Friday, January 28, 2011

It's upon time that Europe develops a pro-active strategy on how to support the democratic forces, also in the Arab countries. The media, the NGOs, the elections, etc.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

The De-Tour de France

"De-Tour de France". This must be a reasonable name for the present "non-show" in France.

I have never personally been very interested in the sport of cycling and perhaps even seen the very professional part of it as somewhat "dirty". Easy to say today, of course. But still...

Perhaps one could say: OK, let them use doping. And the guy who is best at that will probably win. But this is, of course, very irresponsible. What an awful example to give to young people, which that sort of sport should like to attrack also in the future.

Therefore, any cheating by using any drugs of any sort should continue to be totally and completely forbidden. No more - no less. And medical doctors who still will give it should be banned from medical jobs for ever. And the cyclists who still use it should not only be excluded for some time. They should also go to prison - like anybody else, who use serious forbidden drugs.

I believe that the organisers of De-Tour de France need a really long period of reflection. They have to re-invent the Tour in a completely different form. A form which will be the world champion in people's minds for a modern and very responsible sport, which only attracts people (and sponsors), who want the REAL thing: Clean sport, clean sports people, clean competition. Perhaps such a reflection will last a few years. And so what...

Until then I hope that all TV station will do like to two national German TV stations ARD and ZDF the other day: BOYCOT the De-Tour.

This will make the organisers and in particular the sponsors focus their minds on what is really needed for the future!

We have an expression in Danish which says: Nothing is so bad that it is not good for something.

The last days developments in France is an excellent example of that :)

Friday, July 20, 2007

Danes not always welcome - in Denmark :(

Danes are not always welcome in Denmark! Especially if they have lived for some years abroad. A very strange tradition.

We just received the regular magazine publisked by the organisation "DANES WORLDWIDE". In each issue it presents concrete cases. Young people who come back with exams from other countries and are often not accepted at Danish Universities. We even know a case where a young Danish lady student after rejection at the University in Copenhagen was immediately accepted at the University of Cambridge

But we haven't only to read about it. Most Danes living abroad can tell many personal stories about it.

People who come back from working abroad, also for ministries, are very often looked at with great suspicion by their new colleagues. And normally they have to start working at a lower level than their experience would entitle them to.

When Danes from abroad visit friends and family in Denmark it is very rare that anybody (apart from the very closest relatives) asks questions about life abroad. You can go to parties after parties - without having a single question about how you are "out there".

This is not a personal complaint. But a serious question about what's behind all this! We "Danish foreigners" have often discussed it. But without finding a solution.

Perhaps Danes living in Denmark is SO much an inward-looking TRIBE that the surrounding world by definition is without much interest. Perhaps.

I wonder, if other people living outside their home country sometimes feel the same??

Danes not always welcome - in Denmark :(

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Europe's 50th anniversary coming up

At the end of next month - March 25 - it is exactly 50 years since the political leaders of six European countries signed the Treaties of Rome. They made a very important step forward in keeping peace and creating prosperity in Europe. Perhaps more than they even realised themselves. Fifty years is a very short time in history. But look at what has happened since then! We are now 27 countries in the European Union. A long, long list of very positive results. We have Peace. Prosperity. Freedom. Lots of border-free benefits (no border control at most internal frontiers; very cheap flights; very, very cheap phone costs; a common and very strong currency, the €, already between 13 of the member states.) Etc.etc.

This is what should be celebrated on and around March 25. And it will be :)

We should also celebrate that the leading European politicians had the visions, the political courage and the dynamic drive to initiate this unique European process.

Europe's further development and progress very much needs such politicians also today. Personalities with visions and conviction, with the skills to convince their populations and with the necessary political courage and determination to push their visions through.

