For quite a while now we, the member organizations which work together for the project called Foundations for Futures Europe, have been trying to attract attention to the practices and theory behind the enterprise called EU. We have talked and talked, organised workshops and events, read data and research, written blogposts, tweets and Face Book posts, yet I feel we haven’t done enough to address the issue. “What is that?” you may ask. It is none other than the question in the title of the project “where is the EU going, if anywhere”.
No one can answer that simply, however, unless we sit down, close our eyes and imagine how we would like our lives to be say, 50 years from now we may end up living to regret not thinking about it. The answer may depend on which country we are coming from, which political system our state is run by, how much money we have in our pockets, how many children we have, our religious beliefs if any, what industries prevail. It may include thinking about how much of the planet is habitable or will we have managed to destroy it; or will we decide according to how much we have done to ensure a future, how stable our economies are, how much respect and solidarity we are able to show, how many cultures we have managed to include, and how old have we managed to grow experiencing our existence in democracy, respect for human rights, social stability and environmental solidarity with each other?
Perhaps we can be assisted with our answer by our schools and political institutions which will have made sure to teach us how the EU set off nearly 70 years ago, how it developed, and why it has taken so long to become a force for good in the international sphere, or what the underlying reasons have been for the failures present in its existence.
Maybe yet, we can find solace in the fact that we have been too busy to take a longer and closer look at what lies ahead because our daily routine is filled with numerous tasks and obligations that need our attention from ensuring our subsistence and livelihood to making sure our social support systems work and our health state remains balanced so that we live longer.
One other thing we could do is compare ourselves as citizens of the EU to so many other people in far away, or not so far away places around the globe whom we believe not to be living like us, not to be agonizing like us, not to be working or striving like us and, certainly, not to have so much to lose in the process.
Are we really that different as some would have us believe? Are we educated, democratic or inclusive enough? Should we take into account the progress and development we, in the EU, have made these last 70 years? Have we been learning from our mistakes? Because if we are, if we should and if we have then the answer is obvious. And if we aren’t, we shouldn’t or we haven’t, I am sorry to say, it is equally such.