Photo of Erika Widegren and Giscard d'Estaign looking to a poster with RIE logo

Let’s bringing back “le bonheur” to the European debate – launch of Re-Imagine Europa

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Last week we launched Re-Imagine Europa at the European Parliament in Brussels hosted by President Antonio Tajani and Vice President Rainer Wieland.

President Giscard d’Estaing called for the importance of bringing back “le bonheur” to the European debate and this was definitely the feeling that underpinned the conversations of the day.

Re-Imagine Europa is the first European incubator for political ideas created in the spirit of pragmatism and cooperation that was emblematic of the close cooperation between President Giscard d’Estaing and Chancellor Helmut Schmidt in the founding stages of the European project.

“ As Europeans we are at a turning point- we must re-seize the pragmatism that was so central to the founding spirit of the Union, or be swept away by the tide of history. From individuals to nations to the European institutions, we must work together to tackle our joint challenges.”
President Giscard d’Estaing

President Hans-Gert Poettering stressed the enormous success that Europe has achieved and underlined the central role of European values as well and interests.

President Jerzy Buzek reminded us the European integration is about everyday life and supported the need for a clearer vision for Europe. A point that was echoed by MEP Lambert van Nistelrooij when saying “we need to rethink the way we talk about Europe”.

The importance of communication was stressed by President Monica Maggioni who called for the “use of technology, creativity and facts to reimagine Europe”. She also underlined the necessity of engaging young people. This was picked-up by President Luis Alvarado who spoke for over 50 million young Europeans when saying that young people are pro-European and want to be engaged in reimagining Europe.

MEP Nils Torvalds underlined the challenges that we will face in the coming years because of these new technologies that will require that we find new creative solutions.

President Mario Ohoven stressed that small and medium sized enterprises support a stronger Europe and, as the backbone of European industry, should be a key partner in Re-Imagining Europe.

President Günther Stock underlined the support of academia towards reimagining a stronger Europe where the European research areas has to be strengthened. He underlined the need for “trust building” in today’s digital world.

Dr Daria Tataj echoed both the importance of education and entrepreneurs as key to developing a new growth model for Europe as well as underlining the question of European identity. A point that was picked-up by President Maria João Rodrigues in stressing the importance in the coming years to build a more competitive and social Europe.

Mr Claus Sørensen stressed the need for action. Now.

Please find below the link to some of the press coverage:

In the coming weeks we will be glad to send out the formal outcomes of the session.