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  1. CSV 2.0 – Ready to share a dream?

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    My dream is a society where attentiveness, skills and commitment will pay off. Where talent, entrepreneurship, initiative is important but without losing sight of those with more difficult living conditions than our own?

    I stepped down as chairman of CSV international a few years ago because of personal issues. Since then the world has changed but not the CSV. After having been away from Luxembourgish politics for a couple of years, I realised that I as a foreigner, have to take control of my own situation, remain involved political affairs but most of all, take responsibility.

    Luxembourg, a society characterised by security, freedom, prosperity, mostly free health and education and opportunities for all. A society where it is better to live than most other countries. We are small and need to move fast to react to the outside world. The disruption from new technology is breaking up the otherwise solid platform envisioned and built by the prior CSV leadership. Where would Luxembourg have been if it wasn’t for Pierre Werner’s transition from steel to satellites, Santer and Juncker adding the icing to the cake with the banking industry.

    But it is time to find new industries to support the welfare of our children and grandchildren. Though the financial industry might remain to some extend in Luxembourg, many of the jobs will go away. Among others, AI is quickly changing the world, Luxembourg included which means jobs can be automated and less people are needed. The nature of work will continue to change, and that will require strong education and retraining programs. The World Economic Forum concurs: “Across nearly all industries, the impact of technological and other changes is shortening the shelf-life of employees’ existing skill sets. . .. The talent to manage, shape and lead the changes underway will be in short supply unless we take action today to develop it. Businesses will need to put talent development and future workforce strategy front and centre to their growth. Firms can no longer be passive consumers of ready-made human capital. They require a new mind-set to meet their talent needs.”

    So my question is, can the CSV manage that transition or are we still locked into the old way of thinking?

    I believe that we should put people before the systems, politicians create the framework but should not participate in the execution of it. That’s why we have a public sector. The hospitals are run better by health professionals than by politicians, schools better by teachers than by bureaucrats. We have to reconsider how we allocate leadership to the public institutions and not always look at the party colour before the individual’s qualification.

    Like the current government, I support a green transition to get rid of fossil fuels. But at a pace and at a course where we ensure that it has a positive impact on our competitiveness and that the cost is spread equally across the society. Is the current increase of green taxes not mostly hurting the middle class?

    Luxembourg is governed by block politics where the ideas from the opposition by definition are bad. Will that change if the CSV return to cabinet? That kind of thinking makes me very tired of politics. I would like us to think differently, act differently but remain who we are – but in a different way.

    Like other European countries, we have many political parties. My party is the CSV. But that does not mean that I agree with everything the parliamentary group or the party leadership says or do. Sometimes we need a place where we can bounce off ideas which are not necessarily included in the party program. But that doesn’t mean that they are bad ideas. That is why I think that there is room for a new movement inside the party. We need renewal and we need it now. I would like to see a movement which is not focused on age, gender, education or job and origins. A committed political network to inspire others to get involved, independent of party structures and old settings – A CSV 2.0

    I would definitely like to give it a try. – Would you?

  2. Prett een Dram ze deelen?

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    Mäin Dram ass eng Gesellschaft wou d’Opmierksamkeet, d’Fäegkeeten an den Engagement sech lount. Wou d’Talent, den Entrepreneurship, d’Initiativ wichteg sin, awer ouni déi Leit mat méi schwierege Liewensbedingunge wéi eis eegen, ze aus den Aan ze verléieren?

    Ech sinn als President vun der CSV international virun e puer Joer zeréckgetrueden,  aus perséinlechen Grënn. Zënterhier huet d’Welt sech geännert, awer net d’CSV. Nodeems ech e puer Joer vun der lëtzebuergescher Politik fort war, hunn ech gemierkt, datt ech als Auslänner, meng eege Kontroll iwwerhuele muss, an politesch Affairen involvéiert bleiwen muss, awer virun allem Verantwortung iwwerhuelen muss.

    Lëtzebuerg, ass eng Gesellschaft déi gepräägt ass vu Sécherheet, Fräiheet, Wuelstand, bal gratis Gesondheet an Ausbildung, a Méiglechkeete fir jiddereen. Eng Gesellschaft wou et besser ass ze liewen, wéi déi meescht aner Länner. Mir si kleng a mir musse séier kënnen op extern Ännerunge reagéieren kënnen. DenAfloss vun der neien Technologien brécht déi soss zolidd Plattform, déi virausgesinn a gebaut gi wor, vun der fréierer CSV Leedung. Wou wier Lëtzebuerg gewiescht, wann et net fir dem Pierre Werner säin Iwwergang vu Stol op Satellitte wier, de Santer an de Juncker géifen de “Crème um Kuch” mat der Bank Industrië bäifügen.

