More than 25 years ago I used to live in Berlin.
I came as a student to West-Berlin. It was still the era of the wall, of the “Transitstrecke”, of the Trabbis and Wartbis in East-Berlin, of Checkpoint Charlie, Checkpoint Bravo etc…
It was also the time of the SS20, of the Pershing missiles, of the post cold war remaining competition and tensions between East and West.
And then came Gorbi, John Paul the 2nd, Lech Walesa and many other great women and men who changed the world.
It was also the time of the incredible European construction, making out of historic foes a federation of friendship, solidarity and entrepreneurship – some good examples being the French-German friendship, Airbus, and ESA.
Today it seems to me that too many of us in Europe and North-America have forgotten the meaning of war and political instability – and do no longer understand the critical importance of what had been build over the last 60 years.
I’ve made the experience a couple of times that people who have very little are usually much more willing to give and share what they have, rather than their wealthy alter egos.
The same way it seems that the new luxury and comfort in our countries have also led to more egoism. This is leading to dramatic deviations such as the Brexit, to FN in France or AFD in Germany, or to “America First” in the US and other ridiculous Trump-pets and resulting behaviors.
Only a federated Europe can be strong in the future, only open minded and open trading US can confirm their leadership in a world where huge changes – demographic, economic and cultural – are already going on in Asia and other regions.
Fear, isolation and protectionism will not help – but on the contrary cooperation, federation and integration will make sure that we will be part of the next gen world…