ELFR_Newsletter

Welcome to our newsletter!

Dear European Liberals,
Dear ELfR friends and supporters!

We are living in strange, difficult times. In fact the most dangerous moment since the end of WWII.

After more than 70 years of peace on the European continent, we find ourselves with an open war again. As we read the newspapers, watch television, follow social media, many, if not all of us, have this feeling of overpowering sadness for the lives lost, frustration with our powerlessness to do anything about it, rage at the monstrous egomaniac unleashing death and destruction on our neighbours, terrified about our own future and that of our children and grandchildren.

We feel very strongly that we need to resist and fight back, but we come up against the unbearable constraints of the MAD (Mutual Assured Destruction) principle, which has kept us safe during the Cold War, but which is now coming back with a vengeance, wielded by, what many suspect, is a madman entrenched in the Kremlin.

When we speak to our friends in the Russian opposition, we feel heartbroken for them as they face arrest and long prison sentences, for daring to demonstrate against this vanity war. But we admire their heroism, for standing up and saving the soul of Russia, so that nobody can say that it’s Russia versus the rest of the world - it’s the clique in power against the rest of the world.

We have prepared a statement, which you will find on our website, Facebook page and within this newsletter - we feel strongly about it and we hope that you will share our outrage and concern for the innocent lives lost.

During the last month we have kept busy, publishing numerous blog posts, organising webinars (which you can watch on our YouTube channel - don’t forget to subscribe and share with your friends!)

We are working hard to make ELfR relevant to you and to a widening audience - that's why we look forward to your feedback - please keep it coming.

With our best, albeit worried, wishes,

Piotr Azia, Vice-President
for European Liberals for Reform


SoMe

Statement of the European Liberals for Reform Bureau on the war against Ukraine

Russia invaded the territory of a sovereign nation on 24 February 2022, causing massive casualties among the civilian population and huge damage to cities and the country’s infrastructure.

As the Russian troops advance into Ukrainian territory, ELfR states that it stands for some principles, which are not negotiable:

  • The right of each country to independence
  • The right of each country to choose its strategic and economic alliances
  • The right of each country to choose its political system through free and fair elections without foreign interference
  • The right of each country to protect the lives of its citizens, regardless of their ethnic background, language or religion
Ukrainian soldiers and citizens, men, women and children fighting today the aggressor are defending their own country, but also the freedom of all of Europe, of all of us.

Europe cannot yield to the blackmail and unspeakable violence of a clique of corrupt oligarchs supporting an illegitimate leader. A leader threatening recourse to nuclear armageddon if he doesn’t get his way on all points of an ultimatum to the whole western world.

The Russian régime is already facing sanctions agreed between the USA, Canada, Japan, South Korea and EU, unprecedented in reach and severity. We must be steadfast in pushing for further sanctions, to cover all members of the régime, profiting from the fleecing of the Russian people and resources and participating in the Russian aggression on the sovereign nation of Ukraine.

We must also put at the disposal of Ukraine under attack, the defensive weapons it needs, including but not limited to planes, anti-tank and anti-aircraft rockets and whatever else is needed for their survival.

Europe has welcomed with open arms women and children fleeing Ukraine, as their men are staying behind, defending their country. We must give them the shelter and help they need, taking into account that their exile may be extended and that many more refugees will be crossing our borders, desperate for safety and fearing for the life of their men and families left behind. Our generosity mustn’t be allowed to run out of steam as the news cycle moves on, but we must continue to look after them as they reach the EU, a union they have been dreaming to join as a nation since before 2014.

We must take into account Ukraine’s wish to join the EU, by allowing them candidate country status, realising that the process will be long and complicated, but this first step is immensely important to a country fighting for its survival and the right to choose its alliances.

Europe and the world are living through the most dangerous moments since the end of WWII in 1945 - all of this because of the unacceptable gamble of an illegitimate regime, running out of time, as its oppressed people are running out of patience.

We support Ukraine’s struggle for survival as we support the struggle of the Russian opposition for freedom and life in a law-abiding nation.

European Liberals for Reform Bureau on 04.03.2022, signed by
Ben Burgers, President
Piotr Azia, Vice-President
Theresa Zettl, Vice-President
ELFR_Member

WG Security & NATO

Together with our working group chairperson Hélder Alvares, we are working on an ELfR position in regard of a European defense/army.

Do you want to be part of this? Kindly reach out to us and we will add you in the discussion chat!
WG Security & NATO

Congratulations to our member Máté Bozóky!

Together with Sarah Zickler, Máté Bozóky got elected as ALDE Party Individual Members delegate for the upcoming ALDE Party Congress. Congratulations Máté!
We are extremely proud of you!
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Theresa Zettl being candidate for
AIM country coordinator in Germany


Until Sunday, 06.02.2022, all German ALDE Party Individual Members can support our ELfR Vice-President and ALDE Party Individual Members Steering Committee member to become the new Country Coordinator in Germany.

