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Permalink to original version of “Call to action: The EU is out of its mind again” Call to action: The EU is out of its mind again

The European vacation is now done and the EU is back at what it’s doing best: coming up with insidiously insane bills to shove down the throats of the peoples of Europe.


And they have not waited too long. Before the vacation, the bureaucrats in Brussels were debating what is now called “The Rodrigues Report” (named after Liliana Rodrigues, Portuguese MEP from the Socialist group) and it seemed at the time that the bill will fail (as countless others on similar issues have).


However, just this week, a final version of the bill also called “Empowering boys through Education in the EU” has been forwarded to be put to a vote during the September 7-10 plenary of the European Parliament.


What does the bill say and what it implies


As usual with EU bills, what it says in the title and what it actually implies are two entirely different things. Also, as per the EU tradition, the devil is in the details.


The full text that will sit on the table can be read here (in English).


Even without reading the text, the bill is entirely out of place since education is not (and never has been) under the competence of the European Commission. In plain English – Brussels, by its own rules, treaties and regulations, can have no say in how the nations in the EU run their educational systems.


In what is legalistically called “reasons exposure” the bill makes a plethora of downright false statements as well as misleading or completely irrelevant statements. For example, article Y states:


whereas 17 % of adults worldwide, two-thirds (493 million) of them men, are unable to read or write;


That may indeed be true, but illiteracy is hardly a huge problem in the EU. The worst ranked country in the EU in terms of literacy is Portugal, with a literacy rate of “only” 95.4%. In other words, the EU does not have a continent-wide illiteracy problem worthy of being addressed by the hyper-bloated Brussels bureaucracy.


Article V is also an example of being out of touch with reality:


whereas school-related gender-based violence (SRGBV) includes acts of sexual, physical and/or psychological violence inflicted on children because of gendered stereotypes and social norms; whereas SRGBV is a major barrier to access, participation and attainment;


The idea that boys are the victims of rampant “school-related gender-based violence” in Europe is completely out of touch with reality to such an extent that even the hypothesis that the Earth may be flat has more legitimacy.


The implication is that this supposed violence leads boys to abandon school in droves. Yet that is not happening at all. On the contrary – girls and women are significantly more likely to drop out from school1. In the last 13 years, the school abandonment rate for boys remained relatively constant while the school abandonment rate for girls kept on rising. Bulgaria, Croatia and Austria are the only countries where the number of girls and boys dropping out is relatively similar2 (less than 1% difference). At the opposite end is exactly Portugal, Mr. Rodrigues’s country of origin where the abandonment rate from girls is almost twice higher than the one for boys (27.1% for girls versus 14.3% for boys).


More to the point, educational experts in the UK3 and Romania have noted for years that boys are getting more and more violent in school and routinely outpacing girls in violence initiation4. Similar reports have come from the US, New Zeeland, South Korea and other places.


In this context, the premise of this bill is entirely ridiculous.


But what’s really troublesome is the radical approach to the so-called problem. The bill comes with 57 “recommendations” which we will discuss in the September 4, AVFM Voice of Europe programme. For the purpose of this article, the most outrageous of them are by far the “recommendation” number 1, 10 and 13.


The first “recommendation” says:


Calls on the Commission and the Member States to implement and improve measures to apply gender equality at all levels of the education system, and to fully integrate improving awareness of gender issues into teacher training, but also for all categories of school professionals, e.g. school doctors, nurses, psychologists, social workers and pedagogues, as well as to ensure the creation of mechanisms throughout the education system to facilitate the promotion, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of gender equality in educational institutions;


In plain English, non-masculist positions are to become forbidden in schools, hospitals and all the other taxpayer-funded services that currently exist in the unfortunate nations of the European Union.


“Recommendation” number 10 says:


Asks the Commission to ensure that this recommendation be put to the national institutions responsible for implementing central, regional and local education policies, school management bodies and regional and local authorities;


In other words, any semblance of school autonomy is to be superseded by Brussels diktat in order to make sure that nobody avoids the masculist indoctrination that the socialist MEP has in the bag for everyone.


“Recommendation” number 13 says:


Urges the Commission to initiate as soon as possible the procedure for EU accession to the Istanbul Convention; calls on the Member States to ratify the Convention, and also calls for the EU and the Member States to work together for gender equality in the Union’s external relations; underlines the close links between gender stereotypes and bullying, cyberbullying and violence against men, and the need to fight these from an early age; stresses that the Istanbul Convention calls for signatories to include teaching materials on issues such as non-stereotyped gender roles, mutual respect, non-violent conflict resolution in interpersonal relationships, gender-based violence and the right to personal integrity, adapted to the evolving capacity of learners, in formal curricula and at all levels of education;


Translation: Everyone must adopt the utterly horrifying police-state mandated by the Istanbul Convention which has the potential to render private lives between women and men irrelevant – as the State gets absolute power over them.


