"Freedom to do what we want"?

Onsdag, 1. April 2009     0 kommentti(a)
Hanna Ojanen
gästforskare – forskningsprogrammet Europeiska unionen

“Freedom to do what you want.


We help that happen”.

Whose new slogan do you think this is? Sounds like a bank?

But no; the answer is - NATO.

The 60-year-old has started a web campaign aimed at young people, and this is the claim of one of their three new web clips that they clearly hope will ‘go viral’ amongst the youth of Europe. So far so good; perhaps the young ones that live in and out of the internet need to know (more) about NATO and perhaps NATO needs their (future) support.

But isn’t it dubious to talk about “freedom to do what you want”? We do need freedom but not necessarily to do what we want; we need freedom within the respect of human rights, equality, and the rule of law.

Meanwhile, the EU - also certainly a promoter of peace, security, basic freedoms, and freedom of movement - does not seem clear yet on what its own offer could be. Supporters of the José Manuel Barroso, the President of the Commission, are asking the citizens to "tell Barroso" what the EU can do to improve their lives. Ten respondents will get the chance to talk with Barroso himself. Perhaps the EU should ambitiously rebrand itself too: “improving peoples lives, we help that happen”?

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