What Europe needs are symbolic acts that will awaken people’s emotions. It is not enough to address only the rational mind. How about introducing for example, a Day of Peace, a European holiday that all of us could enjoy together?
I was born in 1955; I am part of the happy generation that got to experience all the positive sides of our beautiful Europe. But the next generation doesn’t carry the experience of our community in their hearts. The reason is that they don’t have any living examples of how positive Europe’s freedom, prosperity and cultural community and diversity are for every one of us. Europe’s agenda and our awareness of it are shaped by politicians who pursue their own national interests. Just think of Margaret Thatcher. With her handbag and her “No”, she exemplified this attitude.
It would be so much better if our politicians took their oath on Europe! If If they didn’t only swear to work toward the best interests of the German or the French nation, but also the European people. An official oath on Europe, to be solemnly sworn before the European flag, could provide an emotionally stirring moment. That’s what we lack so painfully in Europe.
Europe is one great economic area. We cannot afford to be jealous of the fact that Europe’s financial business is concentrated in London or the machine building industry in Germany. We must foster the strengths our countries have so that everybody gets a bigger share. That’s what emotions mean to me: I don’t only know, I also feel that it is right for us to live together in Europe.