The question #EusprYng asks is: is a European spring possible? Well, it seems that it can and it did but just outside of the Union’s borders in Ukraine.
This week Viktor Yushchenko, Ukrain’s former president and leader of the Orange Revolution is our special guest. He will tells us more about young Ukrainians and the events which took place last winter in Kiev, the capital, on the Independence Square or Maidan Nezalezhnosti.
On May 25th it was the European parliament elections but it was also election day in Ukraine were the Euromaidan protesters finally got what they wanted.The country is now led by a pro-European government and the country is once again under the 2004 Constitution and the Association Agreement is back on the table with parts of it already signed.
For that to happen a lot of people got injured and even lost their lives. It all started on November 21st 2013, when young people took the Independence Square or Maidan Nezalezhnosti in Kiev also known since as Euromaidan. They decided to let Viktor Yanukovych, president of Ukraine at the time, know that they will not let him rob them of the possibility for their country to get closer to the European union financially and politically via an Association Agreement. Indeed, a few hours before that the president had decided to suspend all negotiations with the European Union regarding that Agreement as Vladimir Poutine, Russia’s president, was not going to “loose” a big country and client like Ukraine without a fight. At first the protest was peaceful but then on late November / early September things heated up when then the riot police was unleashed on unarmed protesters.
Viktor Yushchenko whom accessed the presidency of Ukraine under similar circumstances tells us more about the wind of change blowing on his country and how young people changed the course of their own lives and of others.
Here is a short presentation of the interview : click the link that will appear at the end to watch the first question. Mobile users: watch the videos here.
This week’s update is a little bit special as it’s not about one of EusprYng’s main characters.
No this week I have a special treat for you: an interview with Daniel Cohn-Bendit. He represents in a way both sides of this web-documentary. He started out as an activist in the streets of Paris in May 1968 and then he entered the European political arena where he stayed for the past 20 years. But this May, European politics will say farewell to one of its truest believer as he will not be on the lists of the Green party this year or even ever… He says he is too old for that now!
It seemed significant enough to start with his video. Because in a sense he embodies the spirit of EusprYng: the street facing the political system.
But if you know Daniel Cohn-Bendit you know he will not go without a bang! In this interview we talk about the upcoming European parliament elections, Radical left opposition leader and runner up for the European Commission presidency Alexis Tsipras and his party SYRIZA, and of course the possibility of a European sprYng.
In this interview Daniel Cohn-Bendit takes the example of Greece opting out of the Euro currency. More specifically, he talks about a Memorandum, which is the document (several in fact) that Greece had to sign and that forces the Greek government(s) among other things to cut civil servants pay. In exchange Greece receives money “from” the Troika i.e. the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). In order to refresh your memory or to know more about that subject you can read the articles below. And if you really can’t get enough of that stuff you can also visit the official websites of the European Commission and the IMF (links also below).
Articles from The Guardian & The Economist
Link to a Wikipedia article:
Links to the European Commission official website:
Links to the IMF official website:
Do not hesitate to engage with Daniel Cohn-Bendit, the main characters of EusprYng or me using social networks and this website.
EusprYng was inspired by the Arab spring but not only. For three years now youth worldwide has been rising demanding that the political sphere hear them out and take them into consideration. To me it feels like a new generation is standing up for itself and I have to admit I am really proud to be part of it!
But then I asked myself what can I do to also help shape a new world or at least a new European Union? So I have decided to do what (I believe) I do best! Report and talk about it but also give a new perspective on the so-called Y generation. That’s how the idea of EusprYng started to grow a year ago. And now it’s finally here!
In Europe we have seen young people protest in Spain, in the UK, in Romania and even in Brussels in front of the European institutions. But so far we could not see real change!
Now that the European parliament elections are coming up my aim is to focus on young people that might be able to transform youth (and general) frustration toward the European Union into real change for our society.
EusprYng is an on line experience where all opinions are welcomed as long as they observe the obvious rules of respect for others.
So don’t hesitate to engage with me and to let me know of initiatives taken by young people across Europe and the World that could transform our society.
I hope you will enjoy it!