European solutions that is needed”, continues Glück.

Eurozone
For the first time since the financial crisis exposed the weaknesses of the Eurozone architecture, the German government agreed that convergence and stabilisation need to be supported on the European level and not by Member States alone. This is a potential turning point that might allow for a more comprehensive compromise package further down the line. In this sense, it is highly welcome that Germany and France commit to further exploring the option of introducing a European unemployment insurance mechanism, a stabilisation and solidarity tool that JEF has long called for. A Eurozone budget is another important tool for convergence and stability, but it must be established with an appropriate size to deliver on its objectives. This is not the case right now.  Moreover, it is regrettable that a common European deposit insurance has been postponed to an uncertain time in the future, and that – as a consequence – no other tools for breaking the sovereign-bank loop are discussed. Finally, the declaration unfortunately remains entirely silent on the question of a democratic governance of the Eurozone, including a European finance minister. “If the Eurozone is not strengthened for and with the people of Europe, who is it for then?”, lamented Glück.

Migration
It is highly welcome that the declaration calls for a Common European Asylum System and a European border guard. However, the declaration remains blurry on what such a system would entail in detail, with an overemphasis on the security aspects: see for example the positive reference to the EU-Turkey deal as a potential blueprint for other agreements with third countries. “What Europe needs is not only improved governance structures for managing migration but importantly a much stronger commitment to humanitarian values in migration and asylum matters”, commented Glück.

Constitutional matters
Transnational lists and less Commissioners as from 2024 are good news, especially as Merkel’s party has recently argued forcefully against transnational lists. “One is left wondering, though: if both are the right policies for 2024, why are they not for 2019?”, quipped Glück. The declaration also aspires to ‘end unanimity in foreign affairs’. That of course is an important step if Europe is to play an important role on the world stage in the 21st century. The proposal to achieve this with a European security council and rotating members, however, does not seem to be the most promising way.
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Erstellt am Mittwoch, 27. Juni 2018
Kategorie: English, Europa, Europa-Union, Gastbeiträge | Kommentieren »

Adam Ramsay: The Atrocities in Aleppo are taking place

“The Atrocities in Aleppo are taking place”:
Syria- two years of tragedy (8642756918)
“The Gulf War will not take place”, “the Gulf War is not taking place” and “the Gulf war did not take place” was a series of essays in Liberation and The Guardian by Jean Baudrillard in 1991. In them, he argued that the difference between the propagandised images of the first war in the era of rolling news, and the actual atrocities taking place in Iraq – with no real scrutiny of death rates, and heavy Pentagon influence over coverage – was so great that they could not be given the same name. If “The Gulf War” was the title given to the fictionalised simulation unfolding on TV; the simulacrum of a war; then we couldn’t also call the actual bombing, blood, death and horror in Iraq by the same name. The Gulf War is merely the title of a show whose screenplay was written in the bowels of the Pentagon building and read by ‘embedded’ CNN journalists to enthralled viewers. What really happened in the Gulf that year was fire, agony and anguish.

It seems to me that the terrifyingly cynical reaction from many to the ongoing atrocities in Aleppo is in part the result of two and a half decades of this media manipulation. People have become so cynical of anything which they believe approximates to the Pentagon line that they end up believing what is essentially the Kremlin line. They are so aware of the power of propaganda that they sneer at genuine footage of humans broadcasting their last, terrified words. As civilians are asphyxiated with poisoned gas, cynicised Westerners sniff the air and say “I smell bullshit”.

The age of cable news has given way to the age of social media; the age of rolling news to the age of scrolling news. There is propaganda, more than ever; from states and those who fight them, from corporations and their billionaire beneficiaries, from Washington and from Moscow. It comes in a different form from 1991, and it’s there more than ever.

We cannot, however, allow the knowledge of that to stop us from believing that atrocities are taking place. We cannot let critical questioning to lead to cynicism and cynicism to mean spirited smearing of those who suffer.

The atrocities in Aleppo are not a simulacrum. They are not a representation of a representation of brutality. They are real. And we can’t let the history of Pentagon propaganda poison us so much that we fail to see the truth when it unfolds, with all it’s powerful horror, in front of us.

Author: Adam Ramsay. Source on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/adamramsay/posts/10101967125038061 Shared with permission.
Image credit: In Aleppo, Karm al Jabal. This neighborhood is next to Al Bab and has been under siege for 6 months, 4 March 2013. Credit: Basma via Wikimedia Commons: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Syria-_two_years_of_tragedy_(8642756918).jpg

Erstellt am Sonntag, 18. Dezember 2016
Kategorie: English, Frieden, Gastbeitrag, Gastbeiträge, Internationales, NichtDeutsch | Kommentieren »

Gastbeitrag: Patrick Harvie, MSP for the Scottish Green Partie, convincing in #indiref TV-debate for the Green YES

Green Yes, the Scottish Green Party’s campaign for a Yes vote in the independence referendum, is hailing the vision laid out by Green MSP Patrick Harvie during tonight’s high profile debate on STV and ITV Border.
As the polls narrow, and as momentum for Yes grows, Mr Harvie used the national television platform to say: “Scotland is ready now. Let’s vote Yes.”
Reaction on social media was overwhelmingly positive, with a surge of praise during Patrick’s closing remarks on behalf of Yes.
Mr Harvie, the Co-convener of the Scottish Greens, spoke of the opportunity for Scotland to become one of the world’s leading mediators, promoting peace and international cooperation.
He also highlighted the threat to Scotland’s future in Europe from a Conservative/UKIP agenda, compared to having our own seat at the European table to enable Scotland’s priorities to finally be heard.
Green MSP Alison Johnstone said:
“This debate showed there’s a range of voices on both sides, and without a doubt Patrick presented a hugely compelling vision of a better Scotland, a vision that just simply isn’t forthcoming from the No side. As we enter the final fortnight of campaigning Greens will continue to persuade voters who’re unsure of independence to see the amazing opportunity they have to truly shape the direction of our country.”

