THE VENTOTENE LIGHTHOUSE
A Federalist Journal for World Citizenship

January 25, 2021
by

Join our event on Tuesday! Launching a citizen-led conference on the future of Europe.

Exciting news! We are happy to announce that we are organising a series of online events on the 15 December (starting at 17:30) & 14-15 January showcasing the vision for a dynamic, participatory and inclusive Conference on the Future of Europe.
During these sessions, decision-makers, opinion leaders, civil society activists, journalists, creators, influencers and artists, will come for a series of interactive workshops, and work together to tell the story of European democracy. There will also be a mock public hearing with MEPs that will tackle how citizens’ voices can be listened to on a more permanent basis to develop EU policy-making. Citizens are now setting the tone and agenda for the conversation about the future of Europe!

REGISTER NOW

The first event is next week, on Tuesday 15th December – 17:30 – 20:30, under the title “Better Participation: How do we get citizens to the centre of the Conference and European democracy?”
 

What will the programme be like?
We will start with a 15 mins introductory remarks in plenary, then, time to breakout in rooms: 

Breakout ROOM A: EU CAN DO IT: Saving lives with Participatory Democracy 

Speakers: Marco Cappato, President of EUMANS and co-founder of Science for Democracy, Violeta Bulc, Former EU Commissioner for Transport and co-promoter of Manifesto for European Health Union, Vytenis Andriukaitis, Former EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety and co-promoter of Manifesto for European Health Union, Roger Casale, Executive Director New Europeans, Julie Stendam, Committee of the Right to Cure European Citizens Initiative. Facilitator: Virginia Fiume, Coordinator of EUMANS.

Breakout ROOM B: MANIFESTO FOR A EUROPEAN CITIZENS’ ASSEMBLY (18:30 CET) 

Speakers: Manuel Arriaga, Fórum dos Cidadãos – Fanette Bardin, Démocratie Ouverte/Convention Citoyenne Climat – Yago Bermejo Abati, Deliberativa – Angela Jain, Nexus Institut/Bürgerrat Demokratie – Jonathan Moskovic, G1000 – Magali Plovie, President of the Brussels French-speaking Parliament – Yves Sintomer (tbc), Universitè de Paris 8 – Philipp Verpoort, Sortition Foundation Coordination: Michele Fiorillo, Civico Europa and Lorenzo Mineo, Eumans

Breakout ROOM C: TAKING OVER VS TAKING COVER – THE NEXUS OF CLIMATE CHANGE, PANDEMIC OUTBREAKS AND THE CHALLENGES TO DEMOCRACY

Round-Table with: Maia Mazurkiewicz (Head of Intelligence, Alliance4Europe), Mogens Blicher Bjerregård (President, European Federation of Journalists) and Elias G. Carayannis (Professor of science, technology, innovation and entrepreneurship, George Washington University) Engagement of other participants with comments and then discussion within the panel and the audience as the time allows.

The conclusions of the day will be presented in a 30 mins plenary starting at 20:00.

Remember that participants must register to receive their login details! We hope to see you there 🙂

REGISTER NOW


For a strong Child Guarantee and a Next Generations EU fund for Europe’s future generations

Within the European Union, even before the pandemic, 23 million children were at risk of poverty and social exclusion. The financial difficulties endured by European families due to Covid-19 as well as the disruption in early childhood education and care (ECEC) services have further strained an already perilous situation. 

That is why over 300 prominent figures from the world of politics, academia and civil society that have already signed this call.and invites you to join this call for a Child Union built on three objectives: 

  1. A rapid entry into force of the European Child Guarantee
  2. The development of an investments ecosystem for European children starting with a correct planning of the Next Generation EU funding
  3. Guaranteed equal access to quality and inclusive early childhood education and care for all

You can sign this Call below and share the link with your network! The call is available in different languages on the website of PES group Committee of the Regions.

The Ventotene Lighthouse also invites you to sign this Call.

The Call

Within the borders of the European Union, already before the pandemic, 23 million children were at risk of poverty or social exclusion. The financial difficulties endured by European families in this period as well as the disruption in educational and care services have added additional strain to an already worrisome situation. The public health restrictions brought about by the pandemic have made it hard for many to keep up with their education, leading some to drop out of school altogether. The inability to socialise with their peers has impacted children’s mental health. The consequences have been very unequal depending on socio-economic background, even as poverty has worsened.

The impact of the pandemic on children’s inequalities is uneven and alarming. For this reason, we call for a renewed effort of European Institutions towards attaining a Child Union, a union that guarantees equal opportunities to all children, and a prompt action to deliver on the Child Guarantee and on a Next Generation EU that truly works for Europe’s next generations.

There are little doubts that the fragility of Europe is the result of increased inequalities and a protracted undermining of welfare, which have made our society more vulnerable to economic, environmental, and, as we have seen, health crises.

Our children are the key to building more just and sustainable societies. Overwhelming evidence shows that inequalities in life chances are already formed in the early years of life and are largely passed on through generations. At present, many families with young children are without adequate support, and only half of EU member states have reached the EU objective of a 33% coverage for early childhood education and care (ECEC) below the age of 3.

The figures that EUROSTAT provides would be worrying even without the COVID-19 effect. In 9 countries, less than 1 out of 5 children enjoys childcare, and that is usually the one from a better off household. It is in fact worrisome that the take up of ECEC services is much lower among children from disadvantaged families, children with special needs, low income households and people living in rural and remote areas.

The figures that EUROSTAT provides would be worrying even without the COVID-19 effect. In 9 countries, less than 1 out of 5 children enjoys childcare, and that is usually the one from a better off household. It is in fact worrisome that the take up of ECEC services is much lower among children from disadvantaged families, children with special needs, low income households and people living in rural and remote areas.

In some countries less than 20% of these children are part of any kind of ECEC, compared to more than 70% among the top income households. A study led by FEPS and partners finds that European 0 to 3 years old children from the bottom 40% socio-economic status are about 15% more likely to attain average scores once teenagers, if they have access  to childcare at the age of 1 or 2. The study highlights that welfare provisions do impact children’s later education outcomes, whereas for instance where women’s employment rate are above the EU average and where both parents are eligible for parental leave, children from disadvantaged households can more easily achieve good educational results.  

This indicates that unless we provide quality and inclusive services, care and education in early years in Europe remains a means for children from better off households to achieve their best potential rather than a means to reduce inequalities and eradicate social exclusion. 

As progressives, we demand a systemic transformation: the end of ECEC as demand-driven service and the beginning of an era where it is an entitlement for every child. A legal and social right enshrined in European law, building on the European Pillar of Social Rights. 

