This is not an article aiming at convincing you that the European Union is needed (although it is), that it is one of the most incredible projects we have ever created (although it still is), and that it is something we should hold on to dearly while reforming (although we should). Instead, it is an article explaining how deriving national and regional policies from an overarching set of values and principles would benefit us all, whether at the national, regional, or international level.
Volt was born as a result of a desire to change things: make the European Union a more dynamic, just and influential union, while giving strength to its individual member states. It came from a belief that whether you are German, Romanian or Greek, you’ll be better off by having not only a strong country but a strong Union. As a short summary, Volt is a progressive, pro-European movement based on 5+1 challenges. It originates in Italy, but still aims to create other national parties in every European country following the same set of principles. It also has an overarching structure — Volt Europa — following the same guidelines at the regional level.
The 5+1 challenges are: smart state, economic renaissance, social equality, global balance, citizen empowerment, and EU reform.
The reason for which it instantly appealed to me was that I am a firm believer in the EU, not only because of its great achievements and potential — such as contributing to peace — but also because, having friends from all over the Union, I believe that we share the same values, ideal and goals. I am French, but maybe more importantly I am European, and I believe that those two are not contradictory but rather reinforce one another. I am proud of my country’s culture, values and history, while still believing that other Europeans share the same underlying, fundamental principles. In short, we share the same hopes and dreams. This is why, when I heard of Volt, I could not have been more excited. Volt's desire to implement its 5 actions in every Member State and in the Union itself is genius: it will bring us closer together and make us stronger, while preserving our diversity.
Let me finish by saying that the EU admittedly has its downfalls, as do all of our countries. However, I do believe in the saying that “we are stronger together.” Regardless of the usual economic arguments for the EU, I believe that it is grand because we make each other better. We hold each other to higher standards. Just like in any good, happy and healthy relationship, we challenge each other in all possible ways: whether it is by discussing and disagreeing over how to save one of our Member State’s economies, by figuring out how to uphold human rights in our fight against new threats, or by simply trying to move into the 21st century together, while preserving our history and culture.
As a result, it is now time for us to join forces, dream big like our founders did, change what needs to be changed, and continuously thrive in our development. This is what Volt will do. Volt not only has a vision, it has a plan… a plan for our countries, and a plan for the European Union.
By Colombe Cahen-Salvador