“We do not want Europe to dissolve in nationalistic countries and regions. We expect our representatives and governments to honour the European values, achievements, laws, and standards elaborated in the last 60 years. We need a new form of solidarity. Especially now, we need to foster civic initiative and trust.” This was the key message the participants of our OpenForum „Beyond the Crisis“ delivered to three members of the Committee on Affairs of the European Union of the German Bundestag on Monday.
32 Europeans from ten different countries had met in Berlin last Wednesday and spent 3 days outside of the city at lake Müggelsee in order to exchange their views and develop common ideas and approaches how to overcome the crisis. The presentation of the results in the Bundestag was a highlight of the event.
Especially now, we need to foster civic initiative and trust
Citizens of Europe was officially invited by the EU-committee. The three deputies welcomed us in the „nicest committee room of all“ (Michael Stübgen) and commented on our paper in depth. Michael Stübgen from the governing CDU stated: “Today, we are aware that 15 or 10 years ago all of us followed the anglo-saxon idea of liberalised markets too much. We needed to learn.” Alexander Ulrich, elected into the Federal German parliament for the party “Die Linke”, strongly supported the critical remarks in the result paper that the interest of people should not be forgotton when debating the needs of banks. Manuel Sarazzin (Bündnis ’90/Die Grünen) expressed strong sympathy for the reference to civic initiatives and an inclusive democracy.
While some participants rather critizised (or at least found it ‘interesting’) that the members of parliament simply disregarded some remarks or questions, others were impressed by the fact that we were welcomed that way.