What does your Europe look like?

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It’s easy – tell us what Europe means to you. Or what would your ideal Europe look like. We’re open to all and we’re looking forward to hearing your vision of this common project that is the EU.

Debate



Pentru mine, dar nu numai, democratia inseamna, printre altele: o justitie dreapta, corecta si necompromisa, o industrializare puternica si un sistem de educatie axat pe nevoile copilului si ale societatii in care traim. Pornind de la aceste aspecte, observam, ca in ceea ce priveste aceste capitole, exista puternice carente, ceea ce determina cresterea saraciei in tarile in care acestea se confrunta cu astfel de probleme. Legat de Justitie, daca nu exista un sistem coerent prin care sa fie redus nivelul de coruptie, nivelul marii criminalitati, aceste sincope determina cresterea nivelului de saracie direct proportional cu nivelul cresterii coruptiei dintr-o tara sau alta. Lipsa locurilor de munca, contribuie, intr-o foarte mare masura la accelerarea gradului de saracie, a lipsurilor, ceea ce nu face decat sa adanceasca inechitatea, somajul, lipsa mobilitatii, lipsa puterii de cumparare si, deci, cresterea fenomenului inflatiei, care afecteaza economia unui stat. Pe langa acestea, factorii demografici sunt amenintati, scaderea natalitatii, amenintandu-ne pe zi ce trece. Educatia, constiutuie un pilon foarte important, intrucat, imbunatatirea sistemului aduce multiple beneficii in plan economic, social, cultural si nu numai… In optica mea, democratia implica strategii privind consolidarea educatiei, a justitiei si nu in ultimul rand a industrializarii. Cand acesti trei factori functioneaza intr-un stat, atunci, pe baza acestora pot fi derulate si implementate imbunatatiri si in alte sectoare precum: sanatate, infrastructura, crestere economica, s.a.m.d. Fara o astfel de abordare, nu exista democratie, intrucat exercitarea celorlalte drepturi si libertati economice, sociale, cetatenesti si culturale ar fi lipsita de obiect, golita de continut. Astfel ar arata statul din Uniunea Europeana si Uniunea Europeana insesi, im viziunea mea. Acestea ar fi dezideratele si principiile pe care ar trebui, in optica mea, sa se cladeasca o democratie reala si efectiva!