The EU possesses the capacity for policy innovation and the political strength to facilitate a new era of support and development for all European children and to address such very stubborn trends of inequality. To this end, as progressive leaders, scholars and activists from across Europe, our vision for a Child Union is grounded on the following objectives: 

1. A rapid entry into force of the European Child Guarantee.

Many members of the European Parliament and the whole progressive family have called for a European Child Guarantee to tackle the multidimensional aspects of child poverty.

The Child Guarantee would ensure that every European child in or at risk of poverty has access to quality and free early childcare, along with health care, education, decent housing, and adequate nutrition. Negotiations are ongoing and all efforts must be made to ensure that the Child Guarantee becomes an integral part of EU policy. This includes a dedicated budget of 20 billion Euros and binding financing commitments for the Member States in their ESF+ national programmes. 

2. Develop an investments ecosystem for European children starting with a correct planning of the Next Generation EU funding. 

With children bearing the brunt of so much of the pandemic’s blows, the Child Union should become a fundamental pillar in Europe’s recovery strategy. This requires re-calibrating National Recovery Plans towards the care services of Europe’s future generations. 

An investment ecosystem for European children should build on the Child Guarantee, the Recovery and Resilience Facility, Structural Funds and national resources to enhance the effective delivery of quality and inclusive ECEC services for all, with a special focus on the most vulnerable children and families. 

3. Guarantee equal access to quality and inclusive early childhood education and care for all. 

European law should ensure child rights and legal entitlements with universal and affordable public provisions for all and dedicated resources for disadvantaged and at-risk children. Promoting quality and inclusiveness are key priorities. This involves: i) providing teachers with decent salaries and training to equip Europe’s next generation with the 21st century skills they need to succeed; ii) strengthening children’s emancipation and their role as agents of change; iii) facilitating the involvement and participation of parents and communities; iv) capitalizing on the synergies that ECEC has with social protection and labour policies. In fact, to tackle structural inequalities as risk factors for children’s development, income support measures for children, active labour market policies, particularly for female employment; decent minimum wages guaranteed by law or collective bargaining, and adequate gender-neutral parental leaves are decisive.

The COVID-19 pandemic has posed new and dramatic challenges to vulnerable households. As experts, activists and policymakers we think that it is time to raise Europe’s ambitions and put forward this strong call for a Child Union. This expresses the demand to the EU to raise to the expectations of its citizens and ensure wellbeing not only through Banking Union, Capital Markets Union, Energy Union and other economic cooperation, but through a Social Union that has a strong mandate on the wellbeing of every child.

EUROPEAN POLICYMAKERS

Brando Benifei, Member of the European Parliament, Rapporteur on the European Child Guarantee and President of the Spinelli Group

Agnes Jongerius, Member of the European Parliament, Chair of the PES Social Europe Network

Victor Negrescu, Member of the European Parliament, Rapporteur on the EU digital education strategy

Marc Tarabella, Member of the European Parliament and Mayor of Anthisnes

Sergei Stanishev, President of the Party of European Socialists

Iratxe Garcia Perez, President of the S&D Group and Member of the European Parliament

Zita Gurmai, Member of the Hungarian Parliament and President of PES Women

Christophe Rouillon, President of the PES Group in the European Committee of the Regions, Vice-President of the Association of French Mayors and Mayor of Coulaines

Maria João Rodrigues, President of FEPS and Chair of the PES Economic and Financial Network

László Andor, Secretary General of FEPS and former European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusiveness

Klára Dorev, Vice President of the European Parliament, S&D Group

Alicia Homs, Member of the European Parliament and President of the Young European Socialists

Margarida Marques, Member of the European Parliament

Udo Bullmann, Member of the European Parliament

Elisabetta Gualmini, Member of the European Parliament

Estrella Dura Ferrandis, Member of the European Parliament

Massimiliano Smeriglio, Member of the European Parliament

Tonino Picula, Member of the European Parliament

Pau Mari Klose, Member of the Spanish Parliament 

Sylvie Guillaume, Member of the European Parliament

Ibán García del Blanco, Member of the European Parliament

Josianne Cutajar,  Member of the European Parliament

Rovana Plumb, Member of the European Parliament

Aurore Lalucq, Member of the European Parliament

Carmen Gabriela Avram, Member of the European Parliament

Csaba Molnár, Member of the European Parliament

Sándor Rónai, Member of the European Parliament

Attila Ara-Kovács, Member of the European Parliament

Isabel Carvalhais, Member of the European Parliament 

Vilija Blinkevičiūtė, Member of the European Parliament 

Tanja Fajon, Member of the European Parliament

Eva Kaili, Member of the European Parliament

Monika Beňová, Member of European Parliament and Quaestor

Juozas Olekas, Member of the European Parliament

Cyrus Engerer, Member of the European Parliament

Costas Mavrides, Member of the European Parliament

Isabel Carvalhais, Member of the European Parliament

Isabel Coelho Santos, Member of the European Parliament

Pedro Marques, Member of the European Parliament

Javier Moreno Sánchez, Member of the European Parliament

Paul Tang, Member of the European Parliament

István Ujhelyi, Member of the European Parliament

Alex Agius Saliba, Member of the European Parliament

Domènec Ruiz Devesa, Member of the European Parliament

Mohammed Chahim, Member of the European Parliament

Patrizia Toia, Member of the European Parliament

Alessandra Moretti, Member of the European Parliament

Pina Picierno, Member of the European Parliament

Heléne Fritzon, Member of the European Parliament

Caterina Chinnici, Member of the European Parliament 

Tsvetelina Penkova, Member of the European Parliament

Romana Jerković, Member of the European Parliament

Clara Aguilera, Member of the European Parliament

César Luena, Member of the European Parliament

Javi López, Member of the European Parliament

Nora Mebarek, Member of the European Parliament

Gabriele Bischoff, Member of the European Parliament

Miapetra Kumpula-Natri, Member of the European Parliament

Adriana Maldonado, Member of the European Parliament

Carlos Zorrinho,Member of the European Parliament

Evelyn Regner, Member of the European Parliament

Predrag Fred Matić, Member of the European Parliament

Csaba Molnár, Member of the European Parliament

Bettina Vollath, Member of the European Parliament

Adrian-Dragos Benea, Member of the European Parliament

Manuel Pizarro, Member of the European Parliament

Biljana Borzan, Member of the European Parliament

Demetris Papadakis, Member of the European Parliament

Nils Usakovs, Member of the European Parliament

Andreas Schieder, Member of the European Parliament

Petra Kammerevert, Member of the European Parliament

Milan Brglez, Member of the European Parliament

Ismail Ertug, Member of the European Parliament

Mònica Silvana González, Member of the European Parliament

Cristina Maestre, Member of the European Parliament

Isabel Garcia Munoz, Member of the European Parliament

Maria-Manuel Leitão-Marques, Member of the European Parliament

Miroslav Číž, Member of the European Parliament

Eric Andrieu, Member of the European Parliament

Hannes Heide, Member of the European Parliament

Roby Biwer, Vice President, European Committee of the Regions and Member of Bettembourg Municipal Council

