The focus of this platform is to better understand European values, principles and interests, and the role of the European Union as a regional and global actor in promoting peace, freedom, democracy, and other human rights. Europe needs to be challenged for what it is, what it stands for, how it wants the world to be. It is in the interest of European society to stand up for its values and principles both internally and abroad. Key values are summarized in the Treaty of the EU article 2 and are elaborated in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.
Article 2 reads: “The Union is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities. These values are common to the Member States in a society in which pluralism, non-discrimination, tolerance, justice, solidarity and equality between women and men prevail.”
As a regional actor the European Union stands for a number of historical achievements, including the more than seven decade long absence of war on its territory. Most people cherish the fact of a long-lasting peace among the EU’s member states. War between members has become highly unlikely, if not unthinkable. Cooperation and solidarity, though challenged by circumstance, are the principles that support this visionary peace project.
European Studies and Projects started as a non-profit foundation and initiated a number of events since its launch in 1989. The foundation served as a hub for project incubation and development and is currently in the process of transforming into a new cooperative structure. This forum on European values originates from the “Value as a verb” program co-sponsored by the European Movement. The editing team for this forum consists of Hans Groen, technical editor (www.hansgroen.com), Godelieve van Heteren, advisor and editor (European Movement), and Ernst John Kaars Sijpesteijn, editor in chief and program manager.