European elections 2019: viewpoints from a continent at a crossroads


I was born in communist Romania. And back in those
days we were not even allowed to have a passport,
let alone to travel freely. As a psychologist I
work with immigrants. And I wonder if we can manage
all those problems coming up. Even to this day and after so
many years after the collapse of communism travelling freely
from one country to another gives me goosebumps. Do you think that it’s the
fear of the other that plays… Yes. …a big role here? It’s unknown. They’re strangers,
totally strangers. And it is difficult
to communicate, for instance, the language. The government does
not know how to manage. Overall, my guess is that those
migrants who come to Europe because they are seen as
migrants they work harder in order to compensate… Yeah. …for that particular sense
of, let’s say, inferiority, if you go to a different
country and you’re perceived as a migrant. I was born in
Italy, in the north. My parents come from
the south but my mother has a Spanish Spanish that
is with Arabic origin. So if I look at somebody, I
don’t look at nationality. One of the most important
things that people has to do is to try to have
empathy with him to expose in a relaxed and
respectful way your opinion, listen to the others,
and find common points. Europe has not power… enough power… to make these
politics applies to countries. So the problem is not Europe. Is the lack of Europe? No. If you say we don’t… they
don’t have enough power, so I make it stronger. What means more power? More economic sanctions? If I have a problem
in a global scale, I will not have each
prime minister to talk. If Trump comes to Europe
he will speak, of course, also to prime ministers. But the most important person
must be somebody from Europe that represents everybody. One person in Europe
has not idea about what’s meaning in our little
town in the middle of Spain. It has not idea. In the local, I know
what I want to do. OK. And people… it’s very
easy to involve people because it’s their neighbour,
their family, their friends. OK. So I think the people of
Europe is to support this. But even taking very easy
economical approach about even a factory or
something like that, you cannot solve if you do
not have a global approach. It’s crazy to think that less
than one century ago, there was war, and we killed each other. And now I live in France,
and nobody point at me like a foreigner. When we say let’s
exit from Europe, it doesn’t make sense
because it is what we are. Europe has very good politics
about environmental debt or about climate changing. But to apply it to
countries… to its country… is really difficult. Europe has
to have the power to make it happen. If not, why? Exchange of views
is always enriching. If that other person has, like,
a completely opposite opinion of what you have, you might
learn something from it. I identify myself
equally as an Irishman and as a European citizen. I’ve married a Lithuanian
woman, and I’ve been really… I’ve enjoyed the
experience of sharing my culture with her culture. Crossing borders and
people living together is absolutely no problem. But question is, are we all
going to be Europeans with, how should I say, one big soup,
everything mixed together? Or are we still going to
have our own identities? I think in some circumstances
it might be necessary to have, like, how should I
say, guarded borders. Like what happened some time ago
with this influx of refugees, a lot of refugees
went to countries who were more popular
than to other countries. In fact, it should have been
distributed in equal shares. I don’t know. My personal opinion, Angela
Merkel opened the doors, opened… come on into Germany. And I think that’s an
absolutely wonderful thing. I feel it’s humanitarian,
what she did there. If you look at the border
between the UK and Europe… Yeah. …right, which is the Channel,
there are people risking their lives to go
over the Channel. They end up in the UK,
they’re going to be illegal. So they’re going to
end up being, like, at the hands of people who
absolutely have no intention to respect their interests. As China and Russia
present new sets of norms the European Union needs to
stand by the norms that it has. Yeah, of course. And those norms are… Yeah. …rule of law,
freedom of expression. Of course, yeah. So we all recognise it, or at
least in theory we should be sharing these. Yeah. Yeah, you say in theory. But in practice,
that’s my frustration. In theory, yes, but in practice? Applied to reality,
in Europe you have very different economics. Spain economics
has levelled here, and maybe Finland is on there. So you can’t play
on free market. Europe has like
how many states… how many member states? 27, 28, whatever. Each one of those
countries going to have some problems
with security. We have the European
Space Agency. That is something very cool. It is something coming
from a group of countries. Italy couldn’t do
European Space Agency. And France they believe a lot
in it but they couldn’t do it. Germany couldn’t do it alone. Can we take something from
the Flemish and Walloon situation… the
conflict in the past? Can we take something
from that and bring it to the Brexit table? Belgium is a country
of compromise. For Europe, if you
have to compromise with 28 different
opinions it’s going to be a lot more difficult. I think there’s a better
chance of compromise with a large number of states. I mean, if you get, say,
10, 12 states agreeing on one particular subject, you
might get three or four more guys saying, OK, let’s join it. It reminds me of the
film 12 Angry Men. Maybe it’s not… I don’t want… sorry, I can do it alone,
or I don’t need Europe. Maybe it’s I don’t want
to be part, now, in Europe because of the way
it is structured. Either you are on
the same level, or you close your borders and
create your own rules but not something in between. That’s not clear for… But don’t you think the more
fractured you are as a society, the more it can benefit
certain politicians? If there is a genuine interest
in starting a dialogue, if there is a will, there
may be a way as well. Unless we all pitch in,
it’s not going to happen. Well, it was interesting
to see how we have the same starting point. But then we went in
different directions. Did you enjoy it? I enjoyed it, yeah. Yes. On the principles… Yes, absolutely. agreed. But we have a
difference of meaning on how it will be implemented. Mm. When we were talking, I did
bite my lip a couple of times. Oh, all right. I let you speak a bit. But I’m glad I didn’t
butt in then, because I’m learning different angles. Often, we blame people
with different ideas. And but when you start to
really discuss and deepen the argument, you find many
more commonalities and many more matching points
than differences. The only way to change
is through dialogue. You know, what we’ve done
here today, for example. Mm-hm, mm-hm, yeah. And I think that, in itself,
is a great initiative. It’s wonderful. And, you know, you and I might
continue this dialogue… Yeah. …even off camera. It’s like you have a chat
with your mates in the pub. The first sign of conflict
and there’s a big argument. But we had conflicts today,
but there was no arguments. Maybe if we give
more power to Europe, but within very specific… nobody for in a bad
way, maybe will be good. OK. Maybe. But I it’s a little
difficult. But it’s worth it. OK, so maybe
something changed, OK. Yeah, maybe. That was good. Yeah. You just said, like, it feels
like having, like, conversation in the pub. Yeah. PETER AUWERX: So I
think maybe tonight we have to share a couple
of beers, right? We’ll have to continue
it, yeah, definitely. Yeah, I think so, yeah.




Comments
  1. Fantasy world inhabited by liars, the european union. It's dying thank goodness but please hurry up!

  2. I will be one of the millions that take back our sovereignty tomorrow. My vote goes to FvD in The Netherlands. Dont usually vote right wing but there is no option. #restorethebalance

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