Enrique Barón Crespo, President of FEPS Scientific Council and former President of the European Parliament

Ana Pirtskhalava, Secretary General of the Young European Socialists

Elisha Winckel, Vice President of the Young European Socialists

Sara Costa, Vice President of the Young European Socialists

Chiara Malagodi, Deputy Secretary-General, PES Group in the European Committee of the Regions

Christina Schauer, President, International Falcon Movement – Socialist Educational International (IFM-SEI)

Ellen Lindsey Awuku, Vice President, IFM-SEI

Jasmin Trogen, Presidium member, IFM-SEI

Ruba Hilal, Secretary-General, International Falcon Movement – Socialist Educational International (IFM-SEI)

NATIONAL POLICYMAKERS

Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, Former President of Malta and President Eurochild 

Concepción Andreu Rodríguez, President of La Rioja Region and Vice President of the PES Group in the European Committee of the Regions

Elio Di Rupo, Minister-President of Wallonia and Member of the European Committee of the Regions

Rudi Vervoort, Minister-President of the Brussels-Capital Region and Member of the European Committee of the Regions

Paul Magnette, President of the Belgian Parti Socialiste and Mayor of Charleroi

Karl-Heinz Lambertz, President of the Parliament of the German-Speaking Community of Belgium and Member of the European Committee of the Regions

Sandra Zampa, Undersecretary of State, Italian Ministry of Health

Pascal Smet, Secretary of State of the Brussels-Capital Region, responsible for Urbanism and Heritage, European and International Relations, Foreign Trade and Fire fighting and Emergency medical Assistance, Government of the Brussels Capital Region and Member of the European Committee of the Regions

Celso González, Regional Minister for Finance and Public Administrations, Government of La Rioja and Member of the European Committee of the Regions

Fernando Medina, Mayor of Lisbon and Member of the European Committee of the Regions

Juan Espadas Cejas, Mayor of Sevilla and Member of the European Committee of the Regions

Rachid Madrane, Président du Parlement de la Région de Bruxelles-Capitale 

Antonio Mazzeo, President, Regional Council of Tuscany 

Virginio Merola, Mayor of Bologna and Member of the European Committee of the Regions

Kata Tüttő, Deputy Mayor of Budapest and Member of the European Committee of the Regions

Arianna Censi, Deputy Mayor of the Metropolitan City of Milan and Member of the European Committee of the Regions

Karin Wanngård, Opposition Vice Mayor of Stockholm and Member of the European Committee of the Regions

Elke Decruynaere, Deputy Mayor, City of Ghent

Luca Vecchi, Mayor of Reggio Emilia

Jelena Pavicic Vukicevic, Deputy Mayor, City of Zagreb and Member of the European Committee of the Regions

Lambelin Anne, Vice Présidente du Parti socialiste belge, PS

Tom Jungen, Secretary general, Luxembourg Socialist Workers’ Party – LSAP and Member of the European Committee of the Regions, and Mayor of Roeser 

Jaume Bartumeu, Former Prime Minister of Andorra 

Agustin Zamarron Moreno, Member of the Spanish Parliament

Santos Cerdán León, Member of the Spanish Parliament, Secretary for Territorial Coordination and Government Relation for the PSOE and President of the Pablo Iglesias Foundation

Carmen Gayo, Director, Oficina Alto Comisionado para la lucha contra la pobreza infantil

Jernej Pikalo, former Minister of Education of Slovenia 

Martina Vuk, former State Secretary, Slovenian Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs, Equal Opportunities

Lajos Korvìzs, Member of Hungarian Parliament and Chairman of the Social Committee

Tamas Harangozo, Member of Hungarian Parliament, First Deputy Parliamentary Group Leader MSZP

Sandor Szabo, Member of Hungarian Parliament

Ildikó Bangóné Borbély, Member of the Parliament, Hungarian Socialist Party MSZP

Tommaso Nannicini, Senator and Professor at Bocconi University

Lia Quartapelle, Member of the Italian Parliament

Kimmo Kiljunen, Member of the Finnish Parliament 

Katia Segers, Senator of the Belgian Senate and Member of the Flemish Parliament

Tero Shemeikka, International Secretary, Finnish Social Democratic Party, SDP

Anne Karjalainen, Member of the Kerava City Council, Member of the European Committee of the Regions the Chair of the Commission for Social Policy, Education, Employment and Culture (SEDEC)

Gustav A. Horn, Member of the Federal Executive Board of the SPD, SPD and FEPS Scientific Advisory Council

Cecilia Gondard, Secretary National in charge of gender Equality, Parti Socialiste

Miguel Carneiro, Mayor of Vila Boa do Bispo

Silvia Costa, Italian Government extraordinary appointed for Ventotene, former MEP

Christine Jung, City Councillor of Saarbrücken

Luca Menesini, President of the Province of Lucca, Mayor of Capannori and Member of the European Committee of the Regions

Raffaella Curioni, City Councillor for Schooling and Education, Municipality of Reggio Emilia

Alessandra Medici, Local Councillor, Municipality of Guastalla 

Paul Sarrugia, President, South East Region of Malta

Aoife Breslin, Councillor, Labour Party of Ireland, and Member of the European Committee of the Regions

Enzo Bianco, Local Councillor of Catania and Member of the European Committee of the Regions

Heijo Höfer, Member of the Parliament, Landtag Rheinland-Pfalz, and Member of the European Committee of the Regions

Vojko Obersnel, Mayor of Rijeka and Member of the European Committee of the Regions

Krzysztof Matyjaszczyk, Mayor of the City of Częstochowa and Member of the European Committee of the Regions

Vladimir Prebilič, Mayor of Kočevje Municipality and Member of the European Committee of the Regions

Bayet Hughes, Mayor of Farciennes and Member of the European Committee of the Regions

Javier Vila Ferrero, Director General of European Affairs, Government of Principality of Asturias

