RESPECT SOLIDARITY WELCOMING
School of Europe, Ventotene October, 24-28th 2017
“Three key- words that regard European which move from one nation to another but also people who arrive in Europe form the rest of the world. Their entry in society must be facilitated by a common sense of respect and solidarity, present in all the union.”
What is respect for us?
By respect we mean loving each other by practicing the following actions: appreciating diversity and equality, embracing other cultures helping people in need, creating a multicultural society and celebrating it.
Knowledge, collaboration and support are key words. In order to increase respect among people from EU and foreign people we suggest these possible solutions.
Knowledge leads to common respect
First of all, we need to be aware of other cultures by exchanging knowledge, sharing traditions and learning about global history. The aim is to make people feel respected even if their culture is different.
As a solution we can create different classes for children and adults in order to improve their integration by teaching them language, local costumes and laws with the help of organization of volunteers. Classes should be divided according to the language, ensuring a real exchange of knowledge. This classes could be held in the afternoon for children and in the evening for adults in order to give them the possibility to attend the lessons.
Finally, interacting with immigrants and experiencing their cultures would help us to become more open-minded.
Celebrating the unity in diversity
We suggest to actually celebrate the EU Union day on the 9th of May; this date, in fact, is not known from the majority of people and furthermore it has not been celebrated regularly despite the importance of the day for the European Union. We could add another festivity that may last more days to celebrated European cultures so that we can teach and be taught to appreciate diversity.
This festival ought to be divided in two parts, one part in which people would experience typical food, clothes and dances of European countries; the other part which would include meetings about people’ experiences, stories and also typical tales, learning about history, traditions and lifestyles.
At the beginning we should including as many schools as possible and later extend it to a higher level, involving governments.
Foreign students will participate to represent their cultures and, local student can do intercultural researches.
The project includes firstly teachers and volunteers and then people that agree with sponsoring it, in addition our idea is to raise a European fund, with the contribution of each European country.
Create a multicultural internet community
A website is an important way to communicate among EU citizens, a way to share information and experiences, advertising respect as a positive value for the Union. Creating a section about the EU union day could be useful to make people conscious of what mutual respect can lead to. Here citizens can find photos, videos, and also testimonies shared by people from another part of Europe.
It is important to spread as much as possible this kind of multicultural events, using also social medias to reach as many people as we can.
European Union must grant a European citizenship for those who live in Europe in order to create a common European identity and obtain stronger link among European citizens and collaboration among countries.
In our opinion it is fundamental to feel like being part of the community because this would create an common awareness of belonging to the same group.
The citizenship can be granted in the following cases: birth in a European country, regular school education or job for at least five years in a European country, regular and constant residency in a European country; unless the person has problem with law.
Accepting different religions
Everybody must have the freedom to follow any religion as long as they respect the other religious cultures. To guarantee this freedom we suggest substituting the traditional lessons of local religion with “History of religions”.
The expected result would be extending the knowledge of religions and improving respect among different religious cultures.
The European Union is about helping and supporting people and countries. Strong countries must help the less developed or weak ones to grow and prosper. This support must be analyzed from an ethical, economic and social point of view.
Solidarity is a way to bind people together. It means to be kind with people because they are the same as you are. No matter the economic differences. We are not able to welcome immigrants if we are not united between us. We have to remember our common historical background and not to forget that the European people were the first ones to emigrate and to be welcomed in other countries during the previous century.
Anyway, nowadays it is our turn to accept this challenge with a spirit of fraternity and solidarity; it would a way to make up for this situation that Europe has created, taking advantage of the less developed countries during Imperialism and Colonialism.
The European Union, before helping immigrants, has to overcome the differences and reach a common unity between the State members, in order to preserve the inspirational condition of “welfare state”, that respects the dignity and the rights of every human being. We have to be supportive with other countries in time of crisis like natural disasters, wars, terroristic acts etc.
In order to respect solidarity from an ethical and social point of view, the European Union might have as its aim the abolition of all forms of discriminations which from from: skin colour, religion, race, person with physical and mental handicap, sexual genre and sexual orientation, economical situations, social classes.
We want to highlight the analogies between European people and non-European for mixing the cultures in order to contribute to the integration.
Since the creation of the European Union some countries have developed more than others for several historical and political reasons.
Everyone should feel free to express himself and not be judged by others for any reason.
We wish for the introduction of a subject based on modern and European values at school, aware of the fact that schools have an important and crucial role in children’s education. In this way education will help Europe thrive.
Plan of action
In order to avoid all forms of discrimination, we suggest the introduction of a new subject in schools in which the students can talk each other and improve their knowledge and to sensitize the students to this theme.
Every European citizen has the same rights of another one and he or she must be treated without any distinctions. Everyone should be aware about their duties to help the less integrated people. Organize free courses where non-European can learn the basis of the language.
The employer of each company who has a non-European worker could organize meetings to introduce the non-European worker and say to the other workers that he or she is exactly as them. Immigrants can arrive in a country, talk about their abilities, and then have stages where they can specialize something that could ensure their future job. We have to determinate a percentage of money that all State members have to pay to European Bank; the percentage would be the same for every country and it must be imposed on GNP (Gross National Product).
In this way as the richer countries pay more the Bank, consequently the Bank decides how to distribute money based on necessity of each country in need.
There should be the organization of conferences at school, but also out (create more international days to reduce every type of discrimination), to improve the knowledge and the idea that all the population is equal in order to raise integration. Children should participate to some ethical lessons to understand from an early age that all the people from all the countries have the same rights and duties and they are equal from man to man, woman to woman, and towards law.
Welcoming means being receptive to the coexistence and the interaction of different individuals.
Welcoming presupposes not only an open mind, larger horizons, but also acceptance of different cultures. It is a principle which constitutes a new model of the E.U. as a community instead of a confederation based on an economic alliance, a change for the better. Europe must be united so it can face problems faster and more efficiently; countries which are not troubled by a disorganized and massive immigration phenomenon must support the most pressurized countries. Europeans should bear in mind that they have been the first colonizers on a global scale; the past colonization is one of the major causes of immigration today, which sees the E.U. as one of the main targets. Other causes of immigration are economic, political, social and environmental.
We believe that in the E.U. refugees’ and immigrants’ welcoming and integration should be founded on determined principles:
Every person that seeks asylum or wishes for a more prosperous future in the countries of the E.U. is welcomed as long as they agree to be registered and put through a process of identification and background checking.
If the individual has a criminal background, he/she must be monitored weekly and must participate to a re-educational program for a period of time, of at least a month, which depends on the severity of the committed crime .
If they oblige and don’t have a criminal background, we can ensure a fresh start in life for both immigrants and refugees. Regardless of the country of provenience or the reason for immigration, every person should present a document which proves their identity.
After the security check, people who don’t provide their identity should be restricted in areas in which they can settle in, as long as they help to maintain their temporary community. In order to avoid segregation and discriminatory behaviours, after a determined period of time, the hosting nation must provide these individuals with new documentation.
Immigrants who don’t provide an identity can although enter the border if blood related family members or legal tutors who already live in the welcoming nation can provide a recognition document.
The proof of the relation between the newcomers and their recognizers must be demonstrated by documents.
The E.U. should grant a sum of money as the borders are being overcrowded by the large number of immigrants so that they can acquire proper devices and form a monitoring database. Assuming that they can’t provide documentation we should help them communicate with their home nation to identify them.
To create a balance among migration flows and to support member countries under demographic pressure, the European Commission has faced the theme of relocation.
The regulation of immigration policies should be administrated by a European organ, whose members are main delegates of each nation in the E.U. The aim is to implement the procedures of lodging asylum seekers and the qualification for maintaining stability and safety. Focusing on a policy that benefits especially minors and refugees, our proposal is to establish nuclear family and well-being as priorities. If a migrant’s family members are already set in the country the asylum seeker is willing to move to, a certification stating their consanguinity ought to be provided, in order to prioritize the immigrant’s relocation closest possible to the nuclear family to preserve its integrity.
We established the criteria that the new European organ should take into consideration, whether a country might be suitable for those who are about to be relocated. Conditions are as follows:
- The host country has economic needs that correspond to the migrant’s expertise.
- The historical background of the host country and its cultural heritage are receptive to the interaction between the different cultures involved, promoting the value of mutual respect and not disvalues born from nationalism and racism, such as supremacy.
- The host country resources are sufficient to guarantee the migrant’s well-being, as regards the nation’s demographic capacity and welfare.
Integration of non-European immigrants
Integration is a progressive involvement of an individual or a community in the mainstream of a society.
In order to integrate immigrants, every European nation needs an educational system targeted to teach them the basics of the mother tongue by assigning them to language classes based on grammar and conversation. Every immigrant, in order to attend school, must have sat an exam which evaluates his/her receptive skills, which will determine the attending grade. Language classes must occupy two thirds of the weekly hours of school; the rest of the time must be dedicated to interaction between immigrants and the class group.
In order to directly attend university or find employment in jobs with a high level of language skill requirement, after proving graduation or degree with proper certification, immigrants must take part in courses of specific language, according to the branch they wish to study or work in, and sit an exam on that field of interest. The first two exams per person will be financed by the E.U., after failing twice the immigrants will have to pay for the exams.
Immigrants can benefit the country, after being properly inserted in society: both immigrants and locals charged with the same task should be equally paid . The aim is to involve them into society, relying on a mutual exchange: immigrants must play a role in society welfare, which ought to guarantee them both rights and opportunities itself. For this reason, in case an immigrant needs economical funds to start a new life, the E.U. will provide support. As far as working conditions are concerned, immigrants must pay the national taxes.
Volunteer associations should be formed to help integrate the immigrants, and to provide them financial and medical support, comfortable accommodations, protection from physical and psychological violence.
Integration of European from other nations
Integration also regards Europeans which move from one nation of the E.U. to another. Their entry in society must be facilitated by a common sense of respect and solidarity, present in all the union. These values, together with feeling like a European citizen, should be promoted in school classes; a new subject, which underpins the European civic education, should be introduced, to teach Europeans they are not only part of their nation but also part of a bigger union.
The right of citizenship is one of the principles which guarantee the perfect and complete integration within the host countries. The new European Organ we aspire to create is responsible for setting up conditions in order to guarantee the right of citizenship.
Children born in a European country from immigrants, of which at least one is a legal resident, obtain citizenship at birth.
Immigrated children, to obtain citizenship, must have attended at least five years of school, not considering repeated grades.
Immigrants who enter the nation at eighteen years or older must wait five years, after becoming legal residents, to obtain citizenship.