The 20th century has been a very bad one for Europe. A century of wars, genocides, tragedies and distractions. The European Union that we know today has been the previous generation's response to the unprecedented catastrophe caused by the two World Wars which practically started in Europe. The mission of the previous generations has been accomplished and Europe has lived almost seven decades of peace and prosperity.
Recently though, the financial crisis has initiated a process of questioning the European peace miracle. Vast segments of the middle class in European States, especially at the South, enter into poverty creating an ideal ground for the rise of nationalism. A massive return of nationalism would definitely led to the dissolution of the European Union and rather sooner than later to the Third World War. The consequences of this are too severe to let them come to reality.The rise of the neo-nazi movement in Greece, a country which lost almost 10% of its population to help the free people defeating the Nazis, serves as the ultimate example of how wrong things can go if a wrong political and economic model is followed for long time.
The current EU model is based on the concept of intergovernmentalism. Today, in 2013, we Europeans can keep pretending that this so much 20th century intergovernmentalism approach works. The ugly truth however is that it doesn't work at all. A new approach is needed.
We all know it, Europe is old (that actually is one of the few wise words ever said by Donald Rumsfeld). Europe does behaves like an old person. Slow moving and uber-conservative. Young Europeans have completely different dreams for their lives. No, we do not aim to becoming citizens of a huge open-air museum. We envision Europe as a great, united country, as a super-power of justice, equality, democracy and culture. A dominant factor of fairness and stability in the international affairs. A growing economy with financial and ecological sustainability.
This dream, might not be that far away from reality given that young Europeans stand up and talk with loud and clear voice. On the contrary, it is absolutely feasible. Europe does have the financial, human and symbolic capital necessary to make that dream come true. It only lacks the required political will. Actually, those who lack that will are the national governments, more or less frightened in sight of sharing some parts of their authorities and responsibilities and managing them via a supranational, federal structure. The reality is however that the vast majority of Europeans not only is ready to accept this federal approach but rather is about to demand it!
The question to be asked to the youth of Europe is very simple: "Don't you thing that it is about time to turn Europe young again? Don't you think that it is about time to start the process of creating the European Federal Republic?". As far as I am concerned, I do think it is about time to do so and I'll put all of my energy and resources to make this dream come true, remaining confident that thousands of other young Europeans will also do the same.
Uniting Europe is the major challenge of our generation and I'm absolutely confident that we shall positively respond to it. At the end of the day, it is all about making a life worth living.