Manuela Bora, Member of the Regional Assembly, Marche Region

Reiner Zimmer, Member of the Parliament,SPD Fraktion im saarländischen Landtag

Marika Saar, Deputy Mayor of Elva municipality

Yoomi Renström, Mayor of Ovanåker and Member of the European Committee of the Regions

Alison Gilliland, Chairperson Strategic Policy Committee for Housing, Dublin City Council, and Member of the European Committee of the Regions

Jens Christian, Council member of Haderslev Municipality and Member of the European Committee of the Regions

Mikko Aaltonen, Councilor of City of Tampere and Member of the European Committee of the Regions

Dimitrios Birmpas, Member of Municipal Council, Municipality of Egaleo and Member of the European Committee of the Regions

Guido Milana, Local Councillor of Olevano Romano and Member of the European Committee of the Regions

Isolde Ries, Vice-President of the Saarland State Parliament, Vice-President of the European Committee of the Regions

Alessandra Medici, Local Councillor of Guastalla

Othmane  Yassine, Local Councillor of Fermignano

Lieve De Bosscher, Director, Childcare Services City of Ghent

Niklas Kossow, Member, SPD Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg

Edit Herczog, Member of the supervisory board, MSZP

Ilmar Reepalu, Chair of Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions and Member of the European Committee of the Regions

Guido Rink, Vice Mayor of the municipality of Emmen and Member of the European Committee of the Regions

Filip Reinhag, Local Assembly, Gotland Region and Member of the European Committee of the Regions

Per Bødker Andersen, Councillor of Kolding Municipality and Member of the European Committee of the Regions

Samuel Gonzalez Westling, Vice Chairman of Hofors Municipality and Member of the European Committee of the Regions

Pablo Rubio Medrano, Consejero Servicios Sociales y Gobernanza Pública, Government of La Rioja

Jakub Michał Kwaśny, Head of Tarnów City Council and Alternate Member of the European Committee of the Regions

Stavros Stavrinides, Municipal Councilor of Strovolos and Member of the European Committee of the Regions

Jácint Horváth, Member of the local government, Nagykanizsa Municipality and Member of the European Committee of the Regions

Mikkel Näkkäläjärvi, Member of the City Council, City of Rovaniemi and Member of the European Committee of the Regions

Stephan Durviaux, Cabinet Director, Presidency of the Parlement de la Région de Bruxelles-Capitale

Chantal Jacquemart, Emploi, Stratégie 2030, Formation, Cabinet of the Minister-President of the Brussels-Capital Region

Albert Arcarons, Adviser to the Spanish High Commissioner against Child Poverty

Mariana Radu, Head of Division, Romanian Ministry of Justice

Mehnaz Aziz, Member of the National Assembly, National Parliament of Pakistan

CIVIL SOCIETY

Alfredo Sánchez-Monteseirín, Director, Pablo Iglesias Foundation and former Mayor of Sevilla

Mojca Kleva Kekuš, President of Društvo Progresiva

Liina Carr, Confederal Secretary, European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC)

Mikael Leyi, Secretary General, SOLIDAR Foundation

Jan Willem Goudriaan, General Secretary, European Public Services Unions (EPSU)

Jesús Gallego, Confederal Secretary for International Policy of UGT Spain

Domenico Proietti, Confederal Secretary, Unione Italiana del Lavoro (UIL)

Jana Hainsworth, Secretary General, Eurochild

Thomas Jansen, Secretary General h.c., International European Movement

Leonie Martin, President, Young European Federalists (JEF)

Gabor Harangozo, Director, Institute for Social Democracy

Fernando Savater, Philosopher

Fabrizio Barca, Coordinator, Forum Disuguaglianze e Diversità & former Minister for territorial cohesion

Enrico Giovannini, Director Italian Alliance for Sustainable Development – ASviS

Christophe Leclercq, Executive Chairman Europe’s MediaLab and Founder of Euractiv Media Network

Cristian Fabbi, President at Istituzione Nidi e Scuole dell’Infanzia del Comune di Reggio Emilia and Senior Expert on early childhood education and care, UNESCO

Elizabeth Gosme, Director, COFACE Family Europe

Chiara Piccolo, Brussels’ Representative, Alliance for Childhood European Network Group 

Réka Tunyogi, Head of Advocacy, Eurochild

Chiara Saraceno, Co-coordinator, Alleanza per l’Infanzia

Claudia Giudici, President, Reggio Children Srl

Guillaume Klossa, Founder of EuropaNova & Civico Europa

Mathijs Euwema, Director, International Child Development Initiatives (ICDI)
 

Kaisa Vatanen, Director, Kalevi Sorsa Foundation

Fabio Porcelli, Chief officer, UIL

Jackie Jones, Former MEP, Wales Assembly of Women

Benoit Van Keirsbilck, Director, Defence for Children international Belgium

Chahida Bufraquech, Education Officer, UNICEF Belgium

Szűcs Viktória, President, Hungarian Democratic Union of Nursery Workers (BDDSZ)

Anastasia Papaprokopiou, Scientific Coordinator, Society for the Development and Creative Occupation of Children (EADAP)

Yakarah Attias-Rosen, Managing Director, Learning for Well-being Foundation

Martin Seeleib-Kaiser, Chairman, Jusos Brüssel

Eric Bloemkolk, Director, SOFT tulip Foundation 

Flora Bolter, Co-director Observatoire LGBT+, Fondation Jean Jaurès

Carolien De Groot, Directeur-bestuurder, Stichting Jeugd en Samenleving Rijnland

Rebecca Riess, Director, Le Furet Petite Enfance

Ulviyya Mikayilova, Executive Director, Center for Innovations in Education

Antonio Gaudioso, Secretary General, Cittadinanzattiva 

Gwendolyn Burchell, Director, United Aid for Azerbaijan

Daiga Zaķe, Director, Center for Education Initiatives

Flavio Brugnoli, Director, Centro Studi sul Federalismo

Anna Colombo, Political adviser, S&D Group

David Rinaldi, Director of Studies & Policy, FEPS and Lecturer, ULB- Institute for European Studies

Liana Ghent, Director, International Step by Step Association (ISSA)

Denise Deshaies, President, Neohumanist Education Association

Giorgio Tamburlini, President and CEO, Centro per la Salute del Bambino

Uroš Jauševec, Secretary General, Društvo Progresiva

Michal Rybacki, Policy Officer, Young European Federalists (JEF Europe)

Odile Harvey Mear, EU Correspondant, Radio Nord Bretagne – Radio Pays de Leon

Francisco Lontro, President, Ludotempo – Associação de Promoção do Brincar

Stephen Lintott, Group coordinator, Evergreen Elfins, Cambridge Woodcraft Folk

Hugo Alexandre de Araújo, International Cooperation Officer, Instituto de Apoio à Criança 

