Global Voices – Tomislav Jovanovski from Southeast Europe

[This text is part of a series of essays that were sent to us by young writers from across the globe on how they see Europe and its future. More essays will be published over time.]

[I want] to point out that we are [a] sustainable and natural part of EUROPE and that is [my] standing point to start with. SEE (Southeast Europe) as [a] region has political ties [with Europe] (some countries are EU/NATO member states, some are heading in that direction), as well as economic relations [that show] which countries in the world are [the] biggest importers of the goods and services that are manufactured by factories placed in SEE. [T]he answers is: [the] most developed countries [in the EU].

Furthermore, [many examples show] that we are culturally connected. All together, we can contribute to the process of EUROPEAN INTEGRATION, [to a] EUROPE based on differences, but also [to a] modern EUROPE [that sets an example by showing] how countries can [take] part [in a] reconciliation process and [be] driving force[s] of joint political and economic projects for [a] better future: [a future] where ideas, [the] movement of people, and trade (including services) are based on certain legal rules and requirements [that are] fair and equal for all, for states, for companies, for individuals…

It is fairly [clear] that [the EU’s] model of integration can be [seen] as [an] exampl[e of] where [the] SEE [is] head[ing] in [the] near and distant future (30 years?), [and how it is getting there. (Even though this model cannot just be “copy-pasted”.)] [W]ith our values ([which are] based on [our] traditional role in the past) [the] SEE can contribute to the bigger picture: [The SEE can contribute to a] EUROPE [that stretches] from [the] Atlantic (Portugal) to [the] Ural[s] and beyond. [It can help make the EU have a] greater role in the geo-spatial concept of Eurasia.

SEE has to [be] embedded [in] the democratic norms [of the] developed countries [of] the [W]est. [It has] to cooperate with its European neighbors in [the northern] and central regions of the continent. [It must] implement [the] best practices when it [comes to] human rights and gender- and minority issues. [And it has] to further improve its [ways of dealing with] reform-judicial and eco-social aspects of [the] daily li[fe] of [its] citizens. [There is a p]otential in terms of resources here, [except for when it comes to] the most precious resource: human capital. [P]eople come and go all [over] Europe. [I]t is [an] open space without borders, but SEE politicians, as well [as communities], should [generally] take in[to] consideration that if SEE wants to play [a] comprehensive and relevant role in the theatre called “EUROPE”, [they] should deliver results and display alternative[s] (economical, cultural and visionary) to [the] people that are willing to [let Europe stretch] further than SEE. [They] should foster [the] inclusion of minorities [and a] greater cooperation within the community, and [they should create] clear perspective[s] for [the] youth. [They should get young people involved in] SMEs [(small and medium-sized enterprises), which create] business opportunities and social entrepreneur[ship]. [This] is the future not only for SEE as [a] region, but [for all of] Europe.

SEE has its advantages. [It might] be threatened by certain historical legacies, but in the past [it has also] been seen as a gate toward[s the W]est ([opening up towards] external influences). A gate that [is] now open [as well as] displaced. [Through] civil societ[y], SEE has [the opportunity] to be[come a] relevant stakeholder in the process of defining EUROPE (and [the] EU as [a] supranational [institution] or [a] club of Nation member states). Furthermore, with [the] advance[d] technological evolution, [it could become a relevant stakeholder] in the project of globalization.

Is [this] difficult? No, BUT it [takes] courage and political will, as well [as] experience, charisma and [a] vision for the future: [More specifically, a vision of] our joint future.


Tomislav Jovanovski from Southeast Europe

23/6 2017

[edits: Louise Roesen Abildgaard]


Global Voices – Anastasiya Blazhko from Ukraine

[This text is part of a series of essays that were sent to us by young writers from across the globe on how they see Europe and its future. More essays will be published over time.]

“So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth” -Baha’u’llah

      If [a] human being completely unfamiliar with world history looked at the way Europe is functioning today he would probably be more than a little confused. How could it happen that [in] such a small territory, so many unique, independent nationalities somehow appeared? And with worldviews and traditions that are so different from each other, how were they able to unite under one flag in the name of peace and Human Rights protection?