The Istanbul Convention is a highly contentious topic as the government of Hungary publicly refused to even consider adopting it – even though at first the Budapest administration signed it and promised to adopt/ratify it.


The governments of Poland and Slovakia have pulled out from the process of adopting it (although they have not yet stated that they will sign out entirely) and the government of Czech Republic didn’t even consider signing it, let alone ratifying it – the Prague administration rejecting the document outright.


In the countries where the Istanbul Convention is already in force, the voices against it are becoming stronger and stronger.


Given these realities, it is no surprise that the Eurocrats are trying yet again to push it by force on everyone else.


To learn more about the Istanbul Convention, read this article.


What can be done?


The vote is scheduled to take place on September 8, 2015. In other words, we have a little over one week to contact as many Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) as possible and urge them to vote against the “Rodrigues report”.


To find the contact of your MEP, go here, choose the country, and a list will pop-up.


Unfortunately, not all MEPs have listed their contacts on the EU’s portal. In those cases, you’d have to go an extra step and look for their contact in a third party place in your native tongue.


Citizens of the UK can go to this website which has centralized the contacts of all UK MEPs. When this article will appear in other languages in which AVFM is being published, the editors will make sure to offer resources for that particular area/country.


In order to avoid spamming the MEPs, it is recommended that you write them in your native tongue (and NOT in English, unless you’re from an English-speaking territory, of course). Also, avoid sending the exact same e-mail multiple times. Be creative! The reasons to object to this bill are infinite and the campaign is much more likely to be successful if the objection doesn’t come in bulk and spam-like format.


To help a bit more, I have compiled three models of letters to send to the MEPs, one a bit more pompous, one more colloquial and one for far-Left politicians. It is no secret that a significant proportion of MEPs aren’t exactly the most sophisticated bunch. As a result, a more colloquial approach may be more successful in some cases.


Model #1:


Subject: Stop the European Parliament’s Rodrigues Report


Dear Member of European Parliament,


As your elector(s), I/we would like to bring to your attention the important vote on the Rodrigues Report on 8 September in the plenary session.


This report “Empowering boys through Education in the EU”, infringes upon the European and International Treaties and Covenants by:



  1. Violating the right of parents to be the first educators of their children. It is a direct intrusion in the private lives of parents, children, teachers and school-book editors, as this report does not make any attempt to respect the freedom of belief and conscience, guaranteed by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.



  1. Violating of the Principle of Subsidiarity of the European Union, as “education” is not a competence of the EU, as defined by Article 5 of the Lisbon Treaty or the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.


More to the point, the premise of this bill is based on misleading data at best and outright falsehoods at worst. The bill for instance stresses on the supposed millions of illiterate men – yet those men don’t reside in our country or in the EU for the most part. I/we do not want the EU bureaucracy to dictate at my daughter’s PTA meetings because one boy in her class is still slow in reading at the age of 8.


I/we think we can solve whatever educational problems may exist at local level far better than at the Commission level. I/we don’t think it is extreme to say that the politicians in [insert remote country here] can understand and know better the situation in our country than we do ourselves.


For all of the above reasons, we respectfully urge you to REJECT the Rodrigues Report.


Sincerely,


[Your Name]


Citizen of [your country]


Model #2


Subject: Please vote against the Rodrigues Report on Thursday, September 8


Dear Member of European Parliament,


As an elector of yours, I/we would like to bring to your attention the important vote on the Rodrigues Report on 8 September in the plenary session.


This report “Empowering boys through Education in the EU” has a nice sounding name but it is in fact addressing a problem that either does not really exist or it can be better addressed at a local level.


In addition to being against the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, as “Education” is not under the competence of the EU, this report also infringes upon the freedom of conscience of the people in this country/constituency.


I/we think it is better to have the debate on, for instance, sex education, gender equality or other topics at the local level, rather than have the EU simply dictate an agenda that may be contrary to the values of this country/constituency.


Whilst gender equality is an important topic, I/we believe that the EU’s involvement in this issue through this bill is misguided. More girls than boys drop out from school, yet this bill stresses that we should help the boys even more. Suffice to say that such approaches are out of touch with reality in our country/constituency to say the least.


Please vote to keep us free from Brussels bureaucratic intervention in our schools.


For the reasons stated above, I/we urge you to vote against the Rodrigues report on September 8!


Sincerely [or “Best regards”],


[Your name]


Citizen of [your country] (alternatively you can use the constituency if your country elects MEPs on regional constituencies)


Model #3


Subject: Please vote against the Rodrigues Report on Thursday, September 8


Dear Member of European Parliament,


As an elector of yours, I/we would like to bring to your attention a few issues regarding the Rodrigues Report which you will be asked to vote on in the upcoming plenary session.


This report called “Empowering boys through Education in the EU” or the “Rodrigues report” sounds quite good on paper, but I’m afraid it is completely out of scope, in addition to going too far.


