Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Europe Is What You Want It to Be

What is Europe? Nobody knows - and even reduced to a geographical concept it tends to get a bit murky in the East - are  the Urals its border? Who knows? Europe is obviously something different depending on your viewpoint. It could be a postwar dream of a peaceful harmonious union of thriving countries working together amicably. It could be a similar concept to the United States of America. Or it could be the ugly bureaucratic face of a monolithic ogre.

Whatever it is, it isn't ONE thing. It's a multi-faceted concept which - importantly - is subject to change, and can be changed and moulded according to specific needs, most obviously economic ones.

So... if you don't like what you see, or you think it should be different, or put more emphasis on an aspect you find important - why not change it accordingly? Say, you think there should be more ethnic minorities represented in the European Parliament, then why not make yourself heard? Why not actively go out, and do something about it?  Because you can. Everthing is possible. There are so many initiatives, grassroot movements, working groups of all descriptions, internet opportunities to take part in, to ask questions and get answers, to move things around when it comes to European affairs.

I agree that they may not be brilliantly communicated (maybe the EU knows better than to waste money on expensive PR campaigns - unlike so many local governments?) but they are there. A little internet research will open up a whole avenue of participation and interactive opportunities. You can follow every EU organisation on social media, thousands of EU representatives are on twitter, and will actually follow back and engage in conversations,  they're very active and approachable! There is stuff for children, for teachers, for language-learners, for students.. you name it! Just have a look and get involved, have your say!

But don't just shoot the whole thing down on the basis of grumpily saying "Naa, bunch of bureaucrats who got us into the mess we're in". Because it isn't like that.

Europe is fun, it's varied, it's anything you'd like it to be. Just give it a go!


  1. It would be a little saccharine of me to say that Europe is one big happy family - there is much that isn't working - but living in continental Europe has changed my perspective towards the rest of the world. I come from an island and the life there is tainted with suspicion towards anything foreign. If you don't participate in your own life, you may well end up being a victim of it. For those who sit back and decry Europe for trying to bring peace to this continent, get off your behinds and start participating. Directions for how to can be found above.

  2. Excellent blog. Finally a voice that points to the good things about Europe, and doesn't get het up about something that is very vague but can easily become a bogeyman/scapegoat for all sorts and manners of ills. I sincerely wish that all the countries (Greece, Italy, UK) who wish they were out of the EU would look to the actual causes of their own - frankly, home-grown - problems rather than need some foreign (in this case, EU) concept to blame.....finding scapegoats is easy but very dangerous. History lessons, anyone?