3 weeks, 6 days ago in What does your Europe look like?
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Most of the European History has been about constant progress, exceeding the previous eras, including the development of the technology and the society too. The way to social justice and social politics has been extremely long, struggling with different forms of oppression and exploitation during the centuries, but the long way of progressive tendencies from the ancient, slaveholder times to social democracies achieving the highest level of social welfare in History could not be stopped, just hindered. The huge disasters and breakdowns of the continent have always been related to the destruction of those political notions that wanted to ruin the already achieved accomplishments of the progressive direction, and wanted to turn back the clock. Still, time to time, Europe could always stand up from these meltdowns generated by the anti-progressive, backwards, reactionary motivations, and could continue its way to the higher and higher states of technological, social and political development. We are the part of the History, it means we have the responsibility for the future generations. We have to represent the progressive direction of our times instead of going back in time, ruining those achievements that progressives have managed to reach so far. We have to represent this direction, because if we do not do it on the left-wing, nobody else will do it. We have to represent the progressive agenda to lead our times towards a higher level of social welfare and social justice. If we did not do it, Europe would go back in time again, and the future generations would suffer from coming out of the mess that backwards politics created. The labour movements of the past few centuries have fought out amazing achievements for the working people. Working conditions have developed more in the past two centuries than they had developed in thousands of years previously. When Robert Owen socialist philanthropic reformer radically cut the worktime in his factories instead of the 14 hours worktime per day of the capitalist times, and realized that the productivity did not drop but improved, since the workers became healthier, more relaxed, rested, more concentrated and made less waste, it became obvious that the conservative agenda and the exploitation of the capitalist era had to be exceeded. A firm and worker-centric agenda is needed today as well, that represents the interests of the many, not the few. We have to represent the interests of the vast majority, the millions of employees, finding the way to show up solutions for their everyday problems. This is how we can convince people to join the progressive direction, not the destructive one. People are not interested in general political agendas that they feel too remote from their everyday lives and daily routines. We have to find solutions for the everyday problems of the ordinary people, a down-to-earth program is needed, representing their interests, not the interests of the billionaires. Many European countries are suffering from demographic issues, and many people cannot maintain a balance between their worktime and their private lives. Masses of employees from Eastern Europe to go work to Western Europe, not only for higher wages, but for better working conditions and public services as well that are not given in their home countries. Supervising employers to comply with maximum 8 hours work per day is essential. Many people do a lots of overtime at their workplaces, our Social Europe project has to limit the overtimes, to provide the opportunity for all the European workers to maintain a balance between their professional jobs and their private lives. This way, the Social Europe project can guarantee the masses of the European workers to have enough free time, to do sports, to have a rest, to spend enough time with their friends and their families, to have time to regenerate themselves. They can build their local communities, they will have enough time for their private lives, the quality of their lives and life expectancy are going to improve this way in Europe. We have to stop corporate exploitation. We have to stop companies to have the opportunity to raise themselves above the laws and go against the values of the EU, exploiting their employees and forcing them to do an overwhelming amount of overtime. I propose to show up the red card to exploitation, and introduce a common red colored access card for every European employee that registers their exact time of their arrival and their leave from their workplaces. Every second of overtime has to be registered and has to be paid by the employers. Employees should receive at least the double of their hourly wage for their overtimes, since they do not only provide their workforce, but they also give up free time of their private lives to do overtime at their workplaces. Overtimes have to be radically limited by the Social Europe project for the employees, and every single second of overtime has to be paid by the employers. Companies also have to provide a fair share of the profit for the employees, since their inputs are in the profit. Not paying bonuses for the employees is like not paying dividends for shareholders. Providing bonuses is an already existing practice, it is not a utopia. But providing bonuses should be mandatory, employees have to receive a fair share of the profit that they generated. We have to represent the interests of the employees, the interests of the vast majority, the interests of the many, not the few. I also propose call centers in every EU member country, specialized on providing customer services and legal advice for employees whose working environments are not fair and satisfactory. Right-wing tries to break down the rights of the employees worldwide. They restrict the rights of the trade unions and the workers, providing tax breaks for billionaires (who are already rich) and for the companies. The Social Europe project has to guarantee the rights of the employees and trade unions. Employees have to have the right to resist and strike when their employers do not provide fair working conditions and/or break the laws. Employees should have the right to organize themselves, to form trade unions and to step up for their interests. We also cannot stop by just introducing correct legislation that supports the employees. Left-wing has to introduce the project of social partnership all around the EU, to create and build up a constant and continuous communication between the politics and the civil organizations (labor unions, environmental organizations, student organizations etc), to implement a progressive approach and mentality to the everyday politics. This way, problems can be identified, discussed and solved easier and quicker, and it provides platform for new ideas and practices to implement. Moreover, we can make a more social politics with that, involving the different levels of the society to politics. We can directly involve people to politics, making them interested, and making democracy as direct as it is just possible. By involving the different levels of society to politics via social partnership, people will feel their issues matter, they will not feel abandoned. Destructive right-wing politics is always rooted in tempting disappointed people. People join them when they feel they have no other alternative. If we come up with a progressive agenda that represents their interests, people will join us, just like they join Bernie Sanders’ extremely popular political movement overseas. His democratic socialist project is getting more and more popular, he inspires a leftist breakthrough since his project is about the everyday life of the people, including medicare for all, tuition fee tertiary studies and employee rights. This is the democratic socialist, progressive agenda that we also have to follow and implement by involving the people, making politics as social and as direct, as it is just possible, giving the hope for the people and making them feel that they and their issues do matter. This way, we can improve on the daily, operative problems as well. In my opinion, the Copenhagen Criteria also has to be extended. Only those countries should join the European Union that respect the rights of the employees and trade unions. We also have to make a continuity to the Copenhagen Criteria. The criteria to join the European Union cannot be forgotten after a country joins our community. It has to be fulfilled after a country joins as well. We have to give a continuity to the Copenhagen Criteria, member countries’ governments have to be constantly monitored, and those governments that do not meet the values of the EU, should be sanctioned. These parties and their members, especially their leaders should be sanctioned. They should pay the fee and the price of their own anti-democratic politics that goes against the common values of the family of the EU. Autocratic right-wing parties prefer to identify themselves with the country and the nation, and we have to unmask this lie. We cannot strengthen their narrative, giving them the opportunity to say that they save the nation against the EU. When they go against the common values and the legislation of the EU, these parties and leaders should be specifically fined and sanctioned, not the people of the countries. To sum it up, European politics have to be social by being integrative, involving civil organizations and the different levels of the society to politics via the tools of the social partnership. EU has to be social by representing the interests of the employees, the vast majority instead of the interests of the super rich, the interests of the corporates, the billionaires and oligarchs. The agenda of Social Europe has to be down-to-earth, giving answers to the matters of the everyday problems of the people, coming up with efforts for better working conditions, employee rights and trade union rights. EU also has to be social by defending the common, democratic values of the European community. Those parties and leaders who go against the values of our family, should be sanctioned. We always have to think in improving the EU to raise the level of social welfare to higher and higher stages, instead of going back in time and letting the EU destroyed by destructive political notions. We have to show up a narrative against them by communicating our narrative and project, because we are the ones who represent the vast majority, not those who hide themselves behind the mask of fake-patriotism, meanwhile they sell out the employees to the corporate interests.

