The European Union and its Member States have hit a big rock. The governments have been seeking to meet the challenges of the 21st Century, ranging from climate change through to mass migration and polarization of wealth through to terrorism using the political instruments of the 19 Century.
The time has come for a shift in paradigms. This implies not just a “bit more Europe” or a “bit more economic growth” or “fewer carbon emissions”, it means questioning the basic principles by which our politics and economic models function. Can we not find new meaning to our life together with new approaches to consumption using the sharing/platform economy and 3-D printing/closed loop production? Is it not time to introduce a Universal Basic Income – globally! – combined with a flat tax on wealth earned? And why do we still have decisions being taken in Brussels by people who only have a national legitimacy and perspective, whilst the challenges are pan-European or global?
In this context, #CitizensRoute73 comes at an excellent moment. In the short window of opportunity between the Dutch/French elections and the up-coming German/Italian elections, there is a chance to plant the seeds of a new future, and ironically, to plant them in the earth that has been laid bare by the UK tearing itself out of its European soil. The 73 seats formerly allocated to UK MEPs can be the basis for a block of transnationally elected individuals, who should also become part of the European Executive – running the College of Commissioners. But such major changes will not happen as and of themselves: it is our joint challenge in Louvain-La-Neuve to kick such a process into play, by proving that European policies do not have to be the shapeless agglomeration of national compromises, but that truly mobilizing platforms – new paradigms – can be called into life on the European level, and that only with a trans-national election, will such platforms see the light of day.