Liberalism, Politics and Diaspora: Europe’s Success Story 

Liberalism is the advocate of free movement. The opportunities provided in the framework of the European Union have benefited not only the individuals who move to work, study or travel, but also the very states themselves, enriching their societies with new skills and capacities. The emerged European diasporas have become a link of friendship and partnership among states symbolizing how much we can achieve together. They are ambassadors of the European identity and they have the ability to promote political and economic transformation from an institutional and discursive perspective.

In this liberal Europe, the children of immigrants have equal opportunities, even to become a Member of Parliament just like Grigoris Aggelidis MdB, a German politician (FDP) of Greek origin. In this event, we invite him to give us a fresh view about the future of liberalism in Europe and Greece. Moreover, we shall discuss the dimensions in the potential contribution to Greece from abroad. What impact can the Greek diaspora have on the country’s development, in our networked era of globalization? How could the Greeks turn the “brain-drain” to “brain-gain”? What should change and what can be improved in order to make Greece competitive again? In the aftermath of the European elections 2019, Mr Aggelidis will offer the perspective of a Northern European who, nevertheless, is well aware of the Greek situation. Continue reading

Promoting citizenship: (Re-)Connecting Europe to its citizens

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On 26 May 2019, more than 400 Million EU citizens were invited to exercise their democratic right to vote in elections to the European Parliament. Politics as usual? Only partially: For the first time ever, voter turnout rose and was even the highest for 20 years. Moreover, albeit with some exceptions, the much anticipated eurosceptic wave in the future European Parliament was put to a stop. However, such recent positive developments do not hide the fact that European politics and EU decision-making are perceived as being (too) distant by EU citizens for some years already. An argument which is often brought forward not only by anti-European voices. Continue reading

Creating their Future: Young People in Europe 

Presentation and discussion of the book “Young People in Europe” by Young Liberals-Greece

The world is changing rapidly while stereotypes are collapsing. The new generation is seeking new roles and identity, beyond conservative determination and assumptions. In addition, emerging challenges such as climate change and economic inequality are rapidly growing and exceeding expectations.

Certain surveys, such as theEurobarometer-EY2016, emphasize that although young people are not actively involved in politics, they do have a profound political perception. This suggests that while they are concerned with political issues, they do not find fitting political channels of expression. Continue reading

The Human Rights Situation in the Philippines

 

Ever since president Duterte came into power in 2016, the human rights situation in the Philippines has worsened rapidly, with journalists and human rights defenders risking incarceration and death. Finally, the president’s murderous “war on drugs”, and the wave of extrajudicial killings, have culminated in the withdrawal from the International Criminal Court, after it sought to investigate the issue. Continue reading

EU-Ukraine Integration at a Crossroad – Opportunities and Risks of the Association Process 

A joint event of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom and Promote Ukraine

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Ten years have elapsed since the European Union entered a new period in its evolution – one of the most complex in the history of European integration. This period started with the 2008-2009 global economic and financial crisis, which caused the Euro area crisis and the Greek debt crisis, and later spread to other, non-economic areas. This gives rise to questions regarding the future of the European Union, its integration association, as well as its impact on the development of the global economy.

Answers to these questions are especially important for Ukraine, given that since 2014 its strategic course of fundamental socio-economic and political transformations has been very closely connected with the European integration idea, and the Association Agreement with the EU has become a key mechanism that determines the pace and directions of Ukrainian reforms. Continue reading

Understanding EU Citizenship: from the Past to the Present 

An event organised by the European Liberal Forum (ELF) and supported by Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom.

«Citizenship is hereby established. […] Citizens of the Union shall enjoy the rights and be subject to  the duties provided for in the Treaties. », stipulates Article 20 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the
European Union.
However, do we as European citizens really know what the concept of citizenship means for us today and which concrete rights it entails apart from voting on 26 May ? As there remains still much to do in the field, we take the opportunity to put a spotlight onto EU citizenship shortly after Europe Day and only ten days before the European elections.

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Can Innovation and Direct Engagement Bring European Democracy Back to the People? 

A joint event of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom and
the Mission of Switzerland to the EU, with a book presentation by N. Nuspliger

 

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The 2019 European elections set the course for the future of democracy in Europe. While EU-skeptical nationalists are calling for the disempowerment of European institutions and a return to pure cooperation between nation states, EU-supporters see greater integration as the way to more democracy. This debate hides the much more fundamental challenge that the democratic model is currently facing. While authoritarianism seems en vogue, liberal democracy is coming under increasing pressure from within, thus facing the challenge to adapt and reinvent itself. Continue reading