• Alexander Alvaro, Member of the European Parliament, Germany/Portugal

    Alexander Alvaro

    Member of the European Parliament,
    1. My own idea of a European dream is based on continuing peace in Europe. Had the European Union not been established, it remains questionable whether Europe would have lived for so long in peaceful harmony and whether it would have been possible for us to realise our dreams today. Peace in Europe forms the basis of my dreams.

  • Zoltán Bagó, Member of the European Parliament, Hungary

    Zoltán Bagó

    Member of the European Parliament,
    1. To summarise the whole European Dream in my mind, Europe would be a cohesive community of nations, who are living their lives peaceful side by side. The differences between the east side and the west side would dissappear or at least sharply decrease, and the east would fall into line with the west. Social welfare would be everywhere. Within the nations, the social deflection would tail away. There won’t be any adversity, poverty, unschooled children. But mostly, the European Dream won’t be a dream any longer.

  • Dr. Enric Bas, Spain

    Dr. Enric Bas

    Scientist, Spain
    1. The intersection that I talked about earlier: the search for a common ideology without abandoning local characteristics. A Europe of the people, with less bureaucracy, participative democracy, real equal opportunities and highly qualified leaders who support the most disadvantaged groups. A Europe that is inclusive and multicultural, but has a shared code and a clearly defined collective identity. A coherent, honest and realistic Europe based around a vision of a shared future, which is proactive in choosing and building a common destiny.

  • Dr. Joop de Vries, Netherlands

    Dr. Joop de Vries

    Scientist, Netherlands
    1. My idea of a European Dream is the notion of Europe as a thoughtful player on the global scene, with an interest in other people’s dreams and the ability to understand other people’s worldviews. It refers to a continent that shapes its own future based on a commitment to its core values and that is willing to practice what it preaches. Within Europe, the dream focuses on the health of society rather than its wealth, on “gross domestic happiness” rather than “gross domestic product”.

    2. This European society welcomes the transition from an institutionalised society to a network society, from reliance on facts to the ability to cope with feelings, from monolithic structures to acceptance of diversity. This is a Europe that is able to see its own priorities and global needs in perspective. Perhaps it is easier to say what my European Dream is not. It is not a collection of nationalities, each trying to be as different as possible in fear of losing their identity, holding on to existing structures and authorities, looking inward and being preoccupied with tactics without realising that the game is changing.

    3. Such a future is not impossible, especially when Europe’s elites lack a worldview of their own and will not start discussing the essence of a European Dream. A dream is not a plan, it is more than a plan. People have dreams, institutions have plans. We therefore need leaders who express what they personally think is happening around them and how they would like to respond.

    4. They should identify the “cutting-edge” of global change and develop the talent we need. They should present a ”narrative” that prevents people from retreating into smaller worlds with which they feel familiar. A European Dream is meaningful if it reduces unfounded fears, triggers initiatives to address real needs and provides hope and a sense of direction to the next generation of Europeans.

  • Marco Di Giusto, France

    Marco Di Giusto

    Student, France
    1. My dream is very political: it is for a federal Europe based on the principle of redistribution among states, where equality and the improvement of living conditions are a must. It is a place where European citizens would speak three or four languages, mobility between Member States would no longer be an issue and half of all marriages would take place between people from different Member States.

    2. This peaceful European state would ensure respect for individual freedoms and promote a sustainable and environmentally friendly society based on equality. Such a state would carry weight at an international level and ensure the promotion of these values.

  • Tanja Fajon, Member of the European Parliament, Slowenia

    Tanja Fajon

    Member of the European Parliament,
    1. I want to see our Europe safe and prosperous place to live. I want to see that we establish conditions for each citizen to live a dignified life. I wish that within Europe we would all have equal chances and opportunities and that there would be no differentiation on the basis of religion, colour, and language or nationality.

    2. I believe in a modern society, which will build its future on knowledge, where young people with will look into the future with confidence and dedication, in a society, in which people would not be afraid of losing their jobs and elders of staying alone. I want people to be able to overcome resentment and conflicts of the past and together build a better future, I want to live in a world without war, nuclear proliferation and climate hazards.

