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Ideologies are political dreams of utopias (or dystopias) for the present and the future of nations, communities and society in general. However, it is widespread opinion that ideologies lost the meaning they used to have to drive change and get people elected.
We met with the Presidents of the youth wings of the Party Political Youth Organisations that are members of the European Youth Forum and we challenged them on the issue. Konstantinos, Kaisa, Jeroen, Ingrid and Pauline
, are respectively leaders of the Youth of the European Peopleai??i??s Party (YEPP), the Young European Socialists YES), the European Liberal Youth (IFLRY), the Federation of Young European Greens (FYEG) and the Young European Federalists (JEF). Despite the variety of political views, their answers are straightforward: ideologies are still very much up and running.
When it comes to the content of their respective ideologies, differences are more defined. ai???For the centre-right – Konstantinos points out – the individual is at the centre, with the right to pursue happiness, being capable to make it on their ownai???. For Kaisa ai???socialism is about giving a fair chance to all people hasnai??i??t really changed over the century, it is freedom together with responsibilityai???. Things get more intertwined with the Greens, as Ingrid explains ai???the green ideology incorporates many perspectives and influences from environmentalism to peace, to social rights movementai???. Last but not least, the Federalist movement roots its ideology in the political theory of institution building and governance. ai???It is about how we are seeing this continent to be democratically governedai???, says Pauline.
If there is still a defined set of ideals, principles, doctrines, myths or symbols of a political movement it is also clear that ai???any ideology has to move on with the timeai???, using the words of Kaisa, or, as Jeroen states, ai???the core of the ideology can remain the same but the way it is implemented changes over the yearsai???. What would be, then, the political dreams for XXI Century Europe?
For Konstantinos, the dream is a European Homeland based on a European identity to be built gradually but bravely and together. ai???Working on the issue of identity is a long-term commitmentai??? ai??i?? he tells us ai??i?? ai???building a widespread common feeling of pride associated to be a European is something not easy to achieve but it is a prerequisite if we want our Union to stay togetherai???. The words of Konstantinos resonate with those of Luigi Sturzo, the founder of the first Christian democrat Party in Italy suppressed by the Italian Fascist regime. Sturzo found support from Konrad Adenauer, Alcide de Gasperi and Robert Schuman. Konstantinos described the ideology of the centre-right with 4 phrases: commitment to societal values, aim for constant prosperity of the individual, genuine patriotism and full respect of the institutions and the law.
European Welfare State
Kaisa thinks, ai???The key question of what socialism will be like in 30 years time is what kind of economic system do we accept tacmeds.com or approve or aim atai???. The socialist alternative is very clear ai???We want deeper integration and we want to create a European Welfare Stateai??? ai??i?? she states ai??i?? ai???to protect the interest of the people collectively and individually there is a need for a well defined structure in Europe, not only social Europe but a real welfare state.ai??? Kaisa proposes to move to a post-Keynesian thinking with true investment in areas that can create growth and jobs rather than just holding off the old institutions and old structures that have passed their time.
Europe should become a top reference throughout the world to guarantee individual freedoms.
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European Freedoms Space
Jeroen reminds, ai???Liberals do not have a perfect society in their heads but the fact that the individuals can take care of societyai???. According to his dream Europe should become a top reference throughout the world to guarantee individual freedoms. ai???Much more than today, people should be free to really express their full potentialai???, he states. Within the boundaries of not creating a heavy state apparatus, he believes that progressive legislation can be adopted to harmonize the standards of such freedoms to the highest extent instead of lowest common denominators.
Ingrid dreams of a Sustainable Europe. ai???It should not be just about the environmentai??? ai??i?? she says ai??i?? ai???but also about social and economic sustainabilityai???. For the Greens it is important that the current policies do not look at short-term goals, but at future generations. This is the core of the concept of sustainable development applied to public policy.
Looking at what Europe should look like in 2046, Ingrid has a very ambitious plan: ai???it should be a 100% renewable energy Continent leaving behind the traditional concept of growthai???.
For Pauline, the federal dream is not necessarily creating the United States of Europe, she explains ai???for federalists the most important is to create a new political object which will allow a greater coordination and allow to fully apply the concept of subsidiarityai???. The goal is therefore to create a European Federation that would allow all citizens to participate more actively and democratically to its construction. For example, she concludes, ai???we strongly believe that the European Council and the current Parliament should merge on a dual Chamber Assembly with equal powersai???.