The world still suffers under the weight of the COVID-19 virus, and the financial aftereffects of the pandemic have yet to fully reveal themselves. Europe is facing crises on matters such as health, economics and rule of law. Time and time again, we see the need for the EU to rise to the challenges we face. While these events unfold, we are halfway through the mandate of this European Parliament, and our directly elected representatives are given precious little power to act in the interests of their voters. National governments blame the EU for what’s going wrong when they are the reason the EU is not empowered to act. Meanwhile, the European institutions are seen as distant - disconnected from the citizens.
It is up to those of us who believe in the ever-closer union, to prove that such a union is in the interest of the voters on the ground. If we want to drive the conversation during the 2024 election campaign, it is high time for us to rally across borders and lead the public debate now. If we do not lead the debate, it will be hijacked by forces who would divide us, and who would tear us apart.
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Indeed, this is the mission of Volt, the first pan-European party: daring to do more. We strive to take the lead in the public debate by providing European solutions. Our task is to show voters that Europe means clean water, equal pay and job opportunities without borders. We intend to prove that a united Europe can tackle climate change, can tackle the pandemic and bridge socio-economic divides. To do this, we must be bold, speak with confidence and connect issues across policy fields, borders and traditional political ideologies. That way, we can drag European politics into the 21st century.
We intend to prove that a united Europe can tackle climate change, can tackle the pandemic and bridge socio-economic divides
Volt – and in fact all European federalists – must all build pan-European credibility on political issues that resonate with the voter base. To do this, we must underpin our Europeanism with tangible proposals that make people’s everyday lives better. Our Europe must be one that leads the economic recovery from the pandemic, and that shows her citizens that she does. Our Europe must be the global leader in the fight against climate change, and voters must see her as such. Our Europe must be the vanguard of social justice across the continent, and must spearhead the next digital revolution. Crucially, we must also show that these are goals, best worked towards together as Europeans.
To bring this point across, we must spend the next years bringing people together from all walks of life: we must connect the students to the union workers, and the human rights activists to the entrepreneurs. European leaders must galvanise marginalised communities and connect with social movements, faith groups and academics all across the Union.
This is the only way that we Europeans can break out of the federalist circles, and reach into society at large - by daring to lead the debate. We must all come together, rally behind our dozen golden stars, and dare to do more.
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