Lorenzo & his humble friends

The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool

Fuck yeah

What an extraordinary day it was. First I followed a Committee of the regions’ discussion on the exact same topic which interests me. Then I delivered a speech to a group of 50 students visiting the EU institutions. It was fun. Finally, I got an early offer for a four year position and scholarship from what would be considered one of the most prestigious universities in Europe and in the world, having ranked first out of several hundreds of students who applied.

Almost one out of two

The real break-up of Europe starts from youth unemployment. New figures provided by the European Commission dramatically show the wide geographical rift that has opened up between northern and southern Europe: while Austria (8.9 per cent unemployment), Germany (7.7 per cent) and the Netherlands (10.5 per cent) have relatively few young jobless, while France is above 25 per cent and Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain are all way above 35.

This is participatory democracy, baby

The European Citizens’ Initiative is something that would certainly appeal the supporters of the M5S in Italy and all those who believe in participatory online democracy. Unfortunately, most of these people probably do not know about it. The Initiative was one of the “main innovations under The Treaty of Lisbon”. In a nutshell, it enables citizens of member states to suggest proposals for legislation that will apply throughout the EU. The principle precondition is that the initiative must be validated by the European Commission and that the petition must be signed by a minimum of one million Europeans, from at least seven member states, over a period of less than one year.

To date, only one initiative of this type has succeeded in gathering the required number of signatures: the Right2Water campaign, which wants access to water to be recognised as a universal human right. In contrast, there are others fundamental initiatives which unfortunately run slightly low of support. The best to date are the following ones:

  • a petition to limit to 30km/h the speed limit in Europe’s cities and villages;
  • a petition to criminalise Ecocide and crimes against the Earth to ensure that natural and legal persons can be held responsible for committing Ecocide according to the principle of superior responsibility;
  • a petition to adapt the European Anthem’s official version to the neutral pan-European language, Esperanto when citizens wish to express their common European identity.