It is now 62 years since the Schuman Declaration which proposed an organised Europe. Happy Europe Day. These 62 years have seen one of the largest periods of prosperity and peace that Europe (certainly Western Europe) has ever seen and this is because of the unique way in which Member States come together to compromise and solve problems. It is a fantastic system and does, in some areas, work very well. The fact that, against all the odds and the cynics, 27 (soon to be 28) countries are able to work together to create solutions that make Europe stronger than the sum of its parts, is well worth celebrating.
According to the EU’s website: “Europe Day is the occasion for activities and festivities that bring Europe closer to its citizens and peoples of the Union closer to one another.”
We would object to one element of this statement Europe Day should allow citizens to bring their European Institutions closer to them. We are not Europe’s citizens, the European Institutions are ours. This fundamental difference is often forgotten in Brussels, where turnout in European Parliamentary elections and no media scrutiny robs MEPs of any real democratic legitimacy and unelected, and unaccountable Commission staff make politically loaded decisions behind closed doors.
Even the European Citizens Initiative, a right for European Citizens to participate in EU decision making has been rigged so that participation is extremely unlikely.
Look at all that Europeans have achieved together in the past 62 years. We the people of Europe can lead institutional reform, and a day like today is here to remind us all that there is so much we are yet to achieve together in the future.