Today, on the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, an ocean of European blue flags covered the Italian capital. More than 10 000 citizens from all over Europe have taken the streets to defend the ideal of a united Europe. They have called for a different Europe, more politically united, a Europe where their voices are heard, and they are put in the centre of any decision. “Participation to this March is evidence that a majority of citizens have huge hopes in the European project. But they don’t want a Europe where decisions are made by Heads of State and Government behind closed doors, they want to participate in the European debate and see their aspirations respected. And they want to see results“, declares Paolo Vacca, Secretary General of the Union of European Federalists, one of the European promoters of the March.
The March for Europe has been a genuinely pan-European movement. Thousands have joined their Italian co-citizens by plane, car or bus. Groups have been organised from more than 30 European cities and 90 Italian cities, and still hundreds have come through their own means to make their voice heard. The March was open by a group of over 100 members of European and national parliaments.
The March for Europe in Rome has inspired other demonstrations all around Europe, with particularly considerable participation in spontaneous rallies in Berlin, Brussels, Düsseldorf, Luxembourg, Madrid, Paris, Vilnius and Warsaw.
“The March for Europe in Rome is not the end of our initiative“, adds Christopher Glück, President of the Young European Federalists, another promoter of the March. “This is the beginning of a process. What we see today is that European citizens want to voice their support for Europe, reject nationalism and populism, but they want also change in Europe. They don’t want to continue accepting that their governments don’t solve their problems and don’t manage to address the challenges we face at the European level. We will continue to drive forwards a hopeful and positive message of European unity“.
Pictures of the March for Europe are available on the dedicated Flickr gallery.