Essence

Do we want a better world?

Do we want a better world?

Is a better world possible?

Is a better world possible?
LovEuropa♥?

What do YOU want from the European Union?

EU: Same! - Change! - Exit!

The opinion of the Europeans on the European Union, in the way it works now, is divided. Basically there are three points of view: stay the same, change or exit.
At first glance, which statement best reflects your position right now?

Europa: Union or Community?

Europa: union or community

The term European Union came into existence with the treaty of Maastricht in 1992. Before that, the commonly used name was European Community. Is there a difference?

Do you like the idea of living in a "Union" or would you prefer the former idea of a "Community"? What associations do you have with each of these two terms?

Do you know Europa as community of people?

europa-comunidad

One thing is the EU as a political entity, that you may like more or less, or not like at all.

But how about Europa in a non-political sense, in fact, as a community? Our continent enjoys a rich diversity of peoples, cultures and languages. How well do you know the community of people within this political union you are living in?

To start with, how much interaction do you have with other europeans in your daily life?
and then:

  • Which European countries have you ever visited?
  • Have you ever lived, worked and/or studied in any of them? (say, a year or more)
  • From our rich offer in languages which one(s) do you speak?
  • And, very important, from which countries do you have friends or maybe even (had) a love?

It may seem a long list, but you can skip your own country and the countries that don't apply.
(the countries are subdivided in blocks of decreasing EU commitment (open borders, use of Euro), within that ordered by year of entry and then alphabetically - source 1, source 2)

 
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Full EU countries: open borders (Schengen) and within the Euro

EU countries: open borders (Schengen) but not within the Euro.

EU countries: closed borders (Schengen) but within the Euro

EU countries: closed borders and not in the Euro.

Countries that chose to leave the EU.

Do you understand the European Union?

How does the EU work?

In theory, the European Union is an entity that exists for the good of its citizens. Therefore it seems obvious that, to begin with, EU inhabitants should actually understand it: knowing how it works, what advantages it offers or how they can actively participate to improve it, amongst other.

How well do you feel you understand the European Union?
There are some topics in the newspapers and on tv-news we receive information about every day. How do you rate their importance and how would information about the EU (news or how it works) compare to that?

The European Dream?

European Dreaming

Until a few decades ago, the vast majority of European citizens shared a common dream, a European Dream.

It was originally a dream of peace, the fundamental reason why some European countries decided to unite. They started with industrial and economic collaboration under the philosophy that countries that work together do not wage war. This original reason was powerful, easy to understand for everyone, shared from top to bottom and it worked. The united countries have known the longest period of peace in Europe since Roman times (Pax Romana), more than 70 years.

Over time, peace was taken for granted and economic collaboration became the main focus, while, for a period, there was also room for the creation and growth of public and social services. For most people in the community, the dream went on as a combination of shared prosperity, human values ​​and ideals.

However, since a few decades, those public and social services have been gradually reduced again, privatized or even disappeared, while the industry and economy became totally dominant to the point where today the European Union and its citizens basically appear to be seen and treated as nothing more than a "market".

This development seems to have caused, also gradually, the oblivion of human values ​​and ideals, and with it, the fading of the European Dream. Today, many citizens are critical of the EU or even skeptical and want to leave. The European Union, as it currently exists, no longer seems to cover any dream, at least not that of its citizens.

Is countries leaving the EU a danger to the original dream of peace? Do you think the European dream should be recovered?

A fresh look at Europa?

A fresh look at Europa

As soon as it seemed possible to take peace for granted in Europa, attention has been increasingly focused on industry and economy, as the next step in the European Dream: prosperity. To a certain extent this was reached, but in just a few decades it seems to have gone out of control. From a means at the service of prosperity for the citizens, the economy (now the "financial markets") seems to have become an objective and dominant in society. The balance shifted completely to the mere maximization of profits for banks and large companies. Austerity was cast over the population, while multinationals have been enjoying ever increasing tax benefits, many of them even crossing legal borders. Since decades, the gap between rich and poor has grown again.

However, this is not a European problem, it is a global problem. Within this scenario, Europa is still the most prosperous region in the world, with the smallest gap between rich and poor, although many people, understandably, will not be able to believe it. At present, Europe is still the region with the highest perception of freedom, justice and other human and social values ​​in the world. These are the ultimate values ​​that most citizens considered the decisive step of the European Dream. And Aren't they still? Isn't now the precisely moment to give them a fresh look or must European citizens continue tolerating the imposed and dictatorial domination by economy.

In addition, far more important issues have emerged that are also global in scope, but where Europa can play a leading role, with climate change being the clearest example. Other topics are, among others, freedom of expression, gender equality, non-profit circular and sustainable economy, and the abolition of bank secrecy. Reinforcing these kind of human and social values has a truly positive, profound and lasting effect on society as a whole, not the eternal battles for economic, political or military superiority. Most probably Europa is the region in the world where they best can prosper.

Maybe time for a fresh look at Europa?

