Culture & Identity Education

Contribution from Anastasios Bountis

Let me summarize briefly here some first ideas, which may be included in the open
forum to which EASA is inviting us to contribute. I will outline a number of areas where
I believe Past Europe has failed its citizens and where Next Europe can really make a
contribution:

1) European values and principles: As the text of Next Europe states these were first
proposed by my ancestors as their greatest contribution to Western Civilization and
refer to democracy, respect of others’ opinions, and devotion to building a society
aiming to provide its citizens with equal rights, obligations and opportunities to fully
realize their potential, with equality, justice and compassion for the needy and the
weak.

2) European independence and respect of self-determination: Next Europe should
value highly its independence as a world entity, with a leadership that acts
independently of other entities to protect its citizens and doesn’t follow blindly the
policies of other entities, putting thus at risk the safety and well-being of European
citizens. Next Europe should not engage in any acts of aggression against other
sovereign states or independent countries, unless it is attacked by them and therefore
has to act in self-defense. This attitude will make Next Europe a credible partner in
intra-national conventions and negotiations to help in resolving disputes and propose
solutions to world problems, whenever invited to do so.

3) European Focusing on Education and Civilization policies: Next Europe should
greatly enhance its already existing education activities and infra-structures and
cultural activities and policies on all levels to promote what distinguishes human beings
from other creatures on this earth. National languages, religions, customs and
heritages should be respected and not amalgamated into a featureless whole as it has
happened in the USA. Every European citizen, as was the case in ancient Athens,
should have the opportunity to participate actively in all education and cultural activities
to improve oneself as an individual and contribute to the advancement of these values
in its own country as well as throughout Europe.

4) De-centralization and detachment from strict Economics: Finally, Next Europe
should detach itself from its present exaggerated adherence to Economic measures,
regulations and policies that tend to make the rich richer and the poor poorer. It should
have a European leadership that does not only serve the interests of only a few
economically powerful partners. Next Europe should be viewed in theory and in
practice as a truly democratic entity that cares about its partners and helps them in
their difficulties, demanding at the same time that they also faithfully adhere to a
European Bill of Rights and Obligations.

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