Klervi Kerneïs, Research assistant, Jacques Delors Institute

Azra Vrevic, Teacher, Elementary school

Lien Pattyn, Teacher, Artevelde Hogeschool 

Eric Battier, Mandataire, DIDR38

Helga Ramirez, Presidente, Association USDLI

Valentina Bezzi, Regional Director, East West Consulting

Iris Skrt, Member, Progresiva Slovenija

Admira Hrelja, Social worker, Primary School Hasan Kikić

Danica Mojić, Pedagogist, Kindergarten

Nedim Krajišnik, Deputy Director, Center for educational initiatives Step by Step


Carmen Lică, Executive Director, Step by Step Center for Education & Professional Development, Romania

Cornelia Cincilei, Director, Step by Step Moldova

Mihaela Ionescu, Program Director, International Step by Step Association (ISSA)

Agata D’Addato, Senior Project Manager, Eurochild

Serena Foracchia, European policy officer, Reggio Children

Gabriela Jorquera Rojas, Technical Advisor, Spanish High Commissioner against Child Poverty

Elisabeth Helander, Finnish Member of the Bureau of AIACE International

Boros Vilma, Fellow, Institute for Social Democracy

Olesya Kravchuk, Communications Officer, International Step by Step Association (ISSA)

Teresa Moreno, Communications Officer, International Step by Step Association (ISSA)

Konstantina Rentzou, Senior Program Manager, International Step by Step Association (ISSA)

Francesca Colombo, Senior Program Officer, International Step by Step Association (ISSA)

Almudena Hernandez Raboso, CEO, Clinica Podologica Hernandez  

Karleen De Rijcke, Coordinator, Kras vzw (Poverty Network Gent)

Anke van Keulen, Director, Bureau MUTANT

Matthieu Hornung, Member of the French PS and German SPD

Anna Kun, Member of MSZP

Katerina Nanou, Senior Advocacy Advisor, Child Poverty & Children in Alternative Care, Save the Children

Juhászné Katalin, MSZP

Ildikó Lendvai, MSZP

Katalin Devanszki, Hungarian Socialist Party

Nijole Dirginciene, Birstono  savivaldybė, Savivaldybes meras

Francesca Petrucci, Project manager, Associazione 21 Luglio

Ålvaro Ferrer Blanco, Advocacy Advisor, Educational Equity, Save the Children Spain

Michele Fiorillo, Civic Network Coordinator, CIVICO Europa

Giulia Contes, Delegue thématique, FBJS

Leonor Rodrigues, Researcher, ProChild CoLAB

Joyce Koeman, Diversity policy officer, KU Leuven 

Euléane Omez, Project officer for socio-economic policies, FEPS

Borbála Kajtárné Botár, MSZP Országos Pedagógus Tagoza

Giulia Loffredi, Parliamentary Assistant, Italian Chamber of Deputies

Eero Vuohula, Finnish activist and former EU official

Angelika Striedinger, Project Manager, Renner Institut

Ana del Barrio Saiz, Trainer-advisor Diversity & Inclusion, Ana del Barrio Training & Consulting 

Matevz Marc, Manager, ProcyonStar

Deborah McCahon, Chief Executive Officer, Woodcraft Folk

Maria Rosa Cremonesi, Principal, MIUR  

Maria Iacono, early childhood educator, Voghera 

Szeredi Péter, SZDI

Pádár Lászlóné, Tag, MSZP

Lieve Baert, Eversberg, Erembodegem

Isabel Sanchez, Trainee, European Parliament

Peter Kiss, MA student, Leiden University

Adela Dobrić, Kindergarten teacher, JU Obdanište Travnik

Vera Valsecchi, Communication, A.A.G Stucchi

Luís Guimarães, Student, ISCSP

Judit Rusznákné, Activist

Marco Rantino, Studio Tecnico Rantino 

Flavio Antei, Senior Sales Specialist, American Express

Borbála Kajtárné Botár, former teacher

Valentina Del Frate, Teacher, Italian Department for Education

ACADEMIA

Maria Herczog, Institute for Human Services (Columbus, Ohio), Lecturer at Eötvös Loránd University and Director of the Family Child Youth Association (Hungary)

Mathias Urban, Desmond Chair of Early Childhood Education, Dublin City University

Vivien Schmidt, Jean Monnet Professor of European Integration, Boston University

Anton Henerijck, Professor, European University Institute

Alberto Alemanno, Jean Monnet Professor of EU Law, HEC Paris & Founder, The Good Lobby

Fabio Masini, Jean Monnet Chair on History of European Economic Governance, Università Roma Tre

Bea Cantillon, Professor, University of Antwerp, Centre for Social Policy Herman Deleeck

Christian Morabito, Senior Researcher, Save The Children Italia

Michel Vandenbroeck, Professor, University of Ghent

Elsa Fornero, Honorary Professor, University of Turin & former Minister of Labour and Social Policies

Maurizio Ferrera, Professor, University of Milan

Kalypso Nicolaïdis, Professor of International Relations, University of Oxford

Antonio Padoa Schioppa, Emeritus Professor, University of Milan

Amandine Crespy, Professor, Université Libre de Bruxelles

Sofia Fernandes, Senior research fellow, Jacques Delors Institute

Roberto Castaldi, Director at CesUE and Associate Professor, eCampus University

Marga Marí Klose, Associate Professor, University of Barcelona

Sofie De Backer, Head of BA of Early Childhood Education, Artevelde University of Applied Sciences Ghent

Francesco Corti, Researcher, University of Milan and CEPS

Emilie Carosin, Researcher, University of Mons

Robin Huguenot-Noël, Doctoral Researcher, European University Institute

Yekaterina Chzhen, Assistant Professor, Trinity College Dublin

Geraldijne French, Head of the School of Language, Literacy and Early Childhood Education, Dublin City University

Maeve O’Brien, Professor of Human Development, Dublin City University

Jennifer Guevara, Rising Talent Fellow, Early Childhood Research Centre, Dublin City University

Laura Gormley, Assistant Professor,  Dublin City University

Claudio Cressati, Professor University of Udine and President of Informest

Emanuele Pavolini, Professor, Macerata University

Susanna Cafaro, Professor, Università del Salento

Guido Montani, Professor of International Political Economy, University of Pavia

Lara Navarro, Senior researcher, Barcelona Institute of Regional and Metropolitan Studies

Magnus Skjöld, Associate Professor, Bifröst University

Mario Telò, Professor, Université Libre de Bruxelles

Adriano Prosperi, Emeritus Professor  of Modern History, Scuola Normale Superiore