For starters, the EU’s competence on Education, as per Articles 5 and 6 in the Lisbon Treaty, is limited. The EU has the right to attempt to improve access to education through programs facilitating the movement of students and pupils across Europe, but the EU does not have the right to determine the curricula in any Member State. As a result, this bill’s request to the Commission to compel Member States to adopt a certain curricula in regards to gender politics is contrary to the EU’s Functioning Treaty itself.


Secondly, the bill stresses exclusively on boys’ school abandonment which is an issue that is in fact affecting girls far more often than it does boys. I/we don’t think our daughters should be left behind in this fashion. More to the point, the approach proposed by this bill is in direct violation of Article 20 (Equality before the law), Article 21 (Non-discrimination) and Article 23 (Equality between women and men) from the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.


Given that girls are far more affected by many of the issues addressed in the bill, I/we consider to be not only unfair but outright harmful to our daughters to approach the issues in the fashion proposed by Mr. Rodriguez.


Thirdly, the bill breaches the subsidiarity principle which is entrenched in EU policies precisely because the EU is a diverse place. Surely it’s not extreme to say that a school from northern Finland, one from London and one from Naples are not identical in any way, shape or form.


More to the point, even the Socialist Group of the European Parliament S&D recommended the rejection of portions of this bill under the grounds that it breaches the UN Declaration of Universal Rights. The recommendation was not taken appropriately into consideration by the FEMM committee and the bill put forth now is in a form that runs completely against the tradition of the European Union.


For these reasons, I/we urge to take the S&D’s recommendations into consideration and to vote against the Rodriguez Report on September 8.


Sincerely [or “Best regards”],


[Your name]


Citizen of [your country]


Other suggestions


Obviously, the three models of letters put forth here are not definitive nor “the best” way to approach one or more MEPs.


The point of these three models is to show that it can be argued against this bill from multiple sides of the political spectrum.


Also, the examples given in the models are there for perspective. Feel free to use your own examples.


If you know a politician is more nationalistic, do not abstain from using historical examples or arguments that you know that particular politician may like.


As a general guideline (as observed in the models) – the idea is to hit the main talking points of the far-Left, the Left, the centre-Right (EPP) and the rest.


An EPP politician may be willing to hear more about subsidiarity (model #1), for instance, whilst an S&D politician is more likely to be interested in “preserving diversity”. An ALDE politician is likely to want to hear a bit of both. The politicians on the far-Left (Nordic Green Left, et. al.) may be persuaded by arguments such as “we already have that at home – our model is better” (despite the public rhetoric, Scandinavian ideologues are very nationalistic).


Another group to pay attention to is ECR (Conservatives and Reformists). This group is likely to be persuaded by arguments similar to the ones in the second model as well by presenting national statistics (if you can find them for your country).


For the “extremist” groups such as the EFDD or ENF, things vary by individual. The ones hooked on international-socialist (communist) extremism (Syriza, et. al.) arguments such as “we have people starving, we can’t afford luxurious nonsense like this” are likely to work. For the ones hooked on national-socialist (fascist) extremism (NPD, Front National, et. al.) arguments such as “these cocooned foreigners have no idea about our nation – why should we listen to them?” are the most likely to work.


Also, please do not dismiss the extremist groups and do contact them too – regardless of whether you like them or not. I need to remind you that Front National was the most popular party in the last European elections in France. Since France is a large country, Front National has 23 seats in the European Parliament. In total, these formerly fringe groups represent over one quarter of the European Parliament. Given these realities, convincing these groups to vote against this bill is very important and necessary.


Can non-EU residents do anything?


If you do have a passport in a EU nation – then yes, you should also write to a few MEPs, even if you have not voted in the European elections or you moved outside the EU years ago.


If you do not have an EU passport, please do share this article (or its equivalents in other languages when they’ll emerge on AVFM) to as many Europeans as possible and via as many social networks and websites as possible.


I will update this article with other models (if they appear in the comment section) as well as with the translations of this article when they get published in other languages on AVFM.


Let’s get this done! This is a chance to defend liberty and say NO to masculism!

Sources:


1 Report on equality between women and men, 2014, p. 5 – http://ec.europa.eu/justice/gender-equality/files/annual_reports/150304_annual_report_2014_web_en.pdf


2 Europe 2020 Target: Early School Leavers from Education, p. 6 – http://ec.europa.eu/europe2020/pdf/themes/29_early_school_leaving.pdf


3 Boys get violent, The Independent, published on May 2, 1996 – http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/boys-get-violent-1345290.html ; further analysis from 2008 – http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7401996.stm


4 Fetele se bat mai mult decât băieţii la şcoală, Realitatea, published on June 7, 2012 – http://www.realitatea.net/fetele-se-bat-mai-mult-decat-baietii-la-scoala_950236.html