‘In the name of a really misunderstood freedom of speech’

Maria Antică ,

Op blogs en opiniepagina’s heerst een kleurrijk debat tussen jongeren uit alle lidstaten van de EU. De Roemeense Maria Antică vindt dat de meerderheid van de Roemenen het concept 'vrijheid van meningsuiting' verkeerd heeft begrepen.

Maria Antică

Maria Antică (24)

Geboren: Roemenië
Woont: Roemenië

Blog: Romaniapublica

Maria Antica richtte het burgerforum Romaniapublica op om politiek meer ‘sexy’ te maken. Ze wil Roemeense politici en burgers verbinden. Politici, experts en gewone burgers komen online samen om controversiële onderwerpen te bespreken. Burgers kunnen met een kritisch oog meekijken met politieke beslissingen zodat politici meer verantwoordelijkheid moeten nemen.

‘In the name of a really misunderstood freedom of speech’

Talks on European values are and have always been complex and made room for huge debates across the time and societies, even more as most of them are not European at all but rather general, humanistic values that can be adopted by any society. Some say they have Christian roots, others argue they are more secular than believed but all in all, I find it of extreme importance not to abandon the debate on them (especially those in the public sphere) as, beyond their so called general character, they still give rise to huge social clashes, really shape the way societies work and directly affect people’s life.

No matter what values are at stake or in the spotlight what strikes me when it comes to Europe (and Romania, in particular) is that the culture of dialogue, so much at the basis of the whole European project and societies, is being diminished to the point when no bridge can be built between people with different, opposing opinions. In Romania, we all ‘know better’ and for good (!) what’s with gender equality and women’s place in our society (still a very misogynistic one), or minorities’ rights (be them Roma or LGBTQI), just to name some very few, as the majority is still ‘more equal’ than the rest and entitled to decide what the rest can and have to do with their own lives.

So, in the name of a really misunderstood freedom of speech concept, most citizens here still consider they can say whatever they please as ‘democracy allows them to because that’s what democracy means’, even though that actually means disrespecting other basic human rights and the dignity of the ‘different one’. But what is more worrisome is the fact that, in general, younger generations have adopted this way of thinking and it’s really hard to imagine how such a status quo can be challenged and changed so that, on the long run, this kind of approaches won’t lead to any conflicts, would encourage active, informed and constructive dialogue and make the best use when it comes to freedom of speech and democracy overall.’

Ga naar de volgende jonge denker: Arnaud Hoornaert uit België.