The European Balcony Project
À coup sûr, cette chose immense,
la République européenne, nous l’aurons.
From balconies in theatres all over Europe, artists and citizens will proclaim the European Republic and read the manifesto, written by Ulrike Guérot, Robert Menasse and Milo Rau, and pave the way for the emancipatory claim of citizens’ equality beyond the nation state! The proclamation of the European Republic will be on 10th of November at the same time throughout Europe, in big and small towns, capitals and regions, to decentralize the European idea. The project includes events, talks, panels and artistic interventions from 9th to 11th of November 2018 in many European theatres, organizing citizens debates to frame and accompany the proclamation of the European Republic.
In the run-up to the next European Parliament elections in May 2019, we want to organize a European-wide discussion weekend on European democracy. We want to draw on the notion of the Republic as the oldest form of political organization of citizens and apply this to Europe.
We want to embed the one European market and the one European currency into a single European democracy, as a currency is already a social contract. We want to invite the countries still outside of the currency union to join it soon, to close the East-West divide.
At a time when Europe is struggling to find new ways of shaping its transnational democracy and where European citizens request new forms of political participation, the “European Balcony Project” wants to produce a citizens' manifesto on the future of Europe.
In remembrance of the proclamation of various Republics at the the end of WWI, we want to proclaim the European Republic as symbol of our common European future. Our central claim is that citizens who embark in a political project together must be equal before the law.
The EU as a legal community guarantees equal treatment for goods, services and capital but denies full equality of citizens. Yet, European citizens are the sovereigns of the system and must be equal in voting, in taxes and in social access, if we want to build a political entity in Europe together.
Robert Menasse is a renowned novelist and fervent defender of the European project. His writings deal with Brussels and its institutions, European history and the future of the European political project. He has become an advocate for a European Republic to overcome nationalism on the continent.
Ulrike Guérot is the founder of the European Democracy Lab and professor of European Politics and the Study of Democracy in Austria. Her template for a European Republic shifted the paradigm of European integration and paves a way for a common European future. Political equality for all European citizens is at the heart of the idea.
Milo Rau is director of NT Gent, theatre maker and writer. He has worked with various theatres in Europe, shaping and representing a new form of political art. His often controversial plays dare to speak about the unspoken and have earned international acclamation.
We want to bring scientific discourse into civil society. So that all citizens understand that we need to rethink Europe from scratch in an era, where citizens’ participation is one of the loudest claims. That's why we invite artists from all disciplines to think about the idea of a “European Republic”, synthesizing in just one word that citizens are the sovereigns of the system which ought to provide them with full parliamentarization and division of power – none of them being currently the case in the EU.
This intervention will empower the European citizens and set out for their normative unity. With this, we want to accomplish Europe’s old saying that Europe is “unity in diversity”, meaning: normative unity for all European citizens whilst being culturally different and keeping their local or regional identity.
In short: the proclamation of the European Republic is a symbolic act to connect to the dramatic dates that changed European history and are inherently linked – 11th November 1918, 9th November 1938 and 9th November 1989. The idea is to free Europe from its past and to liberate it for a common future –by calling for the the principle of general political equality for all European citizens regardless of their nationalities.
Because European citizenship is not only a cultural notion but has a normative and legal underpinning!
From balconies in theatres all over Europe, artists and citizens will proclaim the European Republic, debate and discuss, and pave the way for the emancipatory claim of citizens’ equality beyond the nation state!
One market – one currency – one democracy:
Vive la République Européenne….
Project Manager "The European Balcony Project"
Verena manages this project and is available for your inquiries.
© Composition: Johannes Simetsberger
Sound and editing: Manuel Brandtner
in cooperation with the Center for Applied Music Research at Danube University Krems