Maximilien von Berg (25)
Geboren: Verenigde Staten
Woont: Verenigd Koninkrijk
Blog: Politics in Spires
Politics in Spires is een samenwerking tussen studenten van de opleiding politicologie en international betrekkingen van de Universiteiten Oxford en Cambridge. De website wil academische analyses in een bredere discussies naar voren brengen.
‘Let's not forget it’
Amid notable differences even across regions within European countries, similarities amongst Europeans abound. Our histories share key similarities, our present concerns are mutual, and our futures are likely to tie us together. The old dream of a united Europe was repeatedly pursued as much from reasons of shared interest as shared culture.
Europe's diversity and multiculturalism are an inspiration to many citizens of the world. But in today’s Europe, countries seem to be caving inwards due to internal and external societal and financial challenges. Instead of finding solutions in European institutions, politicians are increasingly using Europe and its workings as a scapegoat.
In addition, Europeans are increasingly growing disenfranchised by a system in which they do not feel represented. While we remain attractive to outsiders – Europe is a club of advanced countries where the quality of life is high (human rights, security, welfare, research, technology, etc.) – Europeans seem to have fallen out of love with what our fathers built.
We seem to have come to a standstill in European construction. The financial crisis has affected countless financial institutions and bankrupted states – it has eroded the old dream. Europe seems to be a burden when it should be a shield. The debt crisis currently affecting most European nations is set to remain an issue for much of my generation's active life (at least). Moreover, a number of MEPs represent anti-European parties who want to pull out of the Euro, see their country leave the Union, and reintroduce tariffs and protectionism.
But the solution to today's problems must be found in a more participative Europe. I wish to see more Europe, but more of a different Europe. States must abide by more stringent regulatory standards, which a more powerful European executive must be able to monitor. We need to slow down the legislative agenda, make decision-making more transparent in the institutions, and ask for more leadership from the executive.
We must uphold the European dream. We owe it to those who have given their lives to see hand us the opportunity of having twenty-eight countries cooperate, live peacefully and prosper together. This reality is unheard of in time and space. Let's not forget it.