My name is Petar Markovic and I live in Brussels where I promote European citizenship with the ECIT Foundation and teach EU Politics at Vesalius College. Born in a country that is no more – in socialist Yugoslavia – and growing up to its demise in the 1990s, I experienced first hand the erection of national borders and the forces they foster: nationalist politics and narrow-minded culture. At the same time, the EU witnessed a deepening of integration and the invention of European citizenship, with the goal of extending the fundamental rights Europeans could enjoy.
In 2014, I attended the Campus of European Alternatives in the outskirts of Berlin and was struck by how innovative their philosophy of democracy beyond the nation-state was and how creative their growing group of diverse members were. Most understood that the issues we are faced with are crossing borders and, therefore, the solutions to them must cross borders too.
European Alternatives has been a source of exciting cultural experiences and friendships ever since, from Warsaw, where I acquired useful campaigning skills through the ACT4FreeMovement training, to Palermo for the Transeuropa Festival.
In 2019, I started to collaborate with European Alternatives on the Transeuropa Caravans, which confirmed my impression that the formula of teaming up with civil societies across borders works! We encountered many groups across Europe. Their actions were local while at the same time they had a clear understanding of the interconnectedness of their struggles. From the “Grandmas against the far right” in Vienna, opposing violence and discrimination, to the 1500 inhabitants of the village of Saillans in France actively shaping and implementing every decision they make: all of them advocated for our right as inhabitants of Europe to shape the decisions that affect us.
Fighting for a better Europe already has a platform and you do not have to do it alone! Going against the tide of nation-centered politics is not easy: European Alternatives can help to surf those nasty waves and pave the way for a mature transnational democracy!
Member of European Alternatives
Director at ECIT Foundation