( A five minute read)
Where are your voices?
The decision to leave the EU affects your future more than anyone, so tell me why you are now so silent.
Luckily the responsibility for the outcome of the next two years negotiations still rests on the shoulders of the British people—and specifically, on the young English people.
Do young Englanders really want to isolate their Island even more from the rest of Europe?
It is now imperative you make your young voices heard on the final deal, if any.
If you do not there is little point sitting on you behinds, chastising older Brits, when less of you voted in the referendum than those who did not.
The 51.9 percent to 48.1 percent was so close – if the rest of you had voted, the outcome could have been very different, and if 16-and 17-year-olds were given the chance to have their say in this momentous decision England would not now be clinging on to its colonial history.
(It seems ludicrous that 16 and 17-year-olds weren’t allowed to vote in the referendum that was going to define much of their future. Truly idiotic.)
There is no such thing as a perfect future or for that matter a correct past but the coming decisions will pitted rich against poor like no other.
So here is my plea to the Youth of England and the Youth of the EU.
If you look at the sign at the entrance of your town and you’ll spot a phrase that goes something like this: “Twinned with.
(Town twinning, as an official relationship-builder, started in Europe after the second world war. The idea was simple: repair damaged relationships between France, Germany and the UK.)
You and your twin share something. A history, some DNA.
You’re twinned for a reason and that reason will be positive if you now twin your efforts to have a final say and vote on the final result.
We have seen in Greece the rise of a far-left government. In Spain, there is a similar upsurge. In France, Marine Le Pen and the Front National are closer to power than at any time previously. In Britain, the anger of the ‘have-nots’ has so far been contained — probably because unemployment has been kept down. But it would only take mismanagement of welfare benefits and an excessively high national living wage to change that.
Clearly not everyone who voted Leave is a racist thicko, just like not every immigrant is a jihadi. There are legitimate concerns on both sides of the debate, but I do not see how it is helpful to characterise millions of people in this way.
It can seem like a language that the privileged use to sneer at the poor: a kind of moral snobbery. A striking social division has been exposed in this vote.
I dont know about you but I’m ashamed that the world of ever-closer union among countries which for centuries would kill each other by the million—came to a shattering end on Thursday.
I am also embarrassed and disappointed that your country has been manipulated by the xenophobic, racist and above all incorrect facts that have been spread by a vocal minority of U.K. citizens.
Business and government officials have long grumbled about EU rules and regulations but the 2008 financial crisis, subsequent economic turmoil, rise of immigration and terrorism and general European malaise accelerated concerns about the relative merits of EU membership, particularly on the political right
British advocates of Brexit argue that issues of sovereignty and self-government should override economic ones but as a generation that is digitally connected to other young people across the world, you should be the generation which understands what the European Union is about more than any other, because you have grown up as European citizens.
So clearly, this all comes down to whether life is better or worse separate from the EU.
It is difficult to foresee any tangible benefits in leaving – economic, political or security – that would outweigh remaining and helping to reform the EU, unless the EU disintegrates.
Whatever the outcome of the British and EU negotiations, afterwards Europe will not be able to shy away from a few much-needed debates and significant reforms.
WE ALL KNOW: WHETHER YOUR ENGLISH, SPANISH, FRENCH OR FROM ONE OF THE OTHER COUNTRIES CURRENTLY IN THE EU, BLACK OR WHITE- MUSLIM OR WHAT EVER RELIGION, THAT THE WORLD WE ALL LIVING IN IS IN A MESS IN MORE WAYS THAN ONE.
The picture above is not the world. The picture below is the world.
We are better together and celebrating our multi-cultural, immigration-shaped society.
This isn’t about saying whether young people in England were right and wrong, but it’s clear that they see themselves as citizens of Europe, and quite possibly the world, rather than the UK.
Is there a future for the European Union?
If so, what is it necessary to do, to give a future to this European Union?
More specifically, what is the role of new generations in the rescue operations and in ensuring continuity to the European project?
In the world we live in, acting alone is neither possible nor desirable.
