CENTER FOR DEMOCRACY AND RECONCILIATION IN SOUTHEAST EUROPE

POPULISM AS A CHALLENGE

06July

POPULISM AS A CHALLENGE

July 2016

After the UK referendum and the initial reaction and analysis, two words began surfacing in the media coverage: youth and populism. And, like the old idiom on divorce goes, which applies to this situation as well, a good divorce is always better than a bad marriage, especially if children are involved. Yet, more than 60% of young people in UK voted to stay in the EU, and they are children of this obviously bad marriage. I am especially touched by their pain and tears. For their good, no one should celebrate and exult, as like we said, a good divorce is more than desired. The EU and the UK should help each other to survive and develop; there should be no blackmail, no bitterness, no revenge.

Young people are certain that disintegration is not better than integration. They know how much they benefit(ed) from the open borders, exchanges, comparisons, differences … While a union is not a necessity for cherishing these values, it does create an inspiring environment of mutual respect and acceptance, and these are a necessity. My hope lies in the young people-- smart, pure and fresh, those who will fight for the right values and who will oppose the expansion of populism,, the “winner” of the referendum and a serious threat to a liberal democratic system.

Populism is spreading all over Europe; it is not confined to Southeast European countries, and it seriously endangers Western democracy.  Today the UK, tomorrow somewhere else, and the superb idea of the EU may collapse? Certainly yes, if we do not find an answer to the question, “Why do around 80 percent of people agree that democracy is the best form of government, but only 30% believe that the voice of people is heard?”  We are witnessing the clash between the elite class and the “ordinary” people, but we should be aware that all those considered elite are not corrupt just as all ordinary people are not pure. A challenging time lies ahead, but I believe we are up to the challenge. For our youth, we must be.

  • Posted by michaela  Comments