5. May 2020
Dear friends and supporters,
Last Thursday, 1000 Europeans from Italy, Germany and all over Europe gathered online for the 1st German-Italian European Citizens’ Assembly. Thank you very much for being part of this great European meeting.
Together we have set a new standard: Because never before has such an encounter between European citizens of two countries been attempted in the digital space. The fact that this attempt was such a great success is due above all to our wonderful guests, your committed contributions and the excellent interpreters, without whom this meeting would have been impossible. Last Thursday we wrote some European history together on building a European civil society.
Anyone who missed the assembly, or would like to watch it again, can do so now here: German version / Italian version. Please share these videos widely e.g. on Facebook or Twitter, so that we can reach even more people.
The discussion itself was also truly European: Because it was clear to everyone that more European solidarity is needed now more than ever before. A European Recovery Fund with real support for the most affected EU countries like Italy must come as soon as possible. The ideological opposition to common European bonds must finally be resolved in view of the plight all EU countries find themselves in due to the pandemic.
However, the negative interest rates proposed in the discussion are not a solution based on solidarity. Rather, the recovery fund must also be financed by common European taxes (e.g. for large digital companies), European minimum tax rates and by the fight against money laundering. The other European states, and Germany in particular, can learn a lot from Italy in the efficient fight against money laundering.
It was also clear that all aid for states as well as for companies must take account of the climate protection goals. Those who now simply support fossil industries instead of ecologically restructuring the European economy are acting irresponsibly. This also includes the issue of air pollution from industry, agriculture and transport, which some people hold responsible for the many severe cases of Covid-19, particularly in northern Italy.
Thursday’s Citizens’ Assembly made it also clear that we must now take joint steps towards more European democracy. The planned "Conference on the Future of Europe" must take place despite the Corona Pandemic. Our assembly has shown how something like this can also work in the digital space.
Many of you have already made suggestions in the chat during the event as to how we can continue. We are currently compiling these suggestions and will send them to you. If you still have suggestions, please be sure to send them in response to this mail so that we can include them.
Our big assembly was just the beginning: Many of you have asked for a continuation and that's exactly what we are working on. You will be the first to know about it.
One last request: Our big European appeal www.weareinthistogether.eu is only missing 600 signatures to the important mark of 25.000! Please sign yourself and ask others to do the same! By doing so, you are sending a strong signal of European solidarity! (and stay informed about further actions.)
Thank you for your support and solidarity!
With European greetings,
Franziska Brantner, Sven Giegold and Alexandra Geese