CSV International – Michael ENGBORK (Rollingen/Mersch), 53-year-old Danish father of two and member of the CSV since 2003, has become the new chairman of CSV International.
“We foreigners in Luxembourg make up 47% of the population, and it is vital that we take responsibility for our country’s future and take part in political decision-making. Our party is the largest party in Luxembourg, and there is plenty of room for members from all walks of life. It is the definition of a ‘People’s’ party.”
Michael ENGBORK finds it important to engage the foreign population in Luxembourgian politics, not only for the upcoming local elections, but in general, “It truly is an excellent way to promote integration and inclusion.”
Pierre DA SILVA remains in the executive committee as Deputy Chairman, Oliver GUÉRIN as Secretary with Rachid ECHAFAQI as Deputy.
Pierre DA SILVA will now shift his focus to the local elections in 2017, continuing his active engagement in national politics and championing issues affecting the north of Luxembourg. “He can be very proud of what he accomplished as Chairman of CSV International over the past two years. He set the bar high, and I eagerly accept the challenge of following in his footsteps,” says Michael ENGBORK
That is, I work with political issues regarding refugees and immigrants, families who come to Luxembourg for a new beginning and topics where our municipally would like more details. But even though I spend time in this field, it’s hard for me to answer what exactly successful integration is.
I do not actually understand the word ‘integration’. Every time someone uses it, it opens up more questions than it answers.
When is a person of a different ethnic background really integrated? When he or she can say, ‘Yes, I am now fully integrated into the society’? So what is integration then? I have asked a number of people and haven’t gotten a clear answer yet. I can’t give the answers, when I do not know what integration means, but I can give my input to the debate. Is being a good citizen the same as being integrated? and if one is integrated, does that mean that you are a good citizen?
I have a different ethnic background than Luxembourgish, I am Danish. For me, it is important to work hard to become integrated into our society – or should I say, not to be “reintegrated”. For although that I feel that I am relatively integrated, is there any guarantee that I will continue to be seen as such?
I speak Luxembourgish, and work full-time, as well as having children who are in local schools; I even married a Luxembourger.
But I don’t speak French, does that mean that because of that, I am not integrated?
I sometimes feel that I am at risk of being de-integrated again. If I lose my job, and require unemployment benefits and no longer feel like a ‘useful’ citizen; does that mean that I’m not integrated anymore?
Or if I have a family crisis tomorrow and am not able to be as sociable as now, if I have to isolate myself from society because I feel mentally strained, am I still integrated? My children are part Luxembourgish, will they be seen as Luxembourgish or will they also have to question their integration in the future?
The problem is that there is still no clear definition of integration as there is no consensus, neither among politicians, professionals or in society in general on what integration is. There are, in turn, many concepts that are used synonymously with integration, for example; assimilation.
Every politician and every political party has their own definition.
But if you, as part of an ethnic minority will be fired from your job and do not qualify for unemployment benefits – what happens then? If you overnight go from being integrated to not being integrated anymore?
And what of those who work, and pay taxes, but have no contact with the Luxembourgers and Luxembourg lifestyle, who only works with someone from his or her home country, not knowing what is going on in Luxembourg and has not learned the language. Are they integrated or not?
Maybe over time, I will be able to answer some of the questions here,,,
Leif memberen vun cheffe an gemengerot, schoulpersonal, memberen vun d’integratiounskommission, leif frënn vun flüchtning centrum, leif frenn
I will now change to English to ensure that everybody understands.
We are all so busy. We have to stretch our self to get to work, coming home from work, pick up our children, get to the sports club, to the association were we help. We are engaged in both swimming, basket and football on Sundays, television in the evening. We are all so busy. Throughout the day. Throughout the week. Throughout the year.
So there are many good reasons to why I’m incredibly happy for this opportunity to make a few comments about something that is much more important than anything else. I think that it is good for Mersch, that we will have the opportunity to deal with something that is much, much more important.
And what we are dealing with today is very very important.