I grew up in the country that has the most controversial position in the European arena. Ukraine is often [referred to as] the bridge between the European world and the post-Soviet states. Our country has been trying to create a new vision of Ukraine in order to bring back the values of our European past and transform the “not-so-great” experience we had with [the] communist government. Not having a clear vision of the future we want to live in is the main problem of the people of our nation. Most of them, especially elderly people, are still living in the past, forgetting the present.

In 2014 during the Revolution of Dignity, the people of our nation finally decided whether they wanted to [be] a Western border of the post-Soviet community or [to be] one of the European nations. This year I [got] the chance to study at the Ukrainian Leadership Academy, a project that [aims] at creating a new generation of leaders who will be able to bring our country to a whole new level of development and [improve the] quality of human life. The main idea of this project is that every choice you make should be supported by the values you believe in. And I guess [that] is my main point here: We can only talk about our future in 30 years, if we believe that we will be able to get there.

I don’t believe that in our globalized world we can talk about [the] scenarios of different countries separately. For the past 50 years, thanks to the invention of television and the internet, we became so united that we [now] move forward as one organism. [This] means that it’s up to each one of us [to decide] how our countries are going to communicate in the future.

The main challenge [that the] European community [is facing] today is finding the balance between democratic and traditional values. Changes can often seem scary, especially for us Europeans, who tend to be conservative about certain things. If it is accepted by people that [global] issues are not just [a certain] “world’s” concerns anymore we will be able to move to the next step of human progress. [For some reason] the natural greediness and the non-acceptance of people with other religious beliefs [result in the creation of] a great war on our way there.

Even though Europe [as a whole] was built [upon] Christian values it can’t stay [purely] Christian anymore. We can’t just close our eyes on the events that are happening outside [of] Europe.

I dream to see [a] future [version of] Europe [which is a] union of countries that focus[ses] first of all on [the] human itself [and] that put[s] all stereotypes [in] the far background. It is easy to shut yourself in your house not seeing the fire at your neighbor’s house but we shouldn’t forget that fire tend[s] to spread really fast. Only together Europe can be strong. Our open hearts should be [the] main weapon to defeat our main enemy: Indifference.
I want to finish with a famous quote by Winston Churchill: “We hope to see a Europe where men of every country will think of being a European as of belonging to their native land, and…wherever they go in this wide domain…will truly feel, ‘Here I am at home.”

Anastasiya Blazhko from Ukraine

20/4 2017

[edits: Louise Roesen Abildgaard]

Global Voices – Sarah AL Jabri El Jahmi from Sana’a Yemen

[This text is part of a series of essays that were sent to us by young writers from across the globe on how they see Europe and its future. More essays will be published over time.]

I want to say I am very happy to write about an important subject like this, especially as an outsider.

We hear and see a lot these days about terrorism and increasing [numbers of] terrorists, also about the explosions that shake the security and stability in a lot of countries whether Arabic or foreign.

I’m not from Europe and I do not live in it but I want Europe to become within the next 30 years a unified country that includes every nationality and does not divide [anyone from anyone among] the people – a unified country against any radicalism and terrorism and [want it to] be a great example for other counties, defend the oppressed and take their rights from the unjust.

The racism rising in Europe shapes and the Arab, Muslim, Sinti/Roma and black [communities] in Europe by causing assault, violations, and hatred towards them.

I want Europe in the next 30 years [to be] empty from the racism and work on a clear strategy and cooperation strategy with Sinti/Roma and Muslims, come together with them and not intimidate people from the Islamic religion.

We also need to improve the awareness in media and [school] curricula. Racism leads to nothing except the violence and hatred. Most important of all is to build up and educate the new generation so that all the people are equal and all of them are brothers with no difference between them.

I want Europe in the next 30 years [to be a] country of justice and equality, a country that seeks to spread peace in the world, a prosperous country in every field –  a country that makes everyone who hears about it say how much they wish they were from Europe that great country.

Sarah AL Jabri El Jahmi from Sana’a Yemen

[edits: Moritz Borchardt]