Europa's potential?

The European Tree carries many different types of fruit

Our world is facing many fundamental problems that exceed the capacity of individual countries to solve them. If we do not deal very quickly with these problems in a large-scale collective human effort, global society or even the planet itself may not reach the end of this century, at least not in a healthy way. In fact, a considerable part of the human and animal population, and disturbing portions of the Earth have already reached that point and do nothing but fight for their mere survival. The situation is becoming increasingly unstable and unsustainable.

Unfortunately, most people are so busy simply keeping up with daily life that they do not even find the time or energy to think about it, much less to act. Others prefer to avoid any worrying and choose to let themselves be distracted. And then there is a small but privileged number of people who benefit from all this and have the power to keep other people so occupied, distracted and even in that sorry state of mere survival.

Fortunately enough, small but growing groups of people all over the world are waking up to this reality. Each group faces it from one of the various perspectives, be it climate, ecology, evolution, a humanitarian or social approach, psychology, education, health and nutrition, science, art, sports, justice and sometimes even politics, law, business or economy.

 

Europa's colourful history is full of people from very diverse cultural backgrounds that have contributed to global society with brilliant and constructive inspirations: from Galilei and Newton to Tesla, Einstein or Bohr; from Dante or Cervantes to Voltaire and Kafka; from van Gogh and Mozart to Picasso and Freddy Mercury. Precisely in this diversity lies Europa's wealth and strength. It offers a far broader and richer basis for creativity and inspiration than is possible in a homogenious society where everybody eats the same food, has the same traditions and speaks the same language. Europa is an old tree with strong roots that carries many different and sometimes unexpected fruits.

Being also the territory of the world with the highest degree of freedom and justice, it is precisely in Europa where those innovative social groups sprout and grow more easily. At the same time, Europa also disposes of the essential resources, such as capital and knowledge. This makes Europa the place par excellence, possibly the only one, with enough potential to unleash the change that the world needs NOW to reach the 22st century in a healthy way.

But this change can only happen in a Europa that is truly united in diversity for and with its people. So not exactly this EU which essentially is just a political, monetary and market union where the representatives of each country are still mainly guided by national interests. It should be a Europa united by its conscientious citizens, in a human and social sense with a true spirit of "union", of coexistence and sharing. In fact, a community.

Europa's potential: its people and diverstity?

A better Europa for a better World?

Better Europa and World

Europa has a shamefully violent and savage past.
Within our own territory, we have practically always had one or more wars, except during the Pax Romana, about 2,000 years ago. As if that were not enough, we also invaded and occupied all or part of the other four continents for centuries under colonialism and imperialism after Columbus showed us that the world was round instead of flat, as they had always told us.

Only after two world wars, both initiated in Europe by the way, it seems we finally understood that waging war does not generate a healthy or happy society. The European project came to life with the initial main intention of never having war again. And it has worked for the members of the European Community, later renamed to the European Union. The most tangible, in fact easiest, way to maintain peace for more than 70 years has been economic cooperation, but, implicitly, the European Dream also harbored promises of much greater depth: those of human and social values like freedom, justice, equality and of honest and political transparency.

In the last decades, this project came into crisis essentially for political and economic reasons. Should this mean the end of the European Dream? Of course not, it just means that it has to be put on the right track again. From an internal peace that is based on true freedom, true justice, true equality, true political honesty and transparency. With this and the attention focused on citizens rather then on institutions or corporations, prosperity is created and peace is maintained by itself without any need of so much 'high' politics or economics. If for some reason the European project has entered into a crisis it is precisely because of them, not because of its citizens or human values.

Europa has in its citizens the ability to overcome these crises and when it does, to unlock the potential she holds to serve as a role model for other parts of the world, even if each territory does so in its own way. Precisely the rich diversity of cultures, languages, history, in short, of people in our small continent is an inexhaustible source of inspiration for the search to live in harmony, of creativity to achieve it and of willingness to maintain it, that has been forged over the centuries.

As Jean Monnet has always said: "Europe is not about integrating states, it is about uniting the people."

Actually, it is a message of global significance. If the peoples of Europe, with our violent past, are able to unite in a peaceful and harmonious way from the bottom upwards then, in contrast to that destructive past, we will have transmitted a clear and constructive message that it can also be achieved in other parts of the world. This would be a fourth and really the last step of the European Dream which, in fact, is Global!

 
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Europa of the people

It is the community of individual European citizens that unites!

For EurOpinion the united Europe is not a political issue or, certainly, not only. Rather than political we deem a united Europa to be a human issue, a community of citizens, of people in all their diversity that live together within this political construction now called EU. Each individual person, citizen, human being, is the smallest element of a whole that collectively makes up our united Europa (of course, extensible to the rest of the world, but for practical reasons just EU countries for now).

