Manifesto for rebuilding Europe from the base
Developers: Ulrich Beck and Daniel Cohn-Bendit
A European Year of Volunteering for Everyone —for taxi drivers, nurses, industrial workers, dentists, teachers, journalists, students, pensioners— as a response to the euro crisis!
Never before now had received the youth of Europe a better education. However, one out of every four europeans under the age of 25 are without employment. In various places, young people who do not feel represented have risen up camp and made public protests. Their methods are non-violent, but their demands for social justice are very powerful, whether in Spain, in Portugal, in the north african countries, in cities of the united States or in Moscow. Binds them to anger with a political system that rescues banks with debt to skyrocket while at the same time, squandered the future of its young people. If the hopes of the younger generations of europeans are being sacrificed on the altar of the euro crisis, the much admired european model also will fail.
The president of the united States John F. Kennedy surprised the world with his idea of creating, by means of volunteers, a Peace Corps: “ask Not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country”.
That is the reason why we ask the European Commission and the national governments, the European Parliament and the national parliaments to promote a Europe of citizens working actively, and ensure the financial requirements and legal, for the European Year of Volunteering for Everyone as a model contrary to the Europe established from the top down, the Europe of elites and technocrats that has prevailed up to now.
The purpose is to make more democratic the democracies to rebuild Europe in line with the proclamation: “ask Not what Europe can do for you, but what can you do for Europe Making Europe!”
No thinker —from Jean Jacques Rousseau to Jürgen Habermas— he wanted to never a democracy that only consist of power to vote periodically. The debt crisis that is currently tearing apart Europe is not simply an economic problem but also a political problem. We need a european civil society and of the prospects of the younger generations if we want to solve the burning issues of today. We cannot afford to let Europe become the target of a movement of outraged citizens against a Europe without europeans.
The European Year of Volunteering for All will not be designed simply to plug gaps. It is not designed as a fig leaf for institutional failures in europe. It consists on the contrary in an organization of self-help of creative disobedience, as a countervailing force to the power of the elites at the european and national existing policy and the business. That offers the possibility of hope and resistance in the face of a lack of vision of future institutionalized. The European Year of Volunteering for Everyone is an act of self-assertion by european civil society. Do not configure a system of alms for the unemployed youth. Can be used to re-seize the political creativity and legitimacy needed to build a new constitution in which they participate actively from its base. Political freedom cannot survive in an atmosphere of fear. Just thrive and get established there, where the people have a roof that protects you and know how you are going to live tomorrow, and during his old age. That is why the European Year of Volunteering for Everyone needs a solid financial base. We request the european businesses that make their relevant contribution. Europe: “refuge” or “fortress”? During the past decades we have witnessed the rise of the political culture of the there is also narrow, which aims to defend Europe against the “other” (those who label potential enemies and criminals). But Europe, the cradle of human rights, has historically been considered a refuge, a place in which those who flee violence and persecution can feel safe. It is this idea of Europe as a refuge and not as a fortress that needs to be revitalized and put into practice in the reconstruction of Europe from the bottom up. The european political identity is dependent on both an introspective look as to the outside. European civil society will only be a reality when its citizens learn to see with the eyes of others.
If Europe wants to develop a culture of bottom-up, this will be the result of new forms of civic action that take place in transnational networks. Campaigns global and european that develop in areas to whose problems the national States are not able to offer adequate solutions: environmental degradation, climate change, migratory flows and refugees, xenophobia, as well as in the different fields of the Arts. It is necessary to agree on a new contract between the State, the European Union, the political structures of the civil society, the market, social security and sustainability.
What good is Europe? What is the value of Europe to us? What model could and should build the Europe of the TWENTY-first century? For us to be european is to be able to look at ourselves and be self-critical. Europe is a laboratory of political ideas and social that simply do not exist in another part. The european identity is the product of the dialogue and the discrepancy between many cultures, different policies: the Citoyen, the Citizen, the Staatsbürger, the Burgermatschappij, the Citizen, the Opywatel, Politis, etc, Europe has also to do with the irony; being able to laugh at ourselves.
There is No better way to fill Europe with life and laughter that through the joint effort of the europeans to walk away acting in its own name.
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