Why the Republic must consider rejoining the Commonwealth

SOURCE: THE IRISH TIMES Brexit means we need to build new bridges both to Britain and to a wider world   Brexit is a reminder that many people have been puzzled as to why a country would suddenly and unilaterally withdraw from an international organisation that promotes co-operation, democracy and human rights. An organisation that many other states are bending over backwards to join. The international organisation that comes to mind is the commonwealth, which Ireland suddenly left in 1949. In doing so this State cut itself off from 2.4 billion people who form a voluntary association of 53 sovereign, equal and independent states. The British commonwealth that we left is no more. The word “British” has been dropped. Republics are welcome as members. The commonwealth has its own flag and operates on the basis of equality between all members. Thirty-one of the member countries are small states or island nations, like our own. Some of the members – Rwanda and Mozambique – have no historical connection to the British Empire. Every country in the organisation has an equal say. Today’s commonwealth is not about British dominance. Since Ireland left, a separate commonwealth secretariat has been established, to promote democracy, human … Continue reading

European Union and the Future? Function on the prospects for the European Union

SOURCE: Aegina Portal At eight o’clock on 14th June in the auditorium of the First Primary School of Aegina an interesting function was held entitled “European Union and the Future”. The aim of the function was to examine present prospects for the European Union and discuss them, following the recent elections. Organized by the Aegina Association of Active Citizens, the function was introduced and moderated by Mr. Stratos Pantavos. The speakers were William Mallinson, professor in Political Ideas and Institutions at the Guglielmo Marconi University in Italy, the journalist Vasso Kanellopoulou and Nikos Vakolidis, founding member of Greek section of the international defence group for Julian Assange Unity4j. Stratos Pantavos: Good evening.  Thank you HP, the president of the Association of Active Citizens, who launched today’s talks and meeting, on a subject in which the Active Citizens have been very much involved in recent years, the subject of Europe, Greece’s entry into Europe, our relations as citizens with Europe, and the future of Europe, concern about Europe, are something that we have been engaged with for a very long time, starting from what seems distant now, 2008, when we organized the very significant day-conference entitled “Capodistrias Spinelli Europe“, a very … Continue reading