Some first simple questions focused on the individual european person

For EurOpinion each individual person is a basic building block that is just as important as the whole, so we consider it interesting, necessary, and, in fact, useful to know how we are individually. Probably this will give a greater understanding about Europa as a whole. Probably also about each other of and maybe even about ourselves. More ahead EurOpinion thinks about getting into deeper and more significant issues, but let's start with some simple questions.

Europa of politics

Scotland independent after BREXIT?

Scotland independent after BREXIT?

In 2014, Scotland held a national referendum. The voters were asked: "Should Scotland be an independent country?" 45% of the voters answered yes and 55% answered no, with an 85% participation. (wikipedia).

The main reason for many no-voters was the fact that they wanted Scotland to stay in the EU. Now that Brexit is going to take Scotland out of the EU, it is quite likely that there will be a new Scottish referendum.

BREXIT better for Europa?

 BREXIT better for Europa?

In his article from before the referendum Paul Degrauwe concludes that it is not in the interest of the EU to keep a country in the union that will continue to be hostile to “l’acquis communautaire” and that will follow a strategy to further undermine it.

Now a deal, of 585 pages, has been reached although it still must be approved by both the EU and the British parliament.

In either case, nobody ever seems to have asked what the European citizens think about this.
Share your opinion now and let's discover what Europa thinks as a whole.

Dragging EU legalization: abortion, cannabis, prostitution...

There are several dragging legalization issues that provoke public discussion and sometimes even protests, either against or in favour, in the different countries of Europa. Basically it's about whether they are morally acceptable or not. What is your standpoint? Do you think these kind of issues should actually be determined at a European level?

Nature First?

Should Greta receive the Nobel Peace prize?

Congrats Greta

Do you support the Global Strike(s) for Future?

Global Strike for Future

15 March 2019, Global Strike for Future

It all started with Greta Thunberg (15 years old by then) who staged an action outside the Swedish Riksdag (parliament), holding a sign that read "Skolstrejk för klimatet" or "School strike for climate" during August 2018.

Climate change, global warming... You would think the media and all of our leaders would be talking about nothing else. As if there was a world-war going on... But they never even mention it.

So, no-one is acting as if we were in a crisis. People keep doing what they do, because the vast majority doesn't have a clue about the actual consequences of our everyday life.

Inspired by Greta Thunberg, massive school strikes started in November 2018. In Australia, thousands of school students were inspired by Thunberg to strike on Fridays, ignoring Prime Minister Scott Morrison's call for "more learning in schools and less activism". In December student strikes continued at least in 270 cities in countries including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, the Netherlands, Germany, Finland, Denmark, Japan, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States. (wikipedia)

What we do or don't do right now
me and my generation cannot undo in the future.

From Awareness to Action!

Once aware of climate breakdown and destruction of nature, what step to take next?
How to keep the movement alive as George Monbiot wonders. EurOpinion poses a few suggestions one might want to consider.

Ecocide is mass damage and destruction of nature by big industry, the main cause of climate breakdown.

  1. Mission Lifeforce: you can join right away
    One important cause of climate breakdown is the mass destruction of nature by big industry, Ecocide.
    A first, easy, fast and yet very significant possible step is proposed by Mission LifeForce. This is a very concrete and feasible initiative by the Scottish lawyer Polly Higgins working to create an international law to turn Ecocide into a crime at the same level of genocide.
    With only your email and a small one-time contribution starting at 5 euros you too can become an Earth Protector for the rest of your life and part of a growing world wide group that fights for an international law to protect nature and planet. Earth Protector is a 'title' that is officially recognized in almost all countries of the world. The more we are, the more pressure can be put on governments and the faster Ecocide Law can be in place.
  2. The European Elections: 23 - 26 May, depending on your country
    In Europa we then have another chance to let our voice be heard in the EU elections in May. It is a exceptional opportunity to let "them" know what future we want for our Europa, even if you don't like or understand politics. If your priority is nature and climate, simply vote a party that has this priority too.
    If you're over 18 you shouldn't miss this chance.
  3. EurOpinion.is: where you are now, at your disposal
    this platform is meant to can design your own future together, through reciprocal questioning and answering, creating the path to follow in an organical way. You're invited to join  :)
  4. Other initiatives we are actively searching for or you maybe can tell us about...

 

https://fridaysforfuture.org/events/map

 

Greta's TED talk (clic for video, 11:11)

 

 

Nature First!

Climate Protest and Ecocide Law go hand in hand

Planet Earth with all its nature is the mother, the cradle and home of the human species, as it is of all life.

Nature, climate and our Earth are essential for the survival of humanity and of life itself. They should be loved, taken care of and protected. EurOpinion deems it of the highest global priority, that's why Nature is our first point of attention. Several areas can be distinguished, amongst which:

 

Can climate awareness be a starting point for a better Europa?

Polly and Greta protecting Earth and Climate

The time that old men impose the future on you and everybody seems to be coming to an end.

The fate of the living planet is in the hands of some leaders, most of whom have already passed the age of fifty; they will already be dead when the dikes overflow.

