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Švarplys, Andrius

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Delfi - Lithuania | 02/08/2011

Andrius Švarplys on Lithuania at the edge of Europe

Austria's release of Michail Golovatov, who is wanted under an international arrest warrant, has sparked a debate about a division in Europe. Sociologist Andrius Švarplys joins the debate on web portal Delfi saying the EU is ignoring Lithuania's history: "The EU is not the Europe Lithuania wanted to join for so long. ... What our collective memory associates with Europe does not correspond to the Europe that emerged after the Second World War. For the Lithuanians, as for other peoples of the post-Soviet area, Europe is a civilisation that has been developing since the times of Ancient Greece and stands for freedom, democracy, the protection of small nations, peace and social welfare. For a Christianised, humanitarian culture. For security. But there is the club of European civilisation - and then there's us, living on the edge. This Europe is our natural home, only Russia tries again and again to separate us from it. A third of our population suffered in the Soviet Union, but Europe refuses to acknowledge this. And the more we point this out and get annoyed about it, the more Europe (with vigorous help from Russia) sees us as terrible nationalists."

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