Europe in Our Hearts.

Crowd in London, Spotlight Europe
How can we foster patriotic feelings for Europe amongst 500 million? (Flickr:The CBI/licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Intellectual discussions on Europe do have their values. They are essential, there are no doubts. But bringing 500 million citizens to grow closer together can be better built with emotions. Emotionally we need to create a common feeling so that the 500 million within the European Union are all inlanders and not foreigners any more.

“When will 500 million citizens obtain a European passport?”

When will 500 million citizens obtain a European passport?
In addition to the national passport within a period of transition.
This will cause immense legal implications but the issue should not hold up what is good for Europe.

It seems to me to be a human behaviour that it needs a common problem or a common threat in order to be united. The Soviet Union in the past. Russia today? Wouldn´t it be much more desirable to be united for a common opportunity? And what a great opportunity the European Union is providing. A new fantastic horizon for all, especially for the young.

My observation is that especially many young people, well understandable, take all the wonderful achievements of the European Union for granted as they have not seen otherwise but place their focus on current matters in Brussels. The sometimes tough discussions, the poor egoistic style amongst politicians and worst of all, media, that publishes which president or chancellor is the winner of a negotiation.

Have we ever heard a journalist telling us that Europe is the winner?

We should not forget that we need to win hearts and minds of all 500 million for the European Union. Not only the elite. Students having participated in the Erasmus programs, school students who enjoyed exchanges with their peers in other countries, managers having worked within various EU countries. All these are excellent ambassadors for the European Union but they are a small minority. A most valuable minority, but still a minority.

“[W]e need to approach the national mass media and convince them to write appropriately critical […]”

Then, how can we convince the mind and heart of the other 90% of people in Europe?
Not an easy task at all. Since these people do not experience Europe by personally meeting other Europeans or through international business, we need to approach the national mass media and convince them to write appropriately critical but fair and respectful about other countries. And national politicians should refrain from taking applause for good news and exporting responsibility to Brussels for bad news. A very detrimental attitude towards our noble goals.

Media should at any time place critique on any current issues, on new laws, on political representatives of the EU but not on the noble cause of the European Union.

How can we foster patriotic feelings for Europe amongst 500 million?
Not only by reflecting on Europe´s great cultures but:
By creating awareness for the great joint achievements of Europe to be proud of.

• The current Philae space mission. Europe before America on a comet.

• By making everyone aware that the Airbus planes are a great European achievement. A perfect example: No single EU country would have been able to build such planes, competing most sucessfully with the US giant Boeing. Providing high tech jobs for over 120.000 people in Europe.
And many more.

And then…

• Should Europe not build its own Amazon or Google?

• Should we not have a common television channel in our different languages, the same programme and at the same time? A regular programme. Movies, news, entertainment et. al.

• Why don´t we employ native English speaking teachers from the U.K. or Ireland in all EU countries? The same in other languages.

• We could establish European teams in different sports competing with North America or Latin America, Asia and Africa, Australia and Oceania.

• Should we not invite well known, popular, respected European personalities giving public testimonials on the values of Europe as part of an advertising campaign?
(movie stars, sportsmen, singers, astronauts et. al.)
Example: “Nowhere in the World you can find so many great cultures within a three Hours` flight than in Europe.”

• We should install an EU exchange center. All EU nations have talent, experience and ideas which are beneficial to all members of the EU. Let us collect and exchange this most valuable asset and make it available to all.

• We should install a “European protection force.” 1.000 specialists joining from all our countries, stationed in the center of Europe, state of the art equipment, deployed in any EU region within 24 hours, fighting major fires, helping in the aftermath of earth quakes or floods. Then we can promise each single EU citizens that he, she is protected by 500 million people.

• We should install a “European protection fund”- say each country pays 1 Euro per citizen into the fund per year to compensate and to rebuild immediately damaged houses, farms and factories destroyed by a natural catastrophy. And again, we could promise each EU citizens that he, she is protected by 500 million people.

We Europeans, we all stand up for each other.
We all are good next door neighbours to each other.

About the author:

Jochen Bender Photo Jan 2013, Spotlight EuropeJochen Bender is a passionate European. He has lived and worked in Rio de Janeiro, London and Germany. He is a developer of tourism and hotels. He travelled on business to almost sixty countries and spent a total of seven years in developing countries. More