(Mara - De Groene Amsterdammer)

They tend to have short-term visions, usually oriented to the industry or their own tenure (usually less than 5 years) with a focus that's basically limited to money. Young people do not accept this anymore. The old ways of doing politics are beginning to be pushed aside by visions on longer terms, coherent with nature and society (sometimes more than 100 years), with human-oriented approaches and priority for sustainability.

Especially in Europe, this process is manifesting itself strongly, particularly amongst young people.

  • This is very significant. Because Europe is not just one country, not just one language, not just one culture. It shows a shared value that goes beyond politically established boundaries. It's a sign of a cross-border community (something the original European dream aimed for) and a connectedness between citizens that is not restricted by old established-order-mechanisms.
  • Since it's specifically the youth that is actively engaged in defending its own future and the climate (in fact, our planet as a whole) as collective treasure to take care of does not just give hope for now but also builds confidence for the decades to come. It is a refreshing and needed evolution towards a better Europe and a better world.

And now young Europeans have several options that allow them to practice, strengthen and truly excercise the enourmous potential they have to actively participate and determine a future for themselves (and in passing those that we old ones have left ;) and even design it collectively on a long term:

  1. Youth Strike for Climate: 10 March in the Netherlands, 15 March globally
    an exceptional opportunity to once again demonstrate your commitment to the media, increase awarenes amongst the public and put pressure on the old men. There are more than 500 demonstrations planned throughout the world, see the map.
  2. Mission Lifeforce: you can join right away if you want, for the rest of your life
    This is a concrete and feasible initiative by the Scottish lawyer Polly Higgins to draft an international law that makes large scale destruction of nature (Ecocide), including climatic consequences, a crime. Polly has created the 'title' of Protector of the Earth and has it legally recognized in almost every country in the world. With a small contribution starting at 5 euros you too become an official Protector of the Earth for the rest of your life and part of a world wide group that fights for an international law to protect nature and planet.
  3. The European Elections: 23 - 26 May, depending on your country
    if you're over 18 it's yet another exceptional opportunity to take advantage of and make your voice heard, this time within the existing system itself. Even if you do not like politics or do not know anything about it ... If climate and nature are your priority, then it's enough to vote for a party that, in a proven or credible way, indeed gives priority to climate and nature over economic growth and the 'market'.
  4. EurOpinion.is: where you are now, at your disposal
    this platform where you can design your own future together, through reciprocal questioning and answering, creating the path to follow in an organical way. Please, join too :)
  5. Other initiatives we will actively search for or you already know about...

Is possible that a better Europa can start from Climate awareness and protection of Nature and Earth?
Caring for the climate, nature and our planet apparently is starting to make old men in politics obsolete. When this jumps to other essential areas of society like freedom of speech, gender equity, alternative economy, education, health care or the media, then effective change towards a better Europa and a better world may become a real possibility.

 

How to keep the Climate Movement alive?

George Monbiot - out of the wreckage

(work in progress)
In his article "Young climate strikers can win their fight. We must all help." journalist and writer George Monbiot explores the possibilities to keep the Climate Movement alive, instead of breaking up or getting stuck as has happened before with other movements.

We created a cannibal economy: we ate your future to satisfy our greed.

 

For years, many people of my age denied there was a problem. They denied that climate breakdown was happening. They denied that the world’s living systems were collapsing.

Do you consider mass destruction of nature a crime?

Ecocide is a Crime - Polly Higgins

Since forever big industry has been practically free to destroy nature, the climate and the Earth without any limit or consequences.

 

Now, an ambitious initiative to protect nature and the Earth where it really counts has been taken by Scottish lawyer Polly Higgins with Mission Lifeforce.

In this video she explains why Ecocide (mass damage and destruction of nature by big industry) is a problem we eventually all will face and why it is essential that United Nations adopt an International Ecocide Law to make it a crime at the same level as war crimes or genocide. This way industry would at least have to pay the damage when they cause the destruction of nature.

"We have a system set up here that is putting the interest of the share-holder first. By law! We put profit first in essence. And when we put profit first we fail to even look to the consequences."

How is it that we haven't criminalized mass damage and destruction of the Earth?

Polly Higgins

 

Let's make it unprofitable to destroy the Earth.

Baltasar Garzón

 

Destruction of nature as dangerous as climate change, scientists warn

the Guardian

 

Global Strike 4 Future - Milan, polls in the street

Awareness today, Action tomorrow!

 

After submitting this form you will be automatically taken to the results as charts.
If you want to learn how mass destruction of nature (Ecocide) can be turned into a crime, please see "Do you consider mass destruction of nature a crime?" in the "Nature First" section or click the link to open now in a new tab. (improving logistics of the web is work in progress)

A law to make ecocide an international crime?

