Day of Europe: Reason to Celebrate or to Mourn?

Sunday, 08 April 2007 20:00 Marina Barbalata and Bartek Lech Editorial Dept - Europe

Today 57 years ago the first move was made towards the building of a united Europe. On May 9th 1950, Robert Schuman set the first stone for the foundation of what we know nowadays as the European Union. The EU has followed a huge process of transformation since. However, with the current development of European affairs it is difficult to assess whether one should celebrate or mourn on the Day of Europe.

Marina Barbalata, Spokesperson of FYEG comments: "In a world that is becoming more globalized every day, problems require global solutions. The European countries need a united voice if they are to efficiently tackle issues such as poverty relief, human rights violations, climate change, pollution and migration to mention only a few.

The Young Greens acknowledge the contributions that the European institutions have made in terms of creating peace and stability and in promoting a more united Europe. However, this is not enough. "We are now more concerned than ever about the basis on which the European Union is built. We do not want a Europe oriented towards a larger market and consumerism, but a Europe concentrated on finding sustainable solutions for its future development.”

Bartek Lech, Co-Spokesperson of FYEG adds: "I have doubts whether I should celebrate the Day of Europe or not. On the one hand, a lot has been achieved. However, we need to be more ambitious: poverty, discrimination, further enlargement and youth policies are just few examples of the issues that the EU is not covering in an effective way."

"The new trio that is setting Europe's agenda - Sarko, Angie and the Polish Twins - do not make me feel very confident that those goals will soon be fulfilled. We need a tight cooperation between all European youth, pro-democratic political organizations in order to transform Europe into YOURope, with more democratic institutions, closer to citizens and encouraging participation.”

The Federation of Young European Greens agreed at its GA in Vienna last month to put the Future of Europe at the top of its political priorities in 2007/2008, in this way enabling the inclusion of a Young Green voice in discussions about the European construction.

The European elections in 2009 are approaching and we need to ensure a victory of Progressive and Green Forces in order to transform Europe into a tool for ensuring social and environmental justice. Only then the Day of Europe might become a true occasion for celebration.

Marina Barbalata,
Bartek Lech,
Porte-parole de FYEG

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