We are close to the end of 2016 – a year which will be remembered as one of the toughest in the last decades. Instead of raising a glass to toast their hard and meaningful work, many will mull over what has yet to be done... We, at the CDRSEE, have many reasons to be proud, as we have worked tirelessly on keeping democracy alive, during a time when it is once more threatened and carelessly discarded by many.
Europe is in deep crisis – a crisis which may be resolved if we all, regardless of whether we are a EU member or not, regardless of our religion, education, age and gender, perceive it as our own home. Hundreds of thousands of people are suffering as I write these words, photos and videos testify to their pain and it seems that greed, individualism and selfishness have become the openly accepted norm challenged by only a few. There seems to be a general lack of interest of those in power to change things for the better, and we are now slowly regressing into apathy - allowing those who do not understand and appreciate life enough to follow in our wake, slowly tearing down the fabric of Europe and the societies we live in.
Europe has always been an inspiring place to live in. Even in times of battles and intrigues, it emerged stronger – looking towards improvement – to a better future and determined not re-create dangerous elements of the past. It looked towards building democracy, community, unity and enlargement. Europe was about going forwards - always - never backwards. We are now living in precarious times – and any step backwards would be irresponsible and dangerous. We could easily, and very soon, miss this Europe we have built. Let’s not allow it to become a thing of the past like so many communities and past unions which are nowadays like broken mirrors which we look into darkly and not entirely without nostalgia.
In the spirit of stepping forwards into the future, the CDRSEE therefore raises a glass and wishes you happy holiday season and a spectacular new year.