From Crisis to Hope in Europe

The European Union is in my view the shining example of an open and free society. That is why the current crisis is so personal to me. I am very concerned about Europe’s future and the potential dissolution of its open society.

In the run up to World War I or in the Weimar Republic, people did not think all those terrible things that followed could happen. But I have a particular sensitivity to these matters, because I lived under both Nazi and Soviet occupation. And I would hate to see a repeat of dark times in Europe.

I believe in finding European solutions for the problems of Europe; national solutions make matters worse. So I am hoping for some kind of pro-European political alliance emerging.

I believe in the European Union and the principles of open society that originally inspired it, and I should like to recapture that spirit.

7 Comments

I agree, in many rational and emotional ways. Yet for these ideas to take root in our beautiful open society, we will need to articulate them in ways that resonate beyond the ivory towers of academic elites. Where is the bridge, where are the parties and unions and communities willing to make this their cause? And why is there not more effort being invested in engaging these existing audiences for this very refreshing and encouraging message? There has never been a better time for it.

Austerity is allready leading to a deepening economic and social crisis which is resulting in deflation. That is the worst that can happen in view of high public and private debt. What Europe needs is growth by getting its youth to work. There is need for infrastructurele renuwal, clean up pollution, recycling, preparing the consequences of climate change, installing cleaner energy, etc...
How can Europe proceed ? By reducing public debts throughout selling public assets ( still very large), by attacking fiscal fraud, abolishing idiotic emission reducing targets based on belief not proven that chase our industry away, by forcing banks to recapitalise so they regaliën confidence in each other and stop the credit crunch.i

Was it Gore Vidal who said the dark night of fascism is always settling over America, but it lands in Europe. Please NO!!! And the people in the right wing racist parties are people. Perhaps driven mad by economics. Smaller countries have a harder time dealing with large numbers of immigrants than the US and Canada. Both of which have immigration debates as well. Democrats are for and Republicans know it's good for them, since many Latinos are more family values oriented. Most Asians vote for Democrats, as do white women. I'm struck how the BBC slants its coverage of Ukraine, pushing them into Russia. Look at Reporters without Borders or Human Rights watch to decide. I don't blame that American diplomat in Ukraine who said, "Fuck the EU!" In the context it made sense. Would you want to live under Putin?

The European Union has been as example and has inspired many regional integrations including my own east African community. Sliding back to the dark times will send wrong signals to other regional groupings and the chaos could spread all over the world.

As Mr Soros has said the crisis in Europe had shown the weaknesses that Europe was hiding so far. Namely, there is no solidarity between the european countries. Each of them interests in and works only for their own interests and only. This is not a union. Its a germanized European Union that works for Germany's sake as it is the sole beneficiary from the crisis in the Union so far.
Yet, the austerity policies of Germany for the rest of Europe struggle the economies of the latter ones. They are bounded to no growth at all, high unemployedment rates - especially in the european periphery - and to absolute misery.
The upcoming EU elections will convey that message as it did the recent referendum on more strict regulations for european immigrants in Switzerland. A sounding slap to EU. And the best will follow.
On the other hand, it is not reasonable to blame Putin for authoritarian policies in Russia but at the same time we don't blame Merkel for her policies on Europe. Or even U.S. for that very well-known f-word about EU recently.
Something is wrong here.
I think EU is not to be saved any longer. The dissolution of the EU is more than certain. The question is when exactly. And the blame is to put on Germany's Merkel and only.

I am worried also. The recent referendum result in Switzerland to restrict freedom of movement of peoples and the growing disillusionment in previously Europhilic countries like Ireland are bad portents of what might happen. The forthcoming European elections must face these issues; those who believe in the European ideal must assert themselves and not be intimidated by populist sentiment.

Good morning Mr. Soros, Bobby (above) says he believes the EU can no longer be saved. I can only add that recent polls in both the UK and the Netherlands have shown that more than 50% of the people in these countries want to exit the EU. Maybe we should be thinking of the next step. Could you let us know what can be done about this? Is there an alternative to the EU?

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