Together with an amazing group of people, I have initiated Twelve Stars. Twelve Stars in Europe’s flag symbolize Europe’s unity in diversity. The Twelve Stars project brings together citizens and practical philosophers from all over Europe to discuss proposals for the future of the European Union. Twelve Stars is premised on two assumptions. First, that the ideas of political philosophers can make a real contribution to improving the European Union. Second, that political philosophers have much to learn from discussing their proposals and arguments with a wider audience.
Here is how it works: Twelve Stars’ authors propose concrete policies the EU should adopt. They discuss their ideas with European citizens on the internet platform “Change my View” with anybody who wants to join. Twelve Stars authors include Cécile Fabre, Rainer Forst, Lisa Herzog, Jakub Kloc-Konkolowicz, Eszter Kollar, Kalypso Nicolaidis, Matthew Braham, Ingrid Robeyns, Miriam Ronzoni, Philippe van Parijs, and 17 more. They are based at Universities such as Oxford, Leuven, Warsaw, Munich, Gothenburg, Groningen, York, Florence, Cambridge, Harvard, and Hamburg.
The debates take place every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 5-8pm CET. The first debate ran on May 18, we are now 13 debates into the process. 14 More debates are still to come. Topics discussed fall in five general areas: Europe’s Constitution; Europe’s Money; European Solidarity; Europe’s Regulations; and Europe and the World. The debates touch issues as diverse as the future of the Euro, intense animal farming, mandatory retirement, and climate refugees.
You can sign up for debates now on www.twelvestars.eu/participate. After the debate, authors write short accessible articles, taking into account criticisms from the Change my View debate. We will publish the articles in print in the run-up to the elections to the European Parliament in May 2019.
I am a Twelve Stars author, too. I proposed that the EU should make countries running persistent trade surpluses pay a penalty. Last Saturday, I discussed the proposal on Change my View. It was a fabulous experience that confronted me with a number of objections that I had never thought about before.
Do take a look at the calendar for the coming weeks on www.twelvestars.eu/participate. There are a lot of exciting topics coming up!