Alessandro Rosina, Professor, Università Cattolica di Milano

Antonio López-Pina, Professor of Constitutional & European Law, Universidad Complutense de Madrid

Juan Manuel de Faramiñán Gilbert, Professor of International Law, University of Jaén

Giuliana Laschi, Professor, University of Bologna

Gino Roncaglia, Professor, Roma Tre University

Laura Leonardi, Professor, University of Florence

Stefano Amedeo, Professor, University of  Trieste

Paroula Naskou-Perraki, Professor,  University of Macedonia

Ludmila Petrashko, Professor, Kyiv National Economic University

Gurutz Jauregui, Emeritus Professor, University of the Basque Country

Federico Belotti, Associate Professor, University of Rome Tor Vergata

Ilze Plavgo, Research Associate, European University Institute

Veronica Donoso, Researcher, KU Leuven

Carmen Benavides, Professor, Universidad de Oviedo

Claudia Morini, Senior Researcher on EU law, University of Salento

Giovanni Trovato, Professor of Statistics and Economics, University of Rome Tor Vergata

Piero Graglia, Professor of History of European Integration, University of Milan

Ivana Borić, Associate Professor, University of Zagreb

Giuseppe Inturri, Professor, University of Catania

Mehmet Toran, Associate Professor, Istanbul Kultur University

Sara Lembrechts, PhD researcher, Ghent University

Idesbald Nicaise, Professor emeritus, KU Leuven

Tuba Bircan, Assistant Professor & Research Coordinator for Interface Demography, Free University of Brussels (VUB)

Eva Vens, Lecturer, HOGENT, University of Applied Sciences and Art

Margaret Kernan, Senior Programme Manager, International Child Development Initiatives

Gökhan Kayılı, Associate Professor, Selcuk University

Caroline Loscher, School Support Coordinator, Primary Department, DCU Institute of Education

Ine Hostyn, Researcher, Artevelde University College

Brecht Peleman, Researcher, Ghent University, VBJK Centre for Innovation in the Early Years

Ahmet Simsar, Assistant Professor, Aralik Üniversitesi

Benedicte Vanblaere, Researcher and lecturer, Artevelde University of Applied Sciences         

Valerie Mcloughlin, Administrator, EDC, Dublin City University

Graziano Pini, Responsible CRISE, Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia (Unimore)

Antonia Pup, West University of Timișoara

Laura Anton, Public relations specialist, Spiru Haret University

Manuel Sarmento, Professor, University of Minho

Natália Fernandes, Lecturer, University of Minho

Kathy Uvin, lecturer, Arteveldehogeschool

Isabel Soares Professor, University of Minho, School of Psychology

Caroline Detavernier, Director Expertise Network People and Society, Artevelde University of Applied Sciences

Dusan Sidjanski, Professeur Émérite, Membre du Comité de direction, Centre de Compétences Dusan Sidjanski en Etudes Européennes, Université de Genève

Ilse Gentier, Lecturer, Arteveldehogeschool Gent

Joao Pinto, PhD Candidate, University of Minho

Emre Gömec, PhD candidate, University of Kassel

Ana Sani, Associate Professor, Universidade Fernando Pessoa

Goedroen Juchtmans, Senior Researcher Education and Labour Market, KULeuven-HIVA

Rasson Anne-Catherine, Maître de conférences & Researcher, Université de Namur

Anne Sénécal, Department of Methodology and Education, Université de Mons

Rita Alcaraz, Lecturer, UNIANDRADE

Alba Lanau, Researcher, Centre of Demographic Studies

Albert Julià, Professor, University of Barcelona

David Martinez de Lafuente, Researcher, Iseak

George Tsobanoglou, Full Professor, University of the Aegean

Marc Demeuse, Professor, University of Mons

Derobertmasure Antoine, Professor, University of Mons

Natacha Duroisi, Associate Professor, University of Mons

Sandrine Lothaire, Assistant, University of Mons

Marco Antei, Professor, Universidad de Costa Rica

Boyan Durankev, Faculty of finance, business and entrepreneurship, VUZF University

Maria Carmen Silveira Barbosa, Professor and Researcher, University of RGS (UFRGS)

Catarina Tomás, Assistant professor and Researcher, Escola Superior de Educação de Lisboa and CICS.NOVA 

Heloísa Lins, Professor, Universidade Estadual de Campinas 


The European Union is at a crucial turning point.

The concrete implementation of the Recovery Plan, presented by the European Commission to save and relaunch a sustainable European economy, is bringing out conflicts on a decisive point. Should European financial resources allocated to national governments be linked to respect for the rule of law or not?

Some governments, such as those of Poland and Hungary, oppose this conditionality.

Important political values are at stake.

A trilogue has developed under the European Union procedure between the Parliament, the Commission and the Presidency of the European Council.  An interim agreement was reached on 5 November.

For the outcome of trilogue on the Rule of law conditionality pls. see

https://multimedia.europarl.europa.eu/it/outcome-of-rule-of-law-conditionality-trilogues_20201105-1130-SPECIAL-PRESSER_vd

On October 20. in the European Parliament, 100 members from 18 EU countries had launched a high-profile Appeal with concrete proposals.

Below you can find the full text of the call with the list of signatories.

The Appeal

The European Union has insufficient resources to effectively combat misuse of EU funds and violations of the rule of law in the member states. The situation in countries like Hungary and Poland clearly shows that the EU must finally act. The EU Commission and the European Parliament have put forward good proposals for a rule of law mechanism. At the EU summit in July, the member states greatly weakened this mechanism, and the German government was finally gutted for the search for compromise between the EU Council, the EU Commission and the EU Parliament. A qualified majority is required for sanctions, the criteria were limited to serious corruption, all others were deleted. In addition, the Council, i.e. unanimity, should deal with sanctions. 

For the next round of the trialogue procedure today we have launched this appeal, which over 100 parliamentarians from 19 countries have signed.

The European Union is founded on the shared values of democracy, the rule of law and fundamental human rights. This is enshrined in Article 2 of the Treaty of the EU.

The German Presidency of the Council of the European Union is currently facing a tremendous challenge: It must find a compromise on the next EU budget and the Next Generation EU recovery plan. Both dossiers would have a real added value for European citizens, since they will help to overcome the economic consequences of the Corona crisis and hopefully kick-start Europe’s transformation into an ecological and social market economy.

At the same time, negotiations are led to protect the European Budget and our financial interests against breaches of the Rule of Law.