  • Federico Fasol, Italy

    Federico Fasol

    Student, Italy
    1. I dream of European children who speak three languages by the age of ten and were born in a country, but lived at least once somewhere else. I hope to see Europeans of any age who do not struggle for a low wage job. I wish young citizens do not have to be supported economically by their parents after university as much as they do not have to be supported by their offspring when retired.

    2. I hope for an Europe where being different is perceived as a value and not as a disadvantage. I dream of a socially and culturally united Europe where there are equal and good opportunities, social security, growth and prosperity for all its citizens. I dream of a Europe where citizens are proud to be either Italian or German or French as much as they are proud of being European.

  • Michel Hochstrasser, Switzerland

    Michel Hochstrasser

    Student, Switzerland
    1. I dream of a ‘United States of Europe’ through the creation of a fully-fledged democratic European federation which preserves the immense breadth of diversity on this continent but also puts a strong emphasis on our common heritage and future.

    2. I hope for a Europe united internally through the development of a federal constitution that protects the fundamental rights of an individual, balances the sovereignty of national states and establishes direct-democratic governance along the example of direct democracy in Switzerland. I believe that only the possibility of immediate participation in the governing of Europe will overcome the present euro-apathy and create a feeling of legitimisation of federal laws.

    3. I dream of a strong Europe that speaks with one voice and which takes the leading role in world politics, both diplomatically and with force where necessary, to bring forth secular democracies, scientific enlightenment, peace and economic prosperity to its eastern and southern neighbours and beyond.

      I hope that in near future, what is presently only the European Union’s motto becomes a reality and that Europe truly will be United in Diversity.

  • Iliana Ivanova, Member of the European Parliament, Bulgaria

    Iliana Ivanova

    Member of the European Parliament,
    1. The European Dream consists of a Europe in which all citizens have the support and resources to follow their own dreams. Every citizen should have the chance to achieve prosperity and success no matter where he was born or the circumstances of his upbringing. Dear Europeans, take the best of what the old continent offers and bring your ideas to life! With strong belief, willingness and commitment, dreams come true.

  • Dr. Christos Kassimeris, Greece/Netherlands

    Dr. Christos Kassimeris

    Scientist, Greece/Netherlands
    1. A European Dream would make little sense if it is not within reach of the European citizens. Any further development of the EU should reflect their needs for a better society with considerably less poverty and inequality. It should be a dream that all Europeans can share regardless of their origins, class and financial situation. People’s Europe should be the ultimate objective of all European leaders, a modern-day land of opportunity for all to enjoy. Within such an environment, it is almost certain that people would be much more likely to feel European and contribute much for the prosperity of Europe.

  • Elisabeth Köstinger, Member of the European Parliament, Austria

    Elisabeth Köstinger

    Member of the European Parliament,
    1. I dream of a Europe in which citizens will think beyond borders some day and not let themselves be ruled by national barriers; a Europe of sovereign, independent regions whose diversity are safe and supported and which create a true European community. The cultural and linguistic differences deep within the people which manifest into – questionable – stereotypes have to be overcome. Only then can we form a genuine Union together out of many member states – not just on paper, but also in our hearts!

  • Edvard Kožušník, Member of the European Parliament, Czech Republic

    Edvard Kožušník

    Member of the European Parliament,
    Czech Republic
    1. I think we are living the European Dream right now. For 65 years, there has been no war in the EU countries, and quality of life and standard of living of EU citizens has steadily been increasing. I think there has been no happier period of time for Europe. Now it is up to us whether we manage to sustain this European Dream for further generations or not.

  • Joanna Kulpa, Poland

    Joanna Kulpa

    Student, Poland
    1. I see Europe of the future as a space of equally high standard of living, with equally competitive and prosperous regions benefitting from the economic cooperation. Furthermore, I see Europe as a value-driven actor spreading democracy, rule of law and protection of human rights beyond its borders as a leader in following those principles. Finally, I see Europe as a project of socially and politically engaged citizens, taking the ownership of European developments.

  • Fredrick Lee-Ohlsson, Sweden

    Fredrick Lee-Ohlsson

    Student, Sweden
    1. I started off by claiming that we are living a dream, a European dream. In this way, it is an ongoing adventure reflecting the fact that Europe is both an old and a new idea. Peace, democracy, liberty, security and justice are achievements of the past and remain an indispensable heritage for the future. Together they form the common base of the European dream.

