Hilde van Meegdenburg
It is such a relief(!) that after four days of intense trainings and discussions we did not reach a grand consensus on how to #FixEurope. We discussed. We drank wine. We danced without music. But we did not agree on what the immediate priorities are, and we did not agree on one joint plan of action. A relief, because a consensus would not have done justice to the great variety of ideas and alternatives that came to the table, and the depth and honesty with which they were discussed.
So what did we accomplish? On Friday afternoon at the wrap-up session, we picked up the cards and threads we created on Wednesday morning. The point was to forge alliances around the most pressing themes and actually come up with projects and plans, and write our names on it. Yes! Personally, I will join this coalition that will work to [please tick where applicable]: ( ) improve the status and rights of migrants; ( ) connect local initiatives fighting against poverty and austerity; ( ) formulate alternative economic models; ( ) work towards environmental sustainability and green energy solutions; ( ) increase democratic participation and transparency; ( ) other, namely …… . This name scribbling on hand written proposals and projects was the exercise. It is was the commitment that mattered.
We were never looking for one big, overarching solution. That is why we created the three different strands #criticalpolitics, #criticalminds, #criticalnetworks, and why we invited activists with such diverse interests and backgrounds. We wanted to forge pan-European alliances and start new initiatives. During the wrap-up session we, European Alternatives, pledged to try and give all these groups and alliances the support they need to work out their ideas. It is our goal to help bring the utopias we dreamed up to come to life.
Despite our variety, we did agree on one thing: Europe needs to be fixed. So yes, now is when we will #FixEurope. As Hunor, a participant from Hungary, said during one of our last Campus moments together: “Before I was driven by anger, now I am driven by inspiration”. A greater compliment would not have been possible: Mission started!
Status: in progress
Sponsored by: European Alternatives & the European Commission