Friday, May 8, 2009

The EU, thirty years ago and now - by Jeroen van der Kris

Members of the European parliament applaud Simone Veil after her election as the assembly's first president in 1979. Photo EU

I remember very well the day that I could vote for the new EU parliament in the spring of 1979. A lot of things have changed since then. And a lot of problems are solved. Below an interesting article about the EU 30 years ago and now. Enjoy.


When the members of the European parliament held their first session in Strasbourg in 1979, local restaurants didn't even bother to stay open. Thirty years later, everybody wants to buy them lunch. Five oldtimers talk about how the European parliament has changed in thirty years.

They're down to five now - four Germans and a Frenchman who have been in the European parliament ever since it was first directly elected in 1979. The parliament that Europeans will elect next month is entirely different from the one they encountered thirty years ago. It has more power and it has become much more professional. But it has lost the intimacy of the early days.
In an interview with NRC Handelsblad, German Christian democrats Hans-Gert Pöttering, Karl von Wogau and Ingo Friedrich, social democrat Klaus Hänsch and French communist Francis Wurtz look back on their careers and how the European parliament has developed in thirty years.

And there is more hereeeeee

1 comment:

Claudia said...

Dear Hans,

The EU Union just destroyed the economic viability of my Eskimo friends by banning seal products (May 2009). The Inuits of Nunavut can no longer earn enough to survive without utilizing their hunting skills. The EU Union did this for political purpose to obtain votes from people who deem seal hunting a cruel sport. It's not a sport, it's a livehood for many people. It's the cultural heritage and skill of aboriginal people.

I've always wondered why people are more concerned about baby seals than they are about unborn children, many being aborted while still viable. Where is the outcry? I guess politicians are afraid to loose the feminist votes if they would condemn this worldwide, with photos of aborted children.

It took a lot of courage for me to write this. I believe the world has wrong priorities. My tears are for killed babies, not killed seals.

Best wishes.