Most people that I meet seem genuinely concerned about their and their children’s future, and how to achieve good governance and a satisfying degree of our
common wealth through non-violent means.
I thus aim to work with and for the “moderate majority”, which I believe is severely underestimated and under-challenged by Europe’s political cohort today. The idea is to proactively invite the moderate mainstream to the European project, rather than accept ever more and deep threats to social peace from provocateurs from the extremist fringe.
I stand ready to promote the European Union as a union of solidarity, and as a community of fate. This understanding and this goal is what many of my peers – a generation glued to the TV-sets in 1989 – grew up with and were taught to cherish.
Many of us understand that living in the EU as a conscious citizen entails the readiness to put past animosities and inequities beyond us. Unity in Europe is a process, not a product. Hence we need to carefully look what it is that we criticize or question. Questioning union as such, I believe, means questioning our sheer ability to interdependent and complex relationship work on the international level. EU membership will always come with good times and bad times, with give and with take.
European Union means putting the common above the particular (often national) interest. It means inviting the other to the negotiating table – whether debtor or creditor, North or South, aggressor or victim, friend or foe. Because this is exactly what Jean Monnet had managed to do from 1945 onwards: persuading the proud French coal and steel barons to be in the same room and sit at the same table and talk about the same future as their German “colleagues” of trade.
Today, in my understanding, the European Union is not here as a product to consume. It is here for us as a liberating framework of our lives, as an achievement, a gift and an obligation to us and our children, from Helsinki to Bucharest and from Madrid to Warsaw. Good intra-EU cooperation entails a high degree of social, intercultural, emotional, and relationship intelligence. Fostering this view and this practice, shifting the focus from policy to politics, from the output side to the input side of democracy. These, I believe, are the key tasks of people who now aim to get Europe out of crisis and to aim at a peaceful and sustainable future.