It's your Europe, it's time to take position

Europe, 01st of May, 2019

A year ago, we would not have even dreamed of this. We were workers, students, pensioners and family members, but hardly any of us were politicians. And yet here we are: taking part in the European elections to defend principles we took for granted, and being ready to build a Europe that works for all of us.

Europe has come a long way since our continent was devastated by the terrors of war. A war born of a struggle for resources, a sense of racial superiority and a tendency to blame others for things that went wrong. Today, we talk to and learn from each other. We trade freely across borders and travel our continent for leisure, work, friendship and even love.

This historic development did not happen by chance. It took determination, compromise and a willingness to work together on the part of people whose friends, parents and grandparents had lost their lives fighting each other. And it was underpinned by a belief in a democratic system that, through hard work, has improved over time, giving more and more people the opportunity to realise their dreams and express themselves freely. The vast majority of us took this progressive improvement of our societies for granted.

But over the last ten years, we have been wrong.

The ensuing crises have impoverished many of us. They have highlighted the fragility of our national communities and raised fears about our economy, our climate, our security and the stability of our democracies. While some people have managed to become increasingly wealthy and powerful during the crisis years, others have felt left behind. These crises have affected Europeans differently depending on their age or profession. They did not stop at borders and we all felt them in one way or another.

It was then that we realised that such crises cannot be overcome by the nation state and that traditional parties, which focus on narrow national interests, cannot be called upon to solve them. We have realised that European solutions are needed. Only by working together across our continent can we improve our daily lives. Only by working together can we ensure that Europe is strong in a globalised world where anti-democratic forces are growing stronger. To do this, we must look beyond our neighbourhoods, our communities, our cities and our countries.

Since the founding of Volt in 2017, we and thousands of others from across our continent have felt empowered to put policy ideas into practice and take action. We have connected with each other in a unique and ever-growing pan-European digital collaboration, and have since worked together with whatever time we could find between regular jobs, family and other commitments. We have spent weekends on the streets, asking our fellow citizens about their hopes and expectations for tomorrow. And we have spent day and night discussing how we can create a Europe that works.

Coming from all walks of life, it meant listening to each other, building on our individual strengths and compensating for our respective weaknesses. It required mutual respect and a willingness to compromise, but it worked because we all shared the same core values: justice, solidarity, freedom, sustainability and equal opportunities.

Together, we have set out a comprehensive agenda for Europe 2019-2024 that we believe will strengthen Europe's foundations, boost economic growth and build a fair and sustainable society. For example, we want to make it easier for people to participate in EU decision-making through digital platforms, to set up a genuine European Job Platform to connect jobseekers and employers, and to adopt an EU-wide carbon tax to fund projects that create sustainable jobs. These three examples are just part of the political agenda we are building on today for the European Parliament elections in a total of eight countries: Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the UK.

No party has ever campaigned on the same platform in so many countries before. Having built a community with a presence in all EU member states, we would have run in even more countries if democratic obstacles, which effectively consolidate a political status quo, had stopped us in countries like France, Italy and Denmark.

Nevertheless, as 146 candidates of the first truly pan-European party, we have among us, for example, an Italian running in the UK, a Portuguese in Luxembourg and a Czech in Belgium. We are all convinced that we can help to bring about the change that Europe needs and we are proud to be the first step on a journey that will see our movement campaigning in national, regional and local elections in Europe and beyond.

But first, it's your turn. Not only to take advantage of the fantastic opportunity to vote for what you believe in, but also to identify a cause you care about and stand up for it. Joining an organisation, making a donation or simply engaging in a political conversation will be a good start. Shaping history is a slow process and it will take time and effort to make Europe work for us all. The struggles of today are no different to those of yesterday. We can make a difference. It is time to act. It is time to take a stand.