Mission Lifeforce - protectors of the Earth

To accelerate the process of turning ecocide into the fifth international crime against peace Mission LifeForce offers all the people in the world the chance to be part of it and support it for life, in less than getting a hamburger menu both in time and expenses. This also helps increase the legal backup of the front-line activists in case they get arrested. Those who are interested in preserving a healthy planet as our natural living environment can become an "Earth Protector", officially and legally recognized in almost all countries of the world.

Only when ecocide is fully stopped our Earth can maintain and maybe even recover its natural splendour as shown in this beautiful nature and music video (credit).

 

Should courts condemn governments for bad climate policy? In the Netherlands it already happened.

Urgenda wins climate case against Dutch state.

On 24 June 2015 Urgenda foundation together with 900 other claimants won a lawsuit against the Dutch State about national climate policy. Through the court, it was enforced that the Dutch State must have reduced greenhouse gas emissions by at least 25% by the end of 2020, compared to 1990 levels. The appeal lodged by the Dutch government was rejected on 9 October 2018, but the government announced on 16 November that the Dutch state was going to appeal to the Supreme Court.

Marjan Minnesma, the face of Urgenda, believes little that the government is concerned about principles. "That's what they said in the previous appeal but then they objected to all the substantive points in the verdict." According to Minnesma, the government does not make much effort to comply with the judgment. "If they took the verdict seriously, we would already see accelerated actions. For example, closing down coal-fired power stations, or reducing the speed limit on the motorway. " (Trouw newspaper)

Is "the market" more important than life? - Pepe Mujica

José Mujica, ex presidente de Uruguay

Uruguay's ex-president Pepe Mujica analyses for Deutsche Welle the economic and ecologic chalenges that humanity is facing and he reminds us that "the essence is not the market, it's life."  In this short video of profound reflexions he also wonders: "¿Will we have the capacity to reason as a species instead of reasoning as individuals or as countries?"

Free Speech?

Free Speech!

Birgitta Jónsdóttir

Freedom of speech, expression and information is the most fundamental human right.

It reinforces all other human rights, allowing society to develop and progress. The ability to express our opinion and speak freely is essential to bring about change in society. A free society depends on the free exchange of ideas. Nearly all ideas are capable of giving offence to someone. Many of the most important, profound ideas in human history, such as those of Galileo Galilei and Charles Darwin, caused great religious offence in their time (adapted from indexoncensorship).

The importance of Privacy?

Edward Snowden on Free Speech

You know your online personal information is raw material for "big data", a product to be sold and then used for publicity, amongst other, by most of the big social networks on the internet. In most countries it may also be required by the authorities. Do you mind?

Does it bother you? Do you accept because the offered services are free or do you simply not care? Or would you maybe actually prefer to pay some monthly or yearly fee? How much would you be willing to pay if you know your information is not ?

Do you ever read the "terms and conditions"?

 

Are whistleblowers traitors?

Whistleblowers are NOT traitors!

Birgitta Jonsdottir​ (Pirate Party Iceland, IMMI, Wikileaks) rebukes Lord Julian Fellowes (English actor, novelist, film director) on whistleblowing, during a debate about the US elections and Brexit by the Swedish/Norwegian Skavlan talk show.

Gender Equality?

Gender equality!

Gender Equality

Full gender equality is a must for a healthy future development of global society.

Gender equality, also known as sex equality, gender egalitarianism, sexual equality, or equality of the genders, is the view that both men and women should receive equal treatment and not be discriminated against based on their gender.
This is the objective of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Wikipedia (2016/05/27)

Video clip compiled from Jolanta Reingarde - Gender Equality in Power and Decision-Making in Europa (EGEI report in pdf) and Vandana Shiva "Our challenge today is against stupidity

EurOpinion's statement

There is an important background element to gender equality that generally is overlooked: the fact that it is not just limited to equality and non-discrimination between "men" and "women". Implicitly it also implies sexual non-discrimination in general, regarding the gender that a person feels or wants to express, as in the case of transvestism, transsexuals and transgender, or regarding preferences in sexuality or type of relation like homosexuality, bisexuality, polyamory or any other variety by free choice and mutual consent.
At this point, one can easiliy make also the jump to racial non-discrimination and any other factor in physical appearance, beliefs or personal preferences.

In short, we understand true gender equality paves the way to non-discrimination for any other difference between human individuals or groups and is therefore our third attention point.

Sexual liberty, a human right?

True Gender Equality - Ban Ki Moon
In 2012, Ban Ki Moon pronounced a historic speech at the United Nations on the rights and equality of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transexual people (LGBT):

Some say that sexual orientation and gender identity are sensitive issues. I understand. Like many of my generation, I did not grow up talking about these issues. But I learned to speak out because lives are at stake, and because it is our duty under the United Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to protect the rights of everyone, everywhere. [...] 
Let me say: "You are not alone!" Your struggle for an end to violence and discrimination is a shared struggle. Today I stand with you. And I call upon all countries and people to stand with you too. [...] ban discrimination and educate the public. I count on this [UN] Council and all people of conscience to make this happen. The time has come.

Go non-profit?

Go non-profit!

