From balconies in theatres and other public spaces all over Europe, artists and citizens will performatively proclaim the European Republic and read a short manifesto, written by Ulrike Guérot, Robert Menasse and Milo Rau. With this action we aim to pave the way for the emancipatory claim to civic equality in Europe beyond the nation state. It is also a tribute to Jean Monnet, who always said:
“Europe is not about integrating states, but about uniting people.”
The proclamation of the European Republic will take place on the 10th of November 2018 at 4pm throughout Europe. Framing the act of the ‘Proclamation’ there will be talks, panel discussions and artistic interventions from 9th to 11th of November 2018. The date has been chosen in order to link two other dates of great significance in European history: on the 9th of November 1918, several Republics (Weimar, Bavaria, Austria) were proclaimed in Europe, while the 11th of November 1918 marks the end of World War I. In order to ‘reconcile’ both dates and to signal a turn from a European history of warfare towards a common and peaceful future, we chose the 10th of November.
The aim of the project is to create awareness of the fact that the future of European citizens is in the hands of the citizens themselves, and to empower them to take responsibility for the European project. The vision of a European Republic, with its essential principle of political equality for all European citizens, pursues the goal of strengthening shared values among European citizens, in order to counter national segregation and an increasingly ‘identitarian’ discourse in Europe.
In this sense the aim is to underpin the European mantra of “Unity in Diversity”, creating awareness for the fact that normative unity in Europe can be achieved despite - or rather on the basis of - cultural/regional diversity across national borders. Our central claim is that citizens who embark in a political project together must be equal before the law. Citizens must be equal in voting, in taxes and in social access, if we want to build a political entity in Europe together.
We want to see a new Europe without nations, without borders - a citizen-centered, decentralized Europe.
The idea of the common good - the res publica- serves as the guiding principle of our future European order, a European republic. The idea of this long overdue republic is the building block of our artistic-political European Balcony Project.
In the aftermath of the event, we will also send the manifesto and explanatory documents about the event to all Members of European Parliaments and to all European committees of national Parliaments within the EU, inviting them to take part in public hearings on these issues. This is how we want to ensure that our arguments are discussed and adopted by political groups and the European establishment in the run-up to the European elections in May 2019.
The idea of a free, equal value community and democracy in Europe must not only be based in the ivory tower of science, but must be carried out in the public space. The promise of a "Union of Citizens" - a veritable community of citizens - must finally be honored. Every creator is hereby called to take sides in a democratic, social and legal Europe beyond nations! Our aim is that many people all over Europe will read the manifesto and translate it in as many languages as possible. The more the merrier – please contact us if you want to read the proclamation on 10th of November at 4 p.m. on a balcony near you, if you want to plan some accompanying events or if you would like to get involved in some other way!