Insights and reflections provided by MEP Miriam Dalli for Corporate Dispatch on the occasion of Europe Day.
The European Union we live in today is very different to the one we learnt to get to know until a few years ago. Over the past two years, particularly since the Brexit referedum, we have faced and still face challenges which have proven difficult, however not impossible to surmount.
We are at a delicate stage, where we must strive for unity and a better understanding of our citizens needs’ which are and should remain at the very core of this union.
Europe Day, is a day where we are reminded of the founding reasons of the first European community in 1950, where we are reminded of the aims behind the French and West German Coal and Steel community. Two big nations, which despite their differences, history and challenges, overcame the odds and ignited a flame of hope that has led to the European Union we know today.
This serves as the perfect example of just how much the European nations can achieve if they unite together, strive and work in unity towards common goals.
With the ever looming dangerous realities of climate change, poverty, youth unemployment, fake news, conflict and political uncertainty in the Levant, nationalism and populism, now more than ever before, the world needs a ready and united Europe Union. Ultimately, unity is strength and power.
The dangers of the rise in populism and nationalism within the European Union cannot go unnoticed or ignored. If we ignore the obvious sign then they will continue to grow and eat away at our core values, making it impossible for people across the EU to grow together as one people.
I believe that it is only by reaching out more to our citizens that we can effect change. I feel it is our mission as politicians to show citizens that we can move forward together and helping one another, not by imposing our ideas or acting for personal gain, but by being their voice in order to ensure that quality of life, wellbeing, environment and working conditions are improved for all.
Nationalism manages to deceive people into thinking that one nation or people are superior to others and that alone one nation can be stronger. History, , has however taught us that the seeds of nationalism sowed by deceitful populist politics have too often reaped war and regression of our people.
I do understand however that citizens have doubts, particularly about the state of the current European Union and its capability to face the challenges that we are confronting today. However, this is the time when we should move our societies forward together so that we would be able to reform the European Union of today.
The importance of the European Union to the younger generations cannot be understated or overlooked. The very future of the union depends on today’s youths and their understanding of what a united European Union really means to them and the rest of the world.
Continuing to engage the younger generations is critical to the continuation of the European community that we really need. One where our ambitions to protect, empower and enhance social rights can help us prepare ourselves for the challenges of the future. The necessary investment in educating and improving the quality of life of the younger generations can never be too time consuming. Ultimately it is an investment which will be beneficial to all present and future generations.
It is up to us, the representatives of the youth, to ensure that social, educational and cultural benefits of being part of the European Union reach every single youth. We do not afford to have disenchanted youths. We need to engage them and involve them further. Our youths are agents of change because a retreat to nationalism and extremism won’t deliver a brighter future.
In 1950, when the the French and West German Coal and Steel community came together to form the first European community, there was more reason for it to fail than we have today, yet through hard work, unity and perseverance they succeeded and laid the foundations for the European dream we now know today.
Looking ahead is pivotal to success, however looking back from time to time is just as essential. If anything it serves as a reminder of our roots and the reasons why we overlooked our differences and nationalistic ideologies form something greater and better.