Enric Duran - Fair Coop

The greatest problem humanity currently faces is the idea of profit.
Profit is the main goal of bankers, investors and CEOs. More often than not, however, it turns into a blind obsession for unlimited sales and 'growth' of business, frequently disregarding ethics, morals or even legality. This has clearly shown to have destructive consequences both for nature and the planet as for global society and humanity.

Go NON-profit!

A healty and sustainable world society requires that this profit-obsession be substituted and made obsolete by non-profit organisations that are user, worker and environment friendly like cooperatives, foundations, etc. in wide networks. The advantages for society and planet are numerous. Since the goal of these organisations is only mutual or social benefit, business models would no longer have to be based on competition, frequently agressive and destructive, but on reciprocal collaboration and atlruism instead. A comparative model in nature is (mutualist) symbiosis.

This shift towards non-profit for a healthier society should actually come from politicians but that would require common sense. Fortunately it's a shift that can also be achieved bottom up, by common people and from within society itself. And it can be done through something that everybody disposes of: own initiative, either individually or collectively. Fortunately some great initiatives are actually on their way, one example is FairCoop an initiative by Enric Duran from Spain.

 

Abolish Bank Secrecy?

Abolish Bank Secrecy!

Hervé Falciani - HSBC whistleblower

Bank Secrecy allows individual people and organisations to have bank accounts that cannot be reviewed or controlled by authorities or anybody else. Basically it allows them to hide money from the rest of the world. The only publicly known cases of the use of secret bank accounts are criminal uses that range from political corruption and other organized crime to tax evasion.

Up to 32.000.000.000.000 $ (trillion!), roughly a quarter of all global wealth, could be hidden on secret bank accounts in 2010 according to the Tax Justice Network. This is more than enough (in fact 10, 20 or maybe even a 100 times) to end all poverty in the world and solve the global financial 'crisis'. Political unwillingness to act for real, not only in words, is the one reason this situation still exists and in fact is only getting worse.

The few people who do try to shed light on these matters are either killed or being prosecuted.

Bank Secrecy, Britain's second empire.

England and its lingering colonies

"The Spider's Web: Britain's Second Empire" is a documentary on the dominant role of "the City of London" in global Banking Secrecy.

Bank Secrecy is probably the greatest, but scarcely mentioned, threat to global society and in fact the planet itself. It is the gateway to corruption on the highest level, which then allows other forms of organized crime, maffias and illegal trafficking that destabalize global society:

  1. Trafficking of Weapons
    generally known as the biggest business in the world, it pobably maintains all the wars around the world, either declared or non-declared, the cause of the endless flow of immigrants to Europa amongst other.
  2. Trafficking of Drugs
    maintains the world's drug-cartels like those in Mexico destabilzing all of south-America and ruining millions of lives of young people in Europa and all over the world.
  3. Trafficking of People
    Done by international mafias which covers from, again, trafficking of immigrants by the thousands to trafficking of women for prostitution and trafficking of children or even organs.
  4. Trafficking of animals
    Specially the exotic animals that generally are already on the edge of extinction. In this sense, Bank Secrecy and (political) corruption are in fact the greatest threat to bio-diversity and survival of nature. This extends to illegal deforestation and polution.

The so-called global financial 'crisis'

According to the documentary:
"We can end taxhaven and financial secrecy jurisdictions. Here are 5 steps to put and end to them:"

  1. Stop public councils from issuing public contracts to companies operating out of tax havens.
  2. Create public registries of beneficial owners of companies, trusts and foundations.
  3. Introduce full transparency of deals and secret agreements between companies and governments.
  4. Introduce public country by country reporting by multinational companies.
  5. Introduce automatic information exchange between all countries.

The question is who these "we" are. It seems it refers to politicians and political legislation. But since Bank Secrecy and corruption involve politicians in the first place, this route gives little hope, although Europa should be at least a bit better off than other regions of the world. However, simply observing how fearcefully the Netherlands, Luxembourg or Ireland defend their internationally recognized, and by some very appreciated, positions as tax havens, makes it clear there is a long way to go before politics and politicians take true actions against more serious Bank Secrecy.

Possibly only we, the people, are willing to truly fight this disease and we should find creative and intelligent ways do so ourselves, bottom-up, as in fact should be European politics anyway. How to break this priority European and Global problem also needs common sense and creativity.

Education

Do schools help our children find and develop their passion?

Educate for passion

Does Europe need a different school system?

Do schools kill creativity? | Sir Ken Robinson

In his popular TED talk "Do schools kill creativity?" Sir Ken Robinson questions the validity of the modern education and schooling system for the future. An entertaining but at the same time profound talk that makes you think.

I believe our only hope for the future is to adopt a new conception of human ecology, one in which we start to reconstitute our conception of the richness of human capacity.

Our education system all over the world came into being to meet de needs of industrialism. It has mined our minds in the way that we strip-mine the earth when we search for a particular commodity. And for the future it won't serve us.

