Dimitris Rapidis

We are optimistic for 2014

The European Union has been faced with mounting problems in 2013. As in 2012 and 2011. Coming down to the year-end accountings, what is left for the Union is a mixing taste of hopefulness and deception for the deeds and the wrongdoings. The year 2014 will be the year of the elections for the European Parliament, a democratic process that we need to preserve and enrich in the years to come. It is certain that the European Union has a democratic deficit problem, as it is equally certain that the EU is moving ahead to a silent institutional reform.

This institutional reform is a unique bottom-up process; a vital necessity for the future of the Union as well as a vital prerequisite for the survival of the Union and the fulfillment of the notion of participatory democracy. The elections for the European Parliament have and need to be linked with the vision of an all-inclusive Europe, a more cohesive Union from every possible aspect. This means that EU citizens should go and vote massively for the European Union and its federal vision rather than abstaining from the ballot box or decide to vote departing from domestic politics.

In addition, the forthcoming elections are about to unveil some deep concerns of the European electorate: The necessity for more direct democracy other than the isolating four-year round of elections. Some of the most pending issues of direct democracy is the election of the President of the Commission and the launching of referenda in European-wide level for issues of global concern. It is at least depreciating for the citizens of the EU to be swept by focal decisions without their voice to be heard; it is at least depreciating for the citizens of the EU to be absent from the decision-making processes; it is at least depreciating for the citizens of the EU to be deprived from the right to shape their future in daily basis.

Heading towards 2014, we are underway forming a think-tank that will focus on major issues of European concern. Starting from January, our team will focus on specific projects enriching the debate for an all-inclusive European Union, where issues will be suggested and proposed in an open debate with the European public. After the designation of the projected areas, we will afterwards move on to insightful analysis and reports regarding the most important issues of the European Union; issues that need to be addressed efficiently.

We wish you all a prosperous New Year 2014, with more solidarity, health, growth and development for the people of Europe.

The Bridging Europe Team

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