Democracy to our peril is at risk. Like the criterion, “ justice must not only be done, justice must be seen to be done” where we very often just witness justice in the courts in action, the cart is before the horse, and very often, justice fails to be done. What we should have is “Not only must Justice be seen to be done, justice must in actual fact be done” Likewise with Democracy: We claimed to be democratic, yet in actual fact, we are anything but. Democracy in name only while an aristocratic tyranny is the reality is in dire straits, and needs to be resolved so that true democracy can developers along the rule of the people by the people for the people. Corporations aren’t people; and should not be capable of holding countries within Europe to ransome. And government figures should be accountable to the justice we claim to propound in full transparency. We need a fully inclusive democratic system where all the people are equal not just at birth, but throughout their whole life, to the dignity and comfort that life has to offer: and trickle down economics, as we have seen is anything but equal. We are caretakers of a beautiful planet. Europe without a doubt is the most beautifully established: but it isn’t for us that we should be thinking about in relation to how we use and abuse it: the only footprints we should leave here is the footprints of our children. Yet we have horrendous homelessness; really! Capitalism we need, but a capitalism that caters for all in a fair and just manner. One child homeless is one child too many. And there is much hungry homelessness hopeless asjlsa and children upon our streets. So can we claim to care about our fellow human beings if even one is suffering? We need to be inclusive of young people on our plans for a better brighter more benevolent Europe. A Europe that does what it says on the box, a Europe for all. The Petty posturing of politicians pontificating like peacocks is anathema to transparency and accountability when it’s just politics being seen to be done, and poltroonary at best. So let’s havw a major change! Make ethics the growth industry of the political spectrum. No more college debating scenarios where winning the argument is all that matter as politicians guffaw and browbeat opposition just for the sake of point scoring. Let’s not just see democracy being done, let Democracy “be” done.

Equality and justice are to facilitated via equal opportunities in education, support facilities and orientation so that children may enjoy pursuing the many open doors available to them, who are informed, that otherwise one might not be aware of. Also, more support to vocational training schools. Equality and justice via radically diminishing the pay gap between the CEO of a company and its least paid worker. Historically, in the US, it used to be 70 to 1, now I believe it’s 400 to 1. In Europe, it may be less, but still significant. Along with reducing the gap, funds, tax breaks, fiscal support or stimuli, should be re-diverted towards greener industries, job-creating or job-intensive industries and sectors, plus start-ups favouring innovation, creative industries, research. Justice and equality among genders, equal pay for women and men – , glass ceiling, etc, and same for race, religion. Justice and equality among citizens of Europe where in some areas rhere are much less infrastructure and services, where citizens and entrepreneurs have to deal with over-complicated, often inefficient or understructured, bureaucracy, leading many to spend and waste countless hours and effort in dealing with largely useless impositions from “above” instead of dealing with their business and their own lives. (With blame often vented against “Europe” or “Bruxelles”…. fanned by local politicians.) Equality and justice via the projection of Soft Power, culture and example, active promotion of our common values via media and creative industries, film, intercultural exchanges, and example by sharing good practices, going into schools, communities, young and old, being present not heavy handedly, but with a light and illuminating touch. Justice and equality because in the end people do look across the fence and find peace when they find themselves to be, thanks to their efforts and society, a society that is just and fair, where they deserve to be. And that, my friends, would be a rare and precious gift to all, one we should strive for and, who knows, obtain!

