Everything that has held us together for decades is coming apart because these approaches are becoming absurd. We need to play our part in addressing this: it is we, those who believe in Europe, who have allowed cracks to appear in democracy, distancing peoples and making them hostile. And similarly, it is we who must rediscover the path of sovereignty: we need the other form of courage, rediscovering the path of democracy.
That will require, first and foremost, a new method to overhaul Europe. That is why I want this roadmap that I intend to propose to all EU Member States – this roadmap to build the future of our Europe over the next decade – not to involve a treaty negotiated sneakily behind closed doors in Paris, Brussels or Belin. No, I propose that we try a new method: that by the end of the year, we sketch out the major principles of our approach, where we want to take our Europe, and define our objectives clearly. We can then, at the beginning of next year, submit those principles and objectives to the peoples of Europe. I propose that wherever leaders choose to take this path – something I hope for most earnestly – in each of the Member States, we organize six months of consultations, democratic conventions that will be an opportunity for our peoples, throughout our countries, to discuss the Europe they want to see.
Lastly, I want us to put behind us this sort of childlike dilemma Europe is currently tied up in. A dilemma where on the one side, some want to make the people say “yes” or “no” and manipulate them for months, where the referendum becomes the weapon of populists and anti-Europeans alone; and where on the other, those who believe in Europe end up afraid of their peoples and hide behind their own doubts, saying to themselves “let’s move forward but without changing the treaties, for fear of having to hold another referendum. Let’s move forward in baby steps, behind closed doors. The people will not understand.”