Feature photo: Round table discussion on the future of Europe 2019 | © Bettina Kümmerle
Actually, everyone should know by now that the first conference on the future of Europe took place as early as 1946, namely when European federalists met in Bern and Hertenstein in September 75 years ago to discuss and decide on a program for the future of Europe. On September 21, 1946, the time had come and that Hertenstein program was decided.
After that, not only European federalists came together again and again to further refine their ideas of a European federal state and a common future for Europe and to adapt them to the current circumstances, but also other enthusiasts for Europe or also Euro-nationalists, the superstate Europeans I have often discussed , repeatedly campaigned for their ideas of a future Europe.
The institutionalists among the Europeans, on the other hand, have been working continuously on European unification since 1951 at the latest and must have been happy that to this day neither the European federalists nor the superstate europeans were able to assert themselves with their ideas for Europe. In the meantime, the mixed situation about the ideas of a future Europe has become extremely complex, so that the European federalists began five years ago on the occasion of the celebrations "70 years of the Hertensteiner program" with the Hertenstein talks to discuss a common future for Europe in an open and transparent series of talks. A draft should then be completed by 2028, which can make the European federal state plausible to all Union citizens and lay down cornerstones according to which it can actually be created — by 2046 at the latest, a hundred years after the first concrete idea, the United States of Europe should too be a fact!
But the less European-thinking fellow citizens recently came to a similar conclusion, and so they shouted Emmanuel Macron and Ursula von der Leyen quite statesmanlike and with great fanfare one of its own Conference on the future of Europe .
It goes without saying that the European federalists do not refrain from introducing their own ideas. Unfortunately, they will be there but, similar to the Hague European Congress 1948, cannot prevail with their reasonable and also tolerable ideas — the particular interests of the “ruling” groups of people continue to stand in the way of a transparent, effective and efficient political and social restructuring of Europe.
Nevertheless, the European federalists are sticking to their chosen path and will hold the 18th Hertenstein Talks on September 19th and 2021th, 5; these are also included in theConference on the future of Europe’ and may then also find new interested parties who are willing to accompany one and the same topic in all its facets over a period of a few years and ultimately to bring about a result.
If you're a little curious now, I recommend this one Wikipedia entry about the Hertenstein Talks, the corresponding website and the results of the talks so far, which can be bought as an e-book.