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European Alliance of Initiatives
for Applied Anthroposophy

The future lies with civil society

Courage and wakefulness are called for

Dear Friends of ELIANT,

What again and again gives us the courage to engage for Europe through civil society is the recognition that the decisive impulses for change in society – particularly visible since the 1970s – has come not from responsible politicians but from non Governmental organisations and groups of concerned people such as the Club of Rome.
The climate issue, the necessary transformation of agriculture, humane and resource friendly economic initiatives and the willingness to no longer think of economy in terms of growth ideology but in accordance with life where there are limits to growth; or again the fight against the premature and scientifically unsound introduction of digital technology to kindergartens and primary schools. These are initiatives coming primarily from 'below' which in the medium to long term contribute quite significantly towards a change in culture. This gives some comfort in the face of the experience we continually make namely that citizens' wishes are not being taken seriously by politicians nationally and on a European level. The work however must continue despite difficulties on the way – for the objectives are right and good.

In 2016 we were considered backward looking because together with our member organisation ECSWE as well as other partners and independent researchers, we drew attention to the negative consequences of digitalisation. And now eight years later the Minister for Education in Denmark has apologised to children and young people and described the forced digitalisation of their lives as a mass experiment with unforeseeable consequences. School books are now being printed again there for younger pupils. A re-think is also going on in other Northern European countries as well as in France. After all children and young people are not yet adults physically, psychologically or spiritually. A far deeper understanding of child development is needed and that is what we are campaigning for!

We are now working to ensure that Germany doesn't follow France and England and remove homeopathic and anthroposohic medicines from the catalogue of statutory health insurance companies. Our member GESUNDHEIT AKTIV started a petition in February with the petitions committee of the German parliament, that runs until 7th March. It has already gained the required 50,000 signatures but will make a far greater impression if with all of our help this number is doubled or even tripled. Fortunately, citizens of all countries can sign this petition! We would be very grateful if you could circulate this link widely among your circle of acquaintances and make the concern of citizens known to the politicians responsible. Even if someone does not wish to be treated homeopathically they will surely recognise that in a field as complex as medicine, diversity and the right to choose a treatment is fundamental.

It is however very painful to see that the permit to use Glyphosate in the EU has been extended for a further 10 years. This means that biodiversity will continue to decline and give a further push towards the extinction of plant and animal species – quite apart from the harm caused to the soil, drinking water and the food produced.
The same authorities also decided two months later that the new genetic techniques like CRISPR-Cas will no longer be subject to the current GMO regulations regarding their release and labelling – once again in contravention of the will of citizens. This presents an insoluble problem for GM free organic agriculture. But we can act positively with immediate effect even here by helping more and more people to wake up and realise the need for a form of consumer behaviour that consciously supports the farms which produce quality food, care for the soil and are compassionate to animals. Such behaviour can encourage farmers to take the risk of converting their conventional farms to organic and biodynamic production systems.

Herein lies the great potential of civil society! The thought that there are so many of us campaigning for a change in culture gives us strength.

In gratitude and with this in mind I send warm greetings at this none too easy time on behalf of the ELIANT team

Michaela Glöckler

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