An Open Letter to Our Fellow Europeans

The participants of the symposium of Europe's Futures program of the Vienna Institute for Human Sciences (IWM), which took place on the island of Cres in Croatia, appealed to the people of Europe to participate in the elections to the European Parliament and to cast their vote in the way that would strengthen freedom, democracy, civic coexistence and security.


An Open Letter to Our Fellow Europeans

6 June 2024


As Europeans begin to cast their votes in EU elections, we write to you from the Adriatic island of Cres. This setting reminds us of the fragility but also the enduring spirit and beauty of our continent. Neither is to be taken for granted, as we have bitterly learned once again in recent years. 

Today Europe faces an array of profound challenges: war and insecurity, economic inequality, climate change, political fragmentation and the rise of extremism. How we choose to respond will shape our collective future. 

It is precisely in these moments of uncertainty our shared values become paramount. To paraphrase Jean Monnet, the very idea of Europe is to unite people. 

Indeed, the European Union is a symbol and example of what can be achieved in unity, diversity, and solidarity. In these elections, we must remember and uphold these foundational principles. 

We must strive to create a fair Europe in which prosperity is shared across the continent. We must safeguard our environment, taking action to preserve the natural beauty of places like Cres for future generations. 

In times of mistrust and extremism, we must cherish and fortify our democratic institutions and encourage one another in civic participation. We have to resist divisive forces by fostering a European spirit of dialogue and mutual respect. 

Our shared values are still the ones that make the European Union a force for good, both on the continent and on the global stage. 

To cast a vote is to benefit from a legacy of peace and liberal democracy. Each voter has a part to play in protecting and building on that legacy. 

We urge you to vote with a vision of a better, united, tolerant and broader Europe in mind. We need representatives committed to European ideals and a vision in which future generations on this continent will flourish together. 

As the poet John Donne once wrote: "No man is an island, entire of itself, every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main." 

Writing as Europeans to all Europeans from one of the islands of Europe, we know that our common strength lies not in isolation and fear but in our ability to face common challenges together, and with hope. 

In solidarity,
Europe’s Futures Fellows and Alumni 

Ivana Dragičević, Katy Hayward, Alberto Alemanno, Balázs Jarábik, Bernd Marin, Grigorij Mesežnikov, Ieva Česnulaitytė, Ilir Deda, Ioannis Armakolas, Isabelle Ioannides, Karolina Wigura, Kristof Bender, Luke Cooper, Nathalie Tocci, Niccolò Milanese, Oana Popescu-Zamfir, Soli Özel, Stefan Lehne, Vladimir Arsenijević, Zoran Nechev, Zsuzsanna Szelényi 

This publication represents the views of the author(s) and not the collective position of the Institute for Human Sciences (IWM Vienna). 

Document on the IWM website


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