Media: A petition for a “Europe of citizens”
3 May 2012
The crisis hammering Europe is hurting primarily young people, often graduates. It is to this generation that MEP Daniel Cohn-Bendit and the sociologist Ulrich Beck have addressed a petition calling for a “Europe of citizens”. The text of this document, published in Die Zeit, Le Monde and El Pais and La Repubblica, has been signed by sixty intellectuals, politicians and European artists, including President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz, the Nobel laureate Imre Kertesz and former president of the European Commission Jacques Delors, together with Herta Müller, Adam Michnik and Joschka Fischer.
Paraphrasing the words of John F. Kennedy, the signatories call –
on the European Commission and national governments, together with the European Parliament and national parliaments, to create a Europe "of actively employed citizens", and to create the financial and legal conditions for the establishment of a "Year of European voluntary service for everyone", as a counter-model to the “top-down” approach currently prevailing in Europe – a Europe of elites and technocrats. The goal is to democratise national democracies and to rebuild Europe behind the rallying cry: "Ask not ask what Europe can do for you, but what you can do for Europe – Make Europe!"
Wishing for "ordinary European citizens to come together to be their own bosses”, the authors of the document describe it as “an organic, naturally-occurring act” through which Europe will develop a new constitution “from the bottom up”.