It is great to have you here. I am Collins Nweke, a Municipal politician at Ostend City Council where I currently serve a third term of office, this time in the standing special council on social welfare. I am an engaged world citizen, Belgian of Nigerian origin, husband, father and an active mentor to a host of young Africans.
Why this blog? In May 2014, I was a Green Party candidate for the European Parliament, running with my friend and now three-term Member European Parliament (MEP) Bart Staes on the back of a more equitable, reformed Europe. Over 11,000 Belgian voters supported my Euro-parliament bid. Though unelected, the bid energized me to carry beyond the campaign trail the issues that motivated me to stand for the election in the first place: a fairer and more responsive Europe, ready to provide progressive leadership in a changing world, lead public opinion rather than simply follow it, uphold the European values of fairness particularly in its trade relations with Africa and the rest of the emerging economies et cetera.
Together with my Global Affairs Analyses on Television Continental (TVC) and on TRT World, this blog ‘Organizing for a Fairer Europe’ is my engagement tool for a more responsive Europe as conceived by the founding fathers but is fast becoming an elusive dream. That dream of Europe is driven by a few sentiments. For instance, as African by origin, should I feel no less a European than my two kids born and raised here or indeed kids of their generation whose forefathers are indigenous Europeans, born here, maybe even fought in the 1st & 2nd World Wars? Shouldn’t the new European dream see a win-win in a fair trade relations with Africa? Should Europe not strive for a broader, rather than a narrow interpretation of the concept of National or European Interests? Shouldn’t such interests include policies around income redistribution not only within European national borders but around the world? What sense does it make for a reformed Europe to worry about a reformed Africa social welfare system and support it? Why should it be Europe’s business supporting job creation initiatives in Africa for young African graduates in Africa in the context of combating massive economic migration? A new Europe would understand that when the climate warms up in Asia, the Americas or Africa, the danger it brings with it, touches Europe as well.
These and more are the thoughts that informed this blog and I’m pleased that you have visited us, to be a part of the debate and therefore a part of the solution.