With two weeks to go until the European Parliament elections, today the continent dwells in celebrating the achievements of the EU, on the 69th anniversary of the Schuman Declaration, preferring to look back at what has been achieved instead of looking forward into our future. 2019 looked like it was going to be a promising year with a window of opportunity opened for institutional reform and further EU integration – finally, a year of the Future of Europe debates, a year of bold, common solutions to European challenges. But today, on the 9th of May 2019, we see European leaders yet again defending the status quo, or worse backsliding towards nationalistic and authoritarian tendencies.
Simply celebrating the EU and its achievements is not enough anymore. Our continent is in need of common solutions driven by European democracy: we are still a long way from the federal Europe our Founding Fathers and Mothers envisioned and fought for.
“Today we decide to not only celebrate Europe, but to Choose Europe: wholeheartedly and without reservations! Unlike European leaders today, we decide to look into the future, our common future and work to change Europe for the better. A future where we see the EU transformed into a real political Union, one where the EU is capable of solving European-wide problems - one where even more citizens choose Europe”, states Emma Farrugia, Executive Board Member of the Young European Federalists (JEF) Europe.
“How can we celebrate the successes of the EU in the last 70 years or so, without an even modest attempt at providing a clear vision of where we want to go in the next decade? How can we expect people to go vote and increase the 2014’s European election youth turnout when the problems that we will have to deal with in our lifetime are not even being properly tackled on European level? A project for radical change towards a more united, democratic and federal Europe is today more necessary than ever to keep the promises of the Schuman declaration and rally again the support of European citizens”, comments Paolo Vacca, Secretary General of the Union of European Federalists (UEF).
“Our time is now! It is time to Choose Europe! We must act to ensure our common European future. Only by taking courageous steps towards a real political Union, will we be able to respond to the needs and concerns of us European citizens, thus fulfilling the vision of our founding parents”, confirm both Farrugia and Vacca.
Thousands of UEF and JEF members and activists across the continent will be choosing Europe and connecting with each other via political debates, dinner table discussions, street actions and other Europe-wide festivities to support a much needed, comprehensive, and democratic reform of the EU. Take part in our pan-European campaign by sending a special ‘I Choose Europe’ postcard to your friends in other cities and regions of Europe, calling on them to join the European Federalists in fighting for real European democracy! #IChooseAFederalEurope
9th of May: Background
On the 9th of May, 1950, Robert Schuman held a speech in Paris where he foresaw the pooling of French and German coal and steel production, as a first step toward the political unity of the Continent. This idea became the European Coal and Steel Community, which later evolved into the European Union. Today Europe Day celebrates sixty-nine years from the Declaration, paying tribute to a significant landmark in the history European integration.
I choose Europe is JEF Europe campaign for the European Parliament elections, designed to encourage and strengthen European-oriented youth participation for the European Parliament Elections 2019 and in the longer term for the future of Europe.