Do something that matters!
Yes, there is a problem with populist parties and governments in Europe. Yes, this is frustrating. But it is not in populist hands to control the agenda. Instead of complaining about what we cannot change, we should take a look at what we can do.
Now Italy. Hearing the news of the old federalist nation turn its back against what I believe to be Europe, feels like a major shift. It’s gonna be tough looking at the big challenges in the European Union. But how could this happen?
It’s happening, cause we let it happen. Because we didn’t give the people the belief that there are politicians that have an idea on where to go with Europe. That they find a widely shared answer to their concerns, fears and everyday-questions.
But, come on, that’s not the end of the world. We are still in a position to change things. The Euro has become normality. So has the great advantage of crossing borders almost without noticing. But there is space between difficult to understand and in th ecoming years probably difficult to handle reforms such as like that of the Economic and Monetary Union.
Hence, let’s turn away from the big reforms that are needed, but difficult to achieve. Not to abandon them, but to focus on something else, something concrete for the moment. On something that matters to the people. Three suggesions:
- You lost your passport? Have the EU delegation help. Especially for small Member States consular service would be a big help. When you go for holidays to Morocco, you would no longer need to look for the next Estonian embassy when you are Estonian citizen. You could just go to the EU representatives present in most capitals of the world. No need to change treaties, you can all do it with the current tasks provided to the EU.
- Have a real European interrail ticket. This was a great proposal, presented a couple of years ago. A ticket for young European people to travel Europe after having finished school. Don’t kill it with bureaucracy, but give a fixed number out via a lottery every year.
- Have the Members of Parliament and Commissioners travel Euro Not to conference venues with governments, but to the people. To townhalls, schools, universities, marketplaces. Have them talk about what makes Europe special to them. Not just ahead of the European elections, but because it’s part of th ejob description to give Europe a face. Beacuse it’s fun to have a dialogue. Because it’s fun to listen and learn what others hope for. To see what it is that matters to the people, and to have a positive, creative agenda for Europe!