We strongly regret the fact that the European Council significantly weakened the efforts of the Commission and Parliament to uphold the rule of law framework for the MFF and the Next Generation EU Fund. We therefore call on the German Presidency and all Member State governments to stand up for an EU conditionality on the rule of law that deserves this name and to agree to

  • A clear and decisive process for determining adherence to the rule of law. This should take the form of a delegated decision by the Commission that can only be reversed by a qualified majority vote in the Council.     
  • A scope that includes violations of the principles of the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary, at a bare minimum.
  • Take out the option of Member countries being able to postpone an agreement to a future Council meeting.
  • A system that allows European citizens, local authorities and companies to access EU funds directly, should their government’s behavior prevent them from receiving them through regular channels. No European citizen should be punished for their government’s failure to respect and uphold the founding principles of our Union.

This call to action is highly urgent. What we are facing is an unprecedented and escalating crisis of our shared values, which threatens the very survival of the EU as a project of democracy and peace. The rule of law is no matter of East versus West, no matter of frugals versus friends of cohesion. European democracy is a matter concerning all European citizens – let’s protect our shared values!

Dr. Franziska Brantner, European policy spokesperson of the Green Party in the Bundestag

Daniel Freund, negotiator in the Committee on Budgetary Control for the Green Group in the European

List of all signatories

Auken, Margrete MEP Denmark Socialistisk Folkeparti
Nienass, Niklas MEP Germany Bündnis 90/Die Grünen
Peter-Hansen, Kira MEP Denmark Socialistisk Folkeparti
Strik, Tineke MEP Netherlands GroenLinks
Guerreiro, Francisco MEP Portugal Independent
Ujhelyi, István MEP Hungary Magyar Szocialista Párt
Nart, Javier MEP Spain Independent
Vana, Monika MEP Austria Die Grünen
Köster, Dietmar MEP Germany SPD
Gozi, Sandro MEP France Liste Renaissance
Profant, Ondřej MP Czech Republic Piráti
Navrkal, František MP Czech Republic Piráti
Martínek, Tomáš MP Czech Republic Piráti
Lipavský, Jan MP Czech Republic Piráti
Kopřiva, František MP Czech Republic Piráti
Biteau, Benoit MEP France Europe Écologie
Urtasun, Ernest MEP Spain Catalunya en Comú
Spurek, Sylwia MEP Poland Independant
Puigdemont, Carles MEP Spain Junts per Catalunya – Lliures per Europa
Comín, Antoni MEP Spain Junts per Catalunya – Lliures per Europa
Ponsatí, Clara MEP Spain Junts per Catalunya – Lliures per Europa
Bricmont, Saskia MEP Belgium Ecologistes Confédérés
Von Cramon-Taubadel MEP Germany Bündnis 90/Die Grünen
Furore, Mario MEP Italy Movimento 5 Stelle
Schieder, Andreas MEP Austria SPÖ
Heide, Hannes MEP Austria SPÖ
Vollath, Bettina MEP Austria SPÖ
Hautala, Heidi MEP Finland Vihreä liitto
Piri, Kati MEP Netherlands Partij van de Arbeid
Wagenknecht, Lukas MP Czech Republic Piráti
Kaljurand, Marina MEP Estonia Sotsiaaldemokraatlik Erakond
Anisko, Tomasz MP Poland Partii Zieloni
Urszula, Zielinska MP Poland Partii Zieloni
Malgorzata, Tracz MP Poland Partii Zieloni
Toussaint, Marie MEP France Europe Écologie
Cormand, David MEP France Europe Écologie
Rivasi, Michèle MEP France Europe Écologie
Delbos-Corfield, Gwendoline MEP France Europe Écologie
Sartouri, Mounir MEP France Europe Écologie
Jadot, Yannick MEP France Europe Écologie
Yenbou, Salima MEP France Europe Écologie
Roose, Caroline MEP France Europe Écologie
Gruffat, Claude MEP France Europe Écologie
Careme, Damien MEP France Europe Écologie
Alfonsi, Francois MEP France Europe Écologie
Dobrev, Klara MEP Hungary Demokratikus Koalíció
Molnár, Csaba MEP Hungary Demokratikus Koalíció
Ara-Kovács, Attila MEP Hungary Demokratikus Koalíció
Rónai, Sándor MEP Hungary Demokratikus Koalíció
Gyurcsány, Ferenc MP Hungary Demokratikus Koalíció
Vadai, Ágnes MP Hungary Demokratikus Koalíció
Arató, Gergely MP Hungary Demokratikus Koalíció
Hajdu, Lászlo MP Hungary Demokratikus Koalíció
Oláh, Lajos MP Hungary Demokratikus Koalíció
Sebián-Petrovszki, László MP Hungary Demokratikus Koalíció
Varju, László MP Hungary Demokratikus Koalíció
Bösz, Anett MP Hungary Demokratikus Koalíció
Varga, Zóltán MP Hungary Demokratikus Koalíció
Sidl, Günther MEP Austria SPÖ
Orel, Petr MP Czech Republic Sz
Goláň, Tomáš MP Czech Republic BEZPP
Tracz, Malgorzata MP Poland Partia Zieloni
Anisko, Tomasz MP Poland Koalicja Obywatelska
Jachira, Klaudia MP Poland Koalicja Obywatelska
Sterczewski, Franciszek MP Poland Koalicja Obywatelska
Ernst-Dziedzic, Ewa MP Austria Die Grünen
Borràs, Laura MP Spain Junts per Catalunya – Lliures per Europa
Nogueras, Míriam MP Spain Junts per Catalunya – Lliures per Europa
Cuevillas, Jaume Alonso MP Spain Junts per Catalunya – Lliures per Europa
Illamola, Mariona MP Spain Junts per Catalunya – Lliures per Europa
Matamala, Jami MP Spain Junts per Catalunya – Lliures per Europa
Cleries, Josep Lluís MP Spain Junts per Catalunya – Lliures per Europa
Castellví, Assumpció MP Spain Junts per Catalunya – Lliures per Europa
Rivero, Maite MP Spain Junts per Catalunya – Lliures per Europa
Gonzalez, Monica Silvana MEP Spain Partido Socialista Obrero Español
Delli, Karima MEP France EELV
Mounir, Satouri MEP France EELV
Benarroche, Guy MP France EELV
Dantec, Ronan MP France ESNT
Benbassa, Esther MP France EELV
Dossus, Thomas MP France EELV
Fernique, Jacques MP France EELV
Kairidis, Dimitris MP Greece New Democracy
Barna, Dan MP Romania USR*
Drula, Catalin MP Romania USR*
Mihail, Radu MP Romania USR*
De Marco, Monique MP Fance EELV
Tērauda, Vita Anda MP Latvia Attistibai/Par!
Fusacchia, Alessandro MP Italy Gruppo Misto
Giannakopoulou, Nantia MP Greece PASOK
Barrena, Pernando MEP Spain EH BILDU
Aguilar, Juan MEP Spain Partido Socialista Obrero Español
Clement, Sven MP Luxembourg Piraten
Gregorová, Markéta MEP Czech Republic Piráti
Freund, Daniel MEP Germany Bündnis 90/Die Grünen
Brantner, Franziska MP Germany Bündnis 90/Die Grünen
Brugger, Agnieszka MP Germany Bündnis 90/Die Grünen
Hofreiter, Anton MP Germany Bündnis 90/Die Grünen
Kyuchyuk, Ilhan MEP Bulgaria Movement for Rights and Freedoms
Mihaylova, Iskra MEP Bulgaria Movement for Rights and Freedoms
Alieva-Veli, Atidzhe MEP Bulgaria Movement for Rights and Freedoms
Muroni, Rossella MP Italy Liberi e Uguali
Palazzotto, Erasmo MP Italy Liberi e Uguali
Magi, Riccardo MP Italy Plus Europa
Lagodinsky, Sergey MEP Germany Bündnis 90/Die Grünen
Geese, Alexandra MEP Germany Bündnis 90/Die Grünen
Giegold, Sven MEP Germany Bündnis 90/Die Grünen
Strugariu, Ramona MEP Romania USR Plus
Klaver, Jesse MP Netherlands GroenLinks

