Monday, January 7, 2013

Should Europe help developing countries?

In periods of economic difficulties like the current we are living,often the issue of charity or aid comes to the surface of any political or social debate. Should a state offer aid to other poorer nations? Should Europe be helping developing countries, or the EU be the World's largest donor of aid?

The logical answer to this would be of course that we all should do what we can, to help other fellow humans and show solidarity with them. We are all after all, citizens of this great wide planet. But giving aid to poorer countries is not anything new. It has always been taking place for as far as I can remember, yet somehow we still haven't managed to create a more equal world.

Perhaps we are doing the right thing, the wrong way. All these money collected or promised by our governments or social and political elites,somehow fail to create a permanent impact; ending poverty in this world and create a more equal planet. Maybe it is not just money we should be giving but something else as well.

The best way I believe for Europe to help developing countries is by NOT giving money to them. But expertise, assistance to develop their own abilities and exploit their own resources, advice and shared knowledge. What Europe does though is keep offering them money, that is often being misused and it creates a dependency.

It helps establish a corrupt elite that misuses the aid money portraying the limited success as their own to perpetuate their rule in the country. Trust me, I am from Greece I know. It happened over there during some of the most troublesome decades in our and Europe’s history and now we see the results.

A poor country does not need money to become rich or at least wealthier, if that is what we want in reality in Europe and not a new type of dependency for these countries. A new type of colonization and exploitation.

A poor country needs direct investments, jobs, factories and education so it can stand on its own feet and start exploiting all the best that it has, investing then in innovation with its own money. It needs the knowledge and organization skills to develop, as well with a better or more appropriate education system.

So all that Europe could do is set up companies that will promote the exploitation of the country’s natural resources, schools, factories – but not sweat shops to exploit the local population with cheaper salaries for the continent’s rich elite benefit.

Sadly, before Europe decides to offer help and invest in one nation it demands certain obligations. Help does not come without price. They want to establish an ever pro-Western regime and transform their “aid” into an investment. And investments usually mean a return in profits, so here is where the problem lies.

By being so selfish and offer help but with many strings attached, we are doing more harm than good in some cases. We sink nations into deep debt and  establish a pro-Western elite, to make sure we are going to get the return of our investment we are counting for. So we actually promote corruption and injustice in this country.

If that is not the case, then with these money we create a dependency that is hard to wean off. To promote certain "standards" for a country that usually reflect our own Western ideology, the money given is also helping to establish an elite that our own ones favor. This results into nothing really developing or changing. Countries that are in dire need of aid, usually remain in that condition for decades. 

I am all for European aid and help to any country in need, because as many others have argued, this is what Europe must stand for for the future: human betterment, across the continent and beyond. But only if this help comes with a totally selfless attitude. Instead of looking down on those “poor” “Third World” nations, we should actually try to inspire them to be proud and confident in achieving greatness. Be a invaluable member of the global community.

Because it is in our interests to create a prosperous and equal world. More stability results in more wealth and prosperity for EVERYONE. But that is something that some of the elites both in the West and the East do not want. They prefer a fragmented world with extreme poor and extreme rich nations or people to serve their own interests.