What Europe means to me? It means the end of the historic division of the European continent into separate national states and the beginning to create solid foundation to construct even more united Europe in the years ahead. Europe is a role model and inspiration that transformed the cultural, religious and humanist inheritance of Europe, into the universal values of the inviolable and inalienable rights of the humans, like freedom, democracy, equality and the rule of law. A union that deepens the solidarity between their peoples while respecting their history, their culture and their traditions. An organization, which is acting like a single body determined to promote economic and social progress for their people, taking into account the principle of sustainable development and within the context of the accomplishment of the internal market and of reinforced cohesion and environmental protection. Also Europe that is resolved to facilitate the free movement of people, while ensuring of their safety and security, by establishing an area of freedom, security and justice. Europe that implemented a common foreign and security policy including the progressive framing of a common defense policy, which might lead to strengthening the European identity and its independence in order to promote peace, security and progress in Europe and in the world. What would your ideal Europe look like? Europe that is committed to continue the process of creating an ever closer union among the people of Europe, in which decisions are taken as closely as possible to the citizen in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity. Where further steps are taken in order to advance further European integration in the fields of foreign policy, and even of security and defense. A more complete single market, and also a common EU approach to migration. There is a huge need for more closely integrated markets in Europe. The high level of economic integration is what has given Europe its strength, and this integration will play a huge part in Europe’s survival in the age of political one.

Naturally, human beings embark and accept the idea of “social contract”, whereby citizens would seek and try the common good within a given society. Thereby, the people itself are the nation’s voice which is evidenced through the “general will” and national sovereignty, with this being said, people within a nation must be willing to jeopardize their own personal interests for the common good or “general will”. Logically, the people who possess the national sovereignty are the ones who will elect their representatives that will eventually establish written laws in order to allow a nation to fully function. Bearing this in mind, is paramount to fully grasp that the representatives should be considered as a “collective person”, in other words, the representatives are a metaphysical person and in theory will not jeopardize in anyway, shape or form since any “bad” or “immoral” actions will also affect him as member of that nation and society as a whole, which made the Democracy concept flourished. However, in today’s society, even though there are a lot Democracies within Europe, oftentimes there are lack of democratic values. More concretely, fortunately people have the right to vote, as well as many parties to choose, but that is not enough by itself. People have been losing faith in their governments and in Democracy, since they belief politicians and lawmakers do not care about the people and the nation itself but about their personal and special interests which violate completely many Democratic values and the “agreement” made by the people in the “Social Contract”. Oftentimes, politicians have been promising unreachable ideas in order to gain votes, but when they are elected they usually do not fulfill their promises, which I would argue is mainly because their campaign financiers do not allow them and eventually some laws are proposed due to the influence of those financiers and/or multinational corporations. More deeply, I would argue the financial and economic world, like Wall Street and Banks are the main responsible, since they only care about their financial profit and they do not care about the people neither society itself. Unfortunately, there is an increase in Oligarchs power and thereby some might say that politicians are merely puppets from the “power behind the scenes”, which disrespect the people’s power, since they had alienated their power of self-government to a abstract entity that we call: Government and State, besides the fact, many may argue that our politicians and representatives are not elected but either selected, thereby we as a people do not have a real choice to vote and represent the national and people’s interest. I would go further by stating that we somehow have become gradually slaves of this tyrannic system and we do not even notice it, as Johann von Goethe once said: “The best slave is the one who thinks he is free.” This might be the foremost problem in today’s World which had allowed some radical parties and parties who do not support today’s European Union since is their belief there is too much bureaucracy, subversion and so forth. As a result, countries like Poland, Italy, France, Hungary and some more have seen in their political atmosphere an increase in those parties, in fact, I would distinguish Hungary’s Prime Minister: Viktor Orbán since he has repeatedly defended that Hungarian’s billionaire George Soros is a threat to Democracy and European Union, as well as Nigel Farage and some others. Anyway, Democracy has become a odd reality since we have allowed our governments to be corrupted and today’s policies are not helping people and society in general terms. In my opinion, there should be a more transparent political system and the Media should help in this process, as well, the Educational System and Universities, otherwise we can be jeopardizing all the effort that has been made across decades and even centuries to establish a fairer society, where values as: Liberty, Equality and Fraternity are a must and every human being has intrinsic rights as John Locke had written. With this being said, I think European young generation should make the difference and are the change for our future as national citizens, but more importantly as European and World Citizens, and thereby we should unite all together and discuss ideas and help one another.

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