Thursday, 26 May 2005

EU Constitution / JOVD

Last week the JOVD (young liberals) were on tour for the EU Constitution and since I am a member of it and they came to Groningen, it was time that I participated for the first time in a JOVD event. I hadn't been able to attend 1 meeting from the JOVD since I became a member 1.5 years ago, as I always have to train or give training (in the evenings) when they organise something. Luckily now I was free from training and could join them. The idea was to play European Twister at the main square here in Groningen, but we had a fair, so the square was full. So we decided to start a pub-crawl. We ended up in "het Feest" which is actually a dancing where you go when you really want to score a boy/girl. But you can dance, it was open till late and around 10 foreigners joined the group, so it was a lot of fun.
The JOVD toured through NL for a week with a bus, with numerous activities and promotional campaigns. This all for the promotion of the EU Constitution and turning the NO-voters to a YES and informing the public. I think that is the main problem in the Netherlands at the moment, that many don't really know what the constitution is about and that the government does a bad job in promotion and explaining. Therefore populistic politicians (like Geert Wilders) have an easy task convincing the public with nonsense arguments and populistic statements. Since Pim Fortuyn and Theo van Gogh were murdered, the political climate in the Netherlands changed and the populists sadly gain from that.
On Friday the campaign ended in Amsterdam with speeches, a map of Europe made of painted paint-cans and distributing food and flyers to the passing public. It was a nice day and I had a lot of fun. The homeless all decided to vote in favour of the constitution as they all got food. :) We had also numerous chats with foreigners visiting Amsterdam about the constitution and most Americans were also in favour. Now only the Dutch voters have to follow... :)
The JOVD also had the great idea to invite young liberals from other (new) EU countries, so we had participants from Germany, the UK, Malta, Poland, Slowakia, Sweden, Lithuania and above all Latvia. :) It was nice chatting to them and watching them trying to convince the Dutch public to vote in favour. Too bad I wasn't able to tour with them all week; it would have been a blast.
After all the work, we went clubbing in Amsterdam till 6!!! I had to get back to Groningen early as I had a visitor from Albania over, so I only got 2.5 hours sleep. But it was definately worth it!!

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