Appeal to the Erasmus Generation

From the kick off of garagErasmus project at the European Parliament

Brussels, 5 November 2012

garagErasmus was born on 4 October 2012, following the publishing of the book Generazione Erasmus (Erasmus Generation) in Italy.

We are the Erasmus Generation, and we speak for a new Europe. Our vision is of a growing and united Europe, forged by the fall of the Berlin wall, the end of the east-west divide, and the explosion of connections in every direction. We are the Internet generation. We are products and protagonists of the struggle for a European society where values and policies unite while borders fade.

The Erasmus Generation has learned how to live in a land without borders. We have been educated to appreciate differences, and we are thrilled by the speed of integration and the potential of a united and inclusive European society. We no longer fear that we may lose our identity or national traditions; we know that our polity is strengthened because we are different from one another. Our land stretches from the Mediterranean to the North Sea. It can become a golden bridge between west and east, north and south. Europe can be all of this, and we know it.

Erasmus has shaped our lives. Europe has given us a unique experience and forged our resolve. Now it is our turn to raise our hands, recognise each other, and say Europe can, must, become the united, inclusive society we envisage. We see that this will not happen by itself. We hear too much about finances and see too much bureaucracy. Where is solidarity, innovation, creativity and political courage? If Europe is stagnating, its crisis is not so much economic as cultural. New technologies can now support us in moving faster towards a cultural change. We have tools that our parents did not have, we have been moulded by their vision and we have learned to be European citizens. The Erasmus Generation puts its strength and will to the task of achieving an integrated society able to produce novel ideas and ensure sustainable development in a world that is getting closer every day.

Today, from the European Parliament, we call on all those who have had an Erasmus or similar experience to raise their hands, declare their adhesion, and work together with us toward this goal. We are a force for change and it is now our turn, our opportunity and our responsibility.

For our parents, for ourselves, for our fellow citizens, for our children.

We are the Other Side of Europe.