We kindly ask all German AIM to give their vote to Theresa. We have all seen how much she as Communication Officer has improved AIM for the better in such little time.

An image of...
newsletter events

"Russian Propaganda and disinformation milestones against the West since 1999"

Speaker: Dietmar Pichler, Center for Digital Literacy, Vienna
Moderator: Piotr Azia

"Ukraine, Europe and the West under attack: Putin’s dangerous chess game on 25.02.2022

Speaker: Ben Burgers, ELfR President
Moderator: Piotr Azia

"Nuclear and renewable energies" Discussion – Panel

on 16.02.2022

Panelists:
– Anders Basbøll (AIM Steering Committee Chairperson)
– Ben Burgers (ELfR President)
– Claudia Gasparrini (Ph.D. in nuclear materials)
– Paweł Kołodziejczyk (modelling and simulation expert)
Moderator: Piotr Azia

“Get the Children Out! Forgotten Heroes of the Kindertransport" on 07.02.2022

Speakers: Mike Levy
Moderator: Piotr Azia

“METROPA - The European supermetro network vision to become reality” on 03.02.2022

Speaker: Stefan Frankenberger
Moderation: Piotr Azia
We are also looking for speakers for our webinars! Do you have an interesting topic to talk about? Or do you know people who would like to do a webinar and spread their word and ideas on European and liberal values? Kindly reach out to our "webinar master" Piotr Azia (p.azia@elfr.eu) with your suggestions!
ELFR_blog

Putin is playing a dangerous game with Europe

Author: Emanuele

The city of Brest becomes protagonist again, 30 years later. We are not talking about the Breton port town but about a Belarusian city near the Polish border. It is no coincidence that it was chosen as the location of the second round of negotiations between Russia and Ukraine: it was precisely there that Mikhail Gorbachev signed the treaty that …

Categories: Europe, Russia
Putin is playing a dangerous game with Europe

Donetsk and Luhansk - the regions at stake in the Ukraine conflict

Donetsk and Luhansk - the regions at stake in the Ukraine conflict
Author: Theresa Zettl

dpa (German press agency) - translated by Theresa Zettl Russia responded to the overthrow of an elected pro-Russian government in Kiev in 2014 by annexing the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea. It also supports pro-Russian separatists in the east of the country, against whom Kiev has been taking military action since 2014. According to UN estimates, more than 14,000 people have …

Categories: Europe, Russia, Russia

The Russia-Europe Conflict

Author: Theresa Zettl

about one country in the very east of Europe, it is about all of Europe. Russian President Vladimir Putin has no problem with Ukraine, but with Europe and the pro-European attitude of the majority of people living in Ukraine.

Read more in this article by our guest writer Kati Schneeberger and feel invited to attend our free Webinar: "Putin’s dangerous chess game: Ukraine, Europe and the West under attack" with Kati Schneeberger on 25.02.2022 at 20:30 CET

Categories: Europe, Russia, Ukraine
The Russia-Europe Conflict

Supporting transgenders against hate speech

Supporting transgenders against hate speech
Author: Theresa Zettl

Theresa Zettl Last week there an incredible scandal took place in the German Bundestag caused by the AfD parliamentary group leader Beatrix von Storch: She had claimed that the Green politician and transwoman Tessa Ganserer was "biologically and legally a man". The scandal caused by the right wing populists of AfD had a widespread media coverage in Germany.In a debate on …

Categories: LGBTQI+

Africa: The continent on our doorstep

Author: Johannes Eber

Johannes Eber - Good morning Europe blog Viewed from above, there are no big differences between Europe and Africa. That changes the closer you look. Above all, the economic disparities are still huge. The GDP per capita is 15 times larger in the EU than in Africa. The leaders of all the 27 EU nations and 40 of their 55 …

Categories: Uncategorized
Africa: The continent on our doorstep

How last week's ruling could change the European Union

How last week's ruling could change the European Union
Author: Johannes Eber

Johannes Eber - Good morning Europe blog The compromise had only bought Poland and Hungary time. – In late 2020, a new mechanism was adopted, allowing the EU to reduce funding to countries where rule of law problems negatively affect European taxpayers' money. Poland and Hungary had negotiated a compromise, according to which the law would only apply after the …

Categories: Europe, Hungary, Poland

Will the economy remove Erdogan from office?

Author: Johannes Eber

Authoritarian rulers are known for having an ambivalent relationship with reality. If promises do not match actual developments, then discrepancies must be made invisible. The problem is that the longer one denies those discrepancies, the greater they usually become. Too little is done then. It's hard to fight issues that don't officially exist. In Turkey, discrepencies can no longer be ignored.

Categories: Turkey
Will the economy remove Erdogan from office?

The logic of sanctions - or: Why gas pipelines won't decide the Ukraine conflict

The logic of sanctions - or: Why gas pipelines won't decide the Ukraine conflict
Author: Johannes Eber

Much of the world wants to prevent Putin's Russia from invading Ukraine. The means of prevention: setting the price, Putin would have to pay, as high as possible. The west has ruled out military means to inflate the price. For a good reason. The costs of a military conflict between Russia on the one hand and Europa and the USA on the other would be immense, not just for Putin.

