Can Europe Make It?

Let's row in the same direction

Jacopo Barbati
31 January 2014

Hi everybody!

My name is Jacopo Barbati, and I’m a 25-year old student from Italy, born and raised in Montesilvano, a mid-sized (55,000 inhabitants) city by the Adriatic sea in the Abruzzo region in the middle of Italy.

I recently came back here after 5 years spent in Bologna, where I studied at the local university, getting a Bachelor of Science in Astrophysics (I’ve nearly completed a Master of Science in Geophysics), after having interrupted my Political Sciences studies. So I’m into technical and scientific education, but I’ve not abandoned my interest in the etymological ancient Greek meaning of “affairs of the cities” – that is, in politics: I think that it is a citizens’ duty to be interested in the dynamics of the management of the world we all live in.

I’ve never been enrolled in a political party, but am an active member of the Young European Federalists (JEF-Europe) since 2007: I believe that Europe can make it only by becoming a federation, the United States of Europe.

My commitment in JEF-Europe led to my offering some articles to its webzine, thenewfederalist.eu (for its Italian version, mainly, eurobull.it), giving me the opportunity to be become a bit of a “journalist” (even if this is not the most appropriate definition), a profession that I think highly important nowadays, as information is in general.

Hitherto, I have worked in library and museum management (in Italy and in Austria) and, have developed a keen interest in languages: beside Italian and English, I’ve studied French, German, Arabic, Finnish, Hungarian and Serbian (plus a minimal knowledge of Bulgarian and Latvian).

Being from Abruzzo, the “Greenest Region of Europe”, I like to think I have an innate sensitivity towards environmental and sustainable development issues and also about the problems of transport and of knowledge exchange: my region is quite isolated from the rest of Europe (even if the Balkans are just 200 km away) and it was only thanks to my personal motivation that I was able to find out more about our beautiful Europe and its cultures and languages, all the things in short that have contributed to making me feel like a real European citizen.

For all these reasons, I’d would like to see the next European Parliament able, first of all, to give the final boost towards the creation of a European federation, respecting the principle of subsidiarity and all the wonderful diversity that characterises the people who live in our beloved continent, in order to make Europe one of the strongest political interlocutors in the world, able to speak with only one voice equally with the USA, China, Russia, India; able to guarantee high social security standards for all of its citizens; able to be a solid and credible financial actor on the world stage; able to become the most attractive magnet for researchers, putting R&D at the base of the development of a future of wellbeing for all its citizens.

This process of political union cannot forget a process of creation of a European citizenship, if Europe is to be accepted: nobody, within the EU, should feel “abroad” or a “foreigner”. This can be obtained only by promoting connections between the peripheral parts of the Union and its people, alongside promoting mutual understanding and knowledge.

We all are in the same boat, and if we all row in the same direction it will not sink. 

Expose the ‘dark money’ bankrolling our politics

US Christian ‘fundamentalists’, some linked to Donald Trump and Steve Bannon, have poured at least $50m of ‘dark money’ into Europe over the past decade – boosting the far right.

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