Around thirty cultural, civil, and political public figures called for ‘a reinvention of Europe’ through a column published in seven European newspapers, including the Le Soir, on Sunday.
“We respect the British public’s vote, and are saddened by their choice. However, it is crucial we don’t let Brexit sap our energy. On the contrary, we must use it to revive Europe. Europeans have to reinvent themselves, and rise up to the considerable challenges ahead”, the column reads. This ‘instruction manual for a new European renaissance’ was initiated by Guillaume Klossa, the founder of the European think-tank EuropaNova. It proposes ‘a reinforcement of democracy and European civil culture, better security, defence and civil protection for European citizens, and a welcome and integration strategy for refugees. It continues, ‘if that fails, we need to prepare long-term conditions for refugees returning to their home countries’. It also mentions ‘a new European industrial policy’, the ‘completion of the Eurozone’, and the ‘creation of an Erasmus program for secondary school children’.
The column was published by the Journal du Dimanche (France), Bild am Sontag (Germany), Le Soir (Belgium), La Stampa (Italy), Publico (Portugal), Tageblatt (Luxemburg), and Gazeta Wyborcza (Poland). Among the signatures are Michel Barnier, Daniel Cohn-Bendit, Joschka Fischer, the writer Roberto Saviano, and the mathmaticien Cédric Vilani. “To realise our ambition, we need you, the citizens of the Union member states, to continue our work. Debate, contradict, or add to our propositions”, the text says.” The European Union must belong to everyone once more, and not just those that want to destroy it”.