Those of you of my readers who live in Europe, any European country, I humbly ask you…Nay, implore you to go to the election halls in May and put your votes for a representative in the EU Parliament. It is exceedingly important to prevent an even darker and negative development of the political landscape in the different European nations – also in my country. In my photos above you see the EU flag and the Swedish EU Minister Birgitta Ohlsson, from the People’s Party the Liberals. She was born in 1975 and has led a long career as a politician, and has the heart in the right place so to speak. In different European countries today we see a sinister and worrying development with different kinds of extremism on the move, Fascism, Nazism, ultra ultra conservative nationalism with totalitarian racist ideologies despising democracy. Also religious extremism of various sorts is another danger which, in my social liberal eyes, ought to be opposed and prevented. That could be done by putting your vote on a party which might do some good in the European Parliament. Not long ago, just a few months ago conservative forces in the EU voted against the rights for women to decide over their own bodies if they needed abortion. The Left-wings, the Green Environment Parties and the Liberals in the EU Parliament voted for this right, while the Conservatives voted against it.
What kind of Europe do we want? We do have a choice, a Parliamentarism which is of the essence. Certain ideologies want to turn the clock back and abolish human rights, abolish free elections, free choices, want to stop further female emancipation and the development of society. What we see too often now is hate, hate, hate. That might be at least partly prevented by attempts to continue a sensible development of European treaties, international trade and MOSTLY a peaceful process. The European Union is mostly that kind of a peace project, even if it isn’t entirely successfull. If we look back in retroperspective though we see even more wars and persecutions on the continent and in the world. If it hadn’t been for the EU, the peaceful treaties, the free trade, the laws and negotiations we most likely would have had a much worse situation than what we have today. During the National Convention for the People’s Party the Liberals the weekend March 8th and 9th in Örebro t-shirts and coffee cups were sold with the party election poster from the Swedish national elections in 1936…Three years before World War II began. The text on the poster said: “Abolish every tendency to attempts for dictatorships….Vote with the People’s Party”. We now know the outcome. In 1939 World War II was a fact, but they saw the dangers years ahead. The message on the poster wasn’t very popular in 1936, because not enough people had realised the danger with the Nazi rule and with Communism… Still it was very important. Here below you see a photo of that poster.
After World War II people were tired of wars and the negative and destructive effects of them. Partly as a peace project what would become the European Union began to take shape. On May 9th 1950 the French foreign minister Robert Schuman signed a document which created the European Coal and Steel Union, consisting of France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Germany. That was the beginning. Instead of fighting on the battle field international, Pan European trade. Eventually it grew and developed even more. In 1950 the Rome Treaty was signed, and in 1985 it turned into the European Economic Community, the EEC. A vast bureaucracy has developed and many problems exist due to differences in national mentalities, préstige, tiresome and complicated documents, expensive journeys etc etc, but still…without it Europe likely would have seen even more wars than what it now has since 1945. For a period of 69 years we have had almost no wars in the region, but a relatively stable development. Let’s continue in that direction as much as possible.
Sweden joined the European Union after a national referendum in 1994. 52 % of the Swedish population voted for being part of the EU. In May 2014 it’s the fifth time we Swedes will participate in the EU elections. 750 representatives will be elected all in all from 28 different countries. Sweden has 20 representatives there now from different Swedish parties. In the EU Parliament they are placed in eight different groups depending on which ideology they mostly share with others within the EU. The Communists take their seats in the GUE/Egl group, the Social Democrats in the S & D, the Environment Party in the Greens/EFA. The Centre Party and my party join ALDE, i.e. “Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe”, http://www.alde.eu headed now by Belgian Guy Verhoefstadt. The Conservative party Moderaterna sit in the EPP group, the Christian Democrats among other conservative Christians in the ECR, and the ultra nationalists and other minor parties in the EFD and NA assemblies. Our Swedish EU Minister Birgitta Ohlsson is very much concerned about human rights, feminism, environment issues and free trade. Here in Sweden she a few years ago established the Liberal Feminist Network “Felisa”. Birgitta Ohlsson is also a vegetarian. We also have other important Members of the EU Parliament, such as the coordinator of Legal Affairs, Cecilia Wikström, Olle Schmidt, an elderly gentleman from Malmoe who has been working with Economic and Monetary Affairs. Now we also have a Liberal candidate originally from Bosnia i Herzegovina, namely Jasenko Selimovic. He is working hard for a continued peaceful Europe. I have discussed this with him now and again and he says that he grew up with Communism, has experienced the horrors of war on the Balkans, the cruelty and madness of ultra nationalism and he does not want to see it happen again. We now also have other new candidates such as Tina Acketoft here from my region Skåne/Scania who like Birgitta Ohlsson is working hard for human rights, against human trafficking, against organised crime, for developed gender equality, and a green development of food resources. However, our most prominent candidate is still Marit Paulsen, an elderly lady who is well liked in various camps. She is mainly into agriculture issues, green issues, food supplies, treatment of animals etc, and she is very efficient in her work, (despite or thanks to her years, sharp wits, and winning personality). Marit Paulsen is also a well liked icon in my party. In the photos below you see first Birgitta Ohlsson, then Cecilia Wikström, Marit Paulsen and Jasenko Selimovic being interviewed, followed by their group selfie.
Some of the main priorities for the People’s Party the Liberals, Folkpartiet Liberalerna in the EU Parliament are these:
- Safe guard the right for women to decide if they want or need to make an abortion
- More jobs on the inner market
- More women on the labour market
- Increased free trade
- Make it easier to study or work abroad
- Development of scientific research
- Continued reforms of agrarian policies
- Combat the legalization of drugs
- Combat organised crime
- Combat human trafficking, prostitution, child prostitution
- Work for increased gender equality
- Development of a European FBI
- Development of a European law to protect the safety of animals, and opposing abuse of animals.
I hope that many will participate in the elections in May. Here in Sweden the election day for the EU Parliament will be Sunday May 25th, but you might put your vote on a candidate already on May 7th. Anyway, if you want to safe guard a fairly human dignified Europe instead of increased totalitarianism and ultra extremism then please participate in the elections. For the preservation of a roughly sensible Sweden and likewise Europe.
Anders Moberg, April 23d 2014