More heart, more education
Von der niederländischen My! Europe Konferenz im Kontakt der Kontinenten Konferenzzentrum in Soesterberg in der Nähe von Amersfoort
These were two of the key-words when participants summed up their opinions at the Dutch conference, the last of the six national My!Europe conferences. Citizens should be able to see themselves as members of a "united Europe of values", one of them writes.
The conclusions from all conferences will be brought in as "raw material" for the eighth and final My!Europe conferences, which will take place at International House Sonnenberg in the Harz Mountains in Central Germany, November 22-25 - the last day devoted to a presentation of the final paper at a special conference session in Hannover.
EDUCATION: There should be more education on Europe in schools, and also better information about European events and more programs where citizens discuss.
One point that should be better explained to citizens all over Europe, as it is difficult to grasp for many, is the role of the Commission in the European political structure.
VALUES: Another matter of great concern to the participants was European values. Economic optimization is not enough. The EU should show more heart and focus more on moral demands so the citizens of the member states can see themselves as citizens of a united Europe of values, it was pointed out.
A parallel point of view, in clear political form, was that "neo-liberalism has lead to imbalance between public and private". "A real democratic Europe is important".
The various conclusions of the conference have been summed up as follows by Henk Bekker, one of the Conference Chairs:
In various ways, most of the participants have stressed that "education" should be an important message from the conference to the EU:
• Education for young and old
• EU focus in education on political matters
• European political education in schools
• Good information about the EU, European events, and programs with discussions with citizens (not just before midnight on television) and a better explanation of the role of the Commission as a technical or political structure.
• We should advise the EU to start a Europe-wide discussion on (potential) underlying EU values
• We should advise the EU to form common values, turning away from the economic optimization of the EU.
• Educate citizens about the importance of the existence of the EU
• Promote international youth exchanges, and promotion and evaluation of the social year
• The EU advocates "that there is a need for new moral frame works"
• Education through values and norms
• Education about people who are different, and how to deal with it
• Information on citizens' right to vote, who represents what for me in Brussels
• Education in the context of growing populism
• An instance to function as a forum for contradictions
• From a practical point of view, there should be a Europe-wide recognition of school degrees, studies degrees and professional qualifications (master's apprenticeship test).
The participants have stressed that the EU needs to seek and define new values and, consequently, to act.
Key question was: "What is the hard and soul of Europe? "
- • Reconsider a make over, with human rights, common goals, respect, consensus, balance between social and economical sides, solidarity and togetherness in conflict resolution
- • Use the speech by Bernard Naron (article to appear on myeurope.today. ed.) as one of the basic elements for the recommendations: E.g. T.I.N.A. (There Is No Alternative. ed.), the Rhineland Model (the model economic thinking behind Germany's postwar Wirkshaftswunder. e.g.) as opposed to a Europe of Citizens based on a more social Europe, more transparency, more democracy, more solidarity
- • Reformulation of European history and values and revaluation from top to bottom.
- • Put the human being in focus, first the people, then the economy, more solidarity instead of more economic focus, respect for the social satisfaction of the citizens. A social Europe and the subsidiarity principle, based on European values, as a framework for normative action. A holistic image of the human being instead of just the Homo Oeconomicus. Question: are the laws of neo-capitalism as an economic principle of the EU to the benefit of all citizens?
- • Show more heart, more moral demands so the citizens of the nation states can see themselves as citizens of a united Europe of values
- • Neo-liberalism has lead to imbalance between public and private
- • Populism is a threat.
- • A real democratic Europe is important.