Dienstag, 13. September 2005
Some Guys Have All The Bad Luck
Remember my Serbian friends P. and Jovanka? While Jovanka lost her job in Austria and had to return to Serbia, P. finally found work. In Slovenia. But he had to return to Serbia, too. He didn't get a work permit.

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Mittwoch, 22. Juni 2005
The End Of The European Union Is Near
The current discussions about the end of the European Union have already had an impact on a German publishing company. Rather amused I received a parcel today with a customs/douane/Zoll-sticker declaring content, weight and value of the Book-sample.
Zoll-Pickerl. (novala)

If I remember correctly the customs union dates way back to the 50ies when the six founding members of what is today's EU agreed on free trade with each other. Austria joined that union in 1995. And now a German publishing house sends me a parcel with an English declaration of the content. Is this the art of pictoral foreshadowing? Well, maybe the book took a detour over Australia.

Link
Wikipedia: European Union

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Dienstag, 11. Januar 2005
He Proposed To Me. I Said No
P.'s aunt called. No Austrian working-visa for P. Next try, next no. "He needs to get married in Austria ... would you?"

No. No, I can't. I don't want to. Sorry. It's against my beliefs. All of them.

"Do you know somebody? A good girl. A woman. It's just for three years and then he can marry his real wife again. He pays for it."

No, I don't know anybody who does it. My girl-friends either are married or waiting for the knight on the white horse to lead them to church. Since this could happen any moment none of them would tie herself to such a decision when there is no format c.

I knew s.th. was in the air. Too many greetings via SMS, too many numbers on my mobile phone. Strange vibes. I felt that s.th. went wrong in my Serbian family and that it had to do with this marriage-thing. I didn't expect it to be such a sad moment.

They are so desperate and I can't help them. On the other hand I feel betrayed. In my world you don't do these things. Then again - they don't know my world, do they?

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Dienstag, 13. Juli 2004
EU: Lehren aus Desaster des Aufbaus Ostdeutschlands ziehen
Wien (pts, 12. Jul 2004 09:32) - Der deutsche Regierungsbeauftragte Klaus von Dohnanyi legte nun den Bericht über den gescheiterten Aufbau Ostdeutschlands nach der Wiedervereinigung vor. Wobei für diesen Prozess nicht viel Vorbereitungszeit zur Verfügung stand, um einen ausgearbeiteten Masterplan aufzustellen. Die Gefahr, dass bei der EU-Erweiterung die gleichen Fehler gemacht werden, liegt nahe. Der Österreichische Gewerbeverein (ÖGV) fordert daher, raschest eine Reevaluierung der Entwicklungspolitik des EU-Erweiterungsbereiches vorzunehmen!

Einige wichtige Schlüsse, die die Dohnanyi-Kommission zieht:
+ Weg von diffusen Subventionen für die Infrastruktur.
+ Förderung von wirtschaftlichen "Wachstumskernen".
+ Konsequente Niedriglohnpolitik.
+ Transfer von professionellem Management aus den alten Ländern nach Neufünfland. Dies besonders für kleine, entwicklungsfähige, aber noch ertragsschwache Unternehmen.
+ Förderung von unternehmensnahen Investitionen.
+ Darüberhinaus wird kritisiert, dass sich die "west-"deutschen Politiker sehr rasch von ihrem gehandicapten Kind im Osten psychologisch verabschiedet haben.
Sind das nicht alles Symptome, wie wir sie im aktuellen EU-Erweiterungsprozess schon jetzt erkennen oder absehen können?

Die Verantwortlichen der EU haben es mit einer nicht zu überbietenden Arroganz verstanden, die Erweiterung als einen Prozess zu sehen, der offenbar am 1. Mai 2004 abgeschlossen war - mit ein paar teuer inszenierten Events. Dass dies nicht so ist, werden - so nicht bald gegengesteuert wird - noch unsere Urenkel bezahlen. Ernsthaftigkeit war während der gesamten Abfolge des Erweiterungsverfahrens nie zu bemerken. Pathos war das auf- und gefälligste Gehabe. Einige wenige Länder, wie Estland, Malta, Zypern und Slowenien haben es verstanden, Nischen zu finden und den Weg Richtung Prosperität einzuschlagen. Der Großteil der Beitrittsländer dümpelt strukturell dahin!

Es ist keine Frage: Der gescheiterte Aufbau Ost hat Deutschland in die schwierigsten Turbulenzen der Nachkriegsgeschichte gebracht. Die EU ortet, dass zwei Drittel der Wachstumsschwäche Deutschlands auf den dilettantischen Wiedervereinigungsprozess zurückzuführen sind. Mit dieser Diagnose ist es höchste Zeit, dass sich die Verantwortlichen der EU weniger mit nebulosen Fragen der Tabakberichterstattung oder der Entsorgung von Elektronikschrott beschäftigen, sondern mit der künftigen Wirtschaft der größeren EU.