    2. Furthermore, the European dream entails a number of values, as Jeremy Rifkin and others have argued, founded in post-modernism such as quality of life, cultural diversity, sustainable development, economic and social cohesion and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. Those are values that the European model stands for and that we cherish, the ones that define us as society and as people and that we have to defend to the outside world. They are so rooted in our European society that they are not even being questioned, thus being at the heart of the European dream.

    3. However, Europe is also very much a new idea, an idea that is being formed and where we are the principal actors. It is a saga whose last page has not been written. We all carry the European dream and we are all responsible for writing its next page. That is what is unique with Europe. We need to speak about Europe and we need to fight for Europe because if we do not others will define us and we will only have ourselves to blame. Europe can only become a success, the European dream can only continue if we, as the young generation, dare to say what we want the Europe of tomorrow to be.

  • Maria Manolescu, Romania

    Maria Manolescu

    Student, Romania
    1. I think we are living a European Dream. We just need to realise it and then make the most out of it.

  • Cristina Mont i Castro, Spain

    Cristina Mont i Castro

    Student, Spain
    1. I think the main words that, nowadays, would describe my European Dream are mobility, communication, stability, human and national rights, and specialisation and innovation. My Dream for the future of Europe goes a bit further, though. I would like Europe to achieve a union where everyone considers themselves to have a double nationality: their country’s and Europe’s.

    2. There are a couple of important aspects to consider in order to make it happen. Firstly we need the smaller states to feel part of Europe and feel their influence in it instead of just following in the footsteps of the most powerful countries. Secondly, it is important to mention that now Europe is a union of states and their interests. We have seen some borders fall and some others built, like in Kosovo. It is important for all nations to feel represented, even if they don’t have a state, in order to make sure they feel a part of this common project.

  • Johan Peter Paludan, Denmark

    Johan Peter Paludan

    Scientist, Denmark
    1. This is also a very big question. Some keywords could be an area characterised by tolerance and a high level of trust. A society where everybody can realise his or her potential and that contributes to a more sustainable world. In the long-term perhaps, I see a European Dream as a stepping stone to a Global Dream. Many – this author too – are today still very much defined by their country of origin. Maybe a European identity will evolve, but considering the challenges that we face, even a European identity will be too limited in the long-run.

  • Prof. Dr. Markus Pausch, Austria

    Prof. Dr. Reinhold Popp
    Prof. Dr. Markus Pausch

    Scientists, Austria
    1. As we mentioned in our answer to question 1, our European Dream could be summed up by the words “The United States of Europe (USE)”. In this federal state with a democratic constitution, we select the President of the European Council in a direct election and the President of the Commission through the European Parliament.

    2. In the United States of Europe, there is a functioning and transparent social partnership and extensive social security. The subsidiarity principle applies, i.e. problems are resolved at the most appropriate level. This Europe includes all states which belong (partially or in their entirety) to the European continent and that respect the European constitution. Potentially, therefore, Turkey and Russia also belong to this Europe. Admittedly, this is a utopian view, even in the long-term, but you did ask us what our dream was!

  • Cecilia Pellosniemi, Finland

    Cecilia Pellosniemi

    Student, Finland
    1. I have a very two-folded idea of the European Dream. For me it has both an internal and an external dimension to it. Internally, I believe we are already living the dream. We can circulate freely, and enjoy cultural, economic, and social benefits in all our Member States. We can enjoy both positive, and negative freedoms. We have the freedom to choose many things, but at the same time, we have the freedom from oppression, corrupt governance and violence.

    2. I believe that we should spread this message externally as well. The so-called global public goods – freedom from fear, political rights, the freedom from want, and social wellbeing – are enjoyed by EU citizens every day. Instead of always focusing on the dark sides of globalisation, we should think in the positive terms of commitments, security, opportunity, and freedom as the basis of our integration in order to deliver these global public goods to as many people as possible. Only by living our dream globally, we can maintain our own access to the dream at home.

  • Prof. Dr. Reinhold Popp, Austria

    Prof. Dr. Reinhold Popp
    Prof. Dr. Markus Pausch

    Scientists, Austria
    1. As we mentioned in our answer to question 1, our European Dream could be summed up by the words “The United States of Europe (USE)”. In this federal state with a democratic constitution, we select the President of the European Council in a direct election and the President of the Commission through the European Parliament.

