Together

Our duty to defend the European values

I am both European and Pole. It hurts me every time I see what the far-right governing party is doing in my country. The politicians are not only breaking the fundamental values of the EU or the Polish constitution – they are destroying our European community in cooperation with Hungarian Viktor Orbán. Probably many of you are wondering why did it happen, why the one of the most promising European democracies is heading into direction of authoritarianism and oligarchy. That’s because people don’t believe into politicians any more. The previous center-right coalition did not accomplish any major success. Of course our economy was progressing, the new roads were build etc. But during all those years the people in power forget about the most important thing – the people. The Government did not do anything in such areas as social protection. They forgot that the nation does not consist of numbers and empty buildings. After that everything rolled out into the situation which we can see today. The only question is how to change it? How to make our citizens believe in their representatives, believe in democracy? First of all, the EU should make firm steps to influence politicians. We need to remember them that their duty is to serve the community not destroy it. However we all see that they do not care about our values. That’s why it it good that the European Commission decided to start the procedure of article 7. But it is not the end. The article might stop the populists from destroying their regions but after that we need to show people that the safe, bright future is called the EU. How? Well, it won’t be easy but personally I have several ideas. First of all, we need to show the citizens the presence of the biggest European parties in their everyday life. When it comes to me – I have never seen any European parties to be present in my city, district or even country. All I see is only the meetings in Brussels. That’s mistake – because we need to restore confidence in politicians. People should come to the offices of parties or local authorities with belief that those people actually represent them, that they care about their fate. I think that S&D should also create more initiatives like Europe Together. I mean that now it looks like the European parties are financing the local ones. Meanwhile I think that the S&D should look for young, energetic people itself. By the local initiatives which would govern them. I believe that there are many young people like me – on this platform – for whom the fate of the Europe is an important topic. Unfortunately they do not have money to promote themselves, so they lose to the more popular candidates (like populists), or give up at the beginning and choose the job which will provide them money to live. I also think that harmonisation of the EU structures plays a major role in this topic. We need to create the same standards of social protection, healthcare system, education system, law, taxes etc. across all of the EU. This would align standards of living between the rich regions ant those which are still developing. At the end we all need to remember about one thing – we cannot ever leave the Eastern Europe. We need to defend it with all our strength, we need to protect our citizens because this is what the EU is all about – unity, equality, freedom.
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Other posts in Defending Democracy and the Rule of Law

When I had to write the other day some words on democracy on a whiteboard at an exhibition. We learned in school many times that the word democracy came from the Greek and literally translates to that the power belongs to the people. But what is the problem that we simply can’t understand the importance of it when we look around? We see people not being able or hindered to vote in other countries and we feel bad because they have to live with leaders, that were not the choice by the majority but on our skin we, my generation in Austria, has never experienced it. We were encouraged to go to vote as soon as we can from different institutions since we can remember but only in recent years the awareness about how important it really is showed in numbers when we had to face the chance of having Norbert Hofer as our president. The increased number of voters didn’t happen because we were just acting by what we have been told, it was because people didn’t want to live with a right wing president or earlier at the municipal election with a major called HC Strache. Also now, in the recent election 2017, more and more younger people went to vote and we had 80 percent turnout of voters. So that’s the thing with democracy and maybe thats the best thing: in good times we can’t even imagine what it would be without it! Democracy is something that makes us believe that we are so far away from all the absolutistic tyrants and atrocities that we can actually forget about it in our life of wealth and chances. But as mentioned, slowely the number of people who are getting to the polls in times of chance will be raising again because I believe, my generation will not accept any more inequality that the recent government is spreading into peoples mind and we will feel importance of democracy on our skin again until a future generation has to think back to the Greek when they will be asked to write the meaning of it on a whiteboard.

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