    Awer et ass Zäit nei Industrien ze fannen fir d’Wuel vun eise Kanner an Enkelkanner z’ënnerstëtzen. Och wann d’Finanzindustrie zu Lëtzebuerg nët ganz verschwënnt, wärte mir vill vun den Aarbechtsplazen verléieren. Ënner anerem ännert AI séier ons Welt, Lëtzebuerg abegraff; dat heescht datt Aarbechtsplaze kënne automatiséiert ginn, an duerfir manner Leit gebraucht ginn. D’Natur vun der Aarbecht wäert sech weider änneren, an dat erfuerdert staark Ausbildungs- a Weiderbildungsprogrammer. De Weltwirtschaftsforum stëmmt zou: “A bal alle Branchen, verkierzt den Impakt vun technologeschen an aneren Ännerungen d’Drobarkeet vun de existente Fäegkeeten vun de Mataarbechter. . .. D’Talent fir d’Verännerungen ze managen, ze gestalten an ze féieren, ass knapps; ausser mir ënerhuelen haut schons eppes fir daat Talent z’entwéckelen. Geschäfter musse Talententwécklung an zukünfteg Salariatstrategie virun an am Zentrum fir hire Wuesstem setzen. Firmen därfen net méi passiv Konsumente vu fäerdegem Human-capital sinn. Si erfuerderen en neie Mind-Set fir hiren Talentbedierfnesser gerecht ze ginn. “

    Also, meng Fro ass, kann d’CSV deen Iwwergang managen, oder si mir nach ëmmer am alen Gedankewee agespaart?

    Ech gleewen datt mir d’Leit virun de System solle setzen; d’Politiker schafen de Kader awer sollen net un der Ausféierung dovun deelzehuelen. Dofir hu mir en ëffentleche Secteur. D’Spideeler gi besser vu Gesondheetsspezialiste geleet wéi vu Politiker, Schoulen besser vun Enseignanten wéi vu Bürokraten. Mir mussen iwwerdenken wéi mir Leadership un d’ëffentlech Institutiounen verdeelen, an net ëmmer op d’Parteifaarf kucken, éier mir Qualifikatioun vum Individuum kucken.

    Wéi déi aktuell Regierung, ënnerstëtzen ech ee gréngen Iwwergang fir vu fossille Brennstoffer lass ze ginn. Awer an engem Tempo, an engem Cours, wou mir sécher stellen datt et ee positiven Impakt op eis Kompetitivitéit huet, an datt d’Käschte gläich iwwer d’Gesellschaft verdeelt sinn. Trefft déi aktuell Erhéijung vun de grénge Steieren net haaptsächlech nëmmen de Mëttelstand?

    Lëtzebuerg gëtt vun der Blockpolitik regéiert ,wou d’Iddien aus der Oppositioun per Definitioun schlecht sinn, och wéi d’CSV um Rudder war. Wäert dat änneren wann d’CSV zréck an de Regierung geet? Déi Zort Denken mécht mech ganz midd vu Politik. Ech hätt gär datt mir anescht denken, anescht handelen, awer bleiwen wien mir sinn – awer op enger aner Manéier.

    Wéi aner europäesch Länner hu mir vill politesch Parteien. Meng Partei ass d’CSV. Awer dat heescht net datt ech mat allem averstanen sinn, wat Fraktioun oder d’Parteileedung seet oder mécht. Heiansdo brauche mir eng Plaz wou mir Iddien verwerfen kënnen, déi net onbedéngt am Parteiprogramm sinn. Awer dat heescht net datt se schlecht Iddien sinn. Duerfir denken ech datt et Plaz fir eng nei Bewegung an der Partei ass. Mir brauchen Erneierung, a mir brauchen se elo. Ech géing gär eng Bewegung ze gesinn déi net op Alter, Geschlecht, Ausbildung oder Aarbecht an Hierkonft fokusséiert ass. En engagéiert politescht Netzwierk fir anerer ze begeeschteren sech z’engagéieren, onofhängeg vu Parteistrukturen an alen Astellungen – Eng CSV 2.0

    Ech géif et definitiv probéieren. – Géifs du?

  3. So, I became chairman of the CSV International

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    This is what the press wrote:

    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

  4. A label on a box without a defined content

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    apple-touch-icon-72x72Immigrant and would be politician

    As an immigrant to Luxembourg, Chairman of the integration committee in Mersch and member of the CSV (political party) and deputy chairman of the CSV international, I spend a lot of time working with what is called “integration”.

    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.

    Integration?

    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?

    Ethnicity

    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?

    De-integration

    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,,,

  5. Speech – World refugee day 2016 – Mersch

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    This is the speech that I wanted to give at the World Refugee day in Mersch 2016. However, due to time constraints I had to cut it short. (more…)

  6. Speech – Refugee BBQ Mersch 1/7/2015

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    IMG_3556Leif 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!)

     

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