Let's also use the 50th anniversary to mobilise full support to those politicians in our countries, who fulfill these conditions.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

EU's success story at the Canary Islands

The Canary Islands is a fantastic place. Superb weather. Fantastic nature. Lovely people. And very, very good local food and wine. No wonder that these islands are becoming the favourite holiday destination for millions of Europeans around the year J

It is a well known fact that the European Union (EU) has invested a lot in these islands. The Regional Fund, the Agricultural Fund and the Social Fund have all over the years given top priority to projects from this part of Spain. In projects, which are all co-financed with the Spanish government in Madrid and the local Canary government. And you REALLY see the results. Fantastic roads. Great airports. Excellent hotels and holiday apartments. Ever improving and increasing agricultural areas growing wine, potatos, bananas, all sorts of fruits, cactus (for Campari !), vegetables, etc.etc.

You really see how these islands - which before were very remote and very poor - have become really developed and in many ways rich. So developed that some day in a foreseeable future they will no longer need assistance from the EU. Like Ireland today. This is the whole raison-d’être for EU funds. To start the development – but not to support for ever.

You may ask: What should European taxpayers’ money be invested here? The answer is simple: because by developing these islands millions of Europeans have got a fantastic holiday area. And the local population have got a totally new life with employment, money, services. This is a win-win situation for everybody. This is EU activities when they are best.

By the way, I also think that the EU should help the authorities here more in controlling the illegal immigration from Africa. But this is another story. EU is for me a question of solidarity. By working together and helping each other we will all cope much better with whatever problems we face J

Monday, December 18, 2006

Oh - we are SO busy....

Christmas is coming up. Rapidly. And great greetings are coming from family and friends. A very nice tradition. Especially if they contain more than just a one-line greetings: "Have a Merry Christmas". Greetings of that kind are hardly worth sending. Or getting.

One of the trends in many greetings is that people are SO busy. More busy than ever before. Worse and worse year by year. Why is that? Is it good? Is it bad? The answer is: yes and no.

It is sad, if people are SO busy that they hardly know who they are, where they are and why! It is also sad, if they at all times are driven and kicked by other people's agendas and don't do anything to change that. It would be very sad indeed, if they at the end of life had to say: Hi - where did life go?!

But I don't think that being busy is sad, if it is driven by a personal drive, by interests and by a desire to make a difference. That's what brings things forward. You never get ahead, if you always walk in other people's footsteps! Life is to to Want to Change Things. It is, of course, also helpful to be able to do it. The cocktail of Determination and Ability can easily produce a busy and even hectic life.

So let's not be busy only shouting at being busy. Let's be busy enjoying what we are doing!

I do!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Climate changes - and our energy

October was a fantastic month. The warmest in Belgium since 1875. The same in several other countries - including the Nordic area. But BUUM: the last few days especially the Nordic countries have experienced a cold polar storm coming from the north. With lots of huge floods as a result. In Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden, etc. Thousands of houses close to the coasts were invaded by masses of water within minutes. Horses and sheep were drowing in many places.

Why does our climate seem to be upside down? Heat, storms, cold, floods. You name it. It's there. And there is certainly more to come.

One serious report after the other is published giving the reason (or at least one of the main reasons): there is far too much CO2 (carbondioxide) in the atmosphere. Why? Because our enormous use of oil, petrol, coal and similar energy sources creates this situation.

Everybody seems to agree that we have to turn the tide. To do differently. Not least to change our use of these damaging energy sources.

Many talk about increasing the use of wind energy. Yes, absolutely. Denmark gets 20 % of its energy from wind. More can be done by everybody in this area.

But honestly: isn't it time now to reconsider our attitude also to nuclear energy? A pure, now safe and efficient energy source.

Or are we not (yet) mentally mature enough to do that??! Are we still so much under the extreme-fear-pressure that we will all be contaminated?

I hope not. I am very happy to live in Belgium, where about half of our electricity comes from the country's own six nuclear power station. And if the government needs a place for a 7th installation, I will be happy to let them rent my garden for it!

Let's get out of our "I-am-SO-afraid"-puppet. Let's diversify our energy supply - with more wind and with more nuclear!