MONDAY, 12:00 CEST | We launched an online Citizens’ Panel debate to coincide with the State of Europe festival of ideas and politics!

While the Treaty of the European Union stipulates a foundation based on equality and non-discrimination, the fact is that structural racism has long prevented millions within the region from having equal access to opportunities. It’s time for Europe to confront its reality – openly and honestly – and break the bonds of structural racism from top down.

What can the EU do to move beyond polite acknowledgement towards real change? Answering questions from a panel of citizens were:

💬 Helena Dalli – European Commissioner for Equality
💬 Samira Rafaela – Member of the European Parliament (the Netherlands, Renew Europe) and Co-Chair of the Anti-Racism and Diversity Intergroup.

IMAGE CREDITS: Photo by Thomas de LUZE on Unsplash
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10 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. avatar

    When Europe failed to give up the confrontational perspective nourished since the Cold War ideological competition of the last century in this new global era, when Western democracy is seen as superior than all other systems, when democracy cannot tolerate pluralism, when Western values are claimed to be universal and other cultural civilization are rubbish need to be changed and destroyed, etc. talking to fight against racism is just lip service. What is important about democracy is that it is a system aiming at the best of the people. Who are the people in this global era? People in this global era is no more defined by race. Individuals can have multiple identities and nationalities. So, knowledge in Europe needs to renew so as to catch up with this new global, knowledge and IT era.

  2. avatar

    Racism is developed upon pride and prejudice. When Europe can be more humble and respect other cultural civilizations, tolerate differences, the power structure will change.

  3. avatar

    It is necessary for Europe to lead a new era of enlightenment, seeking knowledge of this new era of globalization when national boundary failed to protect a country from the transcending nature of many critical issues. Renewal of knowledge is crucial for social, economic and political development. Nothing in a new era can prosper with outdated perspectives/strategies of the last century.

  4. avatar
    EU Reform Proactive

    An unsolvable problem- as huge as the universe is endless!

    “To err is human”- to deliberately construct a dishonest & unfair governmental system should equally become a crime against humanity!

    Who are some initiators? What results and changes can be expected- except bringing “the best global minds” around an obvious rectangular table for four days?

    One example is the “EU-Africa High-Level Group”- consisting of the Friends of Europe= the DE/EU family, the Mo Ibrahim Foundation and the ONE Campaign (Bono). Great!

    Remember when US D. Trump received another “accolade”- being called “a racist bigot” by some media, commentators & ordinary folks about a general remark he made about Africa? Very undiplomatic & toxic for a politician to say (“hate speech”?)- but Trump is no politician!

    That is how the virus of racism is spreading- speeches & media- infecting the whole globe. Another failure by the “democratically elected” leadership!

    Just pick one of our current “global minds”- calling Trump a “lawless US president” (maybe not for too long anymore?)- is US Prof John J Stremlau- a Board member of the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA) and visiting Professor at Wits in South Africa.

    He & nobody really dares to interrogate more important issues of African failures- the lack of honesty & ethics by & within the ruling political establishment entrusted to govern:

    The deliberate institutionalized corruption within a political one-party system to systematically fund the ruling party, to sustain it and their policy and to give preference in appointing only party loyalists by ignoring skills, experience & honesty until Jesus comes back- or sinking into chaos by becoming another failed state in Africa! Historic examples exist(ed) in South America, Europe & Asia. There are no holy cows!

    The ordinary folks suffer while the “global great minds” have a congress/ball!

  5. avatar
    EU Reform Proactive

    Since the EU enjoys playing the “Europe card’ at every opportune time, please be reminded of the History, Role, and Activities of the true « Council of Europe » the continent’s (=Europe) oldest political organization, founded in 1949.

    The EU concept was created in 1992 by the Treaty of Maastricht and differs substantially to that of the CoE.

    Aims of the fully pan European CoE (47 members) are- quote:

    – to protect human rights, pluralist democracy and the rule of law;

    – to promote awareness and encourage the development of Europe’s cultural identity and diversity

    – to find common solutions to the challenges facing European society: such as discrimination against minorities, xenophobia, intolerance, bioethics and cloning, terrorism, trafficking in human beings, organized crime and corruption, cybercrime, violence against children;

    – to consolidate democratic stability in Europe by backing political, legislative and constitutional reform. The current Council of Europe’s political mandate was defined by the Third Summit of Heads of State and Government, held in Warsaw in May 2005.

    I suggest that racism is a Human Rights issue and better suited to be dealt by the CoE- not the EU.

    The EU’s origin is rooted mainly in economics & it should be careful not to overplay its hand to outdo the CoE or the UN as a Johnny-come-lately!

    Please look after the economic prosperity of the 27 EU club members first & foremost!

  6. avatar
    catherine benning

    How can Europe win the fight against racism?

    First of all, I want to draw attention to how lacking this thread is of comments. Only two individuals have had an acceptance of their thoughts on this matter. And such a reaction on an issue hotter than a furnace fired to melt iron. Could it be so many people out there have no views on this? Or, is it their views are not allowed to be aired by the so called ‘Democracy’ of Europe because they are not the views of this organisation? In fact, they are too populist for publishing. Meaning too popular.

    Clearly my views come under this category. So, this man is my choice of speaker on this most grave of issues we presently have.

    • avatar

      When mainstream perspectives have achieved a hegemony, only one voice can be heard. As democracy claimed hegemony, all other perspectives are politically incorrect. This is not the problem of EU as an organization only, it is the problem of this post-Cold War era. People lack the words, theories and mind set for meaningful dialogue.

  7. avatar

    “Liberty, equality, fraternity”, is the national motto of France. Without “fraternity”, all evil means to achieve “liberty” and “equality” can be justified. So, we have to rethink over where this “American Lighthouse of Democracy” has been leading the whole world?

  8. avatar
    catherine benning

    How can Europe win the fight against racism?

    Definition of ‘fight against’:

    Racism referring to?

    And here we question. Why?

    Which link comes closer to the truth in answering this question asked here, claiming to look for an answer to racism in ‘Europe.’ Whilst not revealing ‘racism’ is claimed throughout the world by Africans living outside their continent.

    Youtube shows racism is clearly claimed by African societies residing in every country outside their place of origin. Why is that?

    • avatar
      catherine benning

      The presenter in previous links got the event of the movie Zulu wrong. It had nothing to do with the Dutch. It was in fact a movie depicting the battle of Rorke’s Drift between the British Army and the Zulu’s January 1879, during the Anglo Zulu war….. Great film. They don’t make movies like this any more. The art being lost since Sony took over Hollywood.

      Here is a clip.

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