Categories: Economy, Europe, Russia, Ukraine

What we should focus on in Djokovic's case

Author: Vladan Lausevic

VLADAN LAUSEVIC In January, media worldwide has been reporting the case of the superstar tennis player Novak “Nole” Djokovic. To make a long story short, Djokovic is against Covid-19 vaccination, he was initially denied entry to Australia for competition, then he was allowed entry without a Covid-pass, before being finally denied permission to play. Much of the political and media …

Categories: Europe, Serbia
What we should focus on in Djokovic's case

Italy from Mattarella to Mattarella: Salvini's wrecking balls and the clash of politics

Italy from Mattarella to Mattarella: Salvini's wrecking balls and the clash of politics
Author: Emanuele

EMANUELE LOMBARDINI The presidential elections in Italy? We could define them as a great "Wacky races", if any of you remember the famous cartoon: a strange race between cars driven by weird and unlikely drivers, with he who believes himself to be the smartest of all, Dick Dastardly who then ends up regularly shot dead. This role, no doubt, is …

Categories: Europe, Italy, Politics

Italians take their time: How the country elects the president

Author: Johannes Eber

🇮🇹 / Italian president Johannes Eber Good morning, you may wonder why Italian’s voting for the next president started on Monday but it is still not decided who will follow president Sergio Mattarella, whose term will end on 3 February. So here is a brief background of how the president of Italy come into power. The president is elected not by the people …

Categories: Italy
Italians take their time: How the country elects the president 

Italy and the chess game for a new Head of State

Italy and the chess game for a new Head of State
Author: Emanuele

EMANUELE LOMBARDINI Ready, steady, go! In Italy the search for the new President of Republic is starting. Next 3 February, the seven-year term of the current head of state, Sergio Mattarella, expires, and he has already said no to a re-nomination, instead hoped for by many parties to try to avoid this umpteenth 'misfortune', the one of having to get …

Categories: Europe, Italy, Politics

You'd better understand the Serbs

Author: Johannes Eber

🇷🇸 / Novak Djokovic / #73 By Johannes Eber When I was a teenager, Germany had an athlete as a national hero: tennis player Boris Becker. I had never been interested in tennis, Germany had never been interested in tennis. That changed in the summer of 1985. Becker became a star overnight when he won Wimbledon at the age of 17, …

Categories: Serbia, Sport, Vaccination
You'd better understand the Serbs

Polish Catholic church: How dare you?

Polish Catholic church: How dare you?
Author: Theresa Zettl

he southern Polish diocese of Bielsko-Żywiec speculated in a court case about whether sexual abuse of a twelve-year-old boy would bring "satisfaction" if the boy was gay. After media reported on a document to this effect, the diocese apologised for the statement and declared that they would not pursue this theory in the trial. Specifically, the case concerned the complaint of 48-year-old Janusz Szymik, who claimed to have been raped several times by a priest at the age of twelve. The perpetrator was declared guilty by the Vatican in 2015.

Categories: Europe, Human Rights, LGBTQI+, Poland, Society

What you (probably) don't know about Ukraine

Author: Johannes Eber

There is so much writing about Ukraine these days. For good reasons. The threats from Putin's Russia could lead to war.

I asked myself what I could add to help understand that conflict. Thinking about it, I realised that I know very little about the basics and Ukraine’s history. Maybe you feel the same.

So I've put together some facts I hadn't known before delving into preparing for writing this post. Even if the following points have nothing to do directly with the current situation, they might be a bit enlightening. Because as always: knowing the past helps to understand the present.

Categories: History, Russia, Ukraine
What you (probably) don't know about Ukraine

Greenwashing of nuclear power and nuclear waste?

Greenwashing of nuclear power and nuclear waste?
Author: Theresa Zettl

At the beginning of the use of nuclear energy 60 years ago, people dreamed of an infinite supply of cheap electricity. The little bit of nuclear waste that was produced could be shot into space or dumped in the sea. To date, tons of radioactive nuclear waste have accumulated, which must be stored safely and in some cases shielded from the biosphere for over a million years. Up until today, there is no suitable final respository for it anywhere in the world. Instead: The EU focuses on green-washing of nuclear power and nuclear waste.

Categories: Animals & Nature, Climate, Economy, Europe

Is Milorad Dodik a secessionist?

Author: Johannes Eber

When I was in my early twenties, the Bosnian War dominated the daily news. Horrible pictures of people fleeing snipers in Sarajevo, in Srebrenica. 

When peace returned (at least on paper) in the mid-1990s, my attention on the region disappeared. To be honest: Until a few months ago I would probably not have found the Republika Srpska on a nameless map. Republika Srpska is one of the two entities of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the other is the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The region is back in global public because of one man: Milorad Dodik

Categories: Europe, Human Rights, Politics
Is Milorad Dodik a secessionist?
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