Total independence from others is not possible, even outside the context of the European project, because in a global world we are all deeply connected. Thus, when dealing with issues that go beyond any single state’s borders, it is in every country’s interests to be able to participate in the international regulation and decision-making process.
Europe is obviously much more than a market, after all; it is a cultural space, simultaneously bemusing and splendidly diverse, complementary and enriching.
Europe is more than “Brussels”.
And Europe is not a bureaucratic monster, not a tribe of petty-minded technocrats making the lives of decent citizens a misery with their rules and regulations, but it will never be possible to preserve all the things we value about Europe without a European political framework.
Capitalism, we should not forget, is still capitalism.
Anyone who believes that the blessings of the market can spare us the hard work of solving political, social and ecological problems, who thinks that a single nation alone can triumph in the arena of global financial capitalism, is making a terrible mistake.
Such a fragile cultural entity as Europe can only survive in today’s world of conflict if it is politically strong and – whatever the differences – fundamentally united.
Is it too much to hope that a continent that has succeeded since 1945 – after two horrific wars – in turning enemies into neighbours and mistrustful neighbours into cooperative partners and sometimes even friends might turn out to be a reliable force for peace in the turmoil of the twenty-first century, a bastion of freedom and democracy, a promoter of fruitful communication with other influential regions?
The political Europe was never the great leveler, and never will be. Its raison d’être is its diversity, its vital energy, its obstinacy.
Europe is not the navel of the world, not the yardstick by which all other regions of the world are to be judged.
Europe is a historic continent, perhaps the historic continent par excellence. What singles Europe out most of all is that all the greatest crimes and mistakes have already been made here, and we Europeans have felt the punishment.
None of our problems can be solved by isolating ourselves or expanding into supposedly empty lands. We cannot just “go west!” Unlike the Americans, we know – even if we sometimes appear to forget it – that we can only live in peace if we also pay heed to the other side’s interests.
Don’t let anyone persuade you that we – the rest of Europe – want to take away your different-ness, your obstinacy, your trouble-making.
We need you in Europe precisely because you are so different from us. And you?
Would it be impertinent to suggest that you need us too, if you are to fulfil your potential? And if that is true – or at least not completely false – would it not be a rather poor idea to abandon Project Europe? I think so.
Of course, if the United Kingdom were to leave the EU, it would still be a member of NATO – and it is noteworthy that precisely its most significant partner in the alliance has stated its preference for a strong and united European Union that can act decisively in matters of security and defence.
Now is not the time to turn inwards.
It is obvious, therefore, that the Eurozone project is not solely a matter of a technical-parametric economic optimum calculation, but primarily a political issue.
So what is ultimately at stake in the Brexit debate?
It is only partially about Britain. A British exit would return the UK to its pre-modern constitution. For the EU, Brexit could favour a rebalancing of EU law in favour of social and environmental rights. But it is more likely that the neoliberal turn in EU law would continue as there are many factors now driving it, separately from British influence.
The EU, as much as the UK, is in need of a constitutional settlement which addresses the risks posed by market fundamentalism.
The notion of regaining sovereignty as a solution to the problems we face as Europeans, and Britons, is an oversimplification on the part of those who believe that it is possible to live in a world that no longer exists.
I am certain that the British do not really want to turn their backs on us continental Europeans after all we have been through together.
Europe is above all an ever-changing cultural cosmos that can only flourish if all its parts are permitted to be themselves. Anything else is codswallop.
If you get any group in society that doesn’t have a voice, they’re always going to feel nervous and out of control for the future.
Its time for the Youth of England with the support of Young Europeans to combine in a movement to be heard.
If not should I comfort myself with the thought that national egotisms and separatists are proliferating in many other European countries too.
Never. I deeply love the world, but it would be nothing without its people.
All the selfies, or social media won’t make you a better person, or help you with a fantastic opportunity to engage with politics and have your opinions heard.
Let’s call it Smart by not leaving it to Money, Profit, Arms Sales and I am all right Jacks to shape our lives.