Mike's weblog on awesome technology, politics and what else comes to his mind.

The european union? What does union stand for...?


As a citizen living in germany you sometimes get the idea that this country is kind of weird. Germans can be, really, believe it or not, but still I think Germany is great, also the majority of the people. Now after a very eventful 2015 I really wonder myself since I'm do not agree with chancellor Merkel, but acting in terms of the refugee crisis: I do. OK, one step after another. Let's start early with the definition of refugee, which according to Wikipedia is:

A refugee, according to the Geneva Convention on Refugees is a person who is outside their country of citizenship because they have well-founded grounds for fear of persecution because of their race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, and is unable to obtain sanctuary from their home country or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail themselves of the protection of that country; or in the case of not having a nationality and being outside their country of former habitual residence as a result of such event, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to their country of former habitual residence. Such a person may be called an "asylum seeker" until considered with the status of "refugee" by the Contracting State[1] where they formally make a claim for sanctuary or right of asylum.

This is one of the moments where I really think Wikipedia is just over the top when it comes to verbosity, so I take the freedom to bring up a quite shorter, personal definition:

A refugee is a person which flees from it's homeland, leaving most of it's property and in many cases relatives and friends to seek personal security and not taking the risk to die at home.

Maybe a bit striking, but still I believe in this definition. Of course, refugees that "make it" want to get their relatives to the place they were granted asylum. Wouldn't you either? Now what is happening in Europe? Too make a very long story short, things we should take care about:

  • More and more right-wing parties are getting popular. Too popular:
    • Great Britian: UKIP made 12.6% in elections '15
    • The Netherlands: PVV made 12,2% in european elections '14
    • France: Front National made 25% in european elections '14 and department elections '15
    • Italy: Lega Nord made 50.1% in Venetia, and way beyond 15% in Toscana and Liguria in '15
    • Hungary: Jobbik made 20.2% in elections '14
    • Austria: FPÖ made at least 15% in various states '15
    • Finland: Finns Pary made 19% in elections '15
    • Denmark: Danish People's party made 26.6% in european elections '14
    • Poland: Law & Justice party made 39.1% in elections '15
  • Many of the long-standing agreements throughout the european union, like the agreement of Schengen are quietly undercut.
  • Especially the above mentioned countries are rejecting any cooperation when it comes to distribute refugees amongst the european union.
  • More and more social networks are abused for proven false stories to create a frightening atmosphere, checking the roots of these lead many times to right-wing activists.
  • There are many, many more aspects which I do not cover, just giving the polish consitutional crisis as an example.

True, there have been many copycats trying to seek asylum for economical reasons, and I totally agree that these people are clearly not refugees, not by the definition I made above.

So, what can we do about this? I honestly don't know, but I do have a few ideas:

  • Governments should hire about any possible translator natively speaking the primary spoken languages of currently hot-spot related areas. And yes: Pay the premiums for translation agencies if necessary.
  • These translators should do a pre-briefing of any asylum-seeking person in their native language. This allows a quick identification of copycats not really with the origin of Syria (or any other war-like zone in the world)
  • Finally find a way to distribute the refugees amongst the european union, finding a joint formula taking population, gross domestic product per capita and national budget into account.
  • In case of doubt: Send them back (see below for where I would send them). Not rude, but be can easily justify this sort of decision, nation-wide and international.
  • Especially for the countries under pressure at the moment (like Germany and Sweden): Really deport non-refugees as fast as possible back to their homeland. If they try to cheat: Send them back from where they claim to come from as a threat, then they will tell where they really come from. Nobody will risk going to a war zone for the sake of better economical chances.

I'm really ashamed to see how these things are happening in Europe. We are currently not acting the way a 21st century union should. No union, sorry, not at all. Otherwise I think the refugee crisis wouldn't be close to what it has developed.

To finish off this, I would like to refer what union stands for, just taking google by searching for union definition:

the action or fact of joining or being joined, especially in a political context.

I think this makes clear what I mean:

Join together europe. Even if some decisions are hard to make. Show some action. Stop bullying each other on the details and make progress on the big picture. Just f'cking do it.

I promise: If you do, you will take the ground for many of the brain-dead & fear-bashing right-wing parties. With such actions we would also make idiots like from AfD weaker by the day in germany.

We want that, right?