Kader Sevinc - Smart Democracy & Smart Citizenship

My views on the future of Europe were published in International Herald Tribune / Dunya in English and Turkish.

Europe: Dream of power or power of the dream?

Kader Sevinç*

When I was growing as a child in Turkey, Europe was omni-present in school text books, on the TV, in the media and the daily social life conversations within family or with friends. Europe was often associated with dreams and Europe meant hope. Dreams for peace, for good economic standards, for social progress. A dream which was already becoming reality. A best practice for the rest of the world. Later on when I started to learn more about Europe, European integration process and int. relations, Europe has become even more glorious idea that was after the fall of the Berlin wall and before the global crisis, 9/11 and agonies of the western democracies. Europe was for us a powerful dream in a time when we were admiring Vaclav Havel’s article entitled “The Power of the Powerless”. And the power of Europe was relied on both great example of transnational solidaridity and democratic values as well as the tangible social and economic achievements. Probably the most impressive episode of the human civilisations’ short history on a planet which is 4.5 billion years old.

Europe’s 21 century did not start well, the globalisation means more competition from a re-emerging Asia, collapsing ecological system, troubled security context and impressive rise of transformational technologies. Europe and its international environment have changed a lot since the 20th century, one of the few elements which has not changed since then is the almost 40 years old “candidacy of Turkey to the EU membership” . For the majority of the Turkish people, Europe still is a good dream. Please note that in the Turkish culture we believe that a stubborn dream always comes true. However there is a problem. The dream of Europe like here in the European Union societies, in Turkey also is losing its power. Corollary, Europe’s dream for being a global power is vanishing. This is not a dream to make our nights comfortable and our days more hopeful. This is about fundamental realities and aspirations which have met this European dream a powerful one. This is about very essence of the European values. Democracy, rule of law, women rights as well as more daily life issues like food security, clean air or transparent public procurement. In the 21 century this European dream can not survive with loose leadership, fearful politicians, superficial media reporting, uncommunicative Commissioners and parliamentarians who are unable to be neither rational nor poetic vis-à-vis the challenges of our century. These challenges require the European Union to become a stronger political system and a larger geography promoting membership of countries like Turkey, courageously and rationally. This will mean that candidate countries like Turkey driven by the transformational force of the European dream, will become a real European democracy and socioeconomic system. Europe ought to reenergize its power of dream for its citizens and for the citizens of the world. I wish that we will have a 21 century marked by a renewed European dream for a better 22 century.

I would like share with you: few verses from a collective work of poetry to which I had the pleasure to participate. It is a book by several European poets published by Passaporta and entitled “The European Constitution in Verses”.

Here are some of my verses in this book:

” Feel the others’ rhythm

Get these crinoids and few nettle

Comb the Aegean’s hair with your melodies

Caress the North Sea’s salty skin

Remember me Europa!!”

*Kader Sevinç is international relations practitioner, social entrepreneur and poet. She is currently a member of the PES Presidency Council (Party of European Socialists & Democrats); the EU representative the CHP, Turkish social democratic and main opposition party, in Brussels; a non-resident Transatlantic fellow of the SAIS (Johns Hopkins University – Washington); member of the PES Transatlantic Delegation-US, founder of the Brussels-based debate club, the Turkish Coffee Briefings; executive board member of the Progessive Thought Institute (Istanbul) and founder of the educational initiative, the Sinif-1B (Brussels). Kader Sevinç is an honors graduate from the Akdeniz University and holds her MA in International Relations from CERIS/Paris XI University and completed Jean Monnet European Integration Program, she pursued “communication in business” training at the Harvard University. She previously worked in the Akdeniz University’s EU research center, private sector, and in the European Parliament as advisor. She was awarded by the Turkish Industry & Business Association (TÜSİAD) for her entrepreneurship project and by the European Commission for her project entitled “Turkey’s transformation and human capital in the EU accession process” and by Young Tourism Leaders for her contribution to Turkey’s image abroad. In 2013 Kader Sevinç was recognized by the Diplomatic Courier magazine and the YPFP in Washington DC among the most influential young foreign policy leaders in the world. She is an editorial board member of the Siirden poetry magazine in Istanbul, co-author of a political poetry book “The European Constitution in Verse” (2009, Brussels) and plays in the theater show of “100% Brussels”. Her poetry book “Kırık Ülke” (Broken Country) was published and her bi-lingual jazz/poetry album “River-long Loneliness” was released in 2014.

www.kadersevinc.com

Please see the Turkish version of the article in Dunya Daily below:

For the text version: www.kadersevinc.com/2012/08/26/636/

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