Berlin’s March for Europe celebrates Erasmus and ‘peace in our time’

A child holds a balloon with the European logo during the March for Europe rally in Berlin, Germany, on 25 March. Hundreds of participants joined the event on the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome that marked the origin of the European Union. [Felipe Trueba/ EPA]

Thousands of people across Europe marched in support of the EU this weekend. In Berlin, EURACTIV’s partner treffpunkteuropa interviewed some of the people that hit the streets.

Treffpunkteuropa.de’s Arthur Molt interviewed a number of the demonstrators that joined Berlin’s March for Europe.

Treffpunkteuropa.de: What are you celebrating today?

Lars: I’m celebrating 60 years of the Treaty of Rome, which led to the EU.

What are the EU’s biggest achievements?

Peace in Europe! But also providing the opportunity to travel in other countries, without changing money, without even noticing you have crossed into another country.

What are your hopes for the future of Europe?

I hope that a European identity or public develops. So that in the future we feel European over German or French, for example. That could be an example for further, larger alliances.

EU citizens send strong anti-nationalist message from Rome

Thousands of EU citizens gathered today (25 March) in Rome to celebrate but also deliver a wake-up call to their leaders to improve policies and address the rise of nationalism across Europe. EURACTIV.com reports from Rome.

What are you celebrating today?

Drakon: I’m celebrating that there is still a united Europe. Even though it still needs to be reformed.

What are the EU’s biggest achievements?

Peace in Europe. As well as peace in other parts of the world thanks to joint commitments. But a lot still remains to be done.

What are your hopes for the future of Europe?

My hopes for the future certainly revolve around a social Europe. A Europe that plays a leading role in the world when it comes to protecting the environment. In short, social justice and a green revolution!

On EU’s 60th anniversary, leaders give Union a 10-year horizon

On the day proclaimed as the EU’s 60th anniversary, with the Union looking weaker than ever, EU leaders adopted the Rome Declaration and gave a ten-year horizon for the project of the founding fathers to be reset.

What are you celebrating today?

Henry: I’m celebrating the European Union today. I’m celebrating the idea that we can build something together and work together.

What are the EU’s biggest achievements?

As a student, I would of course say Erasmus. Travelling without a visa too.

What are your hopes for the future of Europe?

I think that the European Union should be more democratic. The larger countries have more influence than the others. Countries should have equal clout in terms of voting rights and representation. Currently, only the European Parliament is voted for. The Commission is unelected. Many today are anxious because the EU is centralised and disconnected from its citizens.

What are you celebrating today?

Rosie: I’m celebrating the European Union at 60. It would be great if the UK would take part today as a member. Rather than as, shall we say, a future member.

What are the EU’s biggest achievements?

Peace in our time. Deterring the British, French and Germans from fighting each other, etc. Many things in the EU’s environmental policy are going in the right direction too.

What are your hopes for the future of Europe?

I hope that we have strength to carry out reforms, so that people feel more a part of the EU. Many think that the EU is something distant. They have the impression that it is a faceless system, unelected, which lords over the member states. I would be happier if the EU would be a more inclusive communicator. I’m very upset that the UK will no longer be a part of the EU.

I hope that Europe can be a force for a more harmonised world.

Thousands march in London against looming Brexit

Tens of thousands of pro-EU protesters took to London’s streets on Saturday (25 March), in defiance of the terror threat, to mark the bloc’s 60th anniversary just days before Brexit begins.

What are you celebrating today?

Anil: The 60th birthday of the Rome Treaty. But generally for Europe. I’m celebrating Europe!

Daniel: I’m in total agreement. I’m celebrating the European idea. My father is French and my mother is German. I am really a product of European unification.

What are the EU’s biggest achievements?

Anil: Its biggest achievement is ensuring such a long period of peace. As well as a common set of values that have been the basis for political solutions to conflicts.

Of course, there were problems in the Balkans. But I think that the European Union has succeeded in creating relative peace, through debating about beliefs and values.

Daniel: Another success is wanting to work out problems together, despite ideological differences. Visa-free travel is also a big success for young people like us. Its funding programmes too.

What are your hopes for the future of Europe?

Anil: I hope that a reformed European Union will provide another 60 years of peace.

Daniel: I hope that a European consciousness awakens in people from all walks of life. I hope as well that people who feel neglected and detached from Europe will become interested and that their personal situation will improve.

Le Pen says the EU 'will die', globalists to be defeated

The European Union will disappear, French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen told a rally on Sunday (26 March), promising to shield France from globalisation as she sought to fire up her supporters in the final four weeks before voting gets underway.

What are you celebrating today?

Sebastian: The first rays of sunshine to hit the EU in 2017.

What are the EU’s biggest achievements?

Peace.

What are your hopes for the future of Europe?

Peace.

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