Hiernaast mij staat Reinier van Lanschot, voorzitter van Volt Nederland, en mijn naam is Ilca Italianer, bestuurslid van Volt Nederland. Dit weekend mogen wij host zijn namens Volt Europa om onze campagne voor de Europese Parlementsverkiezingen van mei 2019 een vliegende start te geven. Aangezien veel van onze Volt supporters vanuit heel Europa speciaal hierheen zijn gekomen geven we deze speech in het Engels.
Dear Volt friends,
Welcome to Amsterdam! Welcome to this General Assembly!
Volt Netherlands is proud to host you here!
Our great team of volunteers has been working very hard to make this Assembly come true. Please give them a big hand!
500 Volt members have travelled from all over Europe to be here today. We have friends coming from Sweden to Spain, from Greece to Estonia! (cheer)
Volt is potential. This potential is growing. It is growing exponentially. We now have over 15.000 supporters in 30 countries. This is thanks to all of you!
Hoi ik ben REINIER: Why are we here?
Wim Kok is a former prime minister of the Netherlands. He passed away this week. As we speak there is a memorial service for him in this city. He played an important role in the EU. especially the treaty of Amsterdam made in 1997. About the EU he said: If the European Union did not exist, we would create it today.
We are here to present Volt. Volt is the first progressive European movement. The first European political party that wants a positive change for Europe. That is why we are going to run for the European Parliament elections in May 2019.
We want to bring new energy.
We want to change the way politics is done.
We want to empower Europe.
ILCA: What do we want to achieve?
To this day, politics has always remained national.
Europe is far away: creating trust is difficult.
But Europe is needed, we can not do without it.
We want to bring the European Union closer to its citizens.
They must be able to vote on real European parties.
The European Parliament must be given a right of initiative.
Fewer decisions with unanimity and more with qualified majority. A veto culture is not a democracy.
We want to bring European politics to the national living room.
The world is changing. Besides globalization, technological developments and growing world population, the balance of power is shifting. The United States put themselves first, China and other superpowers stand up. We need to empower Europe!
These changes bring us new challenges and chances.
Challenges such as on-line privacy, mass migration and growing inequality. Challenges that we can only turn into our advantage if our nations, if we, work together closely.
Challenges such as climate change. The Paris climate accord is not good enough.
The airline and shipping industry aren’t part of this accord. It is time we start putting tax on Kerosine. With all European countries as one, so that no country suffers from a competitive disadvantage.
Is it possible to overcome these challenges?
If I look around me:
I see that the public debate is shaped by people who scream un-nuanced nonsense about complex matters.
I see the rise of political party’s that undermine the rule of law.
I see the Brexit and the rise of nationalistic party’s who put themselves first.
But above all we see:
Few people that dare to speak up for the most daring diplomatic project in the history of humankind.
Few people dare to show gratitude for the people that have fought for peace through European collaboration in the past 70 years.
Few people who dare to speak up for the Union that brings us democracy, prosperity and freedom.
Because that is the honest story about Europe. The real story about the European Union.
And now it is up to us to bring that European Union to the next level. To change it for the better!
Ilca: How are we going to make that change?
What the future holds is uncertain, but one thing we can tell you.
And that is that stagnation means decline. Staying silent does not lead to change.
What if we are governed by fear?
What if climate change leads to the expense of human lives?
What if a child asks in 50 years: Did you not see all that misery coming? Why did you not do anything to prevent that?
If we get those questions in 50 years, we must be able to say:
That we have committed ourselves to peace and preservation of the rule of law.
That we have done our utmost to keeping climate change within bounds.
That we have stood up for solidarity, equality and freedom.
That is the opportunity that we must seize.
The opportunity of a more democratic, more social and stronger Europe.
The opportunity of a Europe that is able to lead the world in terms of climate change, protection of human rights, and peace.
The opportunity to let our citizens live in freedom. The same opportunities for everyone to realize their unique potential. Super voltage for everyone!
This concerns us all. This can only be achieved together. That is why we ask your help. Join our movement. Use your talent to bring the European Democracy to the next level. Talk to your friends about the benefits of European collaboration. We are at a turning point in history. That is why:
It is time to acknowledge that there is unity in diversity.
It is time to see the unique chance that lie ahead of us.
It is time solve our differences and collaborate
Ladies and Gentlemen, friends, It is time… for VOLT