    2. In the United States of Europe, there is a functioning and transparent social partnership and extensive social security. The subsidiarity principle applies, i.e. problems are resolved at the most appropriate level. This Europe includes all states which belong (partially or in their entirety) to the European continent and that respect the European constitution. Potentially, therefore, Turkey and Russia also belong to this Europe. Admittedly, this is a utopian view, even in the long-term, but you did ask us what our dream was!

  • Georges T. Roos, Switzerland

    Georges T. Roos

    Scientist, Switzerland
    1. My dream is for a peaceful, innovative, happy, prosperous and healthy Europe.

  • Richard Royal, UK

    Richard Royal

    Student, United Kingdom
    1. A Federal Europe.

  • Dr. Pierre-Alain Schieb, France

    Dr. Pierre-Alain Schieb

    Scientist, France
    1. “What is now proved was once only imagined”, William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, 1790–1793.

    2. Hugo’s call for greater unity will have to be fulfilled someday, sooner than later. A peaceful land, an illustration of the values of the “siècle des Lumières”, a place where freedom, creativity, diversity and minimum solidarity are cherished. A “role model” for others to the extent only that they wish to emulate such a model. Our generation and the next have no excuse to fail, since Europe has all the resources and building blocks to make it happen: the historical roots, the human capital, the scientific capacity, the financial savings and on top of it now the institutional capacity.

  • Prof. Alexander Sokolov, Russia

    Prof. Alexander Sokolov

    Scientist, Russia
    1. A place where older people can enjoy their lives, creative people have everything they need to make their countries the most competitive in the world, and children have the opportunity to get the best education in the world.

  • Fabio Tank, Germany

    Fabio Tank

    Student, Germany
    1. My idea of a European Dream is that we, as citizens, see ourselves as “Europeans” in future – that we have a common history and, even more important, a common idea of the future. This also includes leaving some of our national interests behind us, so that we can pull together. It is very important that we also allow future generations to live in security and without fear. In this respect, Europe can make a decisive contribution – to the rest of the world, too, by handing down our experience and taking a leading, pioneering role within the global community.

    2. At the same time, we continually have to keep in mind what our strengths are: our diversity and our desire for freedom, justice and security as well as our common values. We need to bundle these strengths together to a single idea and use it to form our common future – a European future.

  • İrem Tümer, Turkey

    İrem Tümer

    Student, Turkey
    1. I just hope that a European dream continues to exist for the next generation.

  • Pablo Zalba Bidegain, Member of the European Parliament, Spain

    Pablo Zalba Bidegain

    Member of the European Parliament,
    1. My dream for Europe is quite similar to the “United States of Europe” dream that Winston Churchill talked about in a speech delivered in 1946 at the University of Zurich:

    2. “We must build a kind of United States of Europe. In this way, only will hundreds of millions of toilers be able to regain the simple joys and hopes which make life worth living. The process is simple. All that is needed is the resolve of hundreds of millions of men and women to do right instead of wrong and to gain as their reward blessing instead of cursing.”

  • Read what
    the project
    is about
Prof Dr Ulrich Reinhardt

Prof Dr Ulrich Reinhardt

Scientific Head of the Foundation for Future Studies,
Author of "United Dreams of Europe"

It is generally said of Europeans that we have a rather pessimistic view of the future. Read more...

The book

“United Dreams of Europe” is the title of a current research project, which was initiated by the German non-profit Foundation for Future Studies.

So far, with the aim of gaining a first insight into their perceptions of Europe and their views on Europe’s future, we conducted a survey in which 15,300 citizens from Russia, Denmark, Italy, Poland, Turkey, Greece, Spain, Austria, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, the Netherlands and Switzerland took part. In addition, as qualitative research, we did 27 interviews containing eight members of the European Parliament, nine futurologists, and eleven students from ten different countries. To get a preview of their “European Dream”, just click on one of the interview partners above.

In September 2011, the research will be published in the book “United Dreams of Europe”, including all the answers and interviews as well as the analysis of the central questions, to enable the European public access to the study.