We have to rethink the fundamental principles on which we're educating our children.

We have to see our creative capacities for the richness they are and see our children for the hope that they are. And our task is to educate their whole being so they can face this future. Our job is to help them make something of it.

Some decades ago Finland radically moved away from this globalized education system with astonishing results.

Should Europa adopt the educational system from Finland?

They should have more time to be kids

Finland is often referred to as the country with the most alternative and free (as in freedom) education system in Europe with the highest scores for language, mathematics and science in the tri-annual international PISA tests for 15-year-old school students (an OECD program). Without the whole circus of national tests, extra funding for the 'best' school or competition between (private) schools, they know how to get there.

Schools in Finland do not have the mission to produce the best pupils, but are more concerned with how pupils and schools can work together to create the best educational opportunities for everyone. In Finland, education is collaborative and inclusive.

Even though it appears that the results of Finland have declined somewhat, there are elements of their system that may be very useful in the event of re-designing education for the 21st century, as strongly suggested by Sir Ken Robinson in his "Do schools kill creativity?"

Science

Science as love for nature, the universe and the world that surrounds us!

Carl Sagan 1980

At EurOpinion we think that knowing and being aware of how nature, the universe and the world that surrounds us work is an enrichment a person's life. This knowledge increases appreciation and love for this nature, this world, this universe and, indeed, this life. To some degree it's comparable to the love for music or other art forms.

We are convinced that spreading this knowledge (in a nice, easy, visual way) contributes to a better Europe. In one way or another, it broadens one's perspective and increases the understanding and awareness that everything in nature in its essence is related ... connected.

 

The Fibonacci sequence

The Fibonacci sequence

Fibonacci is the name of an Italian mathematician who in the year 1202 introduced a very special number sequence in Europe that had been known in India for centuries.

The rule of this sequence is so simple that even children can understand or even 'invent' it. Starting with 0 and 1, each next number is the sum of the previous two: 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144 ... and so on to infinity.

It is a series of numbers very simple, but very much used in nature. For example: almost always the number of petals of a flower are a number of this series and for the same reason we have five fingers on hands and feet. In addition to plants and animals, it is also found in large geological and astronomical structures (perhaps not in the numbers themselves, but by the spiral that derives from them). Despite (or perhaps thanks to) the simplicity of this mathematical sequence, it is a fundamental rule of everything that exists and can even describe very complex phenomena.

 

The simplest way to visualize this sequence, is to draw it on a paper with squares on it.

From there comes, on one hand, what is considered the most beautiful rectangle, for the proportion between width and height called  the Golden Ratio, and on the other hand a very special spiral that can be found many times in nature, from sea shells and storms to galaxies.

 

 


Quantum theory - entanglement

Quantum entanglement

Quantum physics stands at the base of all existence. It implies matter, space, energy and possibly vibration and maybe even time and reality. Until some hundred years ago life was simple and all matter was supposed to be build out of atoms. They were thought to be the smallest undividable parts of matter as if they were tiny marbles.

Now (since the beginning of the 20th century) the atom itself is known to consist of quarks. And quarks at their turn might consist of even smaller and more weird stuff called strings, which would be no more than just a kind of vibrational substance that might present itself as matter or energy or even "nothing". At these tiny levels normal, intuitive and understandable (Newtonian) laws of physics do not apply anymore. Everything at this level is 'weird', a mistery and frequently incomprehensible.

Some of these weird characteristics of subatomic particles:

  • they can be at two or more places at the same time
  • they can go through solid objects
  • they can, seemingly, go backwards in time and change the past
  • they react to conscious observation
  • they can be linked and "communicate" instantly over any distance (entanglement)

All these caracteristics were first theorized through mathematical equations and then confirmed over and over again in scientific experiments.

About

Riccardo

About me, in short

In summary, it comes down to the first thought chain, but then in full:

  1. I want a better world and I consciously choose to think so.
  2. I have faith that this "better" world is possible.
  3. I am convinced that a better Europe contributes to a better world.
  4. I know that Europe has the potential to be better.
  5. I think that Public Opinion should help shape and steer this potential.
  6. I see that public opinion must be made aware and informed, not least for the European elections in May.

2019. I am working on it and I invite you to participate. What is Eur Opinion?

Thankyou :)
Riccardo

Happy 2019! ♥

A Dream!

Europa satellite

EurOpinion has a dream. A European Dream.
The Dream of a better Europa that eventually can lead to a better World. Until a few decades ago, the vast majority of European citizens shared this Dream. Unfortunately, that dream has now faded or disappeared for many Europeans because the European Union, as it currently exists, clearly does not cover that dream at all. Nowadays many people are Eurosceptic or even want to step out.
However, that European Dream and the current European Union are two completely different interpretations of the "united Europe" and often even opposite. Europinion is convinced that the European Dream has the strength to overcome this failing EU if the European citizens are provided with the knowledge and awareness to make this distinction.

