Another blog? Isn’t there already an overflow? Isn’t that so unbelievably 2008?
Yes, another blog! It’ll be worth it for what I have in mind. I am not the one to judge whether there aren’t already too many, but this one will be special – I promise! Maybe a blog is a little old fashioned – yet so are border controls within the European Union.
And that smoothly brings us to our topic
I have worked in Brussels over the last months, a place where the European refugee crisis is surrealistically omnipresent. Of course, many Syrians, Afghans, Eritreans live in the Belgian capital, yet they seem far more present in the form of abstract numbers and percentages in political debates. Given my dismal Dutch and upgradable French, it was difficult for me to reasonably get involved locally.
Now I would like to catch up on that in the form of a tour. Well, frankly, it is a call for donations. However, since such a blatant statement usually puts some people off, I disguise it as a bike tour accompanied by pictures and texts.
What exactly is going on here?
I resolved to travel from Bavaria to Athens along the Western Balkan route in about seven weeks. With longer stop-overs in Zagreb, Belgrade, Skopje and Idomeni, I would like to ride the 2000km to document the fate of those refugees stuck along the route due to closed borders. I would like to show the effects of border controls within the Schengen area. What do such decisions do to the EU? To this “Area of Freedom, Security, and Justice”? To its citizens and all those moving around in the Schengen area?
And yes, I would like to call for donations. The German Red Cross has various projects for the initial care for refugees in Germany as well as in the Balkans and other countries. Those projects take concrete form in the provision of food packages and sleeping bags. One of those projects is presented on the charity platform betterplace.org. This website helps donating any amount in a safe, simple and earmarked way to contribute straightforwardly.
Enjoy following my tour!