At a time when Europe was facing the rise of populism, extremism and Euroscepticism, EUNIC Brussels decided to shed light on ideas that threaten European values. The cluster has started in December 2016 with a 2-days conference entitled “European Angst”, describing the climate of fear and anxiety, partly caused by the absence of answer given by the established institutions. The event involved controversial thinkers, as well as 40 students selected in an open call. Representing tomorrow’s decision makers, they played an active role in the conference, and wrote a manifesto on Europe’s future that was handed over to EU officials. In September 2017, an E-Book was published, compiling speakers’ stories and testimonies as well as personal opinions one year after. Wishing to continue the debate in a brighter light, the cluster then organised “Sweating for Europe” that developed a positive and creative approach which brought together European decision-makers and citizens in an original setting that encourages a fresh take on hot topics. At the center of the event was an old fire engine, modified into a mobile wood burning sauna, parked on the doorstep of the European Parliament. The MEPs warmed up for the dialogue in the sauna, after which a public panel session took place at the European Parliament Visitors’ Centre. This cultural heritage project celebrated the European tradition of openness, solidarity and equality. The cluster is currently working on new developments that would continue questioning Europe: people fear for the future and blame Europe for being inefficient at protecting them and securing their rights. What could Europe offer to its people?
European Movement International