Rebuilding Europe — Urgent!
Here, I would like to share with you a few thoughts about the future of Europe. The plan I propose is not to rescue at any cost the existing European Union. My plan is to build a positive conception of Europe, prosperous, fair and peaceful. Starting from the lessons of the European history and the European Union history, I would like to open a discussion about the possibilities avoidable to us.
First, we must consider the difficulties of the European system, today:
- The participation rate in the election of the European Parliament is very low and decreasing, from 62% in 1979 to 42.6% in 2014.
- The level of citizens’ confidence in EU institutions is very low and unequal according to the countries. 19/28 members have a confidence of less than or equal 50% in the EU institutions.
- The rise of internal barriers and nationalism in many European countries, such as in Hungary.
- The effective dislocation of the Union itself, with the Brexit.
Ist step- Forging the European people
The history of the European Union has shown that a European citizenship or a European currency is not sufficient to create a European people. Even the European Parliament does not represent the European people but the national portions of European citizens. Today, the European people does not exist. But, to be peaceful and efficient, Europe needs to find an identity common to all its peoples, and not only a small elite. Therefore, I propose a few mechanisms in order to build a European people conscious of itself:
- Implementing Social and Universal Erasmus aids
Based on social conditions of the students and more attentive to the costs of living in the different European countries.
More important aid to all the students;
More participation of students in apprenticeship programs;
Extension of the program to high school, with 6 months mandatory in a school in another European country, before the end of the period of compulsory schooling;
Extension of the program to teenagers, with 2 months optional in a school in another European country.
- Organizing European Civic or Military service
6 months in Civic Service in another European country, in local, national or international administrations or public interest associations;
6 months in Military service in another European country, in a national army or European borders guards;
Mandatory at 18 years old;
Paid in the same conditions than the Erasmus program.
- Circulating in Europe:
To develop the European transport network, thought on a European scale (roads, rails, air and sea);
Develop intra-Europe tourism with intern advantages;
Decrease the prices of international transports within Europe.
- Redefining subsidiarity
Clarify the classification of the EU competences given by Articles 3, 4, 6 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (exclusive, shared or support competences)
Redefinition of responsibilities between States and the EU, with fewer areas left to the EU but more intervention in these areas (Example: agriculture, health, environment)
- Communication of the EU
Learning the functioning of the European institutions at school;
Presence of communication not only in the capitals of the EU members (need of proximity with populations);
More publicity about the European aids on precise projects of infrastructures;
Involvement of journalists to “present” and explain Europe in their news.