Saturday, 8 May 2010

My Europe Week: War and Peace

Today, 8 May 2010 the Western Allies remember Victory in Europe Day 65 years ago, whereas Russia is commemorating (Soviet) Victory Day with a parade in Red Square and other festivities on 9 May.

The war dead and the end of WW2 devastation are worth remembering, but it is just as important to recall how the opportunities offered by peace were utilised and should contribute to a better future.

In Western Europe the phoenix rose from the ashes to mark a new beginning in the form of European integration.

The Schuman Declaration of 9 May 1950 marks a new vision and the start of a new era.

During these 60 years we have made some headway. 27 member states, with a total population of 500 million, have been able to join the European Union.

Although the EU is far from perfect at its current stage of development, its founding values are admirable (Article 2 TEU):

The Union is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities. These values are common to the Member States in a society in which pluralism, non-discrimination, tolerance, justice, solidarity and equality between women and men prevail.

Two major steps are still needed:

We must surpass the present hybrid state of technocratic supranationalism and intergovernmentalism, by giving the new European Union a fully fledged system of representative democracy.

As EU citizens, we must start making room in our hearts for the true solidarity of ever closer union.

Share your Europe

Europe Day 9 May 2010 is a good occasion to start sharing your Europe.

The editors of invite you, bloggers and non-bloggers, to share your visions for the future of Europe on the My Europe Week blog during this week until tomorrow, Europe Day 9 May 2010. You can read the roundups on My Europe Week, or you can access the posts tagged #myeurope on the special page.

Twitter away under the hashtags #MyEurope and #EuropeDay.

Ralf Grahn