Die Zeit ist reif. Und bekanntlich lernt man am besten aus Fehlern. Am billigsten aus Fehlern, die anderen unterlaufen sind! (Ende)

Aussender: Österreichischer Gewerbeverein
Ansprechpartner: Dr. Herwig Kainz,
email: h.kainz@gewerbeverein.at,
Tel. 01/587 36 3330

[via Pressetext Austria]

Kann man das wirklich vergleichen? Sind nicht trotz aller wirtschaftlichen Parallelen soziale, gesellschaftliche, kulturelle Faktoren im Spiel, die jedem Wirtschaftsplan einen Strich durch die Rechnung machen? Machen die Tränen der Freude über den Beitritt weiterer Ostblockler zur EU so blind wie 1989?

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Sonntag, 4. Juli 2004
Learning Foreign Languages In EU-Primary Schools
The fact that somebody learns Slovene samo za zabavo - just for fun - is obviously harder to understand than
http://www.gnoerich.de/formelsammlung/k2.html
"What a useless language", people love telling me how stupid I am. (Is it cooler to study Japanese well knowing that I won't get to Japan?)

According to the EU when asked what foreign-language they find the most useful, most people answered English followed by French and German. 89 percent of EU-students learn English. Only 89 percent? Not more?

More interesting is the increasing number of students in primary school starting with a foreign language. Too bad we didn't have that opportunity when I was a kid. "Latest figures indicate that the teaching of languages in primary school is growing in Europe: in Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium-Flanders, Greece, Spain, Austria, Finland and Sweden, more than 33% of primary pupils are learning a foreign language. "

How many languages were offered in your school? How many were you able to take? Novala = 3.

Link
EU: Languages in Europe [es, da, de, el, en, fr, it, nl, pt, fi, sv]

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Freitag, 11. Juni 2004
EU-Elections
I might be the only one, but I am going to vote on Sunday.

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Dienstag, 25. Mai 2004
Quo Vadis, EU
Although the date for joining the EU obviously hasn't been hammered into granite yet, some countries dress themselves in EU-colors and celebrate as if they were members tonight. And then there is this little grey spot in the middle of Europe that resisted the union and now wants to sign the Schengen contract. How does that work? How do the Suiss check if you have anything to declare then?
Bratislava. (novala)

Romania
On Sunday I came across this blog-entry on "Halfway down the Danube": 2007 + x: The water cooler factor. Romania decorates the country as if it is for sure that they join in 2007 or rather that it has already joined.

"On May 1, the entire city of Bucharest was decked in European flags. For a moment, I was not sure whether Romania hadn't managed to do the impossible thing and make the EU a union of 26."

Bratislava. (novala)
In Bratislava on the shore of the Danube River Europe is painted on the sidewalk. The members are blue, the rest is grey.

Bratislava. (novala)
Oh, look, there is us, my friends from Switzerland squeezed together in the middle of Europe.

Bulgaria
I had noticed the same thing in Bulgaria which is on the list for 2007 as well.

Serbia ... Serbia?
But I've also noticed s.th. similar in Serbia which is not on the list for joining at all. On first sight, Serbian cars seem to have the EU-license plates with SCG in a circle of stars. Did I miss anything? When you look closer you see that there are stars at the upper half of the circle, but the letters S E R B I A at the bottom half.

Quo vadis, EU?
Bratislava. (novala)
Church in Bratislava

P.S.: I've already seen the first Slovakian and Slovenian EU-license plates. White SK or SLO on blue in a circle of stars. That was fast, neighbors!

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Freitag, 30. April 2004
I'll be driving to Sopron tonight
The Hungarian border seems to be the most appropriate place to celebrate tonight. This is where it all began 1989, where Austrians and Hungarians cut holes into the iron curtain.

I'm not sure yet whether it will be possible to cross the border in time considering the fact that there are still border-controls and thousands of people coming. But who cares - it will also be a good place to celebrate with others.

Anybody wants to join me? Passport required.

I have cried rivers when the wall fell, I have cried oceans when Germany was reunited again, don't be surprised about floods tonight. Call me a dreamer, call me a hopeless idealist - it's true and it's not. When you live Europe and not only talk it, when you live "united in diversity", when you cross language borders and respect other ways of living, how can you not be deeply touched these days.

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Samstag, 10. April 2004
EU: German will overtake French
This article from 24ur.com is already four months old, but still funny interesting. For those who are too lazy to translate Slovene - this is the summary: French used to be language Number 2 in the EU-administration in Brussels. With the new members joining, suddenly German overtook French, because more people in the new EU-countries know German than French. (Veliko več ljudi v prihodnjih državah članicah EU govori nemško kot francosko.) France offers (offered?) French-courses for free to catch up again. Few people signed up.

Nemščina bo zasenčila francoščino

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No Maltese in EU-administration
I don't remember where I read it yesterday, but it said that Malta can't be represented with its own language in the EU-administration. Not because the EU doesn't want to - there are no interpreters for Maltese. Want to help out? Check what's required: europa.eu.int

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