The British difficulties with Brexit gave the European institutions the feeling, for a moment, that the crisis was behind us. Whammo! The Italian elections have set the records straight. One of the Union’s founding countries, one of those most faithfully Europhile, has expressed through its vote its loss of confidence in Europe. Ammunition for Trump, Putin and Erdogan, for whom the success of Europe would be a scathing contradiction of their theses.

Because before being an issue for the peoples of Europe, the building or unravelling of Europe is a global issue – the demonstration, or not, that sovereignties can be transcended peacefully or, to use the imagery of the jurist Mireille Delmas-Marty, that moving from solitary sovereignty to sovereignty in solidarity is possible (Appendix 1: What Europe does the world need?)

Can we imagine the future Italian government rushing to organize citizen consultations? Or that Internet-based dialogues will reflect the concerns of all the citizens? In my preceding note in January, I stated that it was now too late to organize a true citizen foundational process before the European elections. Is this a reason to give up on it? The Italian elections have convinced me of the opposite.

What Europe does the world need? A Europe that is lucid about the major global challenges of the twenty-first century, which are: to bring about a global community of destiny; to agree on common values to manage our single and fragile planet jointly; to engage a revolution in governance that will give societies a new capacity to manage complex and multilevel challenges; to design and implement a systemic transition towards a way of life, consumption and production that will ensure the wellbeing of all within the limits of the environment. The very future of our children and grandchildren depends on our collective capacity to take up these challenges. Each of these challenges has its concrete manifestation in Europe.

This will be the guiding principle for laying new foundations for the European project. None of these challenges had been identified sixty years ago, when the Treaty of Rome laid the foundations of the European Union. How can Europe respond, how does Europe wish to respond to them now? These are the basic questions to be submitted to the citizens (Appendix 2: Questions on Europe: How to take up the four challenges of the twenty-first century sixty years after signing the Treaty of Rome).

It has not been possible to launch a foundational process before the European elections. Duly noted. Let us launch it after the elections. Let us begin preparing it, with more experimental approaches, with local pilots. The Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region and the Rhineland-Palatinate Land (Appendix 3), the Centre-Val-de-Loire region (Appendix 4), and Eurocities (Annexe5) have opened the way for us to do so.

For pity’s sake, let us not give up. Europe is worth it.