Why, when and how I became a pro Federal European activist… you could do the same, or even better!
I am Lorenzo Sparviero, 73 years old, European Italian, co – founder and member of the Executive Board of Stand Up for Europe, founded on 3 december 2016 in Brussels.
This is, in short, my story.
In July 2015 I took a decision that has changed my life: to do something personally to shift the nasty situation in Europe, where populism, racism and national and regional egoisms were becoming more and more popular and politically strong.
I couldn’t accept the idea that my European fellow citizens didn’t see what was so clear to me, that the future of Europe (and of the world) will depend on the cohesion and integration of the different cultures and ethnicities and on the equal distribution of the resources. For that reason, instead of combatting each other for irrational reasons – mainly egoism and irrational fear of the “other” – we should create synergies in a common effort for overcoming the “great challenges” (environment, demography, climate changes etc.) that threaten the whole of humanity in these times … that are are also times of new hopes and extraordinary perspectives.
For this reason I created an Italian Facebook page, that I called “Stati Uniti d’Europa entro il 2020” (United States of Europe by 2020), commenting on European news and sending around the message that “together is better “… and possible.
Within a few months I got a public of “followers” of about 900 people, the great majority young people, many of whom became my “friends”, through Facebook. Some of them entered into contact with me and we met in Milan and decided to create a new web page, merging all of our existing ones, in order to address the whole European public by using English as a common language: “United States of Europe, now!”.
In September 2016, we got in touch with two pro European Associations: Stand Up for the United States of Europe and the European Federalist Party and we merged, creating “Stand up for Europe” that represents today about 1200 Associates, more than 120000 “followers” and more than 40 “city teams” all around Europe.
I am convinced that from a “grassroots” realisation of the United States of Europe, prosperity, development and peace can be born starting from this generation. It is all about being aware of it and making the right choices, coherent with our personal desires of peace, justice and happiness.
The “price to pay” for us, Europeans, is really cheap: it is about overcoming the negative stereotypes that create irrational barriers of distrust towards the “stranger”, and making an effort to learn a common language, and to take an active part in an absolutely peaceful and joyful way in the process of changing the political structure and governance of Europe that we want at last to achieve: a Federal democratic Europe!
I am convinced, by experience, that the “citizens grass roots movement” is the only way to achieve this objective… in fact some European parliamentarians told me in confidence, “If you electors do not push us, we won’t create a really united and federal Europe because we’d risk to lose consents and votes.”
I have translated this confidence into the following metaphor : “We cannot ask the turkeys to decide on the Christmas menu…”
This is why I (co)founded Stand Up for Europe about one year ago with the aim of preaching a new and democratic federalist Europe in a reasonable span of time.
If I myself, an old man, have obtained these amazing results that I would not have imagined before starting, you can do it too, and better than me.
If you really want it you can get it! I hope to see you soon in our movement!
Lorenzo Sparviero, co-founder of Stand Up for Europe