How do you want to make Europe?

, by Marie Menke, translated by Bastian De Monte

All the versions of this article: [Deutsch] [English]

How do you want to make Europe?
Whenever an issue is pressing, we need to articulate our political demands – for example for better policies on climate change.
Photo: CC0

In the context of the 2019 European elections, JEF Germany ran the #EuropaMachen campaign for a better European Union. The New Federalist and its German sister edition Treffpunkt Europa looked at some of the demands. But depending on individual views, interests, and opinions, there is so much more one could wish for the EU – for instance, to make it more sustainable, smarter or more equal. In the last part of this series, the Treffpunkt Europa team tells us how they want to change Europe.

Hannah Illing:
“Make Europe smarter!”
I call for more education regarding European topics! One of the Eurobarometer questions in September 2018 was which of the listed options convinced the interviewee to vote in the European elections. The most common answer (40%) was the following: “Being better informed about the EU and its significance for everyday life.” It’s exactly this kind of information many EU citizens are lacking. Schools in all Member States should thus be teaching about the European Union more pronouncedly and also in a more understandable manner. There should be mandatory study trips to Brussels and Strasbourg for students of all types of schools. For there is one clear recipe against populism: more education!

The European Union should assume a leading role with regard to gender equality and introduce quotas for all top positions in the EU institutions. Moreover, it should initiate laws to promote equality in all Member States and on the EU level.
Anja Meunier:
“Make Europe more equal!”

Marie Menke:
“Make Europe more just!”
The EU has to put the principle of justice at the centre of its actions – within the EU as well as in foreign policy matters. Regarding the former, I call for an education policy that provides chances for all instead of reproducing elites and for a social policy that invests in jobs for young people. At the same time, I suggest the EU reevaluate its developmental policy, critically look at its interactions with other policy fields, and especially recognise and counter the negative implications of European subsidies on African markets.

During my internship last year, I was working on an EU project and saw that when it came to expenses, it was all about assessing three offers and simply choosing the cheapest. I want reasoned European consumption and sustainability on all levels – ecologically, socially and economically. That includes fair remuneration of work within and outside Europe! Sustainability should thus be a central criterion in the realisation of EU projects.
Arnisa Halili:
“Make Europe more sustainable!”

Nico Amiri:
“Make Europe more social!”
Making Europe more social also means to open doors – in all areas of life! For children and adolescents, but also adults, without a privileged background, who cannot accept unpaid internships. Also for people who need more help than others in their everyday life. Concretely, I call on European actors on all levels to work towards equal opportunities for everyone – through educational and monetary support, and a public focus on the principle of inclusion. Without becoming social, Europe will not manage to reconcile all its cleavages.

Europe is not only Paris, Berlin, and Brussels – but also the French département Bouches-du-Rhône or the German Westerwald! People on the countryside shall not be left behind by Europe. The EU should take care that they can feel as citizens of their regions as well as European citizens. Therefore, we need committed MEPs who’ll gladly leave the Brussels bubble to attend town fairs, a stronger presence of EU institutions in rural areas, and EU training for local journalists so that they can more easily illustrate Europe’s importance for their respective regions.
Gesine Weber:
“Make Europe become closer!”

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