Let us be the change we want to see in Europe.

« With more than 100 far right anti-Europe MPs elected to the European Parliament, a quarter of which are French, and a record abstention, the European elections were a shock and a failure.

Yet Europeans for the most part remain committed to the European Union and the majority of citizens in the euro zone are in favor of the common currency.

Europeans want a Europe that protects them against fratricidal wars, a Europe which guarantees freedom, democracy, and a solid respect for human rights.

Europe must no longer be the scapegoat for our own shortcomings.
All European laws are approved by the countries of the Union, the European Parliament as well as the national parliaments. It is not the Brussels Commission who decides; we do !

So how can we strengthen this economic and political institutional bulwark against our nationalistic and fascist adversaries?

The parties must at long last understand what is at stake and take the steps required from within these European institutions in order to increase their influence.

So let’s update our software.
The European Union should allow the European Central Bank to buy sovereign bonds of the Member States to ease the debt burden and to stem the risk of deflation.

The EU must quickly mobilize 300 billion euros to boost the states investment power, to benefit the 100 000 local communities as well as businesses in the areas of energy transition, digital technology, transportation of the future, and of course, research and innovation.
The EU should relax the rules on public assistance, known as « State Aid », to support our industries and save and create local jobs.

The EU should establish a European Public Prosecutor for the fight against organized crime, which costs the legitimateeconomy 1,000 billion euros. It has become urgent to make the multinationals pay taxes in the states where they make their profits and harmonize corporate taxation.
The EU should encourage Europeans to get to know each other by restoring funding for Twin Cities projects and doubling theaid for the « Eurasmus for all » Program.

The EU must respect the commitments of the Millennium Objectives to provide 0.7% of GDP to emerging countries in order to eradicate extreme poverty which is at the root of the current problem of illegal immigration.

The EU needs to listen to its citizens and communicate better: by decentralizing 20% of its communication’s action, in order to support and sustain the network of cities and regions labeled « Friends of Europe », to build strong partnerships with local and national media, plan annual visits from a European Commissioner to eachregion and impose the brand name « European Union ».

« Nationalism is war, » said François Mitterrand in Strasbourg in 1995, in order to alert the people to the danger of thinking only of themselves. So resist the « euro bashing. » Act for a more cohesive, stronger Europe to enhance growth and stimulate employment.

Let us be the change we want to see in Europe.

Christophe Rouillon
Mayor of Coulaines (Sarthe, France)
Vice-président of France Mayor association in charge of european affairs