Letter to Europe: Let’s get cracking – Europa machen!

, by Junge Europäische Föderalisten - Deutschland, Translated by Bastian De Monte

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Letter to Europe: Let's get cracking – Europa machen!
Kick-off of the “Europa machen” campaign in Halle (Saale) on 13 October 2018. Photo: JEF Deutschland e.V.

On Saturday, JEF Germany’s European election campaign ”Europa machen” (Making Europe) kicked off in Halle/Saale. JEF Germany says: Let’s tackle European challenges!

Dear Europeans in Germany,

In 32 weeks, you are entitled to exercise a democratic privilege: It’s time for European elections! May 26 still seems endlessly far away, and on the way there we still have one European milestone yet to come – Brexit.

But the European elections 2019 are important. They are going to be decisive this time, and it’s not just about fine-tuning: It’s about whether we give the European project the chance to master future challenges democratically or if we leave it to the hands of populists in the member states. The rule of law and fundamental rights, like judicial independence and freedom of the press, are in danger in some member countries. Throughout Europe, nationalistic parties are on the rise – which are not only questioning the European project and the European idea but seriously threaten it. Let’s not become a generation of sleep walkers – on the contrary, let’s wake up and shake up those who seem to have given up on the European project.

The momentum for European, federalist reforms is not over yet. Civil society is awaking and taking to the streets. ‘Europe’ has become a topic again in cafés, on campus, at home. People in Germany are debating Europe like they haven’t in a long time. Let’s start right there as Europeans. Let’s spur the debate on fundamental decisions in politics and civil society, let’s already start to campaign for the elections in May 2019. In particular, we need to show people with all kinds of political backgrounds that this ‘Europe’ is an active process.

This is where the “Europa machen” campaign steps in. Active political processes require well-informed citizens. Be it Brexit or democratic deficit, it is important that pro-Europeans in Germany inform people – in political parties, universities and schools, also reaching out to people with all kinds of backgrounds in order to raise awareness of Europe. Europe lives off dialogue, off compromises following tough discussions. Together, we want to argue for a federally united and democratic Europe. From Regensburg to Flensburg, from Cologne to Dresden, we will be present in Germany’s big cities and municipalities to tell people about the European project and to fiercely promote it.

We started on Saturday: “Europa machen – jetzt und richtig!” (Making Europe – now, and properly). With a symbolic street action in Halle/Saale, 150 young people kicked off the campaigns of the two biggest pro-European organisations. More than half a year before the European elections, it is already the task of us Europeans to raise awareness about Europe. It is necessary to change Europe for the better. “Making Europe” is not just an empty phrase. It is a mindset: We want Europe to be more concrete, more colourful, more democratic – let’s tackle the challenges ahead together!

Federalist regards, JEF Germany

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