Signed by us, the 146 Volt candidates for the 2019 European elections:

Aida Tunovic, Aleksandra Anna Sojka, Ana Costa Rosado, Andrea García Ropero, Andrea Venzon, Andreas Maus, Ángel Alonso Ferrer, Ángel García Lorenzo, Ángel González Serrano, Anna Filipova, Arnold Coppieters, Astrid Nilsson, Bibi Wielinga, Boris van Bokhoven, Borislav Tasev, Bruno Sánchez-Andrade Nuño, Carlos Alberto Bueno Fernández, Carmen Gil Prados, Caroline Flohr, César Vera Prieto, Chris Luth, Christophe Calis, Christopher Lilyblad, Coen van de Kraats, Cristina del Real Castillo, Cristina Mohino Granados, Damian Boeselager, Daniel Asegurado Turón, Daniel Silva, Danny Van Santen, David Rodríguez Comino, Davide Cortellino, Dehydys Pimentel de Lamo, Doke Hoekstra, Eileen O'Sullivan, Elmar Theune, Elske Uildriks-Kroesen, Emil Grosfilley, Eugenio Estrada Rodríguez, Evelyn Steffens, Felice Maltzahn, Felix Sproll, Fiona Godfrey, Florian Köhler-Langes, Francesca Ropero Ramos, Francisca A. Muñoz Ojeda, Francisco Damian Blanco García, Francisco Javier Carreras Riudavets, Francisco Javier Cobos Núñez, Friedrich Jeschke, Georgi Stoichkov, Gianluca Errico, Glenn Van Herrewege, Gunnar Lieungh, Hans-Günter Brünker, Hartwig Bögeholz, Helen Wullenweber, Iciar Cañas Rivera, Ilca Italianer, Iván Rodríguez García, Ivaylo Iliev, Jacob-Elias Richter, Jan-Baptist Lemaire, Jason Halbgewachs, Jasper Münnichs, Jean-Marc Fobe, Jessica Amendolara, Jesús Sanz Ortiz, Joel Boehme, Jose Florencio Soler Belda, José Luis Fernández González, José Manuel Macho Gómez, José María Larrea Pérez-Lobo, José Miguel Mejías del Río, Julia Boehme, Julia Pitterman, Julie Van Geluwe, Juliet Broersen, Julio Guinea Bonillo, Justus de Visser, Kai Kotzian, Kamel Jalloul Ratbi, Kathrine Richter, Kerstin Stark, Koen Janssen, Krasimira Gerginova, Kristian Yankulov, Lars Jongerius, Laura Caniglia, Laurens Dassen, Liping Oerlemans, Lisa Brodbeck, Lorena San Miguel Manzanedo, Lucía Cañas Rivera, Luis Enrique Díaz Casado, Luis Escuder Mérida, Marcela Valkova, Marescha Muys, Margarita Krasteva, María Cristóbalina Vallejo Montes, María Pérez López, María Victoria Csaky Martínez, Marie-Isabelle Heiss, Marieke Koekkoek, Mark Coenen, Markus Tesch, Marthe Hoffmann, Martin Gramatikov, Maurice Hilbig, Michael Holz, Michael Reuther, Miguel Benvant de Barberá Puig, Namie Folkesson, Nastimir Ananiev, Nichita Pavlenco, Niklas Klein, Nilüfer Vogels, Nora Urbanski, Óscar Calderari Pascual, Pablo Font de la Fuente, Patrick Clerens, Pedro Ortún Silván, Petia Guintchev Toneva, Philippe Herry, Raúl Martínez Galera, Regina Rachel Rivera Torres, Reinier Van Lanschot, Reyhan Cigdem, Robin Dießner, Rolf Tarrach, Roos Habets, Roser Tafalla Plana, Rubén Núñez García, Soledad Peñafiel Trueba, Svetla Ivanova, Svetla Milanova, Tamara Ventura Díaz, Tehmeena Hussain, Tobias Lechtenfeld, Tom Bolsius, Trinidad Huertas Fortes, Vasko Deliradev, Ventsislava Lyubenova, Yordanka Petrova, YuHsuan Liang Fu, Zlatimira Colova