Erstellt am Mittwoch, 3. September 2014
Kategorie: English, Europa, Gastbeitrag, Gastbeiträge, NichtDeutsch, Partei | Kommentieren »

Wie geht es weiter mit Ungarn?

Ungarn muss weiter europäisch und weiter demokratisch bleiben. Unter der Fidesz-Regierung von Viktor Orban aber sieht es nicht danach aus.

Ungarn bekommt eine neue Verfassung, die jeden Demokraten das Fürchten lehrt. “Orbans Gleichstellung” nennt das der Freitag. Das Volk protestiert zunehmend:

http://a5.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/389837_140424052739216_134092990038989_162752_1907389642_n.jpg

Protest in Ungarn. Quelle: ResitanceHU

Aus Protest gegen die undemokratische “Ahlrechtsreform” liessen sich zu Weihnachten auch mehrere Abgeordnete der Partei LMP (“Eine andere Politik ist möglich”), die erst im Herbst Vollmitglied der Europäischen Grünen Partei EGP geworden war, verhaften.

Die Abgeordnete Virag Kaufer ging noch einen Schritt weiter: Sie gab ihr Parlamentsmandat zurück, um sich dem ausserparlamentarischen Widerstand gegen die demokratiefeindlichen Bemühungen der überwältigenden FIDESZ-Mehrheit mit voller Kraft widmen zu können.

Der Innenausschusss des Europaparlaments, LIBE, befasste sich heute auch mit der Reaktion auf die Entwicklung in Ungarn. Ein Video davon ist hier zu sehen.

Klar ist aber, dass Orbans FIDESZ, die im Europaparlament zur EVP-Fraktion mit der CDU gehört, dort von dieser stärksten Fraktion zumindest nicht offen kritisiert wird. Der Parlamentspräsident Buzek, auch EVP, wiegelte ab und fand auf Nachfrage in einem öffentlichen Facebook.-Chat mit mir ua das alles nicht so schlimm. Sein designierter Nachfolger, der Sozialdemokrat Martin Schulz, sieht die Entwicklung kritischer, äussert sich in einem Interview aber zugleich optimistisch dass Orban dann scheitert wenn es uns gelingt, die Zivilgesellschaft dort zu stärken.

Einen guten Einblick gibt die Diskussion zwischen den Europaabgeordneten Ulrike Lunacek (Grüne Österreich) und György Schopflin (Fidesz Ungarn) im englischsprachigen Programm von France24.com, im Video hier (Teil eins) und hier (Teil zwei).  Letzterer lässt alle Kritik an sich abperlen, erstere erinnert zurecht an die Blockade Österreichs zur Zeit der FPÖ-Mitregierung der Haider-Partei, die nur zu starker Solidarisierung mit dieser Regierung im Land selbst gesorgt hat. Damit sich etwas ändert, müssen auch wir uns ändern, in der Berichterstattung und im Gespräch mit Ungarn deutlich bleiben und zugleich verbindlicher werden, nicht ausgrenzen sondern einbeziehen, in einem kritischen Dialog, in dem die Kritik unüberhörbar bleibt.

Einen Schritt dazu hat auch Manuel Sarrazin gemacht, unser Grüner europapolitischer Sprecher im Deutschen Bundestag (und Sprecher der Europa-Union-Parlamentariergruppe im Bundestag). In seiner neuesten Pressemitteilung fordert er, die absolute Unabhängigkeit der ungarischen Notenbank zu verteidigen und zugleich weist er deutlich auf die Bedrohung demokratischer Normen durch die Politik der neuen Regierung hin.

Wer an dem Thema dranbleiben möchte kann hier regelmässig weiter lesen – oder sich der neuen Facebook-Gruppe Widerstand in Ungarn (Resisstance HU) anschliessen, deren Neuwahl-Forderung auch diesen Blogartikel illustriert.

Erstellt am Donnerstag, 12. Januar 2012
Kategorie: Deutsch, Donaustrategie, English, Europa, Internationales, Video | Kommentieren »

Sommer-Leseliste: Obama, Du und Ich (und der Kindle)

Es ist eine gute Tradition, dass die “Sommer-Leseliste”, die Liste der Bücher die ein US-amerikanischer Präsident mit in den Sommerurlaub nimmt, veröffentlicht wird oder durchsickert – und dann den kundigen AnalystInnen oder den einfachen Menschen auf der Strasse zeigt, womit sich der Präsident derzeit beschäftigt.

Die diesjährige Summer Reading List of Barack Obama hat in den USA ebenso heftige Reaktionen ausgelöst wie die Grummel- und Mahn-Reden der Alt-CDU’ler Erwin Teufel, Christian Wulff und Helmut Kohl hierzulande. Weiterlesen »

Erstellt am Freitag, 26. August 2011
Kategorie: Bildung, Deutsch, English, Frieden, GrünKultur, Internationales | 1 Kommentar »