For some years now, a network amongst Europeans of Bangladeshi origin has gradually developed with closer integration and freer mobility within Europe and widespread use of internet/social media.
As a result, it has become a common feature for European Bangladeshis to participate and contribute in socio, cultural and political events organised in European countries. This cross-European links between Bengali communities have enormous potential.
In many European countries, Bengalis have not only become a permanent feature of social fabrics, but an important integral part as well. Based on the country’s history of immigration from Bangladesh, European Bangladeshis today are a formidable community on their own rights by their contribution in enrichment of Europe’s socio-cultural, economic and multi-ethnic character. Bengalis now have secured a distinct place in Europe.
The common bonding of all Europeans of Bangladeshi origin and their descendents are their care and concern for Bangladesh. They are affected by progressions and digressions in their original or ancestral land, and that is why, its rather common that Bengali community in countries across Europe are seen quite active in responding to or replicating of happenings in Bangladesh, epitomized by dedicated participation by Bengalis in 1971 in nation’s liberation movement, and since then, in every democratic and progressive moves in Bangladesh. European Bangladeshis, individually and collectively, have stakes in Bangladesh to see the country prosper based on the dreams and aspirations of those who suffered and sacrificed for it to emerge as an independent nation and that is why they are often seen concerned when situation nose dive in Bangladesh. The informal network of European Bangladeshis that often interacts on net eventually held a number of physical meetings. Bangladeshis felt the need to consolidate the virtual network into a reality, to maximize utilisation of diverse expertise and skills of Bengalis living in different European countries, and to synchronise their voices towards European institutions, and to Bangladesh. European Bangladesh Forum (EBF) emerged out of such a realisation to act as a common platform of and for European Bangladeshis.
Ideals that prompted millions to join in the Bangladesh liberation struggle, eternal values of people of Bangladesh to create a non-discriminatory, secular democratic and transparent society that offers equality based on rule of law, and values arising out of international laws and universal human rights, and that opposes religious and other forms of fanaticism and extremism, and believes in seeking justice for violations, and establishment of equitable progressive society that is at peace with itself and others.
The inherent values that motivated Bengalis to undertake relentless efforts and for which they underwent enormous sufferings, and still doing so, have been identified as fundamentals that brought together European Bangladeshis to establish the European Bangladesh Forum (EBF).
EBF is expected to be a very flexible, and as far as possible, an informal organisation. Its main organisational role should be to act as a common platform for National Chapters of EBF to be set up in as many European countries as possible. Except for legal reasons, its informal character should be reflected in all spheres. It should essentially act as a Focal Point of European Bangladeshis, and should have a central existence, with close working and organic links with National Chapters.