Follow-up to My!Europe?
Klaas van Egmond
By Ole Aabenhus
Europe needs "rethinki its cultural roots" and to strike a new balance between public and private interests. These are points in a Memorandum prepared by the so-called Zeist-group, which has now approached ISA - the International Sonnenberg Association - proposing a joint conference as a follow-up to the My!Europe project.
Zeist is a small town close to Utrecht in the Netherlands, and the "European Platform Zeist (The Netherlands)", as it is called, is a small group of "experts and citizens", concerned about Europe's present situation. Its memorandum was presented to participants of the Dutch My!Europe conference in October, at an afternoon session.
The leading figure is professor Klaas van Egmond, a specialist in environmental issues and author of the book "Sustainable Civilization" (2014). Ton Wachter, chairman of the Dutch Sonnenberg Association and a Zeist-citizen, is a member of the group.
The Zeist-group finds that societies should find a "middle way" between public and private, and between material and non-material (ideals, culture). A long list of "key tasks of the European Union" includes:
- Infrastructure shall be a public affair.
- The creation of money shall not be in private hands (banking), but is a public responsibility.
- There should be higher taxes on environmentally harmful substances, with proportionally lower taxes on labour (including art and culture) and recycled materials.
- Art and culture should be given a much higher priority in the social system, particularly in education.
- A dialogue between the worldviews (Christianity, Islam, Humanism) is a prerequisite for achieving a more or less shared value system.
- War immigrants could settle temporarily in Europe in principle and as a rule. Economic immigrants need (because of sovereignty considerations) not be accepted.
The Zeist Memorandum can be found here, in English and in German