We've come a long way
By the end of this week, on Sunday May 25, all European Union citizens will have had the chance to vote for their representatives in the European Parliament. Denmark will elect 13 out of a continental total of 751 MEPs, which proportionally (1.7 percent of the total) is a little bit more than the 1.1 percent of the EU’s population it accounts for.
It is time to reflect. Our Norwegian brothers and sisters last week celebrated their constitution, marking 200 years since it became a nation. Their 1814 independence was ultimately the result of Denmark’s unfortunate participation in the Napoleonic Wars – a blow that handed the initiative in the region back to Sweden, just five years after it lost Finland to Russia. Dramatic times indeed in the north.
Some 150 years ago, the German army tested its efficiency against the Danes – ahead of beating France six years later – taking a third of the country as a prize. Although we shouldn’t forget that a third of the lost population were German-speakers who would rather join an almost democratic Prussia than live under a sovereign king of Denmark.
Next year the Danes will commemorate the 70-year anniversary of its liberation from the German Occupation in World War II, and only 50 years ago, Danish soldiers dug foxholes while Russian ships transported missiles to Cuba through Danish waters.
Since 1989 we have with awe studied the Warsaw Pact’s plans for an invasion of Denmark. They were real enough. Since then the war effort has moved to Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan.
All of this should remind us of the importance not to take security for granted.
Within the framework of NATO, the United Nations and the EU, prosperity, free travel, study exchanges and general IT have laid a foundation for mutual respect and understanding.
We are not there yet, but we believe that progress is enhanced by going to the ballots and electing MEPs, with all their national and regional peculiarities, as we are, after all, one big family.
And now it’s time to make your contribution. VOTE!