2014: Awakening Europe

, by Jean Boissonnat, Jean-Guy Giraud, Jean-Michel Fauve, Michel Albert, Michel Camdessus, Robert Toulemon, Translated by Jill Haapaniemi

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2014: Awakening Europe

The first half of the twentieth century was marked by two European civil wars, the deadliest that history has seen, and for forty years, one of the side effects of these wars has been the division of the continent of Europe into two antagonistic blocs.

The second half, on the contrary, has been an age of reconstruction and an unprecedented union of the countries of Western Europe, followed by the inclusion of many former communist countries in this unification.

In 2010, after ten years of negotiations, the Treaty of Lisbon was enforced, crowning a new structure which would pave the way for the consolidation of the “Big” European Union and the continuation of the process of political and economic integration.

The next step of this process should be in 2014, a year that will address a large number of institutional changes:

• a political step with the full implementation of the Treaty of Lisbon, the first European Parliament elections with the support and renewal of the major leaders of the institutions (the European Commission and European Council, in particular)

• an economic and financial step with the consolidation of measures concerning monetary and financial stability and European economic governance

• a budget step with the adoption of a new financial framework for the next five years and the new formation of Europe’s own resources

Symbolically, the EU should then approach 2014, one hundred years after the start of the First World War, as a fresh start with a strengthened foundation that allows Europe to move towards “an even greater unity of European people” established by the treaties created to deal with the multi-polar world of the twenty first century.

Dealing with the dangers that threaten a new European movement

This new start could nevertheless be slowed down by three different orders of danger which are essential to remedy:

• the first is the confusion and indifference of the growing public opinion towards the continuation of integration enlargement of the EU

• the second is the question of the community method, of a temptation to return to the inefficiency of the traditional diplomacy or even to an intergovernmental management that corresponds with weakening the Commission

• the third, of course, is the financial and economic crisis that creates doubt concerning the ability and shared willingness of an EU response

Restore trust, unity and solidarity among the people of European states: these are the necessary conditions for dealing with these dangers and for heading towards success in 2014.

A political initiative is necessary and urgent

In order to achieve this, it seems necessary to assemble those who support that the historical goal of political integration of Europe is still based on the principle of community construction. For those who think a loss of direction leaves no clear option for the future of Europe creates the risk of loss, dilution, marginalization, or even collapse for the EU.

A political surge is necessary and urgent to stop the slow decline of ambition for a united Europe, and to maintain the values and European socioeconomic model in a new global context.

Strong initiatives must be taken with respect to the public opinion as a leader, to promote political support of the EU, to “awaken Europe” for the benefit of its citizens; in short- to succeed in 2014.

Reactivating a Committee for the United States of Europe

With this in mind we support the initiative of the “Spinelli Group” functioning within the European Parliament. We encourage them in their efforts to create a “network of citizens, politicians, academics and writers determined to move Europe forward.” We encourage them to start an active and organized campaign.

We intend to complete this initiative, in part by reactivating a “Committee for the United States of Europe” originally created by Jean Monnet, and also through actions or future campaigns for 2014 by the major pro-European organizations at European, national, and local levels.

We draw particular attention to the preparation of European elections that must ultimately be the big democratic event that examines and determines the development of a Europe that Europeans want. We want to reverse the downward trend of participation in this election by any means possible. We call on all reasonable political parties to recognize the importance of this election and for public authorities to provide the necessary information to the public.

Let us make no mistake: the European enterprise, as obvious as it is to us, cannot be taken for granted. As a civilization, it is human and thus mortal. We have to fight to get Europe growing. The true matter is that of the battle of 2014 in which we must all commit ourselves to today.

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