On 24 and 25 May, the European Movement International celebrated its 70thanniversary in The Hague with the two-day event ‘Sharing Europe’. Citizens, policy-makers, trade unions, civil society and business came together to discuss the main issues facing Europe today, including: sustainability, migration, security, labour rights, new economic models and democracy over two days of panel debates and agora sessions.
The second day of celebrations took place in the Ridderzaal in the Dutch Parliament, where the 1948 Congress of The Hague was held, which laid the groundwork for the establishment of the European Movement and the foundations of the European Union itself.
During her keynote speech, European Movement International President Eva Maydell MEP stated:
“Now more than ever we need to stand up for what we hold dear, we need to speak up for what we consider to be true, we need to come forward and be the change we want to see in the world around us. If this gathering is to do anything, it must be to remind us that Europe is not just institutions or nations, politicians or politics. It is each and every one of us, citizens of Europe.”
Minister of the Interior and Deputy Prime Minister of The Netherlands, Ms. Kajsa Ollongren also told the audience:
“The ambition demonstrated by that congress [Congress of The Hague 1948] is still highly relevant. We too must now dare to look ahead. To the Europe of our children and our grandchildren. We need to decide what kind of Europe we want them to live in. And with that vision of Europe before us, we should take concrete steps to make it a reality.”
The two days also served as a discussion arena for the Declaration of The Hague, written and released by the European Movement and partners.
Based on the discussions and debates among citizens and stakeholders, in the Declaration, we are calling for:
- a European democracy that encourages the full participation of all citizens and boosts transparency of decision-making, supported by increased investment in education
- safeguarding our open societies, defending the rule of law and strengthening the judiciary and free press
- a deeper economic and monetary union, based on an inclusive and fair economy, more ambitious when harnessing technology, focused on sustainable investments
- a social model that address widening inequalities, prioritises investment in education, culture, R&D and skills for the jobs of the future
- the promotion of European heritage and identity, while building on our cultural diversity
- strong efforts in a transition towards sustainable renewable energy, decarbonisation and the circular economy, reversing biodiversity loss, combating air and water pollution, eliminating toxic chemicals and promoting sustainable agriculture
- a more holistic approach to migration, addressing its root causes, offering protection to those in need and pursuing the social, cultural and economic inclusion of refugees and migrants in Europe in order to seize the opportunity of the diversity brought by these new Europeans
- a joint response to current geopolitical challenges, in particular when addressing difficulties with Russia and the rise of extremism and terrorism
- a common European defence policy and closer security cooperation, supported by a close partnership with the EU’s immediate neighbourhood.
- a steady involvement and implication of the candidate countries and the countries in the Eastern partnership with whom we will share a common future
- the full participation of women and young people to ensure that no one is discriminated against, both in the economy and in society as a whole
The full Declaration of The Hague is available here.
The speeches given in the Ridderzaal and a recording of the event can be found on this page of our website.
Notes to Editors:
The Declaration of the Hague was drafted by the European Movement International, our National Councils, our member organisations and the following Content Partner organisations:
- CEEP (European Centre of Employers and Enterprises providing Public Services and Services of general interest)
- CEMR (The Council of European Municipalities and Regions)
- The College of Europe
- GESAC (European Grouping of Societies of Authors and Composers)
- Europa Nostra
- EEB (The European Environmental Bureau)
- The European Women’s Lobby
- The European Youth Forum
- ETUC (European Trade Union Confederation)
- UEAPME (European Association of Craft, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises)
About Sharing Europe
Every 10 years, the European Movement International and the City of The Hague host the commemoration of the famous Congress of the Hague, which lay the foundations for European integration and the foundation of the European Movement.
To mark the 70th anniversary of The Hague Congress we gathered together citizens movements from across Europe, stakeholders representing society at large, political parties, academia, business, trade unions, youth organisations, local government, environmental movements. We wanted to recreate the spirit of 1948, gather in a sense of optimism and purpose to discuss and debate the future direction Europe needs to take to meet the social, economic, environmental and geopolitical challenges of our time.
About the European Movement
The European Movement is the largest pan-European network of pro-European organisations. It is present in over 30 countries and encompasses 36 international associations, bringing together European civil society, business, trade unions, NGOs, political parties, local authorities and academia. Founded nearly 70 years ago, we have continuously advocated in favour of European cooperation and integration, based on the principles of peace, democracy, liberty, solidarity, equality, justice, and respect for human rights and the rule of law.
Today the European Movement seeks to provide a platform to encourage and facilitate the active participation of citizens and stakeholders from a cross-section of sectors in the development of European solutions to our common challenges. We offer thought leadership on the issues that confront Europe; we seek to inform the debates on our Union’s future, involve citizens and stakeholders in the decisions that affect them and influence policy-makers in favour of an open, inclusive, transparent and united Europe