Basic overview: Introducing Fraternité2020
In this section you shall learn more about what Fraternité2020 is about. To that end, we have crafted a manifesto which summarizes our petition in under one page. If you like the manifesto, we suggest you take a look at the ‘frequently asked questions’ (FAQ) section afterwards, which should address most of the questions that come up while reading it. Finally, in this section we try to compile reasons why to support this initiative.
The process of European integration has come to a point where it cannot proceed without the active participation of the citizens of Europe! The unification of Europe has in the past mainly focused on political and economic aspects, leaving the integration of civil society at the margins of its agenda. We think the time has come to change the focus of the EU and to put the citizens of Europe first in the process of European integration. This will in time lead to a united Europe at grass-roots level. We acknowledge that increased efforts from citizens themselves will be necessary to achieve this goal, which is largely outside the scope of national political parties.
We, the supporters of this initiative, ask the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission to implement the following changes:
Goal 1: EU Budget
20 billion Euros yearly for programmes such as Erasmus, Leonardo da Vinci, Youth in Action etc. Impediments shall be reduced and financial grants increased to enhance the attractiveness of these programmes. Spending time in a foreign country is an extremely valuable experience and shall be made accessible to as many people as possible!
Goal 2: Open EVS
The upper age limit for doing a European Voluntary Service (currently set at 30 years) shall be scrapped to give all people, irrespective of their age, the chance to experience Europe and help others. Increased efforts shall be made for volunteers to fully integrate into the host society, e.g. by offering language classes and classes about the host country’s traditions, history, customs etc. throughout the service.
Goal 3: Create OMC
An Open Method of Coordination shall be initiated to ensure that 20% of Europeans have voluntarily spent at least 20 weeks in another European country (with a different native language) by the year 2020. Eurobarometer surveys shall regularly explore if citizens are aware of European exchange opportunities and, if yes, reasons why these opportunities are not taken up.
A united Europe cannot be achieved solely on a political or technocratic basis. We need to get Europe into the heads and lives of ordinary citizens! This initiative shall be completely unaffiliated to any political party or movement. We believe that a united Europe will have to be achieved first and foremost on a civil society level. To that end, we call on academics, cosmopolitans and artists to speak up in public about the benefits and, in fact, the necessity of implementing the policy changes envisioned in this initiative to attain a common European identity – the original finalité of the ‘European Dream’.