We see the pictures every day on television, in the newspapers and sometimes in advertising:
The poor mother with her baby on her back in a refugee camp in Somalia.
Families in bombed ruins in Afghanistan.
People with faces full of fatigue and fear, crammed into broken-down fishing boats or rubber dinghies on their way across the Mediterranean.
People on the road from something, but rarely or perhaps never towards something.
Towards something – For a refugee this little sentence is too often something very distant in every respect. And usually always something very uncertain.
Without knowing how the day tomorrow will be.
I think it is worth thinking about!
Admittedly, we can complain about many things. And we do indeed. But we always know roughly how the day tomorrow will be. We have our work, of which we can be reasonably sure. We have our families and friends, that is in most cases also certain. There is really no great uncertainty as to what and how tomorrow will be. And here in Mersch, it is likely to be very safe.
But there are roughly 13 million people around the world, who have no idea what tomorrow will bring. But it is pretty sure that it will be a day of fear, insecurity and anxiety – a battle for existence!
We see images of all the unfortunate people on the run. We are horrified, we resent. And in many cases we push it away, turn off the television. Such is the world, some say.
I say: Is it right? Is it true? Is it correct? Can Mersch, Luxembourg, make a difference at all? After all, some say, wealth is not evenly distributed in the world. Wwe can’t save the entire world. And so on!
I say: It doesn’t help to close your eyes and speak against better judgement. We can make a difference.
It is about personal responsibility and it’s about the individual’s commitment to refugees. It is this commitment that is the basis and the lifeblood of the voluntary work that with very little encouragement, has worked so well in our case. In Mersch….
And this is why we are gathered here today – a common cause.
We are the world’s richest society, or at least one of them. We have democracy, we have freedom of speech, we have legal protection and a long, wide range of services available that other nations rightly envy us.
Luxembourg has got a good reputation for its humanitarian efforts, a tradition which we together continue.
Als Mierscher an Präsident vun der Integratiounskommissioun vun der Gemeng Miersch sinn ech ganz houfreg dass mir zesummen mat den Maatarbechter vun der Gemeng, den Leiereinnen an Schoulmeschteren, den Memberen vun der Integratiounskommissioun an virun allem Dank den genereisen Elteren konnten esou vill Spillsaachen an Spiller sammelen.
Ech sinn secher dass dat allen Kanner dei mat net vill op Letzebuerg koumen vill Freed waert kennen machenan hiren Alldaag mei schein mecht.
Ouni dei immense Hellef vun villen Leit hei zu Miersch wier dest guer net meiglech gewiescht!
Ee ganz besonneche Merci un den Buergermeschter (Abbes en extraen Merci fir deng/är ganz Hellef dass dat heiten geklappt huet) an der Scheffe a Gemengenroot vun der Gemeng esou wei och nach emol eis Integratiounskommissioun and ganz speziell un d’Hella Gnörich an d’Joyce Rodenbuch fir är wonnerbar Hellef an Ennerstetzung.
An dann zum Schluss nach den greissten Merci ganz perseinlech un all d’Elteren dei dat heiten duerch hiren Engagement meiglech gemach hun; Villmols Merci
(As Mierscher and as chairman of the Miercher integration committee, I am so proud that we with the help from the staff of the “Gemeng”, the school teachers, the members of the integration committee, and not least, the generous parents from the schools in Mersch, have been able to collect so many toys, so much clothes!
I am sure that it will make a very big difference to the children who came to Luxembourg without much, now they have at least something that can help to make a difference to their daily lives.
Without the help from all “Mierschere”, we could not have made a difference!
A heartfelt thank you, to our mayor of gemeng Miersch (thank you Abbes for supporting us in putting this together), to the members of the “schefferot”, the members of the council, the members of the integration committee and specially to Hella Gnörich and Joyce Rodenbuch for their huge contribution and support.
And very importantly – A very special “thank you” to all the parents who has contributed to our project – from the bottom of my heart – Thank you very much!)