Franck BIANCHERI’ speech at the IDE-II congress in Evry (France) on Saturday, April the 8th. 1989, for the official launch of the European elections campaign in which IDE participated as the first ever trans-European political party in 3 countries of the European community, Spain, France and the Netherlands. Today for the 2019 elections, #Diem25, through a set of alliances with national political parties, and #Volt, which is running in 8 EU countries (but not France), #PACE, #PFE…, are trying to meet this historical challenge in a much more facilitating context than 30 years ago: the Internet, social networks, mobile phones, inter-European transport, and generations of young people trained in Europe thanks to Erasmus, of which Franck Biancheri was one of the founding fathers in 1987. We wish them full success for the way they continue to pave! Even Verhofstadt says today: “… Only with transnational lists, we will create a European Democracy.”
Why are we here today ? To have yet another congress about Europe ? To talk about Europe, the future or about a Europe made by its citizens ? To do as all pro Europeans for the past 30 years have been doing and attempt to construct a Europe through economical, cultural, or any other means except a political one: when Europe above all is a political construction and conveniently the political dimension has been avoided ? To do as the National Parties and mislead the voters into thinking that Europe is their main objective when they know perfectly well that they are not interested in Europe, only in National matters, National seats, and that in the long run they do not want to go to Strasbourg? They only see Europe through their national structures, and perceive Europeans as a problem, even a danger and not with hope or optimism. They see Europeans as a threat against the status quo. Are we here to tell to the citizens that we want to build a united Europe without any barries, where the English, Spanish, French, Germans, Greeks… will live, work, and make decisions together without national discrimination, or without acting like the national parties and protecting the interests of the large enterprises, the national administration, and then telling us the opposite ? Are we here to prepare Europe as if we are preparing for a war. Are we here to do as the French Parties and say today “We are Europeans, believe us” ? When yesterday, conceming the problem of the parliament at Strasbourg, they said, “it is the State’s business,”France will not give in”,”the European parliament does not have the right to choose its own site”. To act as the Dutch parties, who agree discreetly, “Come on, let’s be serious, we are all Europeans, and anyway the people are not interested in Europe”! and “what can we gain from an intensive European campaign since Europe is not nearly as imponant as the National Elections in 1990… So let’s not campaign for the European elections, maybe only 3 weeks before. It is much better to leave the citizens ignorant of the real issues, don’t you think ?”. Are we here to act like the others whether they are pink, green, white or any other? I think not.
You know we are here to do otherwise : to wake up consciences to change an attitude; to show the citizens of Europe not only that Europe is their future, our future, but that they also have the means to control it, to control its development, to give it a sense of being.
After 30 years, Europe still does not have democratic institutions, does not have any citizens, does not have any experiences, NO SENSE, no limits. She is lying to herself; Europe is not a democracy.
We are here to give an example, to show that the citizens can organize themselves outside the national structures and develop a Europe amongst Europeans. To show that European citizens can work together more efficiently than the Nationals as we know how to bring out the qualities rather than the weakness. We are here to show that Europe is something too serious to be left to the National Parties and that between defending the interest of Europe and its 320 million citizens and defending the national interest, a choice has to be made. Therefore, before putting into action IDE’s main objective, which is the creation of numerous networks of citizens, whether they be associative, political, trade unionist, cultural or economic, we need to gain a credibility; that means we must show the citizens the difference between a true pro European – being capable of working amongst Europeans – and a false European – those who only make speeches conceived and delivered nationally. The only way to do this is to participate in the political arena, where decisions are made and where democracy must speak. In two months, the elections. At the end of this weekend the activity must begin; activity in all IDE branches, the activity of all IDE members. We need to explain, to communicate and to convince the citizens to start working for Europe.
Soak yourselves in the European magic potion this weekend. It will give you strength for the next 2 months. We are David, they are Goliath ! The legend makes us the winner.
We are the future whatever our ages because we are aware that tomorrow will not be yesterday put in to the lines of today. They are the past, as they always think nationally whatever their age or image. We are the future because we want to develop yesterday’s values by improving today’s for tomorrow. They are the past because they utilize yesterday’s values believing that they are enough for today and tomorrow. We are honnest because we want Europe and refuse to engage in national squabbles. The National Parties lie to the voter by running for the European elections, knowing they will not go to Strasbourg and they are too busy with their national mandates. We are committed to our ideals and we reject their ideologies. We see the elections as a mean to help us develop our action for Europe even if we are not elected. We are not using Europe as a gadget, as a way of winning votes in a remake of Natinal Elections. We represent an open, democratic, tolerant, free Europe with a clear path. The National Parties cannot succeed owing to lack of ideals. Our idealis to construct a Europe made by the citizens themselves; free of national barriers. We are the “takers of conscience”, the disturber of the status quo.
We want to say to the French that their quest for grandeur is blocked by France herself. To theGermans that they can resolve the question of the Germans with us, the other Europeans, but that the question of Germany is forever insolvable. To the Spanish that their enthusiasm for Europe must also take into account the need of the others. To the Dutch that although they are very open to everyone that does not mean they are the best Europeans. To the Italians that merely declaring themselves for Europe is not enough. To the English that we are also waiting for the departure of Thatcher.
We are also practical, because we know that we must have finance in order to win. We have a” project”; unique because it was conceived entirely between Europeans… We already have well developped communications the press are interested. We have members (not enough yet). We know that there are many voters, more than 5%, waiting in each of our countries for another direction, outside an ideological one, that can cope with the problems ahead. Starting from now, we must sell ourselves, explain ourselves, show off ourselves… The value of setting an example is nothing unless the people know of the example. Go out and show yourselves, ourselves.
After 30 years of an introvened Europe, become the extroverts of Europe. Show that for us Paris, or Madrid, Berlin, or London, Milan, or Amsterdam are the towns of the same community, that for us the differences give us hope not problems. Show off IDE not because we are young and good looking, as a French newspaper recently wrote, but because we have broken the chrysalis of nationalism and that a butterfly is always more beautiful than caterpillars (nationalists).
Now it is up to you to play, to work, to speak, to innovate. Do it with a little “grandeur à la française”. It depends on you if history is going to be made here or not. It must happen here. The match begins from today… We are going to win. At least 5% in June, O.K?
Franck BIANCHERI, President of IDE-EUROPE (IDE Info n° 11, 09/05/89)