When I was 20, I dated a historian briefly. He explained to me that history is nothing more than a causal chain of coincidences and interests. The reason I eventually fell in love with him was because I had never heard anyone talk so romantically about Europe.
In the Greek world of legends, he spun, Europa was the Phoenician king’s daughter of Agenor. Zeus, the supreme Olympian god, fell in love with Europe and had her kidnapped on the island of Crete. For this, he turned into a bull and swam to the Greek island. Once there, he changed back into his human form and made Europe his wife and queen of Crete.
I am telling you this in such detail because I had decided that if I had a daughter I would call her Europe.
The other day I thought about the historian when I read the proposals for the new European Pact on Migration. How happy I am that I chose a different name for my daughter 13 years ago. If my daughter was called Europe, her name today would stand for inhumanity, disagreement, isolation and selfishness.
Didn’t Europe even stand for peace?
Pro Asyl CEO Günter Burkhardt summarized the paper as follows: “This is a diabolical pact of disenfranchisement.” Driven by right-wing populists, the European Commission is betraying the asylum law and the human rights of those seeking protection.
Didn’t Europe even stand for peace? For humanistic values? Wasn’t that the reason why I always said first: I’m European and then German? If you look at what the first countries, this united, stood for, to me that is the origin of Europe. One is not strong on size, the other is strong on real connection and shared values. Europe could have been such a great example to the rest of the world, it could have shown how economic revival, social coexistence, democracy and freedom can be experienced in a healthy environment. Would have.
It could even have been done with all prosperity. Instead, Europe has become a jealous nation-state, an island in detention awaiting deportation with hermetically sealed external borders and a commission to market cows.
It would be time for a refugee rescue package
Does anyone remember how those who caused the economic crisis were rewarded with financial rescue packages? The money could have provided for all the refugees in the world. Does anyone remember step-by-step how pensions were cut, health care was cut and public property was thrown behind investors for one euro? But don’t get tired of emphasizing time and again what human values you stand for. Which values actually? The banks? The insurance? The companies?
After the fire in the Moria refugee camp, which should not have existed on European soil, Europe was given the unique opportunity to show its human face. But according to the migration pact, refugee camps like Moria in Europe should become the rule rather than the exception.
I took another look to see what meaning Europe still has. Europe comes from the word “erebos”. In Greek mythology, Erebos stands for the god of darkness. Or as Caritas president Peter Neher sums it up: “Instead of solidarity and shared responsibility, the emphasis is clearly on defense and isolation.” High time to give back your Nobel Peace Prize, Europe.