* on behalf of the USR group in the Romanian Parliament


Think and act like a citizen of the world

In our politically and economically interdependent world the idea of progress seems to have disappeared. The major powers have taken up the nuclear arms race once more, investing heavily in the military sector when what we urgently need is effective international cooperation on sustainable development to halt global warming. It is only right, and entirely understandable that young people are protesting. So what can be done to ensure a future for humankind?

On the Mediterranean island of Ventotene in 1941 a group of anti-fascists wrote the Manifesto for a Free and United Europe, in which they proposed a new idea of progress: at the end of the war, they envisaged the continent’s sovereign states cooperating peacefully thanks to “the creation of a solid international state”. This revolutionary message – no more wars – spurred people of good will and organizations of volunteers and politicians to fight for European unity. Their work played a decisive role in the construction of the European Union (EU), the first supranational organization in history.

But the European Union remains a weak institution, whose survival is threatened by the current scenario of increasing international disorder. The current pandemic is also jeopardizing the EU’s political cohesion. And although the fact that a “European Green Deal” is on the table is an encouraging sign, if it does not lead to a World Green Deal we cannot expect to solve the environmental crisis.

The Ventotene Lighthouse aims to spark the debate and political initiatives necessary to assert a new idea of progress. Many European citizens have understood that the European Union, however imperfect, has guaranteed more than 70 years of peace on this continent. This represents a public good that is not just European but global. We are European citizens hailing from various member states. Our governments have said no to war, and are committed to resolving the inevitable economic, social and political clashes that arise by applying the rule of law rather than military force. Europe’s citizens can now study, work and circulate freely throughout all of the Union’s countries.

The European model can also be adopted by other continents, as is happening in Latin America, Africa and Asia. On a world scale, global governance – namely peaceful cooperation between the major powers to tackle the climate emergency and initiate a controlled process of disarmament – is both necessary and possible. Subsequently the status of world citizenship, similar to European citizenship, could be introduced.

Some will say that this is a utopia, an unrealistic dream. It is not so. The same accusation was levelled at the federalists when they proposed a United States of Europe as the goal of the integration process. The European Union is an unfinished federation, but its history shows that without an idea of progress politics remains trapped in the past. The task of the political avant-garde is to point the way forward.

The Ventotene Lighthouse speaks not only to the vanguard. To party politicians and national governments we say: how can you guarantee the safety of your citizens if the enemy can arm itself with nuclear missiles many times faster than the speed of sound? The counter-strike – needed in a matter of minutes – would inevitably have to be entrusted to artificial intelligence, but that would leave you open to risking the complete annihilation of both your own country and the rest of the world (as in the days of the MAD scenario). We also ask you: why are you not listening to the urgent appeals of the scientists warning us that we are about to pass a tipping point in global warming? Beyond that point, your citizens will be condemned to a lingering death. Lastly, we say: to tackle the global emergencies we face, why do you not enable the UN and all the other international organizations (like the IMF, the WTO, etc.) to reinstate the rules of multilateralism, now compromised by the rising tide of nationalism, and why do you not permit international tribunals to defend the rights of the world’s citizens – proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948, but not enforced by the law?

This battle can be won. In the nineteenth century the governments of Europe, bolstered by their industrial power, devoted their energies to colonization, subjugating almost all of the earth’s peoples. After dividing up the spoils they set upon each other in the fight for planetary supremacy. The two world wars put an end to this nationalistic power-mongering, and in the post-war period the two super-powers, the US and the USSR, guaranteed a sort of weaponized truce – the balance of terror – that enabled many nations, both industrialized and developing, to grow economically. Now, the two super-powers have left the scene: one disintegrated after the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the other is behaving like an arrogant nation state, even refusing to cooperate in efforts to save the planet.

This scenario of increasing international disorder is being fueled by second generation nationalism. Nationalism is the ideology of the sovereign nation state and the just war. Whenever they can, nationalists attempt to assert their supremacy over other states (America First, Russia First, China First, etc.), and they reinforce their domestic power by pursuing policies of cultural homogenization: everywhere, ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities are being oppressed. In the 1920s this is what enabled dictators like Mussolini and Hitler to exploit the weakness of democratic governments and seize power, triggering a global cataclysm. We run the same risk today.

The Ventotene Lighthouse believes that it is possible to halt this self-destructive trend. Worldwide, civil society shares a culture that shows its openness to solidarity and friendship between peoples; production chains are inextricably linked across national confines; students willingly pursue their education in different countries and speak several languages; scientific and technological research knows no borders, and the same is true of communication networks, epidemics and migration flows. We inhabit a world that we view as our natural homeland, while planning interplanetary voyages.

Second generation nationalism can be defeated by a movement that relentlessly exposes the lies told by national governments opposed to the creation of supranational institutions, in their continents or globally. The physical and political barriers that divide the people of this planet must be torn down. We cannot let the spreaders of hate implement their doom-laden designs.

The first step is to think and act like a citizen of the world.

The Ventotene Lighthouse