The question we have to ask ourselves is whether these people\’s gums bleed for a week each month. Without, you know, the saving grace of being enjoyable, servicable and of purpose the other three weeks?
Ulrich Beck, Daniel Cohn-Bendit,Yuri Andrukhovych, Jerzy Baszynski, Zygmunt Bauman, Senta Berger, Patrice Chéreau, Rudolf Chmel, Jacques Delors, Gabor Demszky, Chris Dercon, Doris Dörrie, Tanja Dückers, Peter Eigen, Olafur Eliasson, Joschka Fischer, Jürgen Flimm, Anthony Giddens, Alfred Grosser, Ulla Gudmundson, Jürgen Habermas, Dunya Hayali, Michal Hvorecký, Eva Illouz, Mary Kaldor, Navid Kermani, Imre Kertesz, Rem Koolhaas, Kasper König, György Konrád, Michael Krüger, Adam Krzeminski, Wolf Lepenies, Constanza Macras, Claudio Magris, Sarat Maharaj, Olga Mannheimer, Petros Markaris, Robert Menasse, Adam Michnik, Herta Müller, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Thomas Ostermeier, Petr Pithart, Martin Pollack, Alec Popov, Ilma Rakusa, Peter Ruzicka, Joachim Sartorius, Saskia Sassen, Hans-Joachim Schellnhuber, Helmut Schmidt, Henning Schulte-Noelle, Martin Schulz, Gesine Schwan, Richard Sennett, Martin M. Šime?ka, Johan Simons, Javier Solana, Michael Thoss, Klaus Töpfer, Klaus Wagenbach, Richard von Weizsäcker, Christina Weiss, Wim Wenders, Bob Wilson, Michel Wieviorka.
As to their major proposal yes, there is indeed a suitable answer:
A new contract needs to be agreed between the state, the EU, the political structures of civil society, the market, social security and environmental sustainability.
What is good about Europe? What is the value of Europe to us? Which model could and should be the basis for Europe in the 21st century? These are open questions that urgently need to be addressed.
And I shall address such questions for you. Firstly, you can fuck off, all of you.
Secondly, the European Union can fuck off.
Thirdly, the Council of Europe can fuck off.
Oh, and did I say that you can all fuck off?
For to ask these questions is to prove why Britain simply should not be a part of whatever idiocies you continentals wish to indulge in. We just don\’t do things this way. We\’ve a thousand years of the organic growth of the structure of our society: we\’ve never let madmen with a plan anywhere near how our State is constructed. As opposed to, say, the French, who had what was it, four different constitutions between 1939 and 1959?
So you go off and play your games and we\’ll continue to muddle through as we always have done.
And do recall, that you can all just fuck right off.
A European Year of Volunteering for Everyone – for taxi drivers and theologians, for workers and the workless, for managers and musicians, for teachers and trainees, for sculptors and sous-chefs, for supreme court judges and senior citizens, for men and women – as a response to the euro crisis!
The young people of Europe may be better educated than ever before but they still feel powerless in the face of the looming bankruptcy of nation states and the terminal decline of labour markets. Every fourth European under the age of 25 is unemployed. In the many places where disenfranchised young people have set up camp and made public protests they are clamouring for social justice. Wherever such camps are – in Spain, Portugal, the countries of North Africa, American cities or Moscow – this demand is being made with great force and fervour. Anger is mounting over a political system that rescues banks with eye-watering mountains of debt but squanders the future of young people in the process. But how much hope can be held out for a Europe with a steadily ageing population?
US president John F Kennedy astounded the world with his idea of founding a peace corps. \”Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.\”
We, the undersigned, wish to provide a mouthpiece for European civil society. For this reason, we are asking the European commission and national governments, the European parliament and national parliaments to create a Europe of actively employed citizens and to secure the financial and legal requirements for the European Year of Volunteering for Everyone – as a counter-model to the top-down Europe, the Europe of elites and technocrats that has prevailed up to now that considers itself responsible for forging the destiny of the citizenry of Europe – if need be, against its will. For it is this unspoken maxim of European politics that is threatening to destroy the entire European project.
The aim is to democratise the national democracies in order to rebuild Europe in the spirit of the rallying cry: \”Don\’t ask what Europe can do for you but ask what you can do for Europe – by doing Europe!\”
No progressive thinker – from Jean-Jacques Rousseau to Jürgen Habermas – ever wanted a democracy that consists merely of being able to periodically vote. The debt crisis that is currently driving Europe apart is not simply an economic problem but also a political one. We need a European civil society and the vision of younger generations if we are going to solve the burning issues of today. We cannot afford to allow Europe to be transformed into the target of an \”angry movement\” of citizens protesting against a Europe without Europeans. Europe cannot function without Europeans committed to its cause, and Europeans cannot do Europe unless they can breathe the air of freedom.
The practical action transcending the narrow bounds of nation state, ethnicity and religion that the European Year of Volunteering for Everyone is meant to promote is not intended as an institutionalised fig leaf for European failures. The vision is instead to open up space for creativity. Far from being a means of providing handouts to unemployed youth, the European Year of Volunteering for Everyone is an act of self-assertion by European civil society: an act that can be used to construct a new proactive constitution from the bottom up in order to re-establish Europe\’s political creativity and legitimacy. Political freedom cannot survive in an atmosphere of fear. It only thrives and becomes established where people have a roof over their heads and know how they are going to live tomorrow and in their old age. That is why the European Year of Volunteering for Everyone needs a robust foundation of finance. We ask businesses in Europe to make their appropriate contribution.
If Europe is to develop a bottom-up culture, it cannot afford to fall back on predefined courses of action. The citizens of such a Europe will want to go to other countries and get involved in transnational problem areas in which national states are no longer able to offer appropriate solutions – environmental degradation, climate change, mass movements of refugees and migrants, and farright radicalism. They will also want to make use of European networks of art, literature and theatre as stages to promote the European cause. A new contract needs to be agreed between the state, the EU, the political structures of civil society, the market, social security and environmental sustainability.
What is good about Europe? What is the value of Europe to us? Which model could and should be the basis for Europe in the 21st century? These are open questions that urgently need to be addressed. For us in \”We are Europe\” the answer is this: Europe is a laboratory of political and social ideas without parallel anywhere else in the world. But what constitutes European identity? You might say that Europeanness arises out of dialogue and dissent between the many different political cultures – of the citoyen, the citizen, the staatsbuerger, the burgermatschappij, the ciudadano, the obywatel. But Europe is also about irony; it is about being able to laugh at ourselves. There is no better way to fill Europe with life and laughter than for ordinary Europeans to come together to act on their own initiative.