Mittwoch, April 25, 2007


this weekend

This weekend I have been at the congress of the Federation of the Young European Greens (FYEG) in Vienna and at the congress of the European Liberal Youth (LYMEC); two activities that could have hardly been any more different. But Lets start with the similarities, both organisations are members of the European Youth Forum, both are youth led NGOs, both met in European capitals, and both events full of engaged volunteers willing to change the world; but that’s about it with the similarities.
In Vienna with the greens there was an all vegetarian congress, where the hosting organisation cooked themselves, the guest speakers got organic fair trade chocolate, they discussed internal structures and women empowerment, a social and green future for Europe and the hierarchic structures of the Youth Forum, they extensively discussed their relation to the European Green party and they held elections of their new spokespersons. Congratulations to Marina Barbalata (Romania) and Bartek Lech (Poland).
So Saturday night I have been at the party of the Greens and Sunday morning I joined quite some hang over suffering Liberals in Berlin. Quite a cultural shock; very different types of people, different dress code, very different discussions such as the positive sides of globalisations and how globalisation should also change Europe more, the negative effects of tax harmonisation, Darfur, Western Sahara, Migration obstacles – hindrance for economic development, building the internal coherence and democratization of the EU through a new short-term treaty (replacing the unsuccessful Constitutional treaty), to the need for greater investments in research and development and a more united and proactive role for Europe in the world. LYMEC had the luxury of not having elections, which meant that they had more time to deepen discussions.
Good luck to both organisations to achieve their aims till their next congress.

Donnerstag, April 19, 2007


hate speech

The opposition between the positions of Voltaire “I may disagree with what you have to say, but I shall defend, to the death, your right to say it.” and that of Saint-Just “No liberties for the enemies of Liberty” is still a wide-open debate in Europe today. We can clearly see this in the debate on the declaration “outlawing racism and xenophobia throughout Europe”.

Germany declared its aim to impose criminal liability on the following offences:
Public incitement to violence and hatred out of racist or xenophobic motives
Racist or xenophobic agitation
Denial or gross minimisation of genocide (mainly holocaust)

The maximum term of imprisonment for these offences would be one to three years - member states could make criminal liability dependent upon the determination by a national or international court that a known event in history constituted genocide, a crime against humanity, or a war crime. The goal is to attain minimum harmonisation of provisions on criminal liability for disseminating racist and xenophobic statements. The legislation would criminalize the denial of genocide, but does not specify which historical events fall within that definition, according to a draft version. It does, however, use Holocaust denial as an example of how the law may be applied. 9 out of the 27 member states of the EU already have holocaust denial legislation; several other member states already have legislation on hate speech.
This framework directive is already discussed since 2001 and it is the 3rd time on the agenda of a council meeting. Lets see where it leads to this time, I am especially curious what this means for media regulations of spoken and written word and in particular for cartoons and pictures.

Freitag, April 13, 2007



Ana behibek
Learning by trying it's hard to deny it

while paying for what I used to know

Dreams are deceiving untill I'm achieving

the goals I haven't set too low

Waiting for a new day

to wipe away

the Uncertainty that flows around me

once again to stay

So many choices but so few answers

my time slips away while thinking too much

Whom to believe in they're all just repeating

the same old lies so nice to clutch

Waiting for a new day

to wipe away

the Uncertainty that flows around me

once again to stay

Dienstag, April 10, 2007


queer easter 07

I have been a week in the educational centre of the German Falcons now. A week long on one place did not only do my back a lot of good, my constantly complaining shoulder feels a lot better now, but also made me go through a very intense educational experience. The Activity was hosted by ECOSY, IUSY and IFM-SEI. Seminars in the Kurt Löwenstein Haus are always done with a specific educational method, which is letting young people work on a topic not only by debating it or writing resolutions about it but in a more indirect or creative way. As I am the rest of the year mainly involved in resolutions drafting and conference style activities this was a very welcome change. Through different media such as music, campaigning, pod cast, blogging the participants worked on the seminar topics. In addition, if you put 90 young people in a house in the middle of nowhere they will become friends. For me it was not only intense because of the recovery of my shoulder or because of making new friends, no I was also catching up with old friends (see also here). Berlin was nice to me this week, the sun was shining, I met a prince and I let my soul dangle whilst counting freckles. Sometimes all you need to be happy is on one place, this weekend my happiness visited me in Berlin.

Montag, April 02, 2007


ecosy congress

Straight from Istanbul I went to attend the ECOSY congress in Warsaw. A lot of my friends have worked for the last weeks and even months to make this congress a success and it was really rewarding even for me to see how flawless and smooth this congress was organised. Congratulations for the team.
I was an electoral congress and ECOSY now has a new team of vice presidents and a re-elected president and secretary general. I wish them all good luck with the challenges ahead, lots of classical socialist points on the EU agenda where the contribution of ECOSY will be of importance such as the discussions on labour law, on flexicurity, on the constitution, foreign and security policy and many more. Curious and happy to work with them in the coming months.

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