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A Continent in Need of Rebranding
By: Cindy Wendland
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In The Wall Street Journal, there was a story about the Pope’s visit to Strasbourg, France, where he delivered a tough message. The Pope told the European Parliament that Europe was "elderly and haggard." He further described Europe as weary and aging like a grandmother. He said that the fertility and vibrance of the countries are gone. This was tough to hear for an area of the world that has long held appeal for tourism.

The Pope describes some of Europe’s problems as abandonment of the elderly, a lost generation of unemployed young people, and disparagement of the poor. His harshest criticism came for immigration policies, due to which thousands of boat people leaving Africa have died attempting to reach Italian shores.

Europe has much history and culture, but it is in need of a makeover and new policies. Can the European Parliament have an impact on its collective countries’ images? A vibrant younger generation could significantly contribute to a progressive new image for Europe. That would mean they would have to have jobs and be in a position of influence.

England has historically been a large mix of nationalities due to Britain’s great empire of world exploration, but that was a very long time ago. Now Italy can become a great acceptor of new groups of people and help integrate them into their culture while building a new culture. The European rebranding is much larger than a product or product line or even a company facelift. It can be done on so many levels and the potential is exciting. Can European Parliament be a factor to drive that change, or will it need to come from individual governments or other alliances? It needs to come from somewhere to keep this part of the world vibrant.

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About the Author
Cindy Wendland has a background in marketing and finance. She is the creative director for an online men's health magazine, BrainBrawnBody.com, and she gets to write their leisure/travel blog. She is also a web designer helping her clients with online community engagement, websitesbywendland.com. Prior to her web years, she worked in pharmacy consulting.
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