Friday, 11 November 2011

More Europe Manifesto proposes education on European integration

A group of Spanish eurobloggers has launched an appeal for More Europe, in order to overcome the crises in the eurozone and the wider European Union. I have mentioned their initiative to start a virtuous circle of development for the citizens of the union: announcement, free movement, EU symbols.

You can read and sign the appeal on the More Europe blog. You can participate in the Twitter discussion @moreurope, hashtag #moreurope, and help to spread the word.

The initiators act as EU citizens. Hence they want to build on European achievements important for ordinary people. Their appeal is now available in eight languages.

After stating the need for greater European integration, their third proposal aims at improving education about the European Union in all schools, by introducing a new subject.

“More Europe” Statement

Given the dramatic social situation in many Member States caused by the economical crisis and the anti-European voices predicting the breakup of the Economic and Monetary Union, the undersigned ask for More Europe.

We consider it is necessary to move to a greater European integration in order to address the current situation of social and economic crisis affecting Europe and for this reason we will join our forces as European citizens. To achieve our goal we claim that:


3) We encourage public authorities to implement a common subject on European Union in all European educational systems. The subject will include EU history, its operation and its significance in the national and international society today.

Originally the Treaty of Rome, signed in 1957, set the European Economic Community (EEC) on the road to build a common market between the six founding member states. Since then the European Union has come into existence and the membership has grown to 27 states with a total population of 502.5 million.

Well beyond technical standards for businesses, today the EU acts, with various degrees of intensity, in many areas of politics and policies with direct and indirect implications for its citizens.

It is increasingly hard to understand domestic politics, without realising the interaction between the European and the national level.

However, citizens are not always well aware of how the European Union operates and what it does. Sadly, the EU is an overly complex creature, with finely chiseled powers and obscure ways, not governed in a comprehensible manner through elections leading to politically accountable government. Even a basic understanding of the hybrid construction EU requires some work.

My subjective view is that objectively Europeans should be better informed about European integration and the European Union.

Of course there are quality media for those who are already informed and willing to learn, but the signatories of the More Europe Manifesto realise that in democratic countries all citizens (and future voters), not only the privileged ones, need basic knowledge about the society they live in; and Europe is very much part of that framework.

Ralf Grahn