Is Europe Moving in the Right Direction?


My name is Dilek. I am 21 years old. I study European Studies and Law at the University of Osnabruck, Germany and I’m currently the president of the local AEGEE (European Students’ Forum).

Last May, we had the first European Elections in the middle of the European (identity) crisis. These elections were important not only because they will define the next five years of integration, but also because they reflect where the European citizens stand right now. Sixty years after the start of the world’s biggest project to create an area of peace and prosperity, the results are rather disillusioning. A great number of anti-EU and Eurosceptical parties have moved into the new parliament and the political leaders of the established parties are alarmed. How will be the influence of these ideas, which, in fact, are at odds with the main purpose of the parliament? This is something the future will show but some predictions for Europe’s democracy can already be made. For Europe the election results have been a wake-up call, especially its elites are now forced to deal with this (anti-European) aspect of political development. People want a political change. And it is not the first time in history that this wish for change has been expressed by radical voting. In my view, this is not only a bad thing. It shows us that the consolidation of the European idea needs more efforts than have been made in the past. Europe can’t stand still, which is what it seems to be doing in the eyes of a great part of society. The political leaders will have to change their policy to make the originally successful idea of freedom and prosperity attractive again. This won’t be easy. We all will have to bring some sacrifices before we will see positive developments. But that is how change happens. Politicians need to remind citizens what the EU has done and can do for us. They also need to show that they really understand what is going on in the minds of citizens, what it is people want. Understanding this and acting accordingly, is what is best for the Union and for all of us.

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