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“Europeans Should Stop Teaching Lessons to Others”

“Europeans Should Stop Teaching Lessons to Others”

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker Tuesday called on Europeans to have equal partnerships with other states.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the European Development Days in Brussels, Juncker said: “We, as Europeans, have to stop trying to teach everyone lessons. What do we think we are trying and doing this to everyone?”

“The situation in the world is not good. We really have to make an effort. … Europe will play its role in the international scene.”

“We need to have equal partnership [with other states],” he said.

Underlining the importance of multilateralism for peaceful coexistence among people, he said: “All of us here have to be mobilized in order to defend multilateralism.”

“In this globalized world, multilateralism could guarantee a peaceful coexistence among our people,” the EC president added.

In April, in an interview with a Dutch outlet, Juncker also said that Europe is losing ground on the global stage.

“We Europeans sometimes think that we are the boss of the world,” he said. “We forget that we are a small and weak part of the universe.”

In response to Juncker, Turkish EU Minister Omer Celik said on Twitter that Europe looks at the world with “a European-centered viewpoint.”

Celik said that Europe “first” needs to understand that the EU’s “Europe concept” lacks a definite political and cultural meaning.

“There is an abundance of political movements in Europe that would do well to rid themselves of their culturally condescending views and their politically self-centered approach,” Celik said.

On Juncker’s self-criticism about “teaching lessons to others,” Celik said the EU on the contrary needs an approach “which learns lessons from others.”

“First of all, it is necessary to ask why racism, Islamophobia, and xenophobia are rising in Europe and to learn lessons from past mistakes.”

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