 

Decline of world society
Europinion thinks that this loss of the "European Dream" in recent decades is part of the general decline of world society and our planet in the same period. It is experienced by many people all over the globe through financial and social crises, through wars and migrations, through artificially manipulated food and the increase of chronic diseases and through large-scale destruction of nature (Ecocide) with loss of biodiversity and climate change as result. These and many other problems are interlinked. Each of these problems transcends the capacity of individual nations to solve them and it is clear that they can only be overcome if several countries work together to form a block that is strong enough to at least start the great change, that is needed to stop this decline and possibly set an example for the rest of the world

EurOpinion's vision is that the united Europa of the Dream has the potential to be that block.

The potential of Europa, our vision

Our world is facing many fundamental problems that need to be solved very soon if we want to reach the next century with a healthy planet and society. Each of these global problems transcends the capacity of individual nations to solve them and it is clear that they can only be overcome if several countries work together to form a block strong enough to at least a start the needed great change to stop the global decline of society and nature, and maybe set an example for the rest of the world.

Vision
EurOpinion's vision is that the united Europe of the "Dream" can be such a block, hopefully not the only one in the world. This potential of Europe can be found in the financial, technological and social fields, but we think certainly also in awareness, will and willingness amongst its population. If Europe is actually able to free this potential in harmonious cooperation, effective steps can be taken towards a better Europe which is a possible step towards a better world.
EurOpinion strongly believes that the essence of Europa's potential lies in the collective of its individual citizens and shared common sense, more than in current politics and elaborated expertise, where oftenly only national or even personal interests prevail, undermining the whole point of a truly united Europe.

Mision
That's why EurOpinion, as its mission, aims to build, stimulate, strengthen and amplify awareness and the voice of the European Public Opinion.

 

Mission: stimulate and strengthen European Public Opinion

A fresh look at Europa

Europa is worth a fresh look
EurOpinion sees its mission as contributing to a fresh look at and a more positive image of the united Europe in the general knowledge and collective awareness of European citizens and, where possible, bringing the European Dream back to life.
We think the European elections in may of this year 2019 are an excellent opportunity for this fresh look.

 

A new model for Europa!
We aim to do so by stimulating and reinforcing the European Public Opinion in order to gain strength in the current outdated and stalled model of the European institutions and build a new model that makes this existing model obsolete.
The European elections bring the opportunity to initialize a change.

 

A different level of thinking!
The change will not be drastic or sudden, more than in a revolution we believe in an evolution. Nature itself has taught us that it is the most harmonious and sustainable way of development. Just being able to plant the seed that brings us to a higher level of thinking is a satisfaction. And a pleasure to see it grow up to to solving problems where Europe and the World are stuck in today.
The elections are also an opportunity to introduce another level of thinking.

 

Be the change you want to see in Europa!
We consider a new model to be a fundamental step towards unlocking the true potential of Europe, from the citizens up rather than from politics down. We believe that the inspiration, creativity and common sense of the collective of citizens can lead to valuable solutions. When the citizens can participate more in their community then they will also feel more engaged and together really will be able to bring about the change they want to see.
You can contribute to this change, starting by expressing your preferences in the elections.

It may be a long and difficult journey, but all that counts is taking the first step.

The current EU model, obsolete?

A new model!

A different level of thinking?

A different level of thinking!

BE the change!

Mahatma Gandhi: BE the change you want to see in Europa

BE the change you wish to see in Europa!

 

A first step

As a first step, EurOpinion has developed a simple working model for a platform that, through ongoing opinion polls, aims to stimulate the Public European Opinion and give a voice with the aim to investigate together with the participants, in a public, transparent and interactive way, the underlying reasons for the loss of European Dream. At the same time, it examines which existing or future tools and solutions are preferred by Europeans.

 

Europa as a whole
For the initial course, EurOpinion wants to focus on five fundamental values, principles, ​​for Europe as a whole, which are best expressed in their "Generic" terminology:

A better Europa for a better world:
1. Nature First
2. Free Speech
3. Gender Equality
4. Go NON-profit
5. AB$ - Abolish Bank $ecrecy

Each of these principles covers considerably more than the short term suggests and is essential for a truly just and sustainable world society on our fragile planet. Of course there is also room for other important issues such as, among other things, education, health or science. Politics or economics can also be discussed, but EurOpinion thinks the essence lies in human values and emotions.

 

Europa as collective of all individual persons
EurOpinion also wants to give attention to the European as an individual. After all, Europe is made up of the total of all individuals, and as such, each in itself is decisive for the whole. A simple anology are individual atoms that build up the universe as a whole. We believe that European and in fact Human "values" and "identity" start with the individual.
Therefore, there will also be a section dedicated to personal issues. From simple things such as routines of everyday life, to more heavy issues such as the credibility they give to their government or the media, to deeper or more intimate things such as, for example, the extent to which a person feels traitsof the other sex in his/her own being.

Taken together, this can yield interesting, unexpected and perhaps revealing results or correlations.