On the 2nd of February 2021, what would have been President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing’s ninety-fifth birthday, Re-Imagine Europa announced the launch of its activities for its contribution to the Conference on the Future of Europe.
Just before her formal appointment as President-elect of the European Commission in July 2019, Ursula von der Leyen presented her political guidelines for the mandate 2019-2024 – including the proposal to set up a Conference on the Future of Europe, which would become an opportunity to hear citizens and hold discussions on the way forward for the European project, its institutions and core mission. The Conference should be launched in 2021 and last for two years. It aims to have a long term look at the future of the European Union, with particular focus on what reforms should be made to its policies and institutions.
During the Advisory Board meeting in September 2020, President Giscard d’Estaing confirmed that Re-Imagine Europa should build a series of activities to contribute to this debate and bring new ideas to the table. Starting from the open letter “For the Europe of Tomorrow” published earlier in 2020 in twelve European languages by some of the leading newspapers of the continent, the aim is to propose bold and concrete new ideas that respond to European citizens’ concerns.
Re-Imagine Europa’s contribution aims to develop a vision on the role of Europe in the new world that is gradually emerging from the pandemic. The European Union’s centrality in preserving our common values, like the dignity of the human being, freedom, democracy, the rule of law, and peace, will form the basis of Re-Imagine Europa’s approach. These particular circumstances could be our last chance to build a fair, inclusive society for future generations and prevent the world from falling back into the tragic mistakes of the past.
Re-Imagine Europa will be working closely with its board members, strategic partners and knowledge partners. The objective of the effort is to build on the vision of a system which is based on the contribution of all, which leaves none of its citizens behind and allows for balancing rights and obligations, according to the traditional values of democracy and equality of which Europe is the founder and custodian.
Spurred on by social movements and climate change protests around the world, the emergence of new narratives is challenging existing value systems and creating increased polarization in society. Narratives both adapt to describe new realities and are pivotal tools for understanding the changes occurring. Research in cognitive science suggests that narratives play a primary role in decision making wherever there is uncertainty.
The ﬁnancial, economic, social and political crises that have ravaged Europe call for a paradigm shift, placing innovation, climate change and social and economic equity on the top of the European agenda. The work of the coming twelve months will include brainstorming sessions, working groups and expert meetings, working closely with our board members, strategic partners, and knowledge partners.
The presentation and launch of Re-Imagine Europa’s proposals will be held in exactly one year. The event will take place on the 2nd of February 2022, a reminder of the inspiration and contribution of our founder President Giscard d’Estaing to the European project and his hope that, in this ever-changing world, the younger generations will continue to work for a stronger and better Europe!
If you are interested in contributing to these discussions and in helping to build innovative ideas, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org