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Daring to dream is a necessity

By Lilla Batuszek & Iverson Ng

We are two students from Hungary and Estonia with passion about the European integration project. After the re-enactment of The Hague Congress 1948, we feel that we want to achieve something bigger than just another project. We want a Europe that is beyond the void–it’s no longer an empty vessel that contains power, but a land of people’s voices empowering the European Union to represent every European citizen.

Words, words, words.

Message to European 3.0 is more than yet another citizens’ initiative. This message stretches beyond a European narrative. It’s a seed starting to grow in the hearts of many after 3 international events in Warsaw, Budapest and The Hague. From learning How to Make a Toast in Warsaw University of Technology (Politechnika Warszawska) to a series of intense debates on migrant crisis in Aula Magna, the century-old milling room in Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest, we have finally come to the stage where we renewed the resolutions on culture, politics and socioeconomics after the end of WWII in 1948.

Representing the EU Commission(left) and the EU Member States(right) respectively to debate against each other on Migrant Crisis during the Budapest event

But these are only draft resolutions.

Taking the local Dutch voices into account, we, the student leaders, collaborated on drafting new resolutions for Europe by dividing all participants into three groups–the Cultural Committee, the Political Committee, and the Socio-Economic Committee. At the backdrop of the beautiful Dutch pond Hofvijver and the breath-taking Dutch parliament Binnenhof, we had a 3-day re-enactment of The Hague Congress 1948 at the House of Europe (Huis van Europa) to discuss a range of issues from the imagination of a federalised European community to the hardcore proposal on a Fiscal Union in economic policies.

Here’s a brief overview of our simulation.

Day 1 was the beginning of the simulation sparked with countless of inspirations and ideas from the participants from home to abroad, followed by a full-day draft of resolutions throughout the 2nd day. Amazing it may sound, the student leaders and local participants exchanged their visions on several perspectives of the EU in order to put into writing those ideas that will help us to shape the future, inter alia, to build the EU we dream.

The last day of the simulation concluded with a symbolic vote on resolutions. With the contributions of the area experts, we repeatedly challenged the draft resolutions before putting them all to a vote. Building on that, we will pave the way that leads us to our eventual path of presenting the new narrative of Europe at the European Commission in Brussels in February 2019.

Meeting at the Cultural Committee, re-enactment of The Hague Congress, Huis van Europa, the Netherlands

But being part of the Message to Europeans 3.0 is never lack of challenges.

Between the committees’ meetings throughout the 3-day simulation, we had an internal meeting for student leaders to reflect upon our working progress when it comes down to what we have been doing while we are not meeting physically at the events. One of us made an emotional speech to call for actions among our student leaders, while another expressed full support to show solidarity and that defined us as a bloc of two ambitious dreamers who are contributing this piece of reflection.

Message to Europeans 3.0 isn’t a magic ward that binds European bureaucrats and the ordinary citizens together. Quite the contrary, we are 40 dreamers who are empowered by the ordinary citizens who participated our monthly civic engagements in our respective regions, urging the European bureaucrats to take our voices into account because their powers come from the collective will of the peoples of Europe.

For far too often, our civic engagements were hindered by the technocratic nature of European affairs. We are well aware that it’s not an easy task to find a local touch to present a pan-European issue but we will continue fighting. With populist movements unrested, misinformation campaigns discrediting the truth and communities deeply divided, we need you to hope again. We are all fighters and not quitters.

But we can’t fight this alone without your participation in our civic initiatives. Join us to build a new European narrative in Message to Europeans 3.0. Work with us to draft new resolutions on cultural, political, social and economic issues of Europe so that we can survive in hard times in Europe, as we have been doing this throughout our shared histories.

If you wish to work with us for a new European narrative, please don’t hesitate to drop us a message on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Europeans3.0/