The comming days, weeks and months al lot of Ukrainians will leave there beloved motherland – Ukraine is a ‘she’ – looking for shelter, safety and refuge. They will cross borders – and already do – to Poland, Hongary and so on. We can already hear that we have to prepare ourself for a ’refugee crisis’, that we need to consider new refugee camps.
I can’t bear this thought. Ukrainians, looking for shelter, are no ‘refugees’. The are on the run, for sure. But first off all they are Europeans. They are on the run because we failed to protect them. They were denied membership of NATO. The were denied membership of the European Union. In the Netherlands, in the 2016 referendum, they even were denied an Association Agreement with the EU. So please, spare them the humiliation of living in camps. Of going through asylum procedures, of begging for visa, and the ‘integration course’.
That’s why all Ukrainians should get a European passport. The right to live and work were they want to live and work. To right to a home. The right to social support, education and health care. The right to a decent life.
It is a first small step to what the Germans call ‘Vergangheitsbewältigung’. They are fighting our war, and by design we condemned them to fight it alone. They should be welcomed as our fellow European citizens. Our heroes, who teach us a lesson.