A STRONGER AND MORE UNITED EUROPE - CALL FOR EUROPEAN DEMOCRACY FROM ROME
On 25th March 2017, the EU Heads of State and Government will meet in Rome to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome and launch a “Rome Agenda” to strengthen and reform the European Union. On the same day, thousands of citizens from all over Europe will march in Rome in a March for Europe to voice their support for European unity.
The March for Europe is a call for unity. A call to European governments and citizens to stick together, overcome national divisions, resist the temptations of nationalism and populism, believe in a stronger and more united Europe. However, the March is also and foremost a call for change. In a fast changing world that is shaking the fundamentals of Europe’s prosperity and security, challenged by nationalists and populists of all sorts, the European Union can’t stand still. It needs to regain the trust of its citizens, reignite the passions of its youth, re-build a shared vision of a better future together for all Europeans. To do so, the European Union needs less high-flying rhetorical declarations and more actions. It needs tools and resources that match its promises to citizens. It needs reforms for greater political and economic integration.
The Heads of State and Government plan to issue a “Rome Declaration”. “The draft in circulation is long on promises and short on commitments. It contains a lot of rhetorics and there is no trace of any concrete plan” stated Paolo Vacca, Secretary-General of the Union of European Federalists, one of the European promoters of the March. “If governments believe that a combination of million-time-heard slogans, that by now sound mechanical and empty to everybody, will change Europe’s future, they have not understood the mood of European citizens. The challenges facing Europe require a concrete plan for an overhaul of the European institutions and policies, a timeline to achieve them, and a clear commitment by a group of Member States to go forward even if not all countries agree. This is what we are asking for in Rome with our March”.
“One thing is for sure”, added Christopher Glück, President of the Young European Federalists, another of the European promoters of the March. “Europe’s future can’t be shaped by declarations behind closed doors. It is high time to involve all European citizens. What I would like to see in Rome is a plan to involve citizens and our European and national representatives in debating and deciding the reforms Europe needs. That’s what thousands of young people will ask in the March in Rome. It’s a call for European democracy”.