Recent posts by Erik Solbu

Helping refugees is not enough – we must prevent future refugee disasters

“- we know there is no country in the world that has managed to lift poverty without investing in family planning.” Interview with Melinda Gates in Dagens Nyheter. This post was first published on Liberal Words, a blog for ALDE Party Individual Members How many immigrants are welcome to Europe? For many years there has been a conflict in the migration issue between liberals claiming human rights to free movement and xenophobians opposing all forms of immigration of people with different skin color and background. While the former focus on…

Separatism in a united Europe

While we have a strive to unite Europe, there are ongoing activities in Catalunya to separate this region from Spain. I have no specific opinion on how well founded this is and what advantages a separation from Spain would have for the Catalans, but I think that each people has the right to self-determination. The problem is that this right is not generally accepted. If we take United Nations, it consists of states, all of those negative to separatist tendencies in their own countries and therefore, in principle, against such…

Heart of Darkness

The photos show the first and the present rulers of Congo ( DRC), namely King Leopold II of Belgium and President Joseph Kabila. Whatever failures President Kabila has made during his time as president, they are small compared with the atrocities that took place under King Leopold. The colonial rule of Congo may be considered to have been of the absolute worst kind. Even after independence this legacy has continued hitting the Congolese population. In a way, even Kabila might be considered a victim of the colonial rule. On March…

After Trump – now we must act against growing populism in Europe

For a long time populist, xenophobic and anti-EU parties have gained increasing influence in many European countries. With the election of Donald Trump for president of the United States, these parties have gained even more confidence and now pose a threat to EU cohesion. Their voters consist partly of groups with stagnating or declining incomes, but what really ties them together is their aversion against migrants and their fear of Islamic fundamentalism. Unfortunately, there is a risk that migrant flows and terrorism are not transient problems, but may increase in…

Europeans – now we have to take responsibility for our own future!

When I last wrote on this blog, it was under the heading “Europe – We may have just 4 years left under the US umbrella”. Sorry, I was wrong. After the surprising announcement this morning that Donald Trump will be the next President of the United States, this change is imminent. Europe has been like a barge in tow after the American tugboat, if the hawser is suddenly chopped off before we can operate on our own, we may drift where we don´t want to land! This is happening in…

Europe – We may have just 4 years left under the US umbrella

6 April next year it is one hundred years since the United States, reluctantly, entered into World War I. This made a major contribution to the victory of the allies, but to a huge cost for the Americans, including 110,000 deaths. During the past century we Europeans have come to taking the American interest in guarding our interests for granted. The question is, for how long time will this last? In a newly published interview with the new US ambassador to Sweden she was asked: What do you say to…

EU – a proposal for a new immigration policy

Europe was unprepared for the influx of immigrants European politicians turned, during four years, a blind eye to the war in Syria. When finally the accumulated amount of Syrian refugees and migrants from other countries started to flow into Europe last year like ketchup splashing out of a ketchup bottle, this seemed to come like a total surprise. Since so few preparations, political as well as practical, had been made, this has lead to a major European crisis, at least as serious as the economic crisis a few years ago….

Europe is our values

For more than four years we Europeans neglected the ongoing conflict in Syria. Assad was allowed to terrorize his own people with poison gas and barrel bombs, without interference from neither Europe nor USA. Only after Daesh (IS) became a major force in the region, there came a reaction. And now, after terror attacks in Paris and threats in other places in Europe, several politicians show willingness to cooperate with any force, how evil it may be, just to get rid of Daesh. And seemingly with little consideration to our…

Om flyktingar och Europas framtid

Under hösten har en enastÃ¥ende insats skett för flyktingar som kommit till Europa. Protester som funnits mot invandring har mer eller mindre svepts bort i en solidaritetsvÃ¥g för fördrivna frÃ¥n Syrien. Tyvärr är reaktionen pÃ¥ katastrofen i Syrien senkommen och sker först nu när flyktingarna väller in i Europa. Under drygt fyra Ã¥r har en ständigt eskalerande konflikt härjat Syrien och av hela befolkningen pÃ¥ cirka 18 miljoner har över 200 000 människor dödats medan över 12 miljoner är pÃ¥ flykt. Inte ens president Assads saringasattack mot befolkningen i Ghouta…

Abraham’s Children

Abraham Abraham is the first of the three biblical patriarchs and given a high position of respect in three major world faiths, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Therefore, followers of those monotheistic religions can, in a sense, be regarded as “Abraham’s Children”. Even in the Bahá’í Faith Abraham is in high regard as a prophet. While Abraham by the believers is considered a historical person, modern research considers him, together with his son Isaac and grandson Jacob, as a mythological figure. In the chapter “Searching for the Patriarchs” in their book…