Weird, out of place, surprising at this time these lines may seem,
planned for long, few know, today I’ll write about what I call “The European Dream” .
One thing I will say up front, to satisfy of you readers the most:
while threatened, endangered at the moment: I do NOT think that it’s lost!

Quite afraid though I am that it has disappeared from our view,
hence we don’t consider, ask ourselves what to save it we all need to do?
A delicate question the media asks: who is behind the current development?
Named suspects: recession, immigration, nationalism…or another trend?

While I intend to recall the merits of the EU back into memory,
let me transition over now into my personal story:
Growing up as a kid of the late 80s in beautiful Vienna,
filled with stories past by grand- and parents, I know: EU is more important than EVER!

About one year after my birth, I probaly measured just about two feet tall
the historic development, the revolutionary tear-down of the Berlin wall!
Not just diplomats on both sides, but the power of many peoples had arranged,
that finally – late enough – for the better all of Europe would be changed!

I’ve had a privilege that barely anyone has, for broader horizon allows,
I grew up with both parents AND grand-parents in my house.
For me to learn about the ordeals, victims and sacrifice of WWII was not on TV,
or some hectic lessons and presentations at school in history.

I learned about my grand-parents’ direct expernce, their unfiltered view,
about what the years 1925 to 1955 they suffered and all went through.
Now time elapses, unfortunately they’ve both depared this life, are no longer here,
but one thing they’ve passed on, yes instilled in me: to peace, reconciliation: CHEER!

Growing up in the 90s, still in the first years of my life,
my home country joined this peace project “EU” in 1995.
While sitcomes & blockbusters developped American values in me,
my relatives, fellow citizens profited from a new sense of freedom and mobility.

Just this January, in the vary last days of her life, as she must have felt,
my 90-year-old grandmother passed her life lesson that inside she had held:
“From the very first day: sow love and peace, We as kids were taught to discriminate, hate…
but you know that it is never too late!”

This more than anything makes me feel the responsibility,
to stand up, defend, freedom of speech and thought in our society.
And that’s why the only future for this country I can set my eyes on,
is one where we stand firmly and loyal in this European Union!

What’s specific about Vienna, so especially great about this city,
drive on hour north or east: you now are in a different country!
Not as many to play in unregulated casinos, cheap cigarettes or yucky fries,
but in order to build, promote and grow superregional ties.

At first we were just checking other countries cause the gasoline was cheaper,
how lucky I am that my grandparents encouraged me to d(r)ive in a little deeper,
What I’ve found time and time again, exceeding all measures,
is beautiful people, an enriching experience, new country with incredible cultural treasures.

But a big warning here! Just for your information!
I don’t believe in the never-ending call for open immigration!
What is the best for refugees, society, ultimately the entire nation,
is an acceptable, manageable number of incoming families to focus on REAL immigration.

Big fear of many it is: the newly rising nationalism,
Poland, Hungary, Austria…isn’t it just a counter-movement of globalism?
Bigger and bigger parts of the population seem to long,
for their own country, a leader, indepenent from Brussels and strong.

It would seem reasonable, able to understand,
that the respective nations want to have some power in their own hand,
but isn’t it possbile to find in this Union the third, the BETTER way,
in which – united and peaceful – Union and country have a say?

One dream we were sold, like eternal sunshine and weather,
the idea of the “ever-growing union” forming closer and closer together.
Advertising of this idyllic idea especially got more and more,
before the Eastern Expansion of the Union in 2004.

It seems quite similar, estimated high in potential,
like the illusion of eternally-growing economy, ideally exponential,
and as we have all learnt at the latest since 2007,
this is reality and unfortunately not seventh heaven.

And just as quickly as charts and growth figures start crashing down,
so do people’s shoulders and very soon we all start to frown.

This galopping illusion of things getting less and less,
makes people look out only for themselves in this big, crazy mess.
And this still-not-growing economy in my estimation,
is what worsens the fear and racism in the current situation.

What makes most people shake heads, might soon move them to tears,
is their shockingly big ignorance of many people’s fears,
first of all an acceptance, basic understanding and only then education,
is as far as I see the only possible “cure” for this messy situation.

And still I believe that the European Fire deserves re-ignition,
it can come back to life so is my vision!
If we wait too long, it’s really lost I fear,
so how to move on? You’ll soon be able to read in part two RIGHT HERE 😉

– CB