#FutureEurope: Young people for Europe

, by Anja Meunier, Arnisa Halili, Translated by Juuso Järviniemi

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

#FutureEurope: Young people for Europe
Photos: Private, edited by Anja Meunier.

Today at last it’s election day! Our German sister edition Treffpunkt Europa’s #FutureEurope campaign has accompanied its readers for 29 weeks, and it has presented 43 people from a total of 8 European countries who have shared their wishes and demands for the future of European politics.

Treffpunkt Europa extends a big thank you to all the volunteers who were a part of the campaign. Both Treffpunkt Europa and TNF are excited about the elections, and we’re looking forward to shaping our #FutureEurope together with you. In this article, we present a selection of contributions by participants to the series, sharing their wishes for the future of Europe.

“I hope that the EU can maintain the integrity of the Schengen Area, and ensures that all member states respect the values of the EU. Recently these values were often endangered because of political blockades triggered by migration questions, and because of the rise of illiberal democracies. We should cherish our Union. This picture was taken in Soroca in northern Moldova, with Ukraine just behind the Dniester River. Over there, people are certainly keen to build bridges.”
Estelle (21), France

Adrian (16), Germany
“Display a decisive attitude against emerging populism in Europe! Make it clear that common European values can’t be allowed to get subverted.”

“I hope for a Europe that includes young people and young people are taken seriously. A Europe where humanity lives as a community, and protects the climate on our planet so the future of humankind is secured.”
Maren (26), Germany

David (21), Germany
“I hope for a Europe that conceives of solidarity as an end in itself - and that doesn’t only concern the distribution of refugees, but also the fight against unemployment, labour shortage and poverty. It’s only when we are all doing well that each individual member of the community is doing well.”

“I hope that future generations can have the same great experiences and opportunities offered by the EU that I also had, and still do. Indeed, hopefully even more."
Tim (28), Germany

Dea (25), Albania
“I hope that people understand the importance of a united Europe in the face of the current challenges, and that politicians recognise that politics should concentrate on our common human needs rather than special interests that cause further social division. I hope that Europe and Europeans treat each other with compassion and I hope that we don’t leave each other in trouble.”

“I hope for a peaceful and strong Europe that actively stands up for equality in all respects, regardless of gender, ethnicity, skin colour, language, religion, nationality, interests, occupation or opinion – as long as the person doesn’t constrain another person’s liberties or discriminate. I think that a conscious, reflecting lifestyle, a lot of love and openness are suitable tools for that.”
Thao (22), Germany

Yann (21), France
“Instead of cheap sovereignism, I hope for considered reflection on the EU, in accordance with the subsidiarity principle: What can Europe to better than the nation states, if needed?”

“The future of Europe needs to be shaped in a sustainable way, both socially and ecologically. To do that, we need to consider the diversity of our society. It’s not only young people who should have the opportunity to discover Europe. That’s why I demand a European voluntary service for elder people.

However, on one thing all members of society have the possibility to get engaged: on the avoidance of plastic. We know how much plastic our planet is burdened with. It’s all the more important that European politics supports this goal and, through directives, takes care that the industrial use of plastic is reduced.”

Sabine (22), Germany

Alessandra, 24 (Italy)
“I want an undivided Europe without borders, where everyone feels that they are a European citizen, regardless of the city where they were born. A Europe that belongs to all of us and where travelling and cultural exchange are a part of everyday life.”

“I hope that passports or residence permits don’t count, but rather the person behind them. More humanity instead of bureaucracy!”
Cate (25), Germany

Juuso (23), Finland. Editor-in-Chief of The New Federalist.
“I hope that Europe’s moderate parties start offering an alternative to the status quo. We all know that today’s Europe doesn’t work. In this situation it’s unacceptable that the only alternative that our politicians offer is disintegration with all its consequences. Citizens deserve a positive vision for Europe, and that’s what federalism can offer.”

“I hope for a united Europe that looks proudly back on its history, one that today (like in the past) stands up for values like peace and solidarity. A Europe that is open for innovation and ever more inclusive.”
Beatrice (28), Italy

Maddie (25), United Kingdom
“Europe must address the concerns of all those who can’t, unlike the lucky ones like us who can live and study abroad, make use of its benefits. It can do so with a greater focus on social themes. In the meantime, Europe needs to clarify to its citizens what it does. Europe is complex, and that’s also what it needs to be. If the values and institutions underpinned by decades of international cooperation were simple, I would be worried. But this complexity is giving a lot of people the feeling that they don’t have any idea what Europe actually does, and how it influences their lives. Without both of these strategies, Europe has little to offer against the criticism of populist parties.”

“I believe that in the light of recent events, the European Union shouldn’t focus on how Europe can be united from a political and military viewpoint. The focus should rather be directed towards first clarifying and publicising the fact that the countries of our small continent must stick together if they want to stay politically and militarily relevant in the current global situation. In a world occupied by rising superpowers in all of Asia and the Americas, I hope that European citizens lay their differences aside and recognise that their strength lies in unity.”
Paola (22), Italy

Wir haben in unserer Kampagne versucht, ein möglichst diverses Bild von Europa zu zeigen. Da die Teilnahme an der Kampagne freiwillig war und auf einer digitalen Plattform entstanden ist, haben wir unser Ziel nicht voll umsetzen können. Dennoch finden wir es toll, dass so viele Menschen mitgemacht haben! Die Zitate stehen selbstverständlich nicht repräsentativ für das Land, sondern alle Statements stehen für sich selbst.

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