Time for Unity
October 26, 2012
The second European Forum for New Ideas (EFNI), organized by the Lewiatan Polish Confederation of Private Employers, was held Sept. 26-28 in Sopot and was attended by 1,300 delegates from over a dozen countries, including prominent economists, businessmen and scientists. According to Lewiatan president Henryka Bochniarz, Europe needs fast political integration, a uniform foreign policy and the involvement of European citizens in the European project. “Without that, not only will Europe fail to be competitive, but it may even fall apart,” Bochniarz said.
THE SOPOT DECLARATION 2012
Europe—It is Time for Unity!
The world is moving forward. Europe, from a position of leader, is becoming a follower. Decisions in response to the ongoing economic crisis are being introduced too slowly, and the tools being developed do not properly respond to the prevailing challenges. The most important expectations contained in our declaration from last year were not implemented. The lack of any results and uncertainty among citizens are leading to a loss of trust in EU institutions, politics, business and people towards one another as well as causing a loss of solidarity throughout Europe. Doubts are arising about the sense and success of the European Union and the monetary union, although it is clear that no single European country will be able to compete alone in the global world.
Therefore, we, the Participants of the 2012 European Forum for New Ideas, wishing continued opportunities for Europe, call for:
- The swift creation of a road map for the political and monetary integration of Europe. We need a constitution that will give the EU more competencies and give citizens more influence. Greater sovereignty for the European Union will strengthen our position on the international arena.
- Consistent integration—the four pillars of the EU: free movement of people, capital, goods and services are inherent and inalienable; and bold and well prepared integration in terms of fiscal, banking and monetary policies, flexible enough to allow all members to become involved and to avoid protectionism by the euro zone.
- The introduction of a common and unified foreign policy as well as the creation of a truly coordinated military potential. This is a condition for the Union to remain as one of the leaders of today’s world.
- Together with transferring part of the competencies from member states to the EU, there is a need to establish the European budget on new terms.
- Today, the EU is seen as a project by politicians and bureaucrats. There is a need to conduct and stimulate political and social debate from a European perspective, and not just from a national one, in order to include citizens, both women and men, in the European project.
- Solutions to allow greater and fuller empowerment of women in social and political life and in economic decision making.
- Reconstructing Trans-Atlantic relations as well as increasing Europe’s significance and its influence by expanding areas of political, economic and social cooperation, based on respect for independence in developing countries.
We, gathered in Sopot, in September 2012, declare full support of and engagement in these decisions and in such action. We call for governments of member states and EU institutions to undertake bold, far-reaching and swift action. Future generations will not forgive us if we fail to respond to the great challenges of today and if we ruin the